As Palestinians in the occupied West Bank face the violence of Israeli military raids and the Palestinian Authority’s security services, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has again invoked the two-state paradigm as the means through which to supposedly put an end to violence.
Once again, the killed and injured Palestinians are being marginalised to accommodate a failed diplomacy.
According to Wafa, the PA stated, “the climate created by the policy of repeated incursions into the cities, incitement against the President, and the absence of a horizon for peace” contributed to the current violence. There is no mention of the fact that the PA called upon Palestinians to protest and failed to offer the necessary protection from the Israeli military. On the contrary, the PA’s security services have brutally beat protestors in the street.
Neither has the PA acknowledged its contacts with Shin Bet, asking for security coordination after claims that it would halt the agreement.
The PA differs in its dissemination of the latest protests in the occupied West Bank. It has focused on state and settler violence while eliminating its role in sustaining the oppression of Palestinians. Palestinians have protested against all forms of oppression, including that of which is coming from within the internationally-recognised leadership of the PA – the reason being that the Palestinian people’s concept of liberation is far removed from that imposed by the international community and endorsed by the PA.
Similar tactics were displayed by Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour, where he urged the UN Security Council to halt Israel’s violence and organise the protection for Palestinians while excluding the PA’s role.
Just as these statements for the benefit of the press and the UN will not hold any promise for Palestinians, neither does the constant amalgamation of Palestinian protest to the two-state compromise. The PA is doing Palestinians a major disservice by misrepresenting the aims of Palestinian resistance. At an international level, the danger increases to the point that the PA’s narrative facilitates the promotion of an imposed vision of Palestine that is far from what Palestinians envisage as their right.
The two-state compromise is obsolete, no matter how much it is touted as the only solution for Palestinians. In addition, any hypothetical implementation of the two-state imposition implicitly endorses colonialism. It prioritises Israel’s existence and security above the imaginings of a Palestinian state, which means that if implemented, the Palestinian people will still be subjected to Israeli and PA violence.
Why then, is Abbas attempting to equate security with the two-state rhetoric? The answer is found in the type of security the PA would be advocating for in such circumstances. The absence of decolonisation would mean that security remains a prime concern, as is stated in the regurgitated definition of how the two-state solution would work out. However, this form of security does not entail protection for Palestinians. The PA has agreed to too many concessions to be able to push for a deal that seeks to protect Palestinians. Rather, mechanisms would be set in place to ensure that the current security coordination is replicated, as assurance that there will be no organised opposition to the PA’s rule.
Indeed, the current protests already indicate as much. Palestinians are aware of the collaboration between the PA and Israel, hence the reason why the protests against Israel incursions ultimately also drew attention to the PA’s authoritarian rule. The two-state does not damage the PA’s prospects; it eliminates the Palestinians’ aim of liberation.
Therefore it suits Abbas to conflate security with protection for Palestinians. It is easy to assume that security results in protection. However, the security that the PA advocates for shackles the Palestinians to unwanted outcomes and puts no pressure on the international community; the reason being it guarantees Israel’s colonial existence and the PA’s continuation.