Elections are a very important additional step, but they are not the end of the process. They should be built upon by agreeing on a national program that is inclusive of all Palestinians and guarantees the protection of our national project.
Written by: Rola Muhesin
In light of the current crisis and the attempt to dismantle the Palestinian cause by imposing the so-called “deal of the century” as an international reference for alternative negotiations to international law, the rush of some Arab countries to normalize with Israel, the involvement of the rest of the Arab countries with their internal conflicts and the increase of the economic blockade, holding Palestinian general elections is an inevitable choice that complements the confrontational mechanisms planned by the Palestinian leadership and with the unanimous consensus of all national factions. This began with the stopping of security coordination and canceling all agreements concluded with Israel.
The Palestinian people are relying on the role of all national factions and independent national figures in the success of the electoral process in order to end the division by achieving reconciliation, confronting settlement plans and ending the pretexts that made the division a reason for some countries to not recognize Palestine as an independent state. Although sometimes there are threats to not recognize Palestine if we agree with specific national factions, our unity imposes our will, restores respect for our rights and enables us to confront any dismantling attempts.
Therefore, elections are a very important additional step, but they are not the end of the process. They should be built upon by agreeing on a national program that is inclusive of all Palestinians and guarantees the protection of our national project. It would begin with the formation of a government of reconciliation, capable of resolving all outstanding issues of disagreement, and is able to reconfigure our institutions to play the role that enables them to impose the status quo. With the creation of all reconciliation requirements of this stage, including the constitution, the law and the development of appropriate plans for their implementation, we must reassess our international relations and conduct the necessary interventions to impose our national standing and will, after our accession to international treaties and conventions related to human rights and international criminal law, and to joining the United Nations bodies that increased our legal personality.
One of the obligations of action is based on the Palestinian President’s initiative to convene an international peace conference by involving the Quartet, the Security Council and the concerned parties, in order to end the occupation and achieve our independence within the 1967 borders. We are required to arrange our internal affairs and attend the conference with an agenda that enforces our rights, so that they know that the continued occupation and their disregard for undermining the two-state solution means the continuation of political instability, not vice versa. We must achieve this despite the expected escalation of Israeli violations and international pressure.
It is necessary to embrace all national factions and institutions and activate the Palestine Liberation Organization’s institutions in order to return to their position in leading the Palestinian national struggle. It is also required for us to benefit from our previous experiences, to become unified on the basis of the supreme national interest and to return international law as the center of arbitration. Our understanding of elections should not be in its narrow context, but rather in its broad context that leads to our sensing of the danger of the political moment and the compromises that are carried out, which are not in accordance with our ambition to establish an independent state and right to self-determination.
The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor.