OPINIONS

Tue 25 Jun 2024 9:45 am - Jerusalem Time

Changing the authority is a condition for its survival and for it not to turn into a puppet authority

There is increasing talk about the possibility of the collapse of the Authority this summer. Is such a scenario inevitable, likely, unlikely, or possible?


To answer this question, it must be remembered that the Authority was born from the womb of the Oslo Agreement and the settlement process that was based on mutual obligations, a process that was dysfunctional in favor of the occupation, and lost its raison d’être after successive Israeli governments killed the agreement many years ago, and they did not bury it. So that it does not bear responsibility for what it has committed, it no longer adheres to its obligations, and at the same time demands that the authority continue to implement its obligations within a very low ceiling, leading to the increasing tendency towards gradually undermining the authority after the formation of the current Israeli government from a coalition of extremist religious and nationalist right-wing parties, and that Despite the objection of the Israeli security services and the army, who see that the Authority plays a benign role for the occupation, and its collapse may serve Israel’s enemies, especially advocates of comprehensive resistance as a path to achieving Palestinian national liberation goals.


The ceiling for dealing with authority is economic and security


The change in Israeli policy towards the Authority dealt it a fatal blow, and the ceiling for dealing with it became economic and security, without negotiations or a political process. This brought the Authority to a situation where it was required to transform again, as it was an authority within a political process and mutual obligations, and it became an authority without Mutual obligations and no political process, and now it is required to become a puppet authority or authorities, and this requires the “reform and renewal” procedure required by the Americans and Israel, to become a “renewed” authority.


Since the establishment of the Authority, we have found calls to reform it whenever Israel becomes stubborn, extremist, and abandons previous references and agreements. Instead of holding the occupation responsible, the international community holds the weak side responsible (as happened with the late President Yasser Arafat, and is currently happening with different circumstances and reasons with President Mahmoud Abbas). Not for the sake of reforming the Authority and combating the widespread corruption within it, but for the sake of exonerating the occupation of its crimes, and enabling it to manage, reduce, or resolve the conflict, wasting time, and pushing the Authority to make more concessions to meet the new Israeli conditions.


Calls to reform the authority are right intended to be wrong


Here, we warn the international community and the Arab countries against falling into the trap of calls for reform coming from Tel Aviv and Washington, which are a right intended to be false, as they participate in the siege and draining the resources of the Palestinians and their authority, by forming a government with powers, and an honorary president, that implements what is required of it. Opposing false reform does not exempt the authority from the necessity of carrying out the required reform, renewal and fundamental change. This is the responsibility of all Palestinian elements, forces and institutions struggling for good governance, securing rights, freedoms and democracy, achieving accountability and combating corruption for the Palestinian interest.


Despite the above, the influential leadership practically replaced the state program for which power was merely a transitional stage on the path to achieving another program, where mere survival of power became the goal.


Here, we put power in the context in which it stands; What enables us to understand her fate, as she lost the reason for her existence, and needed change and a new birth, but she did not seek to achieve it. Because it is in the interest of those with influence to keep the situation as it is, and the opponents calling for it have not been able to achieve it.


Change of power is necessary


So, the authority that was born in 1994 died with the death of the Oslo Accords in 2000, and its revival requires a new context and a new approach, and this is possible by changing the authority (its nature, program, form, functions, obligations, and budget) to become the authority of the people and one of its tools.


Changing the authority has become a condition for its survival, especially since the occupation authorities are putting pressure on the authority and want to transform it from a cooperative authority into an agent.


Changing the authority is necessary, even if it leads to building a new authority, and this can only happen in the context of the struggle to defeat the occupation, so that the authority becomes adjacent to the resistance, in the service of the national program, and a tool of the PLO, which urgently needs to rebuild its institutions to include different colors. political and social spectrum, and become in word and deed the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.


The evidence that the death of Oslo led to the death of the Authority as it was, is that its powers, even limited ones, evaporated due to the unlimited Israeli violations of the Israeli obligations in Oslo, as the occupation authorities removed the differences between the areas classified (A), (B), and (C), and all of them became permissible day and night. . The legitimacy of the authority has also eroded, if not ended, with no elections being held for nearly twenty years, and without national reconciliation or achievements, and in light of the deepening of the occupation, the expansion of settlement, and the marginalization of the issue, especially after its division into two conflicting authorities under the occupation, and in light of the fact that 60% of The people are demanding the dissolution of the Authority, as stated in the latest opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. This is expected, as the authority does not resemble its people, does not achieve its goals, does not defend them, and its budget is stunted, to the point that threatens its financial collapse within a few months if it does not obtain large and sustainable political and financial support that may prevent the collapse, but it is not enough to save the authority if a new approach is not adopted. Able to change power.


Authority owes to employees


Also, in light of piracy, Israeli measures, and poor performance, the Authority has been unable for years to pay employees’ salaries in full, to the point that the Authority owes each employee six months’ full salaries, and the rope is on the tractor, and this is just a small part of the Authority’s debt, which amounts at least to 7 billion dollars. And it reaches a maximum of $11 billion.

The above gives seriousness and danger to the talk about the collapse of the Authority, especially in light of the fact that the Israeli government’s position on the Authority fluctuates between those who demand that the Authority remain between death and life on the brink of collapse and subject to constant blackmail, and those who demand the dissolution of the Authority because, as Bezalel Smotrich, the Minister of Finance and the Minister responsible for... Settlement in the Ministry of War embodies the single Palestinian national identity, and its survival keeps the way open for the establishment of a Palestinian state, the establishment of which everything must be done to prevent because it poses a threat to the existence of Israel.


In this context, comes the Smotrich plan, news of which was recently leaked. It aims to change the situation in the West Bank radically, and in a way that achieves its actual annexation without an official announcement.


Oslo's authority is collapsing


Yes, the Oslo authority is collapsing, and it must collapse; Because it was a limited self-governing authority cooperating with the occupation, and bound by severe political, security and economic restrictions that must be removed immediately or gradually.


However, it must change, or a national authority must be established in its place that is part of the national liberation battle, and in the face of the occupation, which is increasingly pushing matters towards the collapse of authority, to be replaced by chaos, insecurity, and a plurality of local authorities in conflict with each other, and seeking to win the favor of the occupation. This helps the occupation to spread discord among the Palestinian ranks, and to implement its expansion plans faster and at the lowest costs.


Even if the authority collapses in the course of the confrontation with the occupation, national institutions must be built in all fields so that all of them become an authority responsible for various aspects of life, with the Unified Liberation Organization being the supreme authority and responsible for the political path, including resistance and negotiations when negotiations become possible, and it will be armed with fangs. On the basis and after changing the balance of power, so that it will be possible to end the occupation and achieve freedom and independence, by achieving the rest of the rights and interim and final goals.


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The legitimacy of the authority has eroded, if not ended, with no elections being held for nearly twenty years, without national reconciliation or achievements, and in light of the deepening of the occupation, the expansion of settlement, and the marginalization of the issue, especially after its division into two conflicting authorities under the occupation.

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Changing the authority is a condition for its survival and for it not to turn into a puppet authority

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