Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Think globally and act locally

Mazin Qumsiyeh

In news of the Orwellian world we live in

-Israeli occupation soldier was caught on video stealing a crying eight-year-old Palestinian girl’s bike and throwing it in bushes.

-Israeli prime minister defended the arrest of children and blamed the native Palestinian victims for their own suffering. The ranks of children in Israeli jails continue to grow.

-Israel detained Islamic officials for renovations of Dome of the Rock mosque without Israeli permission!

-Health of striking Palestinian prisoners deteriorates. Their fasting strike involved taking only water and salt some for several weeks now as the rank of the strikers grow. They are protesting the policy of administrative detention where they can be held for months and even years without charge or trial.

-Israel continues its policies of home demolitions and in one case demolished an entire village over 100 times (each time Al-Araqib residents rebuilt). Read more »

It’s Time for America to Disengage From the Middle East

Mohammed Ayoob
The National Interest

The third reason advanced to justify a high degree of American involvement is related to concerns for Israeli security. This is an outdated argument given Israel’s tremendous military superiority over all its Arab neighbors and the Arabs’ preoccupation with killing each other rather than addressing the question of Palestine or confronting Israel.

U.S. soldier in the Kandahar province, Afghanistan. U.S. Army/Flickr

U.S. soldier in the Kandahar province, Afghanistan. U.S. Army/Flickr

The Orlando and San Bernardino shootings have led important personalities to make several suggestions, both workable and unworkable. These range from banning the entry of Muslim immigrants into the United States to tighter gun control. However, hardly anyone seems to have asked the fundamental question: why have some radicalized inhabitants of broader Middle Eastern origin developed such hatred for Americans that they are willing not only to inflict tremendous suffering on innocent civilians, but also to lay down their own lives in the process?

The answer lies in the history and extent of American involvement in the broader Middle East ranging from Turkey to Pakistan, what has been called the “arc of crisis”. The United States was often involved on the wrong side of the internal and regional conflicts in this region, supporting authoritarian regimes to maintain control over restive populations. More important, the extent of its involvement—especially in the post–Cold War era—has far exceeded its economic and strategic interests in the region.

There are multiple reasons for such a high degree of American involvement in the broader Middle East but most of them are now passé. Read more »

Chilcot, Israel and the Lobby

Gilad Atzmon (400 x 300)

It took seven years for Sir Chilcot and his team to reach a set of conclusions that every Brit capable of thought understood back in November, 2013.

The inquiry produced a damning assessment of Blair’s conduct as well as the British military. But the Chilcot Inquiry failed to expose the crucial close ties between Blair’s criminal war, the Jewish Lobby and Israel.

At the time Britain entered the criminal war against Iraq, Blair’s chief funders were Lord ‘cashpoint’ Levy and the LFI (Labour Friends of Israel). The prime advocates for the immoral interventionist war within the British press were Jewish Chronicle writers David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen. The attorney general that gave the green light for the war was Lord Goldsmith.

In 2008 The Guardian revealed that the “Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial.” Israel was conspicuously engaged in the vast production of WMDs. If Britain and America had any genuine concerns about WMDs, bombing Tel Aviv would have been the way to go.

In 2003 some intelligence experts insisted that the Iraq’s WMD dossier was initially produced in Tel Aviv and only ‘sexed up’ in London.

Since the Iraq war, the same Jewish Lobby has mounted enormous pressure on western governments, promoting more Zio-centic interventionist wars in Syria, Libya and Iran. So why did the Chilcot Inquiry fail to address this topic? Read more »

Smearing BDS Supporters

Richard Falk

[Prefatory Note: An earlier version of this post was published with the title, “The Palestinian Struggle for Self-Determination: A New Phase?” in Middle East Eye, June 26, 2016. This version stresses the misappropriation of anti-Semitism as a propaganda weapon to smear pro-Palestinian activists, especially those supportive of the BDS Campaign. It also clarifies the issues of representation by explaining the formal differences between the PLO and PA, which do not seem presently consequential in my understanding; I am indebted to Uri Davis for bringing the distinction to my attention although he may not agree with my way of handling it.]

