Would The Palestinians Agree To A National Rescue Plan?

by Mamdouh Nofal on 01/11/2003

The Palestinian thinkers and analyzers, opposing and supporting the peace process, agree that the Palestinian political regime, the Authority and the opposition, is passing through an intellectual, political, structural and complex crisis, the roots of which are interlaced and the opponents of which support one another. In addition, there is an economic crisis that threatens the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas’ resignation in addition to the problems Ahmad Qureih faced while forming his Cabinet contributed to even complicate the crisis. No one knows when it would aggravate, especially after the failure of the Americana and international efforts to implement the Roadmap, in addition to Sharon insistence to carry out two things during the year: pursuing the building of the separation wall in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron until Aghwar and expelling the President of the Palestinian Authority.

Although the national and Islamic forces agree that delaying tackling the crisis complicates the solution and harms the national cause and the people’s interests, however, they still did not choose a way to exit this trouble and protect their people and cadres. They are staring at Sharon destroying the Authority and the society structure in Gaza. Some forces are discussing the controversial nature of the crisis and its causes, and some others are waiting for Sharon to violate international resolutions and the human rights to defame the American administration and call for the help of the Arabs and Muslims in order to prevent Sharon from creating truths that cannot be settled and oblige him to stop building the racist separation wall and steel more territories.

Both sides accuse each other: the Authority holds the opposition responsible for involving Palestinians in circumstances they can avoid and the opposition holds the Authority responsible for the crisis and its catastrophic results. It claims as well to resume the dialogue considered to be the only solution but refuses to commit to a common points document that organizes the relations on democratic bases. The opposition behaves in a way that involves Palestinians and facilitates Sharon’s tasks. It calls for the cancellation of all the agreements, in addition to resorting to the suicide attacks a s a way to liberation as if the losses of the Palestinian all during the past three years were not enough to notice their harms on the Palestinian people’s interests.

No doubt that the occupation killed around three thousand Palestinians and wounded ten folds of people in addition to the destruction of properties during the Intifada, however, it is definitely not responsible for the confusion they are living in today and the failure to agree to a way to reduce the losses and people’s sufferings. It was expected that Sharon succeed in undermining the peace strategy ever since he won the 2001 elections; yet, he is not at all responsible for the absence of the Arab substitute strategy. Anyway, Bush and Sharon are not responsible for the failure of the Palestinians to organize their internal relations on democratic bases and the spread of chaos everywhere in addition to the failure of the Palestinian dialogues to establish a common vision for the stage and the incapacity of the forces to undertake real missions.

No doubt that setting aside the reasons of the crisis helps settling it by defining the priorities. The crisis aggravation imposes on the parties of the political regime to overcome the disputes and establish a different national dialogue in addition to reviewing the stances and concepts that were proven to be wrong. The Palestinian Authority and opposition should establish a “national rescue plan” before it is too late, based on: first, stop having illusions about the peace process and draw new tendencies. In fact, the peace process cannot be revived as long as the Right rules in Israel especially that the political thought in the Israeli society does not consider reaching a compromise between both peoples. I do not think that eth Israeli street will change its convictions within two or three years. Even the departure of Sharon would not change anything because his successors would be even more radical then he was. Moreover, there is no way to revive the peace process before the U.S. presidential elections and there is no way to make any progress as long as Bush administration adopts the Likud stances and refuse to deal with the elected Palestinian Authority.

Second, drawing a new map based on the idea that eth Roadmap established by the Quartet to translate Bush’s vision does not exist anymore. When Sharon exaggerated talking about the Roadmap in the Knesset, he was actually asserting it does not exist and when Bush asserted it exists but agreed to the 12 reservations of Sharon it cancelled it. The decision of the administration concerning the return of the delegate John Wolf after the car bomb in Beit Hanoun points out that Wolf is acting like General Zinny and is withdrawing from eth mission calmly.

Third: it seems that 2004 carries out great developments and events that will change the course of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, especially that Sharon decided to take advantage from the presence of Bush in the White House, the war on terror, the open war on the American forces in Iraq and the presidential elections to realize his historical dreams, at the top of them steeling half of the Palestinian territories.

No doubt that avoiding facing the bitter reality keeps and aggravate the crisis. If the high interest imposes on the Authority and Qureih actual government to stop having illusions about what can be realized under Sharon, it should be deeply concerned by widening the discussions with the Arabs and develop the stances by increasing the friends and decreasing the enemies for these interests impose on eth opposition not making the Palestinians responsible for the destruction of the Roadmap.

I think there is an urgent need to a Palestinian courageous review that leads to a working plan based on diminishing the losses. Those who think that they could face the coming great development in the same way are very mistaken for nothing will dissuade Sharon or bring Arab interventions. It is time that the issue of bringing the forces of a third party to Palestine becomes a reality. Furthermore, all the Palestinian parties and political personalities should hold a meeting in order to discuss the dangerous current situation and take decisions to protect the presence in the West Bank and Gaza and preserve the legitimate rights.

Would the parties of the Palestinian political regime take the initiative to bear their responsibilities? The answer: I am afraid the Palestinian leadership is late and that the Islamic and national forces keep on their former stances. I am afraid next year everyone would be busy finding shelter for the Palestinians refugees who will be isolated by the separation wall.