How Life as Resistance Deteriorated to Negotiations?

Where are Palestinians in Arab Developments

Adel Samara

The technicality of time spoiling

One might pretend that Palestinian politicians and intellectuals are experts in designing false battles to consume people’s time through acting as if they are busy and even in a dangerous situation, such as the rumors that the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime (ZAR) will assassinate Abbas. This article is based on reading why life as resistance deteriorates to life as negotiations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBG) and the false but hot “quarrel” among Palestinians for the membership of the so-called Palestinian state in the UN.

What is really funny in this context is that Palestinians piled many pages by those who support the application for UN membership and those who are opposed to it. Most of the “quarrel” has been concentrated around legal and technical aspects. Some discussions are about people’s national rights in their Homeland. What is interesting is that most of those involved in this debate dealt with legal, technical and political discussions while the national rights, the Palestinian Right of Return (RoR) were hardly mentioned.

To start with, Palestine is the Homeland of Palestinian people. Any direct or indirect recognition of ZAR is a direct or indirect surrender of people’s cause, RoR. The Oslo Accords and Palestinian elections under these accords, i.e. under the rule of  ZAR as a settler colonial one,  is to give up the cause in spite of all justifications offered by secular or religious political organizations. This proves that the argument of some Palestinians about the UN membership for a state in WBG is a termination of the role of PLO as representative of all Palestinian people is meaningless.

This article offers an argument that is totally different. It is an analysis of the drastic deterioration in the Palestinian struggle from “Life as Resistance” to “Life as Negotiations” and how the struggle in all its forms – military, economic (boycotting) political cultural (anti normalization) – has been silenced and replaced by so-called popular resistance – which openly declares that it is against all mentioned forms of struggle, especially the military one,  and is limited to protests in some villages on the one hand and direct and indirect negotiations on the other.

This deterioration started as a hidden old virus in the structure of PLO mainly within its political and intellectual elite. PLO founders did not came from a radical Marxist/nationalist background, but from the petty bourgeoisie/middle class layers with right wing/religious theoretical background and profound relationship with Arab reactionary Wahhabi regimes which are tied to imperialism in a form of dependency where their mere existence and survival are in the hands of the West.

Those Arab regimes financed PLO leadership. So, PLO right wing leadership started from the beginning as “revolutionary millionaires”. In PLO case much of the money was spent in media and cultural activities. By doing that the PLO political leadership recruited many intellectuals who produced a variety many newspapers, magazines and publications. Year after year media department transcend guerrilla struggle. My point here is that the politician secured many intellectuals as his organic intellectuals who were fed by him and theorized for him to justify his politics.

This form of alliance or in fact dependency of the intellectual on the politician wasn’t dangerous so long as the political leader believed or acted as if he believes in military struggle for the liberation of Palestine. I mention “act” here because there is great doubt whether the PLO political leadership truly believed that PLO is able to achieve that goal. What supports my point is the fact that Arafat since 1969 welcomed Edward Said who brought to him letters and other correspondence from the US State Department. Following that Arafat “appointed” Said as a member in the Palestinian  National Council (PNC) and unfortunately Said – the liberal intellectual, post-colonial writer who specializes in comparative literature – accepted that position despite the fact that he never concealed that he was opposed to military struggle as a method of national liberation of Palestine.

Once the politician “bought” the intellectuals, it became for granted that they will support any of his decisions even when they compromise the national cause as it happened when PLO signed Oslo-Accords with Israel and the PLO intellectuals supported it. By doing that the political leadership divorced itself from the national liberation project, the fighter threw away his rifle and the intellectual changed his pen. Since that moment life as negotiations replaced life as resistance.

New changes need new political environment. While before Oslo, the ZAR was controlling the WBG by force and domination, and continues that form of domination today, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been supported financially from the western donors and the dependent Arab regimes to build a huge bureaucratic apparatus (civil and police). Under these conditions, the PA started ruling by domination (through its various security and ordinary police apparatuses) and by hegemony through making at least one million people dependent on the regime either as employees or by means of corruption. The hegemony aspect here doesn’t mean that it is a condition that the dependent believes in PA justification of the so-called peace process (peace for capital). It is hegemony by interest, selfish and personal interests, i.e. salaries, positions social relations…etc.  The donor-countries also achieved their own hegemony through controlling the money that is donated to the PA, all sources of money including those from Arab oil regimes. They control the funding of NGOs as well. They achieve hegemony in this level through employing many intellectuals, semi-intellectuals and false intellectuals. Most of these intellectuals are from leftist organizations where they are still active.

