Palestinians’ Fate: Between Words and Actions

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, should inform his people about the next steps regarding all aspects of their daily lives, especially since the annulment of the Oslo Accords became a matter of concern.

Written by: Nabil Amro

After Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, absolved all of the agreements and understandings with the Israeli government, many Palestinians expressed their political opinions regarding the fate of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and what was built on it for more than a quarter of a century. There were a variety of opinions expressed by the Palestinian people, where many do not care if the PA collapses or disintegrates, while others believe that Palestinians will soon declare their statehood, in which they demand the world to immediately recognize the State of Palestine as a response to the so-called “Deal of the Century” and Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, both of which are strongly rejected. Some are urging the PA to abandon the quest for a two-state solution and to prioritize achieving a one-state solution, while others suggested transferring the government’s powers to the Executive Committee of the PLO and the powers of the dissolved Palestinian Legislative Council to the Central Council of the PLO, calling for the powers, authorities and privileges of the PA to be absorbed by a reformed PLO. Many Palestinians also called for the establishment of a Palestinian government outside of Palestine, consisting of Palestinians in exile, in order to protect the Palestinian issue from the impact of the occupation – as if an external government is more merciful on the Palestinian cause and can produce more tangible results than one in the homeland! Every day, we hear these calls for action, as if the Palestinians’ fate has become a game of show and tell, with no criticism or analysis of the effects or reliability of the aforementioned options.

I am not sure which one of these opinions will turn into actual policies and decisions; but let us suppose that it was agreed to transfer the PA’s powers to the PLO. The question that arises is: how? From this broad question emerges the following several questions that need pragmatic answers:

  1. Is the PLO, as it currently is, qualified to manage the affairs of the daily lives of millions of Palestinians?
  2. Is it able to manage ministries and institutions that have more than one hundred and seventy thousand employees?
  3. Is it capable of providing financial assistance, especially at this particular time when Palestinians are suffering from economic and financial distress that may double over time?
  4. Does the PLO, which is supposed to replace ministries and other institutions, possess solutions to the remnants of the Oslo Accords, such as collecting customs and taxes and fostering civil coordination with Israel?
  5. Will it be able to receive financial aid from donors whose support decreased during the time of the PA, in which there is no way of knowing whether this aid will increase or remain the same if things turn to the Palestinian factions?
  6. Will Israel’s treatment of Palestinians change for the better if the Executive Committee of the PLO replaces the Council of Ministers and the Palestinian National Fund replaces the Palestinian Ministry of Finance?

These are pressing questions that most Palestinians ask, especially those whose lives are intertwined with Israel in all aspects and fields, in light of the Covid-19 crisis and the ten conditions that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, set out to be accepted as soon as he talks with the Palestinians.

The transfer of responsibilities and powers from one framework to another does not merely take place from one decision taken at a meeting. Many of the Palestinians who express their political opinions discuss matters related to the fate of the Palestinian people, including their rights and interests, as if they are deciding their destinies. For this is what we no longer like, we will change it with what we like, and if the PA is dissolved, then we have the PLO, and if Israel asserts pressure on the PLO, we will declare our statehood. This game of show and tell arises when necessary and folds with the same ease, and it does not involve any amount of seriousness, realism or honesty, causing Palestinians to be in a state of confusion. Therefore, it is necessary for these acts to come to an end, in which there is a possibility that it could if the Palestinian President openly addresses the Palestinian people in a manner that complements his decision of terminating all agreements and understandings with Israel. He should further inform his people about the next steps regarding all aspects of their daily lives, especially since the annulment of the Oslo Accords became a matter of concern. The Palestinians were once asked: “Do you want more money or more homeland?” Thus, they have the right to ask their leaders about their fate.

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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