Middle East Monitor / February 13, 2020
We should forget all about Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s hyperbole regarding a full boycott of Israel and the US, including security coordination. During his address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, he communicated the expected diplomatic suggestion, another international peace conference “to bring real peace between the Palestinians and Israel.”
Defunct, repetitive and dangerous for Palestinians, such a conference is another paradigm introduced by Abbas and supported in theory by the international community, notably EU countries. Once again, Abbas’s priority is to prove his worth to the international community’s expectations and demands, for the simple reason that he has no political legitimacy among his own people.
Abbas has no strategy to counter Trump’s so-called deal of the century. Denouncing the US plan at the Security Council, when Israel is already planning annexation maps with the US, serves to showcase a leadership that is mocked and yet still insists on defining Palestine according to international consensus. The US plan, Abbas stated, “violates international legitimacy.” It is from international legitimacy that Abbas then defines “the legitimacy of Palestinian rights, our right to self-determination, freedom and the independence of our own state.”
Yet the two-state compromise does not recognise the Palestinian people’s legitimate political demands. It merely subjugates Palestinians into an extension of colonial occupation while the Palestinian state remains a hypothesis.
What is Abbas rejecting at the Security Council? Simple: Palestinian history, land, memory and narratives. At an international level, the PA is rejecting the involvement of Palestinians and their political demands. The Palestine that Abbas speaks of is not the Palestinians’ Palestine. It is the construct determined by the international community to aid Israel’s colonisation process, whether this is achieved through the obsolete two-state framework or via Trump’s “peace plan”.
A rejection of that plan must also include a rejection of the two-state paradigm. International consensus did not bring peace. Instead it ushered it decades of Israel acting with total impunity. International consensus deems settlement expansion to be a violation of international law, but it does not recognise the link between settlement expansion and colonisation. The PA and its obsession with international consensus absorbed these partial and misleading narratives to the benefit of the counter narrative on Palestine. As a result, Palestinian refugees displaced since the Nakba were also categorised as victims of international law violations, to deflect attention away from Palestinian refugees as victims of Zionist colonisation.
An international peace conference will not bring peace. It will waste more time for Palestinians as the PA pursues the international community’s expectation of not demanding a political solution. It will reaffirm the importance that the international community gives to its involvement in Palestine, rather than create the space for Palestinians to define their political demands and their land.
There is no international consensus regarding the violation that Abbas himself is committing by pleading for a peace conference instead of demanding decolonisation. The PA’s role is to facilitate Israel’s plan, while the international community supervises the process. Each time Abbas turns to the international community, in particular within the context of this sham conflict between Trump’s deal and the two-state imposition, the PA leader is amplifying his complicity with Israeli colonisation as it rides roughshod over Palestinians’ political demands.
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