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Proud Palestinians will never surrender

Daoud Kuttab photo
Daoud KuttabAmman, JORDAN
Proud Palestinians will never surrender
Calls by Israeli officials on Palestinians to surrender will not work on a proud people who insist on freedom and like all other peoples of the world Palestinians say We shall overcome.

A special thanks has to be given to the Israeli ambassador to the UN. In a matter of a few months he has finally exposed the hidden truth about Israel. It is not a democracy but a theocracy he all but stated when he waved the Bible and claimed that Israel’s justification for taking Palestinian land and illegally building exclusive Jewish settlements in occupied territories. This week he made an even more profound revelation: Israel is not interested in a negotiated peace settlement but wants Palestinians to sign an Israeli instrument of surrender. All along it seems, if you read the Israeli ambassador’s oped in the New York Times, the Israelis have been waiting for Palestinians to raise the white flag and give up on their national aspiration for freedom and independence.

Now things make sense. The constant Israeli efforts to delegitimize Palestinian nationalism, to deny Palestinians the ability to operate any political activity in their presumed capital of Jerusalem, the total rejection of any aspect of the right of return, the detention of poets who dare talk about nationalism, the refusal to accept Palestine in international fora’s and the refusal of accepting support to families of prisoners and martyrs. There is no Palestinians, Golda Meir once said and she was clearly talking about those Palestinian nationalists who dared ruin the perfect Zionist narrative of a land without a people for a people without a land. It has always been about land not about peace.

Sure, to warm things up, some ideas had to be developed to augment the distress that some Europeans whites felt when seeing pictures of refugees living in tents or when images of Palestinian resistance being harshly put down. Israelis came up with the open bridges policy under Dayan, and the autonomy under Begin and the Palestinian Authority under Rabin and Peres but never freedom or God forbid a sovereign independent state.

While Palestinians resisted all the Israeli ideas and fought hard against them, what Palestinians were not ready for was the onslaught of a US president in total cahoots with Christian and Jewish Zionists. The Trump administration gave three Orthodox Jews two of whom financially support the settlement enterprise, a Christian Zionist vice president and secretary of state, the freedom to do what they want in the Middle East.

The Jered Kushner/Jason Greenblatt team wisely (from their point of view) kept their real ideas and intentions secret as long as they could. When confronted by pro-Israeli Christian leaders, the American team reassured them that their plan will not hurt Israel, that the Palestinians would reject it anyways but that certain things were inserted to provide a fig leaf for some Arab countries (code for Saudi Arabia and UAE) .

Despite the claims to the contrary there was and is no serious political plan. It was always an economic plan possibly with some political elements. The failure of Netanyahu to form a government after the April elections provided an opening to roll out the economic plan with the idea that the nonexistent or, very thinly produced political plan at best, would be revealed in October after a new government is formed in Israel.

The trump team has always worked their plans according to the Israeli desires. Israel was able to sit back and relax while the Kushner, Friedman and Greenblatt did all the heave lifting for them. Move the embassy, defund UNRWA, squeeze Palestinians financially, green light settlement growth, close their mission in Washington and taunt them about annexation by recognizing the illegal unilateral annexation of the Golan Heights.

It was almost working except for the blabbermouth ambassador in New York who it seems has ambitions back in Israel. Taking a leaf out of the book of Daniel Pipes, America’s leading Islamophobe, the Israeli ambassador believes that what is needed now is simple. Palestinians must roll over say uncle and accept any crumbs the Americans and Israelis will throw to them.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president must be very happy in Ramallah. Despite all his failures, mistakes, political indiscretions, his anti-democratic acts and his inability to unite Palestinians, he has been vindicated. His stand against the powerful American president and his refusal to budge on the issue of prisoners’ stipends and support to families of Palestinians killed by Israel or in the resistance to Israel, have all been forgotten because he dared to say no. His insight and understanding of what was being cooked in Washington has been correct. He has been proven to be right in rejecting the cheap Israeli and US ‘overtures’ for peace.

Despite the ridiculous surrender calls by right wing Israelis and their supporters in the White House, Palestinians don’t have an army to surrender. There are no Palestinian tanks fighter jets or submarines to lay down or turn over and what Palestinians have can’t be bought by money nor given up by brutal military pressure. Palestinians are a proud people with a rich and vibrant culture and history but Palestinians will not surrender and like all other oppressed people fighting for freedom “we shall overcome.”

It may take years and decades but one day Palestine will join other peoples of the world as a free, independent and democratic state.

##Palestine, ##Israel, ##Abbas