The Difficult Questions Facing the Palestinian Authority

Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps asserting impossible conditions during the ongoing troubled negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which he knows very well both will never accept. He aims at stalling to take advantage of time to annex more Palestinian lands with impunity.

To hide his Judaization agenda of all historical Palestine, Netanyahu plays the generous role, -but without success- by offering the Palestinians an entity of empty shell devoid of national and legal aspirations to form a real independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem (occupied in 1967 war) as its capital. Israel’s main aim now is to completely turn the Palestinian Authority into a security agency to protect and guard the colonial apartheid expansion in the West Bank. Netanyahu sounds like a broken record reiterating the protection of ‘Israeli security’, but how can security by maintained by annexing Palestinian lands while sitting to negotiate a two-state solution?

It appears now that a negotiated political settlement under the brokerage of the United States is almost dead if not already buried, despite failed attempts to resurrect it. Recently, in an unprecedented move, the American Secretary of State, John Kerry accused Netanyahu of wrecking the peace negotiations by “refusing to release the Palestinian prisoners as agreed and when a close deal was about to be finalized, Israel announced plans to build 700 units in its expansions of settlements”.  Indeed, the Zionist colonial agenda which Israel wishes to impose upon the Palestinians, as well as on the American Administration, is about to wreck the U.S.A position as ‘an honest broker’.

With the PLO leaders currently talking about the possible demise of the PA, a notion of a similar fate facing the Israeli government is being deliberated among Israeli political parties. Tsivi Beriel wrote in Haaretz that Kerry has pushed Israel into an impasse it has never faced which is “new general elections where one of the following might win: Avigdor Lieberman, Danny Ayalon, Neftali Benet or David Rotem who will govern the Kingdom of Israel”. If such a development happens, it would, in effect, guarantee the total boycott and isolation of Israel by the world.

The Palestinian Authority lacks the military means to stop the Israeli colonization of the West Bank. The Authority cannot really protect the Palestinian people who are being killed, humiliated, robbed of their lands and imprisoned on a daily basis by the Israeli military occupation. One major possibility left for the Palestinian people is ‘a third intifada’ which would be directed not only against Israel, but perhaps also against the PA as well as its ‘security coordination’ with the Israeli military rule.

Another possibility/option was came up in a recent study conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research with the assistance of U.S./ Middle East Project, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center and a number of international experts. The study reported that “the Palestinian Authority is seen by the majority of Palestinians to be playing a dual role which spares Israel the responsibility to care for the people under its occupation according to international law, while at the same time provide security for its Judaization of the occupied Palestinian territories against the threat of the Palestinian demographic wrath.” Another finding in the study saw that “the Israeli measures to punish the structure of the Palestinian Authority would lead in time to its eventual demise”.

For this reason, some PLO and PA members advocate the idea of “the Authority taking a decision to dissolve itself before Israel does”. With such a move, the Authority would shift to the Israeli national budget the responsibility of providing and caring for the occupied people of Palestine with a cost exceeding  billions of dollars usually supplied by various donors. In this case, the ‘One-state’ solution to the Palestinian issue will be the only option left.

Such a decision for dissolution by the Palestinian Authority would create a humongous shock within Israel, in addition to driving its government into more political and economic difficulties.

Another option is for the Palestinian Authority to seriously and resolutely go to the United Nations and join its various organs, thus bringing the whole world to face Israel; the only colonial/apartheid power left in our world still pretending to be a democracy. Many in the PLO/PA leadership seem not to fear US threats to cut all its aid to the Authority. It is to be remembered that the American Administration did not carry out its threat when the PA went to the UN and gained a non-voting State status membership. If any of the second and third options (or both) are pursued, that would save the PA blame by the Palestinian people who would only direct their civil disobedience against the occupied Israeli military forces.