Wed 19 Jun 2024 8:05 pm - Jerusalem Time

Fayyad: Biden's plan and some difficult facts about Gaza

The days that have passed since the United Nations Security Council adopted the vision announced by the US President regarding ending the war that has been raging in Gaza for more than eight months have demonstrated the validity of not counting on an imminent end to this war, despite the enormity of the calamities it has brought, and continues to bring, to the people. The people of Gaza and political and security setbacks that are rare at the regional and international levels. Since, from the beginning, it seemed legitimate to question the possibility of a vision that was completely identical to the Israeli position, according to what was stated by Biden himself, that it would constitute a breakthrough sufficient to raise hope in an imminent end to the war, especially at a time when the Israeli government does not miss any opportunity to emphasize its insistence. To continue its aggressive war until achieving goals whose realism has become questionable even in Israel itself.

It is clear that the successive failure of previous attempts to reach an agreement that would lead to stopping the war and paving the way for a sustainable calm is not due to ignorance of the facts of the matter as much as it is the result of hesitation to accept them or give them the attention they deserve. If this is the case, it is due to the difficulty of accepting these facts by one or more of the parties influencing the course of matters. Below is a brief analytical review of the most prominent of these facts.

First: The illusion of the possibility of eliminating the Hamas movement has been dispelled. It has become widely and increasingly expected that the movement will be an integral part of the political and field scene when the war ends. And since Hamas has succeeded in continuing to withstand for nearly nine months in the face of the tyranny of the Israeli war machine in the Gaza Strip, which the same machine only needed a few hours to tighten control over in 1967, it is almost certain that it will be established, “the next day.” The feeling of believing that she emerged victorious from this war. It is worth noting that this feeling did not arise out of nowhere, but rather began to form from the early stages of the war, when it became clear that the October 7 attack was preceded by careful preparation for a long-term battle. There is no doubt that this matter contributed to enabling Hamas to effectively confront repeated waves of skepticism, locally as well as regionally, about the validity of its decision to launch the aforementioned attack.

Second: Israel's failure to achieve any of its declared goals from the war it launched in the wake of the October 7 attack. Indeed, beyond what was clear from the beginning about the impossibility of eliminating a political movement such as Hamas, today there is no longer much room for belief that Israel will succeed even in simply removing Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas movement, as it was before last October, is still today the most prominent political force in the Gaza Strip, and its political standing is expected to strengthen significantly, at least during the first post-war phase. To demonstrate this, it may suffice to think, even in passing, about the features that are likely to dominate the field scene the “next day.” Perhaps the most prominent features of this scene will be the immediate reappearance of the institutional presence of the Hamas movement, through the deployment of police personnel, and in a gradual manner in other aspects of public administration. However, this should not be understood as assuming that the movement will be able to deal with the urgent requirements for restoring life to the Strip, especially with regard to shelter and reconstruction. This is another difficult fact, but it must be accepted.

Third: Israel’s frantic pursuit of “complete victory” has pushed it into a tunnel of war without an end, or even without any goal that it can continue to try to achieve without incurring additional heavy, and likely permanent, losses on the international scene, due to what resulted from its aggression, and still is, From the systematic destruction of life and its means in the Gaza Strip. It has become clear that Israel's repeated resort to using accusations of anti-Semitism in the face of its increasing accusation of war crimes and genocide has become reprehensible and underestimates, at least by some, the extreme danger of true anti-Semitism.

Fourth: In practice, the banner of Palestinian representation has passed to the Hamas movement. This came against the backdrop of the failure of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s bet on the political path it adopted in 1988 as a way to achieve the rights of the Palestinian people, especially with regard to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967, and its involvement in a negotiating process that is not based on acknowledgment of any of these. Rights under the Oslo Accords. Not only that, but this process established a deep rift in the Palestinian political system, and was accompanied by Israeli failure and inertia in transforming the framework of self-rule represented by the Palestinian Authority into an empowering tool for the Palestinian people in their struggle to obtain their rights. Against the backdrop of the consequent erosion of the PLO’s representative capacity, the position of self-distancing that was actually adopted by the organization’s leadership in the wake of the October 7 attack deprived it of any influential representative role, whether at the local or regional and international levels. This unfortunate end would not have happened if the organization’s leadership had taken the initiative to expand its representation base to include all the influential political factions and forces, most notably Hamas and Islamic Jihad, especially since these two movements announced, along with other forces, their agreement to join the PLO without insisting on changing its political program. As well as the formation of a national consensus government for a transitional period ending with general elections. If this had actually been done, it would have made the possibility of the National Authority assuming its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip an additional tool in pushing to spare Gaza and its people from the further scourges of Israel’s aggression and its destructive war.