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End of the Road?

There are many reasons to consider the Palestinian struggle for self-determination a lost cause. Israel exerts unchallenged paramilitary control over the Palestinian people, a political reality accentuated periodically by brutal attacks on Gaza causing massive civilian casualties and societal dislocation. Organized Palestinian armed resistance has all but disappeared, limiting anti-Israeli violence to the desperation of individual Palestinians acting on their own and risking near certain death by striking spontaneously with primitive knives at Israelis encountered on the street, especially those thought to be settlers.

Furthermore, the current internal dialogue in Israel is disinclined to view ‘peace’ as either a goal or prospect. This dialogue is increasingly limited to whether it seems better for Israel at this time to proclaim a one-state solution that purports to put the conflict to an end or goes on living with the violent uncertainties of a status quo that hovers uncomfortably between the realities of ‘annexation’ and the challenges of ‘resistance.’ Choosing this latter course means hardening the apartheid features of the occupation regime established in 1967. It has long had the appearance of a quasi-permanent arrangement that is constantly being altered to accommodate further extensions of the de facto annexations taking place within the Palestinian territorial remnant that since the occupation commenced was never more than 22% of British administered Palestine. It is no secret that the unlawful Israeli settlement archipelago is constantly expanding and Jerusalem is becoming more Judaized to solidify on the ground Israel’s claim of undivided control over the entire city. Read more »

Renaissance in Europe and the Arab world

Mazin Qumsiyeh

brexit (400 x 400)

I wrote several articles over the past 20 years suggesting for the sake of Europe’s future to develop a more independent foreign policy and end US led NATO’s adventurism whether in Libya or the Ukraine. But looking at the British poll to exit Europe, we cannot just say “we told you so”. We cannot feel happy seeing Europe collapse even though we here in Palestine suffered and continue to suffer from European colonization (yes Zionism that created Israel is European colonization).

This vote was focused mainly on fear of immigration (not economy as many expected) and this epidemic of fear of the brown people is afflicting the US and Europe and is stoked by Zionist xenophobes. It was not surprising that all of Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire peddled for Brexit (British exit). The stock markets collapsed, gold prices surged, and there is a general panic as the rich bankers who control/issue the money do not know what to do. The US Federal Reserve is panicking because interest rates are already so low and can’t be lowered so much further to “simulate the economy.” The economy is bad in Europe and the US because it is a war economy. Read more »

Why did Mahmoud Abbas turn against Hamas?

Dr Fayez Abu Shamaleh
Source Middle East Monitor

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas

On the anniversary of Palestine’s political division, all fingers are being pointed at Hamas, by those writing for the first time as well as the veterans who know the ins and outs of the issue. The common ground for everyone is spreading lies under the pretext that Hamas is staging a coup against legitimacy. What legitimacy are they talking about?

Is it legitimacy represented by Mahmoud Abbas, who is in love with his “sacred” security coordination with the Israeli intelligence agencies? Or is it the legitimacy of the Palestinian people who live under occupation represented by resistance in all its forms?

Didn’t the late President Yasser Arafat seize legitimacy within the PLO by means of the gun? So who has rebelled against whom? Why are some people twisting the irrefutable historical facts to suit their own agendas? Read more »

PA fiddles while Palestine dwindles

Vacy Vlazna

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In April, President Abbas, true to form, buckled under international pressure to sacrifice the integrity of the land of Palestine on the altar of another bogus ‘peace’ initiative by friends of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) had been circulating to UN Security Council members a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements when the French government effortlessly convinced Abbas to cease and desist the demand to protect diminishing Palestinian land being razed for settlement expansion until after France held its Paris talkfest.

