I wrote four open letters earlier addressed to: people of Gaza, Israelis and Jews who support the Israeli government, the global community, and the US public (you can find them at this blog links at right by date) This my fifth open letter is addressed to the Palestinian authority and factions of the PLO
Nov 6, 2023
Open letter to the PLO
The truth is being murdered together with our men, women, and children in Gaza. Let me start with the most obvious question. What make anyone (let alone you Mr. Mahmoud Abbas) think that Israel can be pressured to allow us our own state in the West Bank and Gaza after it finishes off Hamas? The "global community" (Western Governments) could not even influence the RATE of genocide and wanton destruction of residential buildings, universities, schools, and hospitals. They could not even stop Israel from destroying water storage facilities and starve a people of water and food. To the contrary they even joined in silencing Palestinian voices in their countries. The definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. The Oslo group has been doing this for 30 years and the results is entrenched colonization with now over 900,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Keeping repeating the mantra of a state in the 1967 areas is madness.
One Israeli minister said that Israel should consider dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza. He is not alone. Netanyahu himself showed a map of the new Middle East at the United Nations a few months ago that does not have a reference to Palestine or Palestinians. Israel's President himself said there are no innocent Palestinians in Gaza and his opinion is shared by . Israel already dropped the equivalent of two Hiroshima nuclear bombs on Gaza and is forcing death by starvation and thirst on millions. Can you name one other place in the past 100 years where millions of people were subjected to such denial of water, food, electricity, fuel, medicines? But what is remarkable is that the UN is paralyzed and the slaughter is happening with Western government support led by the US (partners in genocide). As one civilian is killed on average every four minutes and six children every hour, why would you Mr. Mahmoud Abbas meet with Blinken who is equally guilty of these massacres. Even US citizens disrupted his public appearance telling him he has blood on his hands. But even if you actually think you can get Blinken to give you something (crumbs maybe), who authorized you to tell him that the PLO is still the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people with you at its head. Why would you not at least form your own emergency unity government (yes including Islamic parties whether we agree with them or not). Why is building a coalition government is allowed to apartheid Israel but not us? Note that despite their differences, all the members of the Israeli interim government running this "war" are unified that targeting Palestinian civilians and starving 2.3 million and destroying all healthcare facilities is a legitimate tool of subjugation.
After one month of this state terrorism that Gaza people are subjected to, time has run out. You also must clearly know that Israel's control of the West Bank is tighter than ever. Do you really think that Blinken's hollow statements about Israel needing to restrain the settlers in the West Bank is of any use? It is the same kind of statement that while fighting terrorism, Israel is encouraged to comply with international law (they don't and they won't). Don't you already know that this is a government of settlers, its soldiers, its ministers...etc all support murdering and ethnically cleansing Palestinians whether in the 1948 areas, in the West Bank or in Gaza.
People rightly call for "ceasefire" but this is more accurately a call to pause slaughter of innocent Palestinians by an occupation fascist army intent on finishing the job started in 1948. We were hammered for 75 years by a Zionist force supported by imperialist countries (Sykes Picot 1916. Cambon and Balfour Declarations supported but the US in 1917 etc) and betrayed by corrupt Arab leaders for over 100 years (including our own). We were denied even the right to tell our story or to mourn our dead. Some Palestinians heroically resisted and in so doing delayed the progress of this hegemonic entity for decades. Thousands languish in horrible conditions in Israeli jails (dungeons!). You also know that the Zionist lobby successfully colonized many western capitals, media, and even the military industrial complex that President Eisenhauer warned us about.
Elected Israeli politicians (under apartheid laws they must be Zionist) have repeatedly shown you repeatedly that they want to liquidate the Palestinian cause. The Allon Plan of 1968 (reflected in 1979 Camp David Accord and 1993 Oslo Accord) sets the maximum you can aspire to "semi-autonomy" under Israeli sovereignty and you know that ( In my book "Sharing the Land of Canaan" I explained why there was never in human history an anti-colonial struggle that ended in two states (see the logical arguments at http://qumsiyeh.org/sharingthelandofcanaan/).
After these events in Gaza, sustaining a two-state delusion is even harder as Israeli colonization in the West Bank is empowered and accelerating. The West Bank ghettos will become permanent unless we move beyond the pathetic attempt to plead with Western governments and collusionist Arab governments for tokenism. What can be done? Rise to the (existential) challenge.
1) Democratize the PLO and if not possible, then create a new umbrella for the Palestinian people. This is a way to ensure strengthened participation by 15 million Palestinians and getting them to donate, act, and pressure governments wherever they are.
2) We must first and foremost depend on ourselves to shape our future. While we welcome all solidarity and joint struggle movements (and these are growing) , setting directions and plans of action must be done based on careful internal studies and analysis. Palestinian intellectuals must play a significant role. A specific plan of action must have SMART criteria (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound)
3) We need to revolutionize diplomacy towards public and strong diplomacy. The Fatah run foreign ministry needs to be changed drastically. With few exceptions (like Ambassador Husam Zomlut), we have a majority of "ambassadors" who sit on desks and do very little. That public diplomacy should not give legitimacy to apartheid and allow normalization with it. We must push for removing racism and apartheid.
4) Fight corruption at all levels. Fight corruption. A noble cause like Palestine cannot afford corrupt systems.
5) (Re)education is an essential component of any freedom movement. Our children are our future and our biggest asset and we must focus on creating the best environment for empowered learning.
We must realize that whether you are a dove or a hawk, you are fair game to the Zionist movement which wants the land and does not even want to share your land with you. We must work together in all humility but all seriousness to act in ways that honor the huge sacrifices done in the past 75 years. It is an existential struggle.