How to keep the Palestinian cause alive


The headline over a presentation ( by Jews for Justice for Palestinians of the text of a talk given by Norman Finkelstein to a number of British universities in mid-March was The End of Palestine? It’s time to sound an alarm. The purpose of this article is to do just that.

In his talk which analysed U.S. Secretary of State Kerry’s peace initiative (“a sham”), Finkelstein explained at length that the Palestinians are on their own because the powers that be in the Western and Arab worlds want them to accept crumbs from Zionism’s table and effectively surrender to Zionism’s will. (I’ve been saying that for ages).

He also notes, and I agree, that the Palestinian cause is not as alive and well as it once was in the hearts and minds of the Arab masses, not least because they have troubles of their own.

Finkelstein’s summing up included this:

QUOTE The PA fantasizes that it can liberate Palestine via international diplomacy, while BDS fantasizes that it can liberate Palestine via international sanctions. But the only ones who can liberate Palestine are the Palestinian people themselves, principally those living under occupation. Only mass nonviolent civil resistance can catapult Palestine back on the international stage.

If a popular revolt, like the first intifada, erupts under the simple slogan Enforce the Law, and if the international solidarity movement does its part, it might be possible to mobilize public opinion – including sectors of liberal American Jewish opinion – and exert sufficient pressure on the international community such that Israel will be compelled to meet its legal obligations. UNQUOTE

My purpose is to put some flesh on the bone of the statement that the Palestinians themselves must take the lead if their cause is not to become a lost one.

In my analysis a Palestinian strategy for taking the lead has begin with the DISSOLUTION OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (PA), which in Gideon Levy’s words is more or less a “sub-contractor for Israel”, and HANDING BACK TO ISRAEL THE FULL RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OCCUPATION.

This would impose significant burdens on Israel.

Without the PA’s American trained security forces to keep the Palestinians of the occupied West Bank under control for Israel, having to take complete responsibility for occupation would be costly in terms of the additional call on Israel’s own security forces and financially.

More to the point, dissolving the PA could be the beginning of a process to make calling and holding the Zionist (not Jewish) state to account for its defiance of international law and crimes something less than what it is at present – a mission impossible.

Such a process could and would be assisted by the occupied and oppressed Palestinians resorting to a campaign of non-violent protest. It could take the form of silent gatherings of Palestinians in each and all of their locations, with each and every one of them holding above their heads a placard bearing the words END THE OCCUPATION. The placard would not need to be anything fancy. The words, large enough for the cameras to capture, could be written on cardboard. In my view the combination of the silence of the gatherings and the message of the placards would help to focus the attention of the outside world.

Page 1 of 3 | Next page