Palestinian Nationalism or Renewal of Legitimacy?

Although Palestinians have worked hard to build the national entity, investing everything possible in the context of impossible circumstances, in order for these efforts to become the building block of the future state, their efforts did not guarantee the activation of international will in favor of Palestinian rights.

Written by: Maisa Abu Zeidan

The Palestinian elections have become the main topic of most discussions at various levels, where it is described as an urgent necessity that can confront the consistent policies of the White House and the orientations of the Israeli right-wing and assess the Palestinian cause. The elections could also be seen as a way to revive the settlement process, which has become subject to the political deadlock that affected the orientations of all concerned parties, on the Arab and international levels, especially in light of the current regional and international changes. On the other hand, the holding of Palestinian elections could also be described as a critical turning point, in which it can lead to catastrophic results that meet the visions of Donald Trump and his allies, as it is based on bilateral consensus without a critical review of all previous political and tactical courses and the absence of a national strategy.

Based on the Palestine Liberation Organization’s decision, announced by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last May, to absolve all agreements and commitments that resulted from the Oslo Accords, it seems that the process of renewal of the legitimacy associated with the Accords is moving away from the PLO’s decision towards another devotion to the bureaucratic component. Consequently, all hopes for a transition to a sovereign Palestinian entity that would ensure that the stakes of the occupation and its ally, the White House, were overcome, evaporated.

Although Palestinians have worked hard to build the national entity, investing everything possible in the context of impossible circumstances, in order for these efforts to become the building block of the future state, their efforts did not guarantee the activation of international will in favor of Palestinian rights. It seems that the holding of elections comes under pressure from some international parties, specifically Europeans. This makes us wonder about the absence of the same international pressure, specifically European ones, on Israel, which denies the international will. It has also become the only party that imposes its law against all parties concerned with resolving the conflict in the region with the support of the United States, which finds in its strategic interests the first and last criterion to formulate its relations and roles in the region.

Regardless of elections being the basis for building free societies, the gateway to emphasizing national legitimacy and the solution to all the internal crises afflicting the Palestinian cause, the most important issue arises related to the seriousness of the repetition of the mechanisms by which the previous elections were held, resulting in a system that led to the state of division. Therefore, there is the possibility of reproducing failure with the same tools and mechanisms.

However, if discuss the renewal of legitimacy through the components of the current political map, we must ask about its readiness in light of the internal issues that beset it, especially the renewal of its frameworks and structures. Neglecting this issue will lead to catastrophic consequences, as the capabilities of the generations will be lost, instead of empowering them to become those who participated in shaping Palestinian nationalism. If the two parties, who met in Istanbul, possessed the actual will to face the challenges and risks with actual partnership, then why not translate it into reality through the existing national institutions? Why is the Palestinian entity not invested in its current structures to renew the legitimacy, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization?

The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor.

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