False Chivalry

Dr Mohammed Shtayyeh

“We will prevent the Israeli occupation army from raiding Area A, not with violence but with our bodies.”

So said the recently appointed Prime Minister of the so-called Palestinian Authority, Dr Mohammed Shtayyeh . He went on to say, “Israel is invading the PA’s territories, and the signed agreements do not allow for such invasions.”

There is a very apt saying, ‘know thine enemy’. I agree. When you know your enemy, their strength, their assets, their methods of operation and, most importantly, their weaknesses, you can then prepare to deal with this enemy.

We Palestinians, have many an enemy, declared or surreptitious, and we have much to learn in order to defend ourselves. The obvious enemy, of course, is Israel along with the Zionist movement, both Jewish and Christian. Then there is the United States of America, which will do everything in its power, and that power is immense as we all know, to support and bolster our occupiers. Closely following the USA lead are western governments in Europe, Australia and Canada who blind-foldedly follow the Zionist doctrine in supporting Israel and oppose everything and anything to do with Palestinian rights to self determination.

The despotic states of Arabia, whom Mr Trump declared in his ‘great and unmatched wisdom’ would not last a week without America propping them up”. These Arab governments are also enemies of Palestine.

But, they are nothing compared to the enemy within. To my utter shame and devastation I speak of the Palestinian Authority with a President at the helm, whose mandate expired ten years ago. Yet recently he announced that he will call general elections in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. What Mr Abbas, or any of his cronies never mention are the other 7 million plus Palestinians who live in refugee camps dotted around the Arab world and us, who live in the Diaspora.

Then there is the Islamic movement, Hamas which rules over Gaza with an iron rod.

The division and the in-fighting between Fatah (The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank) and Hamas in Gaza serve to prolong the suffering and the subjugation of our people and has opened a huge gap in our shield of resistance to allow ’special interests’ – those who serve Israel and modern imperialists – along with their proxies to cause havoc to our Cause and immense pain to our people.

What really concerns me now is that despite over 25 years of the Oslo Accord and the creation of the Palestinian Authority our situation, both in Gaza and in the West bank is regressing daily. You might have thought that both the PA and Hamas, after experiencing the double dealings of the Israelis and the collusion of various Arab governments with our enemy and the total hypocrisy of the USA and other Western governments might have learned a lesson. But, no they did not and judging by what I hear, read and see they are not about to any time soon.

Which brings me to yesterday’s quote from the PA’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Dr Mohammed Shtayyeh. What Dr Shtayyeh meant, when he said ‘with our bodies’ are the bodies of the many, young, passionate Palestinians who are willing to meet Israeli live ammunition with their bare chests. These are young men and women who are willing to endure incarceration and torture for the sake of liberty and freedom. But Dr Shtayyeh, those Palestinians, who are willing to stand up to Israeli fire from the front, are they safe from being stabbed in the back by the PA security forces? I doubt it.

So, Dr Shtayyeh, instead of brave, chivalrous, meaningless words, please dear brother, do the obvious. You said that Israel does not honour any agreement. Cancel those agreements. You said Israel invades Area A on a daily basis at will. Let your forces face them. You will be within your rights. You said that we will meet them with our bodies. For those bodies to be safe and not wasted why don’t you cancel the so-called sacred security coordination with the enemy?

One last thing, Dr Shtayyeh, the Israelis have been squeezing the finances of the PA by withholding funds, hundreds of millions of dollars to coerce you into abandoning the families of our martyrs. From what I know of you your forte is economics. Would it not make economic sense to cancel the Paris Protocol which would mean us taking control of our finances instead of leaving it in the hands of our enemy? But that wouldn’t do, would it. That would mean that you, your President and your cabinet and your so-called government would be null and void. Sadly, you and your colleagues appear to prefer maintaining the status quo that keeps you in power.

Is this what our people, who have been sacrificing and standing fast for over 100 years deserve?

I say not. They deserve a better leadership, a better government and they have every right to resist their occupiers by any means available to them. All I ask of you is please don’t stab them in the back.

Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst, based in London, presently in Perth, Western Australia. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.




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