Total Capitulation

by Tariq Ali

The ‘Palestine Papers’ being published this week by al-Jazeera confirm in every detail what many Palestinians have suspected for a long time: their leaders have been collaborating in the most shameful fashion with Israel and the United States. Their grovelling is described in grim detail. The process, though few accepted it at the time, began with the much-trumpeted Oslo Accords, described by Edward Said in the LRB at the time as a ‘Palestinian Versailles’. Even he would have been taken aback by the sheer scale of what the PLO leadership agreed to surrender: virtually everything except their own salaries. Their weaknesses, inadequacies and cravenness are now in the public domain.

Now we know that the capitulation was total, but still the Israeli overlords of the PLO refused to sign a deal and their friends in the press blamed the Palestinians for being too difficult. They wanted Palestine to be crushed before they would agree to underwrite a few moth-eaten protectorates that they would supervise indefinitely. They wanted Hamas destroyed. The PLO agreed. The recent assault on Gaza was carried out with the approval of Abbas and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, not to mention Washington and its EU. The PLO sold out in a literal sense. They were bought with money and treated like servants. There is TV footage of Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton at Camp David playfully tugging at Arafat’s headgear to stop him leaving. All three are laughing. Many PLO supporters in Palestine must be weeping as they watch al-Jazeera and take in the scale of the betrayal and the utter cynicism of their leaders. Now we know why the Israel/US/EU nexus was so keen to disregard the outcome of the Palestinian elections and try to destroy Hamas militarily.

The two-state solution is now dead and buried by Israel and the PLO. Impossible for anyone (even the BBC) to pretend that there can be an independent Palestinian state. A long crapulent depression is bound to envelop occupied Palestine, but whether Israel likes it or not there will one day be a single state in the region, probably by the end of this century. That is the only possible solution, apart from genocide.

This post was first published on the London Review Blog.

4 thoughts on “Total Capitulation”

  1. Such hypocrits, this is heartbreaking.
    And we wondered why Israel wouldn’t take 3billion for 3 months of no building in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in Jerusalem.

  2. Unfortunately there will always be collaborators who for money will betray their own people. Colonial empires know this and exploit it, finding traitors for hire. Only the blind were unaware that Abu Mazen and his clic where traitors and collaborators who played the game to the benefit of the zionist entreprise of ethnic cleansing of their own.

  3. The two-state was never a just or realistic solution for the conflict. It, in fact, legitimized the entity of Israel in the negotiation processes and divided up the politics and solidarity of Palestine/justice supporters.

    If instead of being fooled by the “peace process”, activists had spent the last thirty years discrediting the Zionist ideology in America and Europe, we might have seen more meaningful outcomes. At the least, our pro-justice/palestine communities wouldn’t have been so distracted and divided.

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