Palestine: Still Chasing The Mirage


In all my years on this earth I have never had any doubt that we Palestinians will one day get our rights recognised and our land liberated and that we will, at last, have the right to return home. When I say, ‘we the Palestinians’ I do not refer to officialdom. I do not refer to The Palestinian Authority, to the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front For The Liberation of Palestine or any other faction. My faith is not in any of these. My faith is solely in my brethren in Palestine and the diaspora. It is incumbent upon us all to work diligently and relentlessly to achieve our goals of liberation and freedom by all means available to us. We are Palestine.

This faith, no this conviction, has been tested, shaken to its core, but never lost. Not even when Fatah and Hamas decided to war amongst themselves and not against our enemy and occupier, Israel. Not even when Trump came to power and started his demolition plan of all our hopes and aspirations did I lose faith.

We Palestinians need a world order that does not only recognise might but gives morality, the rule of law and humanity a chance. We need a level playing field.

This scenario has been tested over and over and over again since Mr Trump came to power. He first gifted the Israelis Jerusalem as their eternal and ‘undivided’ capital against all international norms and conventions. Israel demanded more and he obliged by moving his embassy to Jerusalem. Against all international norms and conventions. Then he went a step further by closing the offices of the PLO in Washington and deporting the Palestinian representative there and stopping all aid to The Palestinian Authority. That was not enough. He went one step further. He decided to starve UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which takes care of the welfare of 5 million Palestinian refugees, from any further American funds, putting the lives and the livelihoods of 5 million Palestinians in jeopardy. His team, mostly composed of Jewish Zionists, advised him to remove the words ‘Palestinian Refugees’ from the vocabulary of American Foreign Policy. All of this was a concerted effort to pressurise the Palestinian Authority to accept his so-called peace plan. Then, to top it all he gifted Israel the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

And then came the coup de gråce, when on the 28th January 2020, at a gathering in The White House with his bosom pal, Benjamin Netanyahu at his side and a room full of sycophants, Jewish and Christian Zionists he announced what I can only call ‘The Steal Of The Century’.

We all know what’s in it. We all know it’s violently one-sided and biased to a farcical degree and we know how utterly unfair to the Palestinians it is. They were not even there. As such, the Palestinian Authority objected to it, so did the Arab League, so did The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation as did most of Europe, Russia and China. The exception was the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and his Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab who gave it a luke-warm welcome and regurgitated the same banal rhetoric about the two state solution.

All the above made not a jot of difference. Not to Israel, not to their main benefactor, the United States of America. They decided it’s a good deal and is an opener for dialogue. What dialogue I wonder? Hasn’t the Palestinian Authority been having a dialogue with Israel for a quarter of a century? No matter.

Yesterday, the 11th February 2020 was the 30th anniversary of the release from prison in South Africa of the great Nelson Mandela, who famously said, “ We know full well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. Yesterday, the 11th of February also saw our President, Mr Abbas trotting off to the Security Council to put his case – yet again – and literally to beg the international community to give peace, not Apartheid in Palestine, a chance.

I sat through two and a half hours of speeches by the fifteen member states, all of whom repeated the usual mantra of how committed they are to the two-state solution based on the June 4th, 1967 borders and equally committed to all the UN resolutions, of which there are many, and all respect international law and conventions. With the exception of United States of America and Israel who both insisted that all agreements of the past and resolutions were irrelevant and that their ‘deal’ was the only way forward.

Strangely, at the end of it all there was no vote.

What is the point of stating the obvious and not taking a stand? Even knowing full well that America would have vetoed it?

The Israeli ambassador, Danny Danone, openly called for the removal of Mr Abbas from office and described him as ‘not being ‘sincere’ in his search for peace. Why, asked Mr Danone, is he here at the Security Council and not in Jerusalem talking to Mr Netanyahu?

Hasn’t Mr. Abbas been talking to Mr Netanyahu for over twenty five years? What has he achieved? Apartheid.

Mr Abbas would have done much better if he had gone to Gaza, repaired the damage that has been done over the last thirteen years, gathered all the factions around him and started formulating a plan to confront and quell the Steal Of The Century. Sadly, he chose otherwise. As usual.

If the definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over and over again while each time expecting a different result is true then all our leaders must be institutionalised. When you know that if you go to any of the capitals of the western world to air your legitimate grievances against Israel that the answer will always be, ‘Israel has a right to exist and Israel has a right to defend itself” why bother?

And when you know that every time you scurry like cockroaches to the UN and, in particular, the UN Security Council to lodge another legitimate complaint against the myriad of crimes Israel commits against Palestine you are faced with the solid wall that is the American veto, why do it?

The conclusion I have reached is nobody is coming to our aid. Nobody is coming to our rescue and most of the Arab leaders are more interested in preserving their shaky thrones than protecting Jerusalem, Hebron, Palestine or even us, the Palestinians.

All that I can live with because we,Palestinians, given half a chance, are capable of doing what is needed to protect our holy sites and liberate our land. What I can’t live with is the continuous to-ing and fro-ing of Mr. Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues to the UN to justify their existence, knowing full well that nothing good or useful will come out of these visits.

Insanity indeed.

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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