Needless to say that the number of those who are dependent on thus poisonous capital through jobs in the PA, NGOs, foreign cultural councils…etc exceeds quarter million, and with their families they count for more than million. And as long as this money is coming easy, (and in the case of corruption and NGOs too much money has always been available) large number of the people fell under hegemony in the form that the West is the dream for happiness.

What resulted from this process is:

Land abandonment: many people abandoned the land looking for jobs and easy money.

Those who work for PA, NGOs…etc fell into consumerism to the extent that they were not able to survive without this money, which explains their readiness to pay any price for maintaining that.

What is more dangerous in parallel to that is the process of terminating the productive sectors in the local economy through:

Land confiscation by the ZAR

Absence of PA economic policy, such as those designed for employment, production, local market protection, boycotting ZAR products…etc

World Bank, IMF prescriptions and accepting their lies that growth rate in the WBG is 8%.

The private sector lack of national loyalty and its orientation towards external investment especially in the ZAR despite the fact that it is the most favorable sector by the donors, or it might be because of that it is prioritized.

How is Political Attitudes Decided?

Nicos Poulantza was right in emphasizing that for the social class to be considered a class (class for itself) it is conditioned by and in need for political consciousness. We like to add here that political consciousness may and may not be national/patriotic in its aspiration. This might clarify why several Palestinian capitalist factions, comprador, the sub-contractors, financial capitalists in the diaspora betrayed the cause through the recognition of ZAR and accepting the partition of its Homeland with its enemy. Here, we have a class with political consciousness but has it is not patriotic. Its consciousness as a class comes from its interests, (I will not discuss here if these interests are part of the production process, speculation…etc), and that is the factor which determines its position in the national conflict.

The same goes for the political and intellectual elite whose position has been decided according to their source of income, which is not drawn from the production process but from their political services for the agenda of their donors. But their source of income is based on their intellectual work as their own power. Both intellectual power and source of income intermingled reciprocally.

The mentioned Palestinian intellectuals are divided in several groups:

A – Old PLO intellectuals who were brought to the WBG through Oslo Accords as part of PLO cadres. Most of these maintained their loyalty to PLO leadership regardless of which politics it follows.

B – Local liberal externalized intellectuals who never played any patriotic role and have normalized with ZAR since the beginning of the occupation of the WBG in 1967.

C – The renegade leftist/Marxist intellectuals who were demoralized following the collapse of the USSR and who compete with liberals to prove that they are real renegades and have adopted capitalist western culture.

The question here is, while the PA ruling party, the dependent capitalist “class” and their organic intellectuals are normalizing with the enemy, betraying the boycotting of its products, “begging” for a false state in a tiny part of their Homeland, and liquidating the RoR, then what is the position of other components of the national movement, i.e. the politicized religion groups and the left?

Both groups were in state of chaos and hesitation. While the PA camp declared several months ago that there will be no change in their negotiation policy with Israel if they were to succeed or fail in obtaining the UN membership, other groups remained silent until the last few days before UN voting. We have a big WHY here?

This hesitation is either due to political weakness or they are not genuine in their position, i.e. they are close to the PA politics of negotiations and its acceptance of a tiny state in the WBG Oslo-Stan. What supports this opinion is that all political groups in PLO and PA cabinet remained in their positions and did not resign.

Moreover, after all these passive, but destructive steps from the PA, Hamas returns to negotiations for reconciliation with the PA whose well known strategy is negotiations and not resistance? While Hamas position, as it always pretended, must be the opposite. But, recently following the meeting of Abbas and Misha’al (of Hamas) in Cairo, the latter declared the adoption of popular resistance and not military struggle.