Fifth: It is extremely naive to even think that reforming the Palestinian Authority in the technical sense, despite its importance and necessity, can replace the political reform required to enable the Authority to become a symbol of national consensus that enables it to exercise its duties in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank alike. If it is not surprising that the influential powers on the international scene, led by the United States, ignore this fact in order to avoid publicly acknowledging the necessity of not excluding Hamas, in particular, and other political forces opposed to the political program of the PLO, in general, then it is not at all acceptable to accept this logic. Twisted by the political entity that is supposed to be the unifying home for all Palestinians and their only legitimate representative. Then, and there is no claim of innocence in this question, what happened for the world to discover only after the seventh of last October that the Palestinian Authority needs to improve its administrative and technical efficiency? Related to this question, of course, is the question of what prompted the authority, after claiming the ideality of its administration, to adopt the international call for renewal and reform and change its government to achieve this. What's the point in any of this?

Sixth: There is no realistic or logical option to deal with the situation in the Gaza Strip other than the National Authority assuming responsibility for governing it. However, the mere fact that this option is realistic, or even that it is a national necessity to achieve the unity of the nation and its institutions, does not make it automatically implementable. It is also not at all acceptable to allow even the thought of imposing it by force, especially since achieving national consensus on it passes through the gateway to enabling the PLO to be in deed, and not just in word, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is a matter of regret that the continued ignoring of this fact and the reluctance to act responsibly regarding it has opened the door to discussing proposals and alternatives for dealing with the situation in Gaza, united by Israeli political thought that aims to keep the Gaza Strip separate from any unifying Palestinian entity. In addition, what most of these alternatives are based on employing an international administration supported by a multilateral military force in preparation for establishing a local administration in Gaza involves a lot of naivety, if not extreme danger. Which countries are prepared to send their forces to the Gaza Strip without an official invitation from an inclusive Palestinian framework that includes the Hamas movement, or, in the absence of that, at least with the movement’s approval? Then how does keeping the Gaza Strip separate from the West Bank, even for what is said to be temporary but is likely to be otherwise, is consistent with a goal whose importance Arab and world leaders do not miss an opportunity to emphasize, which is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian land occupied since 1967? ?

Seventh: The return of the issue of finding a sustainable solution to the Palestinian issue, after many years of revolving in one vicious circle after another, to the spotlight and global attention, at both the civil and official levels, constitutes a qualitatively positive development that must be built upon and benefited from. There is also great positivity in the position that has become the subject of an Arab consensus regarding the necessity of there being an irreversible and irreversible path to a process that leads to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. In order to translate this position into a plan and program of action, urgent work must be done to define the basic components of such a path, while taking into account from the beginning that there is no point in trying to obtain Israeli approval, neither on the aforementioned Arab position nor on its highest components, at the present time, or Even in the foreseeable future. How can the current Israeli government be expected to commit to something that completely contradicts its political program that strongly opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, no matter how ridiculous or weak it may be, and at a time when some of its members declare their intention to eliminate even what remains of national authority, several governments in Israel have intended to weaken it so that it does not become... A day for a future country? However, this does not mean at all abandoning the idea of developing a Palestinian action program that enjoys Arab support for a political move capable of enabling the Palestinian people to achieve their national aspirations. Quite the opposite.

As a first step towards establishing a national action program with the desired specifications for the next stage, it may be useful to actively seek international recognition of the national rights of all the Palestinian people, including specifically the right to establish an independent state with full sovereignty over the entire Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, and including This recognition is in a UN resolution issued by the UN Security Council. As for negotiating with Israel on any issue related to the embodiment of the desired state, the initiation of this should be conditional upon a prior official Israeli acknowledgment of the Palestinian right to establish this state, as well as the other national rights of the Palestinians as a people, and as an issue whose roots go back to the Zionist project’s denial of the reality of the existence of the Palestinian people. It should be noted that crystallizing a Palestinian political vision like this makes it possible to immediately begin unifying the Palestinian leadership within the framework of the Liberation Organization without any need to change any component of the Palestinian political system to change its political vision. It is not possible, especially in light of the failure of the Oslo negotiating process, to continue to accept the condition that all Palestinians accept the form of any solution to the Palestinian issue that is not based on Israel’s prior recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people.

It is clear that it is not possible to advance towards adopting a comprehensive Palestinian national vision that would pave the way for its Arab adoption and the effort to consolidate it internationally without beginning to achieve leadership unity within the framework of the PLO. In the absence of this, it will not be possible to deal with any of the difficult facts related to the tragic situation in Gaza, and Gaza, which has long been described as the largest prison in the world, will likely become its largest camp for decades on end. This is a difficult truth that should never be accepted.


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Fayyad: Biden's plan and some difficult facts about Gaza


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