By Uri Davis – Ramallah
On more than one occasion has Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced before the FATAH Revolutionary Council his intention of holding comprehensive elections to all the national institution of our Palestinian people (namely, the Palestine National Council (PNC), the Palestinian Authority (PA) Legislative Council and Presidency and Municipal Elections) subject the successful conclusion of the FATAH-HAMAS conciliation.
In the view of this writer, holding Palestinian elections in the said order (namely, PNC elections first, PA legislative Council and Presidency elections second, and Municipal Elections third, with or without the successful conclusion of the FATAH-HAMAS conciliation) is indeed one effective route out of the current protracted deadlock facing our Palestinian people consequent to apartheid Israel continuing undermining the “Oslo” brokered “Peace Process” over the past two odd decades in its attempts to deny the right of a State of Palestine to sovereignty in any part of the country of Palestine – attempts now culminating in Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman letter to the Foreign Ministers of the Middle East Quartet dated 20 August 2012.
The said Lieberman's letter calls on the Foreign Ministers of the Quartet to press for new elections in the Palestinian Authority with the view to replacing PA President Mahmoud Abbas, whom Lieberman claims “does not represent general Palestinian interest”. Lieberman goes on to describe President Mahmoud Abbas' Government as “a despotic government riddled with corruption” (an odd statement for a Minister of Foreign Affairs who is expected to be indicted for breach of trust and obstruction of justice and whose 8th State President, Moshe Katsav, was convicted of inter alia rape and obstruction of justice and sentenced last year to seven years in prison.)
Lieberman further suggests that “despite Mr Abbas’ delays, general elections in the PA should be held, and a new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership should be elected”. He is subsequently also reported to have attempted to bolster his said suggestion by inventing the oxymoron of “diplomatic terrorism” in his endeavors to de-legitimize Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Presidency, claiming (possibly correctly) that the said so-called “diplomatic terror" "is more dangerous for us [namely, for apartheid Israel] than the armed terror Haniyeh, or others are leading. It is a lot more dangerous.” (Jerusalem Post, 23.8.12).
This writer understands Lieberman’s suggestion to the Quartet that “general elections in the PA should be held, and a new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership should be elected” is designed to establishing an up-dated version of the infamous Rawabit al-Qura (“Village Leagues”), the short-lived 1980s brain-child of the war-criminal Ariel Sharon (then Minister of Defence) and his Advisor Menachem Milson (then Hebrew University Professor), as an alternative that will not threaten apartheid Israel’s persistent attempts to deny a State of Palestine sovereign status in any part of the country of Palestine.
There is little doubt that Lieberman’s suggestion to the members of the Middle East Quartet to the effect that that “general elections in the PA should be held, and a new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership should be elected” is designated to dispel the projected Palestinian application to the UN General Assembly for the admission of Palestine as a non-member (observer) state.
Thus, it seems, however, that the Government of the Palestinian Authority, having decided has in early July 2012 to hold the local, municipal and district elections in October this year throughout Palestinian Authority territory is inadvertently playing into Lieberman’s hands.
Let us not play into Lieberman’s hands. We need an all-Palestinian elections to the PNC first and PA local elections last.
- Professor Dr Uri Davis is a Palestinian Hebrew. He has been at the forefront of the defence of human rights in Israel, notably Palestinian rights, since 1965 and has pioneered critical research on Zionism and the State of Israel since the mid-1970. He has published extensively in these fields, both research papers and books. His book titles include: Israel: An Apartheid State (Zed Books, London 1987 & 1990; abridged edition, MRN, Laudium, 2001) and others. He is a member of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (FATAH) Revolutionary Council; and Member of the Palestine National Council (PNC). He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.