by Khadijah Ali (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 4, Shawwal, 1441)
On May 21, one of the main headlines in the Muslim world was the rejection by the Palestinian Authority (PA) of coronavirus aid from the UAE delivered through Israel. This has not been the only bold move by the PA against Zionist occupation in recent days. A day earlier, the Western-backed head of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as saying “the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and the state of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the commitments based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones.”
All the above are courtesy of Donald Trump’s complete lack of understanding of global affairs and Benjamin Netanyahu’s overconfidence that he can get away with grabbing more Palestinian land. While it may appear that Washington’s greenlight to officially annex more Palestinian land is a bad omen for the region and the Palestinians, in the long-run it will undermine the US-Zionist strategy in Palestine. After Trump officially endorsed occupation of more Palestinian land, it will be impossible for any Western Palestinian proxy to justify cooperation with Western powers despite decades of betrayal camouflaged as the “political process.”
Those that have even basic understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict know that the corrupt PA was always utilized as a political mask by the US and Israel in order to maintain the Zionist occupation of Palestine. The PA, which is mainly made up of Fatah members was glad to fulfill this role. In 2009, al-Jazeera revealed 1,684 documents of various kinds, mainly on negotiations between the PA, Israel and the US regarding the so-called “peace process”. The documents, mainly taken from diplomatic correspondence written by Palestinian officials, consisting of 275 sets of meeting minutes; 690 internal e-mails; 153 reports and 690 internal e-mails; 153 reports and studies; 134 sets of talking points and prep notes for meetings; 64 draft agreements; 54 maps, charts and graphs; and 51 “non-papers.” The documents showed how the PA promised to Zionist Israel “the biggest Jerusalem you have ever had,” concede the right of return for Palestinian refugees and support the siege of Gaza. Thus, the PA was Israel’s and Washington’s best agent in town and now they have lost even this entity.
It is highly unlikely that the PA will be able to maintain its “harsh” line against the US, Israel and the cabal of other Western institutions. PA/Fatah officials survive on hefty payments from Western institutions. However, it is not just the PA which got burnt by Trump’s crude politics but the entire narrative of engaging with Israel on the assumption that it is a reasonable political player. From the Palestinian point of view, the only narrative which will remain relevant and realistic will be that of resistance to Zionist occupation. As terrible as the conditions in Gaza may be, it is the only territory where Palestinians exercise some degree of real sovereignty and they achieved it through resistance, not through the fake political process drawn up by NATO member states.
Overall, the West Bank is under de-facto occupation of Israel, entire Palestine is, from the river to the sea. Israeli annexation of the West Bank will simply be completing the paperwork of what is already an established reality on the ground. Occupation is occupation, whether it is called operation enduring freedom or annexation. Thus, it is not a “big deal” that Israel will snatch more land; that is what occupiers do. The strategic change will take place not on the side of the occupiers of Palestine, but those resisting it.
Resistance to Israeli occupation project and narrative led by Islamic Iran will gain greater credibility and traction not only among Palestinians, but the wider region. In the minds of the Muslim masses, the so-called political process brought only more occupation and interference into the Muslim world by NATO and Israel.
As articulated by Dr. Kalim Siddiqui during a presentation at a conference on Al-Quds in Tehran in December 1990, “we must also remember that such nation-States as Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are just as ‘lost’ to Islam as Palestine. Palestine cannot be reclaimed on its own; Palestine can only be reclaimed as part of the process of the total reclamation of the entire region.” Today, Dr. Kalim’s statement is manifesting itself at a practical level in Syria, where the global battle for the trajectory of the Muslim world is taking place and the resistance trend led by Iran is on the winning side. Thus, Israeli annexation of the West Bank and the hypocritical Western “condemnations” of it will diminish Israel’s power in the long run. It will be impossible for Muslim groups/movements or governments to stand next to the US and Israel and have popular credibility. In fact, this is already a political reality in the region. There is no mass popular socio-political movement in the region which can openly display its pro-Zionist and pro-Western orientation. Such organizations are restricted mainly to the wealthy class in Muslim societies detached from the masses whose impact is limited mainly to Twitter and Facebook.
The latest greenlight to Israel to usurp more Palestinian land dents Tel Aviv’s ability to create friendly socio-political trends and proxies, which are essential for the Zionists in order to normalize their occupation in the hearts and minds of the Muslim masses. This was always impossible, but now Israel can’t even dream of it. Israel’s short gain delivered to it by Trump will certainly turn into a long-term disadvantage.