The consequences of PA ‘happiness’ over diplomatic nothings

Ramona Wadi

Middle East Monitor  /   February 28, 2023

Last week, Palestinian Envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said that he was “happy” about the international response to the UN Security Council Presidential Statement which replaced the draft resolution that would have explicitly targeted Israel’s settlement expansion. “The Security Council reiterates that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines,” Al-Jazeera reported the Security Council as stating.

Never mind the fact that “deep concern and dismay” from the international community have only ever resulted in further impunity for Israel, is the Palestinian Authority still happy after the political farce in Aqaba on Sunday? Despite the joint communication issued after the meeting in the Jordanian city, which included the “Israeli commitment to stop discussion of any new settlement units for 4 months and to stop authorisation of any outposts for 6 months,” Israeli leaders were swift to deny that any agreement had been reached.

“There will not be a freeze on the building and development in settlements, not even for one day (it is under my authority),” tweeted Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, meanwhile, announced the authorization of nine outposts and the construction of 9,500 settlement dwellings on Sunday evening. All of Israel’s settlements and so-called “outposts” are illegal under international law.

Unsurprisingly, the PA has also affirmed its willingness to resume security coordination with Israel. To top the hypocrisy, the PA’s ministry of foreign affairs called upon the international community to protect Palestinians after the state and settler terror in Huwara on Sunday evening, even as Ramallah fails to make the first move to protect Palestinians by being steadfast in a decision for once. The international community is in thrall to the settler-colonial state and will not step in to protect Palestinians, as the PA knows full well.

“Israeli settler terrorism persists and is aimed to persecute the Palestinian people into submission,” said the PA foreign ministry. While the Israeli government has ushered in a new normalization of violence against the Palestinian people, replete with genocidal incitement from ministers, the PA remains well versed in the art of feigning concern, just as the international community does. “Empty condemnations and expressions of concerns will not protect the Palestinian people from Israel’s racial terrorism,” the ministry added.

Where was the PA’s lucidity when it was “happy” about an equally empty Security Council statement voicing “deep concern and dismay”, we are entitled to ask. Or does the PA treat Israel’s colonial expansion as a separate strand of violence from the other forms of violence that Palestinians experience daily? Why does the PA not make the correlation between Israel’s annexation plans and the increasing levels of violence that Palestinians are experiencing?

With the likelihood of the PA confirming that it is reneging on its word over security coordination, accountability should also be held from within. The PA has betrayed the Palestinian people by imposing a convenient diplomatic narrative that excludes the colonial apartheid reality. Perhaps a clarification can be made by all involved in the deliberate exclusion of Palestinians from their politics to confirm that Israel and the international community are only interested in dealing with the PA as an entity that plays a vital role in the colonization process.

Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America