Well, the Paris shindig, attended by foreign ministers from Europe, Arab States and the US has come and gone with notable diplomatic irrelevance. It ended, heedless of the French request for urgent deadlines, with no set timetable for yet another pointless peace stunt later in the year.

Inevitably, Paris impotently administered CPR to the dead two state solution, tokenly stated that the status quo is not sustainable while maintaining the status quo, purposely minimised criticism of Israel, mouthed empty alarm at the violence on the ground, dodged the Right of Return, fantasised about a mythical peace à la Arab Peace Initiative. A further dead giveaway of the inanity of the Paris pretence was its acknowledgement of the key role of the failed quisling Quartet. Read more »

[HumanRights] Conversation?

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Hundreds of Israelis protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday after appointment of Lieberman as Minister of Defence

Hundreds of Israelis protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday after appointment of Lieberman as Minister of Defence

Life and death go on in this land where religion has increasingly political structure. Before Zionism, Western Asia (aka the “Middle East”) could potentially move into the modern era and shed anachronistic ideas of going back centuries to find governance models. Liberal trends were on the rise.

I remember a time when girls wore whatever they wanted and this caused no discussion, a time when discussions among adults and children focused on science developments, landing on the moon, whether there is life in other planets, and whether behaviors and intelligence are shaped more by nature or nurture.

Now we are in the era of Daesh/Islamic State/Jewish state etc.

Now we see even a war monger like Israeli defense minister Yaalon quit and say that Israeli politics is taken over by extremists like Lieberman. But it is not just politics, but public discourse. We need to pause and think when a bar bouncer like Lieberman can get automatic citizenship in Palestine (now renamed “Israel”) and rise to become a key minister in a racist apartheid regime, and he can get away with calling for crimes against humanity and will soon have the power to do them.

We live in an Orwellian world run by pathetic liars and criminals such as Netanyahu, Lieberman, Clinton, and Trump. Read more »

Moral Haemorrhage from the Wound of Palestine

by Vacy Vlazna

Humanitarian law and the law of war are arguably the supreme moral artifacts of Atlantic civilization. Jewish lawyers made a disproportionate contribution to the crafting of both. The resulting legal principles were intended to deter the kinds of injuries and injustices that European Jews and other minorities had long suffered and to protect occupied populations from persecution by their occupiers. Both objectives are very relevant to contemporary Palestine. Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)

PastedGraphic-2 (363 x 400)

The present-day haemorrhaging of international law, and with it, civilised values, has its source in the Israel-US (ISUS) interminable 68 year genocide of Palestine, cheered on and sanctioned by the faux-democracies of the West.

I say ‘faux-democracies,’ as elections notwithstanding and no matter which political party wins, western nations have relinquished civilised principles, international law obligations and their sovereignty over foreign affairs, defense and trade to their ISUS masters.

A case in point: the obligation of states to investigate and prosecute war crimes,

1. It is an accepted rule of customary international humanitarian law (IHL), applicable in any type of armed conflict, that “States must investigate war crimes allegedly committed by their nationals or armed forces, or on their territory, and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects. They must also investigate other war crimes over which they have jurisdiction and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects.”
2. This obligation to investigate and prosecute is derived from a number of IHL instruments, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocol I, of which Australia is a signatory.
3. The United Nations General Assembly’s 2005 Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law also restates the obligation. Read more »

Bad news, good news, and actions

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Rim Al-Banna

Rim Al-Banna

There is bad news, good news, and actions

Good news: The Palestinian Ministry of Culture decided to recognize our friend Rim Al-Banna. Coming a few days after Women Workers Day, this was a very nice gesture. In other good news, the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem concluded successfully. More and more Christians are recognizing Israel for what it really is: a racist apartheid regime that is as anti-Christian as it is anti-Muslim (and even anti-Jewish).

The G4S security company will close their offices in Tel Aviv and will stop supporting Israeli torture of Palestinian prisoners including children. This is a direct response to the BDS movement.

