*Former Fatah Senior Press Officer in Lebanon
Resolving the Jewish issue in Europe has produced a Palestinian issue that did not exist in our region. Since then, the conflict between the Jewish victim and the victims of the victim is still escalating, and it is moving further away from the two-state solution.
In the course of the conflict, the Palestinian national movement had first presented a solution based on one-state run by democracy and secularism, before adopting the two-state solution option as a “Palestinian peace attack”, according to the National Council.
In contrast, Israel’s governments implemented three models of solution:
The first option was based on the Zionist movement theory that “Palestine is a land without people, for a people without land”. This option was refuted by the new Jewish historians when they rewrote the history of the establishment of Israel. They unveiled, based on Hebrew documents, the truth of the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the massacres involved. They presented a documented account of the causes of the first Palestinian refugee wave, before, during and after the declaration of Israel’s independence, the day of our Nakba.
The Palestinians who survived Israel’s ethnic cleansing are today more than 1.5 million, but they only possess 2.6% of their public and private land, which totals 22,000 square kilometers. They can look at their homes and farms from far away but cannot go back to them.
The second option was executed by former Prime Minister General Sharon and is called the “unilateral disengagement plan from Gaza”. On August 15, 2005, Sharon issued an order to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and to redeploy around its borders, controlling, therefore, its crossing points, sky, and sea. The Gaza strip became a big prison for its two million inhabitants.
The third option is the solution that seeks to realize the dream of a Greater Israel from the river to the sea. It revives the Allon Plan which aim was to annex the West Bank after the June 1967 war. Netanyahu does not spare any chance to destroy the two-state option, and to abolish the right of Palestinian self-determination.
Within this ideological framework, the Trump administration drafted the “Deal of the Century” project, which reflected a moment of identification between both parties that never witnessed before with the previous US administrations. Both parties acted as decision-makers who can make their will a reality. However, the US administration was not spared objections from a group in the ruling Israeli coalition, which does not accept giving up any piece of land to the Palestinians. In fact, the “Deal of the Century” excludes from annexation the Palestinian cities and the roads they need for transportation purposes and not simply communication. This group believes that refraining from a comprehensive annexation entails the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state, which represents an existential danger to them! Netanyahu was quick to reassure them that Palestinians must accept absolute Israeli security sovereignty over the cities and territories that would not be included in the annexation.
By adopting this unilateral solution model, the US President would overrule the international legitimacy established 75 years ago, the moment the UN Charter was proclaimed. He overruled as well, the international resolutions relating to occupation, expansion, and land seizing from people firmly rooted in their homeland through time, despite all setbacks.
Now that Israel has achieved control over the geography of Palestine, can it control the Palestinian demography?
The balance in this arena is quite different because the theory of “land without a people” has fallen irrevocably, as evidenced by the fact that the military rule over the ethnic cleansing survivors in Israel failed to destroy the Palestinian national identity inside the Green Line. The Palestinian society there witnessed development and growth in all areas and did not lose interaction with the evolving Palestinian identity in Gaza, the West Bank, and the Diaspora.
Therefore, we can firmly confirm that the approach concerning the right to self-determination of the Palestinians is not in the hands of any superpower or regional power, because the people of Palestine are a hard solid reality, and because the geography of Palestine is not an ambiguous expression, or an unknown space. Furthermore, the Palestinian resilience and their ability to pursue struggle are not just void slogans. In fact, this reality raises their level of self-confidence.
This confidence though, does not conceal the fact that the Palestinian leadership does not have the reins of a power system on field and is unable to express its rejection to the practices of annexation, confiscation, and Judaization. The Palestinian position, both “official and popular” proceeds according to different mechanisms and does not provide the opportunity to build a solid core here and there, then let it roll in snowball effect. It also has the patience to gather the possible elements of power to release political vitality and fight as much as capacity allows.
The Palestinian resistance is at the same time an individual and collective action, objective and subjective, spontaneous, and organized, with a determined agenda and timing. It is an act guided by the nature of daily life, whereby the Palestinians move in a heavy colonial space that requires from each individual an inner resilience at every moment for the sake of preserving, first and foremost, their human balance, until something unexpected happens. In fact, this explains the phenomenon of the Israeli inability to resolve any file of conflict with the Palestinians. An inability disproportionate to excessive Israeli force. A failure that prevents Israel from winning the way it desires.
The above highlights the importance of the Palestinian Authority’s recent declaration of a global coalition that includes 192 nations who expressed their rejection and refusal of any step that Israel intends to take.
The coalition provides a base for an effective political and diplomatic action. Furthermore, Fatah and Hamas’s leaders declared their agreement on a unified position to confront the annexation of territories through peaceful popular resistance. This agreement constitutes a solid base for further action, especially that the declaration contributed to a positive change of the internal Palestinian climate.
A unified position indeed means no more than proceeding on an individual base towards a common goal. Still, it reinforces the establishment of common national denominators. Apart from violent internal conflict, and as long as agreement on peaceful resistance is an approach, people’s will and response are not little, provided that the democratic climate in both the West Bank and Gaza is secured. If the resisting act is not democratic, it becomes meaningless and worthless. This US-Israeli attack could be turned into an opportunity that calls for comprehensive national reviews in order to draw a new strategy.