Articles > > Separate Paths

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2020-06-16
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

When the Palestinian national movement began to emulate the official Arab order in its character, structure, and internal and external relations (before and especially after the PA was established [in 1994]), it led Palestinian popular action and Arab mass action down two separate paths.
 
Under the banner of non-interference in internal Arab affairs, the Palestinian cause lost its Arab popular embrace. And as official negligence and dereliction hit peak levels over the past few years and greater numbers [of Arabs] flocked to normalize relations [with Israel], the Arab peoples ceased to lift a finger in response to the Palestinians' distress calls. The Palestinians did not win over official regimes and squandered their popular credit at the same time.
 
This coincided with a decline in the global solidarity movement with the Palestinian people to the brink of collapse. Peddling the delusion of a state that the PA would establish put a spoke in the movement's momentum, and the inept performance on the part of the PLO's embassies, representatives and popular organizations led to a widening gap between Palestine and international popular embrace. This process accelerated after the national movement's center of gravity shifted from Fatah, as an open secular national movement, to Hamas, with its religious Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric costing it many activists, and causing a split in the Palestinian communities that have long been the engine of international solidarity movements with the Palestinian cause. Had it not been for BDS and some sporadic activity in these communities, the international solidarity movements would be pronounced dead.
 
Today, as the Palestinian cause has reached a new turning point and entered into a high-stakes strategic phase with the [U.S.-sponsored Palestinian/Israeli] 'deal of the century' and creeping Israeli plans for annexation, a new strategic outlook is necessary to reconnect the Palestinian cause to the heart of the Arab world through the popular gateway.
 
The international solidarity movement with the Palestinian cause must be revived and redeployed, first by engaging with Palestinian, Arab, and sympathetic communities, then by seizing the tremendous opportunities provided by the current awareness of the rampant monstrosity of racism and the sweeping humanitarian desire to correct and revise history.
 
There is a socioeconomic pandemic in store for the post-corona Arab world, which will open the door to a third wave of Arab Spring revolutions that will be more encompassing and far-reaching than the first (Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen) and second (Algeria, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon). The Palestinian factions, figures, and civil and trade union organizations must begin to formulate a strategy to connect and pair the Arab peoples' struggle for life, dignity, liberty, and justice with the Palestinian national struggle against colonialism and racism.
 
Since Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination as defined in the text of revoked UNGA Resolution 3379, the task of integrating the Palestinians' struggle for freedom, the right of return, and self-determination with the whole of humanity's struggle against racism and racial discrimination is a priority mission for Palestinian society in all its vital forces; from intellectuals and artists, to civil society and politicians, to youth and feminist movements. The diaspora Palestinian communities must spearhead this struggle.
 
Israel has managed to malign the Palestinian struggle and most factions as 'terrorist'. They sought to lump us in together with al-Qa'ida, global jihadists, and ISIS with relative, if not total success. The time has come to strike back twice or three times as hard.
 
Today it is imperative to prepare for a third wave of the Arab Spring revolutions where pro-Palestinian slogans blend in with slogans for bread, dignity, and liberty.
 
Today it is imperative to integrate our anti-Zionist struggle with the global anti-racist struggle, which will not occur by some spontaneous or automatic feat, but rather via organized action that requires vision, strategy, operative plans, and executive programs.
 
So will you rise to the challenge?.