September 14, 2011

Palestinian bid for statehood

As anyone who follows these things will know, the Palestinian Authority leadership is intending to make a bid for statehood at the UN. Quite honestly I can't say what it all means but I have grave misgivings about the exercise because I don't see how a state with no land and no power differs from the situation for the Palestinians now. Of course the PA has nominal power in the West Bank but it is considered by many to be hopelessly corrupt both financially and criminally and so in thrall to Israel as to be an appendage of the Israeli state. So, if the UN recognises such an entity as a state can't zionists carry on expanding, colonising, segregating, ethnic cleansing and slaughtering business as usual only at the same time as saying that the Palestinians have what they wanted?

That was just off the top of my head but there are also warnings coming out of Palestinian quarters to the effect that the PA does not represent the entirety of the Palestinian people so the statehood bid would not enhance the rights of the Palestinians but curtail them. The PA does not represent the Palestinians in Israel, Gaza or the diaspora. It doesn't even truly represent the Palestinians of the West Bank. This means that the PA doesn't have the required authority to make the bid but also any state emerging from the bid would have the same lack of authority but would be assumed by many to have authority, even to write off the rights of the bulk of the Palestinian people.

There's a statement here from the Palestinian Youth Movement titled Statement on the September 2011 Declaration of Statehood.  Here's a little chunk:
This declaration serves as a mechanism for rescuing the faulty peace framework and depoliticizing the struggle for Palestine by removing the struggle from its historical colonial context. The attempts to impose a false peace with the normalizing of the colonial regime has only led us to surrender increasing amounts of our land, the rights of our people, and our aspirations by delegitimizing and marginalizing our people’s struggle and deepening the fragmentation and division of our people. This declaration jeopardizes the rights and aspirations of over two-thirds of the Palestinian people who live as refugees in countries of refuge and in exile, to return to their original homes from which they were displaced in the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) and subsequently since then. It also jeopardizes the position of the Palestinians residing in the 1948 occupied territories who continue to resist daily against the ethnic cleansing and racial practices from inside the colonial regime. Furthermore, it corroborates and empowers its Palestinian and Arab partners to act as the gatekeepers to the occupation and the colonization of the region within a neo-colonial framework.
Still, The Guardian's main resident zionist, Jonathan Freedland, supports the bid, and why wouldn't he?

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