Palestinians for Reconciliation or

Palestinians Standing in the Counter-Revolution Camp

Developments in Arab Homeland are still vague. One really hesitates to call developments in any country a revolution. But counter-revolution is clear. For sure there are changes forward in Tunisia and Egypt. But still they are not revolutions. Month after another the coalition between military leadership, Moslem Brothers, some remnants of Mubarak’s and Ben Ali former ruling parties, and the US/EU regimes become clear. Libya has been destroyed and divided among imperialist powers that left the trickle –down economy and power for their agents, “NATO revolutionaries” of liberals and Islamists. In Yemen, the Arab Oil regimes controlled by US/EU are trying to control the protests and direct their allies in Yemen in a pre-emptive step to stop the developments from continuing and radicalizing. Bahraini popular revolution is suppressed by means of military oppression and silencing the media. Somalia is under several forms of African occupations supported by the US/EU. The target now is Syria which is different from all other cases. The experience in Syria uncovered more than any other case that the West does not care about people’s rights, democracy or reform which people certainly need. The US/EU are targeting Syria because of its regional politics, i.e. its support to the resistance movements in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Syria is targeted because of its position towards ZAR, as it is well known that the recognition of ZAR by Egypt, Jordan, PLO and the indirect recognition from the oil dependent and colonized regimes are not enough to donate ZAR the final Arab recognition as long as Syria is still against it.

All  counter-revolution forces are in alliance against Syria: Arab Oil rulers, the new rulers in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, other Arab League members, Moslem Brothers, Turkey and the leader of all these, the US/EU.

New developments spur from the Syrian case. These developments blocked the direct aggression against Syria, at least for the time being, Russia, in the first hand, and China who are developing a semi-pole facing the West, supported by India, Brazil and South Africa, the economic/financial crisis in the US/EU, the Iranian firm support to Syria and Hizbullah in Lebanon. But, the main source of Syrian regime’s power is its unified army and the people’s majority support especially when the two forms of terrorism became evident:

-The BBC, Al-Jazeera Al-Arabiya and other enemy’s media outlets,

-The armed terrorists inside Syria.

Palestinians against Palestine!

Many writings were published raising questions including some important ones like: Why each Arab protest is limited to each country alone and why are the Palestinians silent while the entire Arab Homeland is shaking?

I will comment on both questions through their relationship and influence on Palestine. We must differentiate between the expansion of protests from one Arab country to another on the one hand, and the Qutri slogans on the other. The expansion of protests reflects the common national sentiment as a response to the joint regimes’ repression. It is a sentiment that is hidden because of the borders that divide each country from another. But because of the continued repression against political parties, nationalist and leftists, the national sentiments failed to develop in a politicized manner. The goal behind that is to ignore Arab unity which, as long as it is ignored, the Palestinian question will deteriorate considering that it is still the central cause for the Arab peoples. In this context, we must criticize Arab nationalist regimes which fell in Qutriyah and failed to reach any form of unification which is the reason that kept them vulnerable to the extent that they were not able to confront aggression as in the cases of Iraq, Libya, Somalis and Sudan…etc. Those regimes were protected from colonial aggression and occupation by the existence of the USSR which had collapsed, and protected internally by police. They failed to grasp the fact that people’s support and Arab unity is the only guarantee for their continuity and survival.

The Palestinian case is different from all Arab cases as a country under settler colonialism which means that resistance should be on the top of people’s agenda. Any conflict for political power will replace the current regime by another dependent one either of politicians or police junta conducting a coup de tat and maintain the same policy with ZAR. Real resistance is the most important and effective factor which terminates the power of the dependent PA and weakens its compromising negotiations with Israel. The sudden collapse of the PA is not at hand. This means that its liquidation must take place by development of resistance and the change of balance of power.

To neutralize people’s resistance and Arab masses from supporting the Palestinian cause, and accordingly to guarantee Arab peoples’ carelessness towards Palestine, which still in at the core of Arab nation’s agenda, the PA takes several steps and decisions in this direction: recognition of the ZAR, support of the invasion of Libya, donating the lead of Arab League to Qatar to attack Syria, opening a consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan to weaken Iraqi unity, continuing corruption…etc.

Finally, while each Arab country is expecting internal developments which might move forward or backward, an issue which depends on the balance of power between “revolution’ and counter-revolution, the Palestinian cause appears to be in a semi- paralysis situation. The main role of revolutionary currents is to move towards resistance and to launch a campaign against negotiations. This is the only way for Palestinians to maintain their cause and its Arab and international support.