Articles > > A Previous Warning

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2019-08-16
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

We have previously warned against the risk of Palestinian national [Fatah/Hamas] reconciliation becoming an issue that is only debated seasonally, or during staged events and rallies.
Meanwhile, the reality of the situation in the occupied and besieged Palestinian territories suggests that, contrary to the enthusiastic rhetoric expounded from the pulpits of popular rallies, practices on the ground, especially in the Gaza Strip, portend many more harsh years of division, and even implicitly suggest that the various parties to the divide harbor motives and justifications for perpetuating it. 
This has become apparent over the past few weeks, as hopes and wagers have been revived for the imminent resumption of dialogue and redressing 'treachery' via reconciliation, especially in light of the objectively unified Palestinian stance in opposition to the [U.S.-sponsored] deal of the century and its practical manifestations during the [June] Manama [economic] workshop, not to mention the continued official Arab rush towards normalization with Israel behind the Palestinians' backs and over their heads. 
An unprecedented wave of optimism has risen in search of imminent salvation and restitution of this anomalous situation, whereby a people lives under the yoke of one of the last instances of racist occupation on the planet, while its 'vanguards' and supposedly vital forces are distracted by their personal and factional considerations, content with the status quo. They suffer under the delusion that they are true authorities as their lands are slowly being bitten off and what remains of their rights and achievements dissipates along with them, on top of the accelerated progression of the Palestinian capital's [Jerusalem's] Judaization and Israelization.
Among the factions' responses that have received such welcome (excuse the exaggeration) are the PA's latest decisions to cease abiding by the agreements reached with Israel, which has raised the level of optimism, especially after Egypt's active moves as a mediator, shuttling between Gaza and Ramallah in the hope of ending the division and returning to reconciliation and national unity.
But the words formulated during Palestine's dead of night seem to be erased with the dawn under the grim realities of occupation. No sooner had the wave of optimism subsided than Hamas began to renew its same old plan of a civil administration over the besieged and starved Gaza, albeit under new guises and with novel workarounds, this time offering other factions a share in its game of perpetuating the division and circulating various positions between the same men. I apologize for using the term 'circulating', which I do not usually employ, but that is how correspondents from the Gaza Strip have repeatedly referred to it, and it may be more appropriate than 'switching hats', which is quite familiar to the Palestinians, as generation after generation has experienced it throughout the years. 
The whirlwind of reconciliation has died down, and the divided factions have returned to business as usual. Nothing disturbs their deplorable agendas, as the same faces meet time and again in front of the TV cameras to espouse their destructive, divisive rhetoric, encapsulating all the terms within the Palestinian lexicon to express an exaggerated concern for 'higher interests' with an unrelenting perseverance in thwarting the liquidation projects and nipping them in the bud. Who are they trying to deceive with such words, and do they take us to be fools? 
The winds of hope have subsided, and all the patriotic statements were ultimately nothing more than a scribble in the sand on the shores of the Gaza Sea, never to make a lasting imprint in the earth or leave a trace. Now we have returned, no better off than before, to lob the balls of responsibility for perpetuating the situation into each other's courts, exchanging accusations of obstruction, procrastination, and buying time. Meanwhile, I wonder if Egypt can hold onto any hope that its mediation mission has a sliver of a chance for success. However, I am confident that it will continue to say, 'I will heed your call as long as I am alive to do so.' (An aside on that note in particular: This game of waiting for Godot has been tried to tested for over ten harsh years, with a big fat zero to show for it). 
The time has come to do whatever possible to implement the missions at this critical strategic juncture for the Palestinian people and their national cause, with or without Hamas – namely, to 'revolutionize' the West Bank, re-deploy the PLO, and launch a wide-scale operation in pursuit of Israeli war criminals at both the civil and security levels. 
The time has come to convene a national 'workshop' that will deliver the West Bank from the intractable diseases entrenched in its soil at the hands of the notorious [former UK PM] Tony Blair and [former U.S. trainer of PA security forces] General Dayton. 
The time has come for a political workshop that dissolves the PA in Ramallah, with its rightful national quorum, or redefines its functions, and to rebuild a resilient Palestinian national economy as an alternative to becoming further enmired in an economy based in consumption, installments, loans, and banks. 
The time has come to move forward to strengthen the Palestinian society's national immune system, and whenever Hamas and the other factions who stand by it or behind wake up to the importance of reconciliation and unity, the door will never be shut in their face. 
"There will be no veto against Hamas, nor will it be permitted to wield a veto, when it comes to the future of the Palestinian national project.