Dismal PA Relations with US and Israel
Trump earlier cut off half of US funding for Palestinian refugees, severely impeding vital UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) aid to people in dire need.
He threatened to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority(PA), saying why should Washington make “any of these massive future payments” when the Palestinians are “no longer willing to talk peace, (or show America) appreciation (and) respect.”
PA/US relations are more dismal than any time since the Second Intifada ended in 1993. The same goes for PA relations with Israel.
For the first time in nearly a decade, the PLO’s Palestinian National Council (PNC) legislative body meets on Monday to discuss suspending recognition of Israel, transforming the PA into a formal state in the Occupied Territories within pre-June 1967 lines, along with related issues, notably Trump’s unacceptable Jerusalem declaration, destroying any possibility of breathing life into a moribund no-peace/peace process.
A new PLO executive committee governing body will be established – Hamas not invited, ruling Fatah officials to decide future relations with Israel and Washington.
Hamas opposes Monday’s meeting, rejecting it “under the bayonets of the occupation.” The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) declined an invitation to participate, saying a PNC session should only be convened to unite all Palestinian factions for a common agenda, opposite what Israel wants. Divisions serve its interests.
Palestinian activist Wael Malalha believes Monday’s meeting is a way for Abbas to pursue “self-preservation,” adding:
“The US, Israel and their Arab allies are mounting great pressure on the Palestinians to accept (Trump’s deplorable) ‘deal of the century.’ “
Despite claiming otherwise, “Abbas wants to accept this deal and wants the PNC and the Executive Committee to give him the political cover to accept it,” Malalha believes.
Based on his duplicitous history, he’s likely right – always self-serving, betraying his people since Oslo time and again, going along with what demands rejection, selling out to US and Israeli demands, Palestinians getting nothing in return but occupation harshness misery – their rights, land and future stolen.
PNC members will elect new executive bodies, purportedly to push forward for Palestinian rights, something never done before, unlikely with duplicitous officials in charge.
PLO chief negotiator/executive committee member Saeb Erekat believes Monday’s meeting represents “a turning point for the Palestinians in this critical junction.”
PNC members are meeting to decide on a future course because Israeli regimes reject two states “living side by side” in peace, he said, adding:
“(A)ll along (they want) one state: Israel with two systems, an apartheid,” the way it’s always been.
“No Palestinian will accept dealing with the United States so long as it insists on its positions on Jerusalem and being against the rights of Palestinian refugees to return home.”
For decades, Mahmoud Abbas, Erekat, and other key PLO officials collaborated with Israel as its enforcer against their own people – for special rights and privileges they’re afforded.
It’s hard imagining they’ll end a longstanding self-serving arrangement, benefitting themselves greatly in return for betraying their people.
Expect nothing positive for long-suffering Palestinians from Monday’s meeting or what follows.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”