A week before PA heads to the UN we heard the first in a series of three speeches for Abu Mazen. Except for declaring their position on heading to the Security Council, there was nothing new in the speech. It was a repetition of his previous emotional speeches. He was uttering emotional words that he usually contradicts in practice.
As usual, he started his speech by reminding us that we are living under occupation and in refugee camps for the past 63 years. He shouldn’t be reminding us about that. That is exactly what we try to remind him of. Our occupation is 63 years old not just 44 years old.
He followed by mentioning all the UN resolution regarding the Palestinian case that still awaits execution. This is exactly the point that defeats his UN-Plan. He is going to seek a new UN resolution instead of focusing on executing previous resolutions. He just wants to add a new resolution over the pile of previous revolutions, but this time he seeks a resolution with a much lower ceiling.
He used the pains and hopes of the Palestinian people to justify his UN-plan. He did not even consult the people suffering the pain on his step. He’s far from touching their hopes. Then he reaches the first dangerous line of his speech when he said that he’s going to “end the historical injustice fallen upon the Palestinian people.” He clearly declares his position on ending the Palestinian cause by ignoring all the Palestinian rights, especially; the right of the return. He was right about one thing though. The Israeli practices “killed any hope for the 2-states solution.” But ironically Abbas is still running after the mirage of the 2-states solution.
He tried to address the Palestinians concern about the PLO representation in the UN. He did it in the worst way possible. He clearly stated that the PLO will remain just as a formality. When the PA signs a “peace plan” the PLO will be dismantled. Until then, the Palestinians inside the green line and the refugees’ representation in the decision making will remain marginalized.
Then he starts convincing the public about his UN-plan. As he repeatedly pointed-out in previous speeches, Abbas cities international praise of his security forces and financial situation. Maybe we should point out the corruption of the security forces. Freedom of speech has been in its worst since years in the West Bank. Human rights and press freedom violations is a daily occurrence in the West Bank, not just by the occupation but also by the PA. The financial situation in the West Bank is disastrous as well. PA fails to pay salaries to its employees at the same time two presidential palaces are being built, one in Muqata’a and another in Surda. PA lives on international donations. Palestinians in the West Bank are drowned in debts and loans. He said that the important reason they took the UN-plan step is that Obama said that he wants to see a Palestinian state in September. But who cares about the Palestinian people’s say. Who cares about their hopes? I do not know if anyone does, but certainly not Abbas. And this was one of the biggest insults to the Palestinians in his speech.
He continues to utter about democracy and freedom of speech. He says that’s the reason no one goes down to the street to demonstrate against the PA. Not because the security forces brutally suppresses those demonstrations. Not because they threaten journalists and citizens. No, because he established a democratic system. But of course, it’s a democratic system with no elections not to the PNC, the PLC, or PA presidency. Throughout his speech he repeats the phrase “we want”. Clearly the “we” refers to the PA and politicians not the people.
Abbas goes on insulting the Palestinian people line after line word after word. He reaches to the point to limit the only legitimate and allowed popular movements are the movements that support the PA. The most insulting for me as a Palestinian refugee is how he always refers to the refugee case. He wants to reach to an agreed solution to the refugees’ case. And in this speech he wants to negotiate our right to return. I talk for myself when I say the right of the return is nonnegotiable. The only agreed solution for it is to get that right.
Abbas decided to go to the UN unilaterally. I say unilaterally not because he did not consult with the Israeli government, but because he did not consult with 11 million Palestinian. The funniest part of it all is that Fateh was the first to praise Abbas’ speech. Isn’t Abbas the leader of Fateh? It’s just like Abbas is praising himself.
The UN-plan is now an elections card in the hands of the PA and Hamas. PA wants to stage an achievement to raise its hopes in the next elections. Hamas wants it to fail for the same reasons. We will either be surprised that the US will not Veto the PA in the Security Council. Or if he was vetoed, Abbas will come back to the West Bank to stage a heroic resignation speech. This will help Fateh in the next elections as well.
This is a stage play and we’re the audience who are kept in the dark. We’re just watching. We clap when the actors want us to. We laugh when they want us to. And we cry when they want us to. After the show, we’re just expected to walk out of the doors and go back to our normal life as if nothing happened.