The fate of Palestine in light of the attack on Gaza

Taken from the Inprecor website

May 1, 2024

By Gilbert Achcar

It is therefore a great paradox that this paroxysmal attack can produce results completely opposite to those of the war which took place more than three-quarters of a century ago. After its tumultuous birth in 1948, the Zionist state was considered an illegitimate colonial entity by Arab countries, despite the legitimacy granted to it by the United Nations. The truth is that the international organization was at that time under the total domination of countries of the North at the head of colonial empires, while most of the current member states of the organization were under the colonial yoke, without representation in the international forums.

The Arab defeat of 1967 led Arab states to retreat from this historic position and accept the legitimacy of the Zionist state within its pre-Six Day War borders. This was through the acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution No. 242 (November 22, 1967), adopted less than three months after an Arab summit meeting in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, had proclaimed three Ni: “Neither conciliation, nor recognition, nor negotiation.” Khartoum’s refusals were in fact contradicted by their very context, which called for “political efforts” aimed at “eliminating the results of aggression” by obtaining the withdrawal of the Zionist army towards the pre-war borders.

As for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), after having categorically rejected resolution 242 upon its publication, it gradually adapted to it, adopting the program of an “independent Palestinian state” alongside the Zionist state, until officially accepting the resolution in 1988, during a meeting of its National Council held in Algiers. This was followed by the deal struck in Oslo in 1993 by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas in the belief that it would bring about the desired “independent state”, although it did not even stipulate the withdrawal of the Zionist army from the territories of 1967, but only its redeployment outside areas with a high density of Palestinian population, nor the dismantling of settlements, nor even the freezing of settlement activities, not to mention the cancellation of Israel’s decision to annex East Jerusalem and the right of return of refugees.

The Oslo Accord paved the way for the Kingdom of Jordan to join Egypt and the PLO in “normalizing” its relations with the Zionist state. Sadat’s regime seized the opportunity of the third Egyptian defeat in 1973, which it called the “war of the crossing” (of the Suez Canal) and presented as a victory, to conclude a separate agreement with the Zionist state, inspired by Resolution 242. Egypt thus recovered the Sinai Peninsula with reduced sovereignty and without the Gaza Strip which was administratively attached to it before the 1967 war. In exchange, Egypt accepted “normalization” complete its relations with Israel at the cost of a temporary break in its relations with Arab countries.

Fifty years after Sadat’s “war of the crossing” and thirty years after the Oslo agreement, came Operation “Al-Aqsa Flood”, designed to be a second “war of the crossing”. It actually led to a second Nakba, more disastrous than the first in terms of the scale of the genocidal massacre, destruction and population displacement. While other Arab countries joined the “normalization” camp in 2020, namely the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Morocco (in addition to the Sudanese military clique), the Saudi kingdom is now preparing to join them in order to complete the conditions for the establishment of a regional military alliance bringing together the Gulf monarchies, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco with the Zionist state under the protection and military supervision of the United States, against Iran and any other threat that could endanger the security of the regional members of the alliance and the interests of their American sponsor.

As for the fate of the Palestinians, “putting the issue back on the table” – something Hamas is proud to have achieved through its operation, despite the enormous human cost of this “success” – has in fact led to the deployment of vigorous international efforts, mainly by the United States, to revive the Oslo project in an even worse way than thirty years ago. The aim is to establish a Palestinian rump state on parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, subject to strict military control exercised by the Zionist state through the permanent presence of its forces inside both areas, not to mention the lands of the West Bank which are under the control of the army and the Zionist settlements, which Israel will be able to officially annex in exchange for its acceptance of the creation of the mini-state.

Certainly, if Washington manages to impose this scenario, it will constitute a (temporary) frustration of the intentions of the Zionist far right to achieve “Greater Israel” from the river to the sea. However, these intentions were out of reach before in any case that the “Flood of Al-Aqsa” provides the Zionist army with the opportunity to reoccupy the Gaza Strip and intensify its operations in the West Bank, in parallel with the settler attacks. The fact remains that the best “solution” that could result from the current genocidal war waged by the Zionist state is worse than the one that existed before it, and certainly worse than what appeared on the horizon after the Oslo agreement.

The Palestinian people will have to hold on to their land, reject “soft” displacement (incentives to emigrate) after forced displacement, and continue the struggle according to a strategy that allows them to advance their cause again, after the great decline. which followed the significant progress made by this cause during the height of the first Intifada in 1988, a decline which has now reached its lowest point. The Palestinian struggle should aim to politically divide Israeli society rather than unite it through indiscriminate acts, subordinating the necessary forms of armed resistance to the demands of political and mass action, in order to return to the conditions that followed the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the first Intifada that followed, when a movement began to grow among Israeli Jews, described at the time as “post-Zionist”, which combined rejection of the occupation and support for the de-Zionization of the Israeli state in order to transform it into “a state of all its citizens”.

[Traduction de ma tribune hebdomadaire->L’offensive en cours contre la bande de Gaza, accompagnée d’une dangereuse escalade des attaques sionistes en Cisjordanie, constitue sans aucun doute l’étape la plus grave de l’agression sioniste qui se poursuit sur la scène palestinienne depuis la Nakba de 1948. ] in the Arabic-language daily, Al-Quds al-Arabi, based in London. This article appeared April 30 online and in the May 1 print issue. You can freely reproduce it by indicating the Source with the corresponding link.

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