Palestine in the eye of the storm

On the UN-designated ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’, Dr Aquel Taqz secretary of the Palestine Committee for Peace and Solidarity and a member of the People’s Party of Palestine, calls for renewed international support for the struggle

On the international scene, the US-Israeli alliance has reached a climax as demonstrated by Trump’s declaration, the so-called Deal of the Century, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transferring the US embassy there and giving US blessing to the Israeli government’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley — 28 per cent of the West Bank.

In addition to acceleration in the construction of settlements on Palestinian land, the strategic dimensions of the destructive project have become clear. It seeks not only to destroy the foundations of the Palestinian cause but also to put an end to all regional and international efforts to reach a just and lasting political solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The inability of the international community via the United Nations to put an end to this flagrant violation of international resolutions, charters and norms leads us to the conclusion that the international potential to find a solution to the Palestinian issue has considerably diminished.

If we add to this the challenges faced by a world in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic and the preoccupation of many countries with their internal situations, then we see clearly that the Palestinian struggle has and continues to suffer.

What applies to the international arena also applies to the region. Arab support for the Palestinian cause has been in decline. In addition to the great pressure placed on the Palestinians by Arab countries affiliated with Washington, in order to facilitate their own positive dealings with the US, some Arab countries are starting to normalise their relations with Israel — despite there being no progress towards resolving the Palestinian issue.

The Arab Peace Initiative stipulates that resolving the Palestinian issue and establishing the state of Palestine is a pre-condition for normalisation of relations with Israel. This seems to have been abandoned.

In addition, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq have for many years been preoccupied with their own seriously difficult internal conditions and are no longer prioritising the Palestinian cause.

At home too, the situation is not good, with internal division since 2007 and lack of geographical communication between the West Bank and Gaza and with Israel waging successive wars against the Gaza Strip and imposing a punishing siege on the territory.

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the burden on the Palestinian people and its leadership, especially in the context of decline in financial support for Palestine and the resulting increase in unemployment and the inability of both the authority and private sector to pay employees and workers.

Therefore, in these ongoing conditions, the Palestinian cause potentially faces an existential threat and postponement of its resolution to a future time, pending a change in the balance of power internationally and in the Arab world.

But despite all these difficult and changing circumstances, there are many factors that can be relied on to keep the Palestinian issue alive and on the agenda of the international community.

Firstly, the Palestinian people have declared their rejection of the liquidation Deal of the Century and daily confirm their preparedness to continue their struggle to accomplish their focal mission — to end Israeli occupation and establish their independent state within the borders of June 4 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return of refugees to their homes in accordance with UN Resolution 194.

At the Arab and regional level, despite the retreat of Arab regimes and officialdom from support for the Palestinian people and a number of governments moving towards normalisation of relations and co-operation with Israel in forming an alliance against Iran, the common enemy of both parties, the peoples of these countries and their national and progressive parties still honour their pledge of loyalty and support for the Palestinian people and solidarity with them until the occupation ends and national independence is achieved.

We have seen that in many countries which have established relations with Israel, there are movements and popular committees opposing normalisation and supporting the Palestinian people. It must not be forgotten that the Egyptian people, four decades since the signing of the Camp David Accords, still reject normalisation and support the Palestinian struggle. The same is true of the Jordanian people.

Regarding the international situation, despite the intensification of the imperialist attack on liberation movements of the world and on countries that reject US hegemony, many peoples and countries have rebelled and defended their independence and still support the just cause of the Palestinian people.

Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia in Latin America, as well as China and Russia, confirm their commitment to international law, as do some European countries, even if timidly.

Many countries of the Middle East region also, such as Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, despite the pressures and conspiracies to which they are exposed, continue to support the Palestinian cause.

Likewise, inside Israel, the forces of progress and peace, in spite of their modest forces and oppression by the right and settlers, also stand up for Palestinian rights. Similarly, democratic, progressive and youth movements and the peace, liberation and human rights forces of the world are still committed to standing by and defending truth.

We therefore believe that solidarity with the Palestinian people is still accorded paramount importance, even more than ever, because the victory of the just cause of the Palestinian people is a victory for all peoples who yearn for freedom, justice and human rights.

Source: Morning Star

Photo: Unsplash/Ahmed Abu Hameeda

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