Written by: Oday AbuKarsh
Many people are currently engaged trying to answer a question about the second day of the Israeli aggression, on Gaza, in Gaza. They are actively anticipating potential answers by examining Arab and international precedents, envisioning governance models and considering leadership structures. They are also exploring the various procedures and arrangements needed to navigate the evolving reality shaped by the events of October 7th and the ongoing aggression that persists to this day.
I think the constant spinning in this circle perpetuates a series of profound disconnects from reality, marked by a lack of understanding of the deep-rooted causes behind the prolonged expulsion, resulted from years of political sickness that destroyed the dream of establishing a Palestinian state based on international legitimacy, and the hopelessness that resulted from the procrastination of successive Israeli governments led by Netanyahu over decades. He has consistently avoided participating in political processes that could bring international legitimacy to reality on the ground, which, of course, happened with clear consent of some leading powers in the world, wasting relevant international and UN resolutions. This spinning also implies an understanding that the current war is exclusively targeting the Gaza Strip. In reality, it is undeniable that only one phase of this war is happening in the Gaza Strip, as it has persisted in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, for years, albeit with less severity and impact on international’s ears.
I think it is unrealistic to believe that the Palestinian division did not result in any profound consequences, leading to estrangement between two halves of the population. This division has resulted in distinct destinies for each Palestinian component, disrupting the political involvement of segments that collectively represent two-thirds of the Palestinian people. Moreover, it has restricted political engagement within specific elites, resulting in the fragmentation of the shared social fabric of the Palestinian destination and altering perceptions of a common destiny and future.
Those engaged in contemplation are still hesitant to delve into the core issues, focusing more on symptoms rather than understanding the underlying causes that go hand in hand with continuous tendencies to present the problem as the solution, reminiscent of the post-second intifada scenario being reintroduced as a solution for the recent evolution of the conflict. This includes the repetition of names and an effort to fabricate security and economic solutions, while neglecting the crucial aspects of identity, independence and statehood premonition. There is also a shift from Palestinian reform demands to adopting American reform demands, falsely portraying them as originating from the same source.
I don't believe it is necessary to pose challenging questions during tough times about national reform, a crucial pathway to achieving independence and establishing the state. The priority lies in restoring unified representation, starting with reforming the PLO. This involves strengthening its representation of diverse Palestinian entities, revitalizing its leadership and evaluating its means of representation. Additionally, with a majority of the Palestinian people in the West Bank losing their sources of income, public servants did not receive their salaries for years, and considering the enduring nearly two-decade-long siege on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, culminating in an unprecedented massacre in modern history, I pose the following: Given the current events and those of the past four months, would forming an emergency government to address the evolving Palestinian situation and effectively manage the changes in the economic and political spheres come as a catalyst for the long-awaited change?
Moreover, over the last four months, we observed the significant impact of several ambassadors who effectively shaped the global narrative and played a crucial role in better positioning the Palestinian cause and discourse, post the aggression on the Gaza Strip. A shared characteristic amongst them was their affiliation with a relatively young generation. However, a majority seems to have faded from prominence, possibly due to either their inability to garner attention or their inability to sustain it. In both scenarios, the question regarding the effectiveness of Palestinian diplomatic representation globally, which has seen no substantial changes over years, arises within a broader set of inquiries extending beyond this particular aspect.
On a local level, Palestinians witnessed the decision where most of the governors were forced to retire was a move that garnered widespread appreciation. However, the continuous delay in hiring alternatives led to a sense of disillusionment. The question arises: Is the Palestinian leadership still struggling to identify suitable alternatives, or has it reached the conclusion that both the original and the alternative contribute nothing in the socio-political sphere, mainly in this situation? Is there a deliberate overlooking of vacant positions, or has the tendency to postpone become a leading pattern in the Palestinian administration?
For me, there are a lot of questions about the needed reforms, that this article will not be able to carry, however the major question would still be not what the second day after the war on Gaza will look like in Gaza, but rather is what will the second day after the war on Gaza in Palestine look like.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's views and not necessarily the Association's or donor's opinion.