Articles > > What is to be done?

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2020-09-14
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

Dozens of Palestinian (and non-Palestinian) articles and reports have addressed the question of 'What is to be done?' as their main topic, searching for and analyzing ways for the Palestinians and their national cause to escape their current intractable situation, which in any case has lasted many years.
 
Various authors of all persuasions have proposed solutions, offered recommendations, and drawn 'road maps' to escape the clutches of failure and defeat, but few have dedicated so much as a moment's consideration to answering the question of 'Who will do it?', in the sense of, 'Who will lead the people down the path of Golgotha to salvation?'
  
Will it be the same old icons, names, and structures, some of which have accompanied the Palestinian journey for over half a century, and that still 'spearhead' its endeavors and have never once been 'audited' or acknowledged the error of their ways, or demonstrated a willingness to bear responsibility for their defeat, mistakes, and accumulated sins?
 
No changes occur to the Palestinian political structure. The same figures who led the armed struggle phase (whether at home or abroad) are those who led their people across the 'Oslo Straits' and turned a new page in the Palestinian national movement's history to disastrous results for the people, the movement, and the cause alike. The same figures who drove their people into the abyss of isolation, withdrawal and disappointment 27 lean years after the Oslo Accords, are those spearheading the phase of salvation from the ordeal.
 
The security coordination [with Israel] experts are themselves the leaders of the popular resistance. The delusion peddlers are themselves the instigators to revolution and intifada. The VIP campaigners who are accustomed to traveling from Ben Gurion Airport and crossing the [Jordan River] bridge of suffering on a red carpet themselves spearhead the movement of boycott and resistance and propose resuming various struggle tactics.
 
They represent a nation that has taken the venerable hadith as their constitution, 'The best of you in the Jahiliya [pre-Islamic age of ignorance] is the best of you in Islam', but only after dropping the rest of the sentence: 'provided that they comprehend.' It does not matter whether one is well-versed; as long as one was the 'the best of' the Palestinians in various past phases, there is no reason not to be 'the best' in coming phases. God dictates what has prevailed in the past, and divine providence intervenes to renew and replenish the leadership.
 
I, like many others, received the news [yesterday] declaring a 'unified Palestinian popular resistance leadership' and its 'Communique No. 1' with considerable skepticism and uncertainty, not because this is an ineffective or unsuitable option for the Palestinians at this stage, but because the same figures that read out 'Communique No. 1' are those who have that informed us of hundreds of stances and decisions over the decades while our situation kept progressing from bad to worse, and from one collapse to another.
 
In vibrant societies (not only democratic ones), an official resigns as soon his health first begins to decline (Shinzo Abe), or a young man under 40 (Macron) assumes the presidency of a nuclear superpower among the Big Five, or a government resigns if the riverine levels rise, or several citizens die in a traffic accident, or a cat gets stuck in an open sewer drain.
 
But in Palestine, despite the unending saga of disappointments and defeats, the same secretary-generals head their factions, and the same members of political, central, and executive committees and bureaus retain their seats.