The Oslo Accord didn't work for Palestine. It's time to try something else
I believe that the so-called Middle East peace process is like capitalist markets. It is based on supply and demand theory; denying the poor their rights (the 99%) while maximizing the wealth of the rich.
The PA's leadership seeks international legitimacy and donor’s money, sustaining its quasi-entity, increasing the wealth, privileges and the highly paid salaries of the political elites of PLO and the PA. Beyond that, it upholds the wealth of their families too, who own main businesses and big chunks of the private economy.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu and his right-wing coalitions are keen on occupying more of the West Bank territory, fostering their government’s life by gaining internal legitimacy. This whole process does not consider the genuine need of the vast majority of Palestinians. Israelis are rejoicing in their lives at the expense of the Palestinians' dignity. That’s why the PA and Israel may agree to extend the current negotiations, based on this political equation, and a 20-year-long process
Last July, I wrote an article, refuting any optimism or hope that may come out of resuming negotiations. I proposed that both Palestinians and Israelis must start looking for new political tools to coexist in one state. This unfruitful process is robbing the Palestinians and illegitimating Israel in the long run. Let's admit it; Israel will not allow a viable and independent Palestinian state. What is on the ground is one state with two systems.
Israel is commanding all means of life in the West Bank (including the occupied Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is surrounded by Israeli military, isolating it from the rest of the world. The occupation forces must be well informed when the Palestinian president wants to move from one city to another or travel abroad. The Palestinians and Israelis use the same currency (Palestinians had the Palestinian Pound in pre-1948 Palestine). Israel collects taxation from the Palestinians. The Palestinian must use Israel’s ports to import or export any goods (Israel has been reducing the Palestinians’ exports).
However, the Palestinians are not allowed to travel from Israeli airports or to use Jew-only infrastructure. Currently, there are around half a million Jews living in illegal settlements in the West Bank and more than 1,200,000 indigenous Palestinians living in Israel. Israel has been segregating the two populations (also dividing the Palestinians into four categories) and infrastructure in an awful way that undermines any hope for successful two-state solutions.
So, what is the solution? How could the public possibly (and not the governments of the US, EU and the rest of the world) act to force the state of Israel to stop abusing human rights and ethnically cleansing the Palestinians?
Israel is an apartheid state. Citizens of the world must approach Israel as they handled South Africa during the apartheid regime. Sanctioning and boycotting Israel is the only way to wake up the Israeli who lives in Tel Aviv at the expense of the Palestinians' basic human rights. The cost of occupation must be so expensive that the government of Israel cannot afford to sustain its occupation and segregation of the Palestinians.
As a Palestinian, I will never stop thinking of Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Nazareth and other Palestinian cities. It is part of my memories and heritage. The Palestinians offered Israel the opportunity to peace in 1993, they accepted 22% of historical Palestine, in condition to have an independent state in 1999. Nowadays, nothing is left from Oslo and the peace process except more malaise for the Palestinians.
Therefore, as a Palestinian, I am denouncing the Oslo Accord. Palestine’s borders are along its pre-1948 borders and the Palestinians must negotiate accordingly.
By Abdalhadi Alijla