The PA’s political contradictions are dangerous 

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Maliki (Issam Rimawi - APA Images)

Ramona Wadi

Middle East Monitor  /  October 13, 2020

Why does the Palestinian leadership never discuss the relationship between those responsible for the colonisation of Palestine and those who are complicit in its continuation? The PA remains locked in a cycle that ignores its own complicity with the international community and the Israeli occupation. Is the Palestinian Authority even aware of its contradictions?

Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki was clearly oblivious when he addressed the UN General Assembly’s 75th session and accused the international community of allowing Israel “to continue its illegal practices without consequences and accountability, which encourages it to continue these violations of the law and further inflames tensions and destabilises the situation on the ground.”

Perhaps the PA is unaware that even its terminology has nothing to do with the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle and narrative, and everything to do with the international community’s constructions of “the conflict”. Why does the PA still advocate for the two-state compromise, which is an international imposition proven to favour the Israeli colonisation process, and upon which the US was able to draft its “deal of the century”, which was ridiculed only until the recent normalisation agreements?

The PA has no objection to Palestine being defined by international consensus, yet claims that it wants to hold Israel accountable. However, the international community has invested in Israel’s impunity, with the latter strengthened in recent years by the UN’s more overt blaming of the Palestinians for Israeli violations. It is no longer a case of the victims — in this case the Palestinian people — being paid lip service in terms of access to human rights and justice. “The conflict”, as the UN is partial to calling Israeli colonisation, has shifted to an approach that seeks an endgame one way or another by silencing the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the PA has contributed to this agenda.

While the PA can speak about international shortcomings in relation to Palestine, it cannot do so from a non-complicit approach. Palestinians have been adamant in describing their uprooting as an ongoing trauma and violation, but the PA has compromised this narrative by adopting the fragmented approach promoted by the international community.

While the Palestinian people support anti-colonial struggle, the PA has eliminated such avenues through its diplomacy, even as it pretends to be a staunch advocate of non-violent resistance on occasions which make global headlines. Moreover, the people will not forget the times that the PA has exploited the trauma of Palestinian prisoners and the communities facing forced displacement, all overlooked until the leadership realises that opportune remembrance might score a point in terms of the authority “challenging” the international community about its refusal to act accordingly.

If the PA were a truly independent entity, it would be challenging the international impositions that have reduced the issue of Palestine into a series of separate, human rights violations, as opposed to an ongoing colonisation project. Undoubtedly, the UN has committed irreparable errors against Palestinians. The tragedy is having a leadership that sees no contradiction between calling out international complicity and supporting the same violations by adopting the international narrative to replace the Palestinian people’s history and collective experience. Such political contradictions are dangerous.

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