And Bernie Sanders wins Michigan primary against AIPAC stooge Hilary Clinton (yes, the large American Arab population, Christians and Muslims voted for a Jewish guy 🙂 Read more »

Mazin Qumsiyeh: Resistance to incredible odds and repression

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Cattle Egret - alive, but with amputated wing

Cattle Egret – alive, but with amputated wing

I am so grateful for all that is happening in resistance to the incredible odds and repression practiced by the elites in power. While some may get activism or compassion “fatigue” , there are literally millions of people deciding to leave their apathy behind and put their hands with other people to work. Our tiny little small part of the world – Palestine now an apartheid sate called a “Jewish state” – has become a major center of global activism.

This centrality can be due to many factors:

1.Religious centrality to three main religions, one of which was hijacked for political purposes locally in the past (Christianity –> Crusaderism), the other hijacked in the past 150 years and is still strongly hijacked (Judaism –>Zionism) and the other more recently and in nearby areas beginning to be hijacked (Islam –> Isis and Wahhabism).

2. Nowhere else on earth is Western government hypocrisy more evident than in Palestine. While the western leaders speak of democracy and human rights, they support an apartheid racist “Jewish state” that engaged and engages in racism, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing (so far 7 million of us Palestinians are refugees or displaced people). Thus, this is the Achilles heel of Western propaganda. Read more »

Richard Falk: An Open Letter to Ban Ki-moon

by Richard Falk
Global Justice in the 21st Century

Richard Falk (Photo: UN)

Richard Falk (Photo: UN)

Prefatory Note: The post that follows is a modified version of an opinion piece published by Middle East Eye on 6 February 2016. Its focus on the metaphor of ‘shooting the messenger’ has usually been reserved for critics of Israel, and it is only when high officials depart from their scripted roles as faithful servants of the established order that their behavior results in demeaning rebukes. Israel and its most ardent defenders have been repeatedly guilty of shooting the messenger, thereby diverting attention from the damaging message by defaming the agent who delivered the message. It is a tactic that works, partly because the media finds character assassination more marketable than substantive commentary of a controversial nature. In my case, being frequently a messenger due to my UN role for six years, the nastier side of the attack tactics was to describe me (and others) as ‘a self-hating Jew’ or ‘anti-Semite.’ I tried to stay on message, largely ignoring the attacks, especially within the UN itself, but media coverage was preoccupied with an assessment of the personal vendetta that was difficult to ignore altogether without seemingly to acquiesce in the allegations. I should add that my tormenters extended beyond Mr. Ban Ki-moon and included others on the UN Watch mailing list including Susan Rice, then U.S. Ambassador at the UN, and high officials from other white settler countries, including Canada and Australia. Even the supposedly liberal Samantha Power, although previously a friendly acquaintance, joined the party, calling me biased and ill-suited for the position in statements to the press. She based her attack on the harshness of my criticisms leveled at Israel in my reports that highlighted the mismatch between their policies and practices as the Occupying Power in Palestine with the standards, duties, and principles set forth in the Geneva Conventions.

Dear Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations:

Having read of the vicious attacks on you for venturing some moderate, incontestable criticisms of Israel’s behavior, I understand well the discomfort you clearly feel. Read more »

Israel’s Security Establishment Makes Public Plea for a Two State Solution

by Richard Falk
Global Justice in the 21st Century

bluelight_nyt_cmep_chiefs_tearsheet-rev-large (219 x 400)

Rarely, if ever, has a newspaper ad mobilized such influential backing for a position of prominent Israelis at odds with the elected leadership of the Israeli state. A full page add appeared in the New York Times on February 4, 2016. It was sponsored by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. Considering the main readership of the NYT it is clear that the message was aimed at the American public, and likely, particularly at Jewish Americans and the advisors of the next American president who is to take office a year from now. Its message was proclaimed in large bold type: “Israel’s Security Chiefs Agree: Separation into two States is in Israel’s vital security interest.” Read more »

Will 2016 bring respite for Hamas and Gaza?

