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Viewpoint from Palestine



A Genocide In Slow Motion: 

How Do We Face The Challenge


by Nizar Sakhnini



Middle East News Online, 11 December 2001

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca,  15 December 2001


The situation on the ground in Palestine is going through a critical phase that threatens of a fatal blow to the Palestinian struggle against the racist colonization project in Palestine that have been going on for over a century.

During this long period, the Palestinian people offered all kinds of sacrifices that should not, and could not, be betrayed.

Our enemy is well organized, well armed, well financed, and well supported by the Imperialist super powers. All this might, however, is powerless against the will of our people to uphold their basic human rights that are enshrined in international law and human moral values.

A major characteristic of our struggle was improvisation and lack of strategic planning as well as internal in fighting especially at the political leadership level in which narrow selfish interests override national aspirations.

As pointed out earlier, this is not the time for finger pointing or entering into a meaningless squabble on who is right or who is wrong. It is time for soul searching, self-criticism and a sincere national unity based on an agreed upon strategy that represents the national consensus.

We are on a crossroads and face a decisive juncture. The path we choose will either take us to the dust bins of history or to the first step on the long and difficult road to a happy ending.

Our people within and beyond the "Green Line" are facing an unprecedented war aiming at destroying their will and bring them to submission. The PA is in a very weak position and is being pushed into taking measures that might spark a civil war or else they are threatened of being replaced by a more acquiescent leadership. Oslo was a trap to dictate a settlement consistent with the mainstream Zionist goal of perpetual control and hegemony through an apartheid regime that would act as a guard for Zionist interests.

This became evident a long time ago and the PA had adequate time to correct the wrong done by going to Oslo from behind the back of its PLO partners and rebuild the national unity and the introduction of the rule of law, democracy and transparency to replace authoritarianism and corruption. Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost.

Suicide bombings against civilians were wrong and played into the hands of Sharon and gave him the pretext to go ahead with his brutal war against our people, its institutions and infrastructure. Resistance against occupation is a legitimate and undeniable right, but it had to be directed against military targets and not civilians. Acting separately and insistence on a separate vague goal of an Islamic State was wrong. The Intifada offered an opportunity for a real national unity aiming at restoration of usurped rights and stolen lands. This opportunity was also lost.

Nevertheless, it is never too late. In spite of everything, the leaderships of all factions on the ground as well as the numerous independent community leaders are assumed to be wise enough to sit down together and find a dignified and reasonable end to the unacceptable situation and prevent any possibility for a civil war and make it clear that collaborators have no place in the midst of our people and that their fate will not be better than that of the village leagues twenty years ago.

Side by side with these efforts on the ground, our people in exile should press for a meeting of the PLO that should include all the political factional leaders as well as representatives of Hamas and Jihad and the independent academics, NGO representatives and activists. Such a meeting could focus on having an international protection for our people under occupation and the need for a way to bring about a new and more democratically representative leadership to carry on the banner and avoid all the mistakes of the past.

An immediate end to the military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza does not need any negotiations. Establishing a sovereign Palestinian State within these areas is a right that is supported by UN Security Council Resolutions.

Negotiations could then be conducted between two sovereign states to resolve all the outstanding issues: the final borders, the Right of Return, and measures to insure freedom of access to holy places for all three religions.

This is not an easy task. Survival of our people is at stake. We will be damned if we fail. All justice, freedom and peace lovers in the world will support us if we succeed.

Copyright  Middle East News Online 2001. Reprinted for fair use only. 

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