By Tom Charles
Source: Hamas

gaza (400 x 205)

It is a decade since Hamas won a landslide victory in Palestinian legislative elections. Western and Israeli attempts to eliminate the movement have so far failed, but a status quo that Hamas long sought to avoid has emerged nonetheless, and with it has come a raft of challenges.

The major obstacles that existed in 2006, nationally, regionally and internationally, remain. So what are the chances of Hamas and Gaza improving their lot in 2016?

Hamas, with its 2006 mandate, presented the West with a problem. Hamas had won convincingly, but recognition of Israel and acceptance of the Oslo Accords were non-negotiable requirements if the West was to approve any Palestinian government.

And Hamas was never going to agree to these conditions. Read more »

Wibisono’s Resignation as UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine

by Richard Falk
Source: Global Justice in the 21st Century

Commentary on the Resignation of Makarim Wibisono

wibisono (400 x 267)

(Prefatory Note: This post appeared on January 5th under a different title in the Electronic Intifada. It is published here in a slightly modified and extended form.)

Makarim Wibisono announced his resignation as UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, to take effect on March 31, 2016. This is position I held for six years, completing my second term in June 2014.

The prominent Indonesian diplomat says that he could not fulfill his mandate because Israel has adamantly refused to give him access to the Palestinian people living under its military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“Unfortunately, my efforts to help improve the lives of Palestinian victims of violations under the Israeli occupation have been frustrated every step of the way,” Wibisono explains.

His resignation reminds me in a strange way of Richard Goldstone’s retraction a few years ago of the main finding in the UN-commissioned Goldstone report, that Israel intentionally targeted civilians in the course of Operation Cast Lead, its massive attack on Gaza at the end of 2008. Read more »

Paris: The turn of the screw

by Julie Webb-Pullman

The Paris attacks are atrocities, and I send deepest condolences and sympathy to the families and victims – and to those of the recent murderous attacks in Palestine, Baghdad, Beirut, and Yemen.

Sadly, it seems that to the mainstream media, the dead in the west are more newsworthy. Western civilian targets are more deserving of our horror and outrage.

Consider: what would be the response if a Parisian hospital treating the victims is also raided by undercover ‘terrorists’ abducting patients and murdering visitors, as happened in Al Ahli Hospital in Palestine on November 12? Is bombed, like the Kunduz hospital in Afghanistan?

The United Nations is sure to act promptly – after all, it is now one of the members of the Security Council under attack, one of their own.

Under attack by weapons produced by their own, sold by their own – and provided by their own to the people committing these horrendous acts.

One could almost call Paris poetic justice, if it weren’t for the fact that the victims are innocent civilians, not the red-handed arms manufacturers, dealers and intellectual authors of these atrocities, whose identities are known, and impunity renowned.

One could almost call it the inevitable consequence of the military industrial complex on which western capitalism is now predicated, and which has increasingly insinuated itself into, or been embraced by, putative Islamic societies.

The Qu’ran says:

“…whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” (5:32)

The 1.6 billion Muslims in the world must not only stand strong in these tenets of their faith, but also stand up to this insidious undermining of Islam from outside and from within – and prepare for the Paris backlash, which has already begun.

14th Intifada on the way; its global ramifications

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem University

Below I discuss briefly why I think Israel is intent on ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories, the recent upheaval here and the killing of children, who is Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) behind the spate of
recent war crimes including murdering a 13 year old child, ask whether a 14th Intifada on the way and identify its global ramifications.

Abdelrahman Abeidallah murdered by Israeli soldiers in al-Aidah refugee camp

Abdelrahman Abeidallah murdered by Israeli soldiers in al-Aidah refugee camp

There has been a significant escalation of violence in the apartheid country in the past few days. If this is a new uprising it is expected as we have one on average every 10 years (we had nearly 14 in the past 140 years of Zionist onslaught).

When we analyze the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for this particular wave of unrest, we see the arson attack 31 July 2015 on the Dawabshe family (father, mother and child murdered), and the calls for revenge. Read more »

Benjamin Netanyahu wants bloodshed: A new, deliberately provocative right-wing incursion into sacred ground

Nur Arafeh
Source: Salon

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As Netanyahu and Abbas prepare to speak at UN, this is the Jerusalem story the media won’t tell you

World leaders converging on the UN General Assembly will soon be hearing from Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. They should focus on Jerusalem, which is again at a boiling point and has the potential to be a global flashpoint if international leaders and diplomats fail to address increasingly reckless rhetoric from Israeli government leaders and the provocative actions of Israeli settlers.

In recent days, right-wing Israeli Jews escorted by Israeli police have been making incursions inside the Al-Aqsa compound, also known as the Noble Sanctuary and Temple Mount to Jews. They are calling for more access to the compound with the ultimate goal of building a third temple in place of Al-Aqsa, which is revered by Muslims worldwide and is based in East Jerusalem – Palestinian territory that Israel occupied and illegally annexed in 1967.

Israeli authorities have abetted these right-wing extremists by effectively imposing a physical and temporal partition of the Al-Aqsa compound. We have been here before: It was Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative visit to Al-Aqsa as opposition leader 15 years ago this month that triggered the Second Intifada and years of bloodshed. Read more »

Jerusalem Is Bigger Than Palestine

By Dr. Fayez Abushamala

abuShamala (400 x 326)

The deliberate Israeli escalation in Jerusalem in recent days is not haphazard, but is part of an Israeli strategy to forcibly impose facts on the ground to take over the holy city from the hands of Arab “occupiers.”

The Israeli aggression will not be limited to the division of Al-Aqsa physically and temporally. The Israeli aggression will continue until Israel acquires the city fully, so that Arabs and Muslims look for another place to perform their religious rituals.

Netanyahu held a special meeting last night with some of his ministers who are concerned with the Jerusalem issue, including security chiefs, and the domestic front commander. They discussed what would happen after Al-Aqsa Mosque is divided. Netanyahu said that the Israeli Occupation Forces would not allow any Palestinian to prevent Jews from getting into Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Talmudic rituals. Read more »

Barakat: Oslo agreement Palestinian bourgeoisie’s declaration of bankruptcy, failure

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Barakat (400 x 300)

“Those who were involved in signing the Oslo agreement must apologize to the Palestinian people and submit themselves to appear before a Palestinian court under popular Palestinian control, after resigning from their positions in the Palestine Liberation Organization and official Palestinian institutions,” said Khaled Barakat, the coordinator of the Campign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat, in a video-conference with supporters of the Palestinian cause.

“However, they do not have the courage or the conscience – they will not apologize to the Palestinian people. Because they are the political representation of a class, not only one organization or individual,” said Barakat. “Oslo was a crime, a scandal and a disaster. What was signed at the White House 22 years ago as the ‘Declaration of Principles’ was, in essence, the declaration of the Palestinian bourgeoisie of their bankruptcy and failure in the leadership of the revolution of the Palestinian people for liberation, return, self-determination and victory.”

Barakat said, “This Palestinian class reached to this end itself before 1993. It was always loking to secure its interests and capital in the ‘national state’ and then in a ‘national authority on any freed inch’ and then accepted to be a junior partner and subsidiary in a triangle: Israel – Jordan – Palestinian Authority. This was before becoming fully in the pocket of the enemy and its economy. All of the economic agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority with the Zionist entity, with the European Union and the so-called ‘donor countries,’ and the acceptance of the terms of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as the Paris economic agreement, are all part and parcel of the political crimes committed against the people and the homeland.”

“The Palestinian right wing in the PLO and the PA express the interests of a parasitic bourgeois surrendered totally to the enemy, who have failed at all levels. They have failed to build national institutions or democracy, failed to achieve the so-called Palestinian state through negotiations, failed to establish a national resistant Palestinian economy, and failed to achieve a bare minimum of unity of the Palestinian people and their political forces inside and outside Palestine – alongside an unprecedented fiasco in the fields of culture and education. And above all of this, these forces have sabotaged real national and popular achievements, in particular destroying the achievements of the major popular uprising from 1987-1993,” said Barakat.

“In defense of their petty privileges, in the interests of the Zionist enemy and of United States imperialism, the Palestinian Authority has exercised the worst forms of repression and persecution against the vanguard of our people in the West Bank and Gaza, including complicity in assassinations, arresting and torturing them in prisons, security prosecutions, the confiscation of the livelihoods of thousands of workers, and conspiracy against the forces of the Palestinian resistance,” said Barakat. “These are all crimes – serious crimes, for which there is no statute of limitations. If there is any success that can be recorded for this corrupt approach, it is for the oppressor, in the accomplishment of all of the above. Oslo was a victory for the enemy, its most important and its greatest since 1948.”

In response to a question about the situation of the Palestinian Authority, Barakat said, “The enemies of the Palestinian people want them to have a corrupt leadership and a corrupt Authority, so that they can always be controlled and replaced as necessary, to ensure that they are more dependent, more reactionary and more willing to work in the service of the Zionist project. The occupation deals with the Palestinian security services in the occupied West Bank as if they are employees, especially after the ‘reformation’ of the security forces overseen by the occupying enemy and supervised by US General Keith Dayton personally. The role and methods of the security services have changed – and worsened – since 2005. All of this has taken place at the hands of Zionist general and under the direct control of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. This is known – our people know the truth,” Barakat said.

In response to a question on the role of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the postponement of the Palestinian National Council meeting and the next steps, Barakat said that “the position of the Popular Front is expressed by the central leadership in the homeland and in the diaspora, as well as in the statement of the General Central Committee, which was issued in regard to the last announced session. The Front explained the reasons for its boycott o the meeting and indicated the dangers and risks that would arise from the continuation of the monopolistic PLO leadership on this exclusionary road. The Front says that the solution to the internal Palestinian crisis lies in the application of the Cairo agreement in 2005, not to reproduce the failed experiment itself under the name of ‘dialogue between Fateh and Hamas’ or ‘Palestinian reconciliation between Fateh and Hamas’! Why? Because this agreement came from a dialogue in which all national and Islamic forces participated and signed on in Egypt. This also emerged in a political initiative known as the Prisoners Document, which came from inside the prisons and was signed by all the forces, and blessed by the leaders of the prisoners’ movement. From here, the Front sees that this agreement is a fit beginning to restore national unity despite our reservations on some of its provisions. but in the end, the proof is in the implementation and not in anything else. The step of postponement was comfortable for all.”

In response to a question on Hamas’ position on participation in the PLO and asking why a new unified national front for the Palestinian resistance should not be organizaed as an alternative to the current PLO, Barakat said, “Before the announcement of the postponement of the PNC meeting, the Popular Front advised the leadership of the Hamas movement to not take any extreme political steps or negative actions that would not be beneficial at this stage. The main banner at the press conference held by the Front in Mar Elias refugee camp called for a unified Palestinian National Council, because the Front is aware of the importance of building a unified national front in the national democratic liberation stage of our struggle. This broad national front was embodied by the PLO for a long period of time, as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. But today there are major Palestinian forces that do not participate in it. And the PFLP is aware that in order to broadean and extend the state of open confrontation with the Zionist enemy on the one hand and meet the challenges that beset our region on the other hand, there must be a minimum Palestinian national consensus that is acceptable to our people, locked in a bitter, difficult struggle and confronting a strong Zionist and imperialist enemy. We must protect the internal front, to escape the era of siege and open new horizons for the national struggle for liberation. On this basis, the Popular Front has launched bilateral and collective dialogues with various forces according to this vision: national unity on the basis of comprehensive national rights and adherence to popular and armed resistance as an alternative to negotiations and settlement.”

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