Editorial: Historic chance to put Palestinian cause back on track

ABU DHABI, Suspending agreements with Israel right thing to do. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas must not give in to pressure, the English language daily ‘Gulf News’ said in an editorial today.

The decision by the Palestinian Authority to suspend the implementation of all signed agreements with Israel is way overdue. It should have been taken a long ago to save whatever was left of the peace process, killed slowly Benjamin Netanyahu.

On Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at the Palestinian leadership meeting, that “The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the State of Palestine are no longer committed to all signed agreements and understandings with the Israeli government and the American government, including the security commitments.”

The significant step, and indeed a historic one if Abbas follows through and act on it, came as a response to Netanyahu’s decision to annex the West Bank and the Jordan Valley in the next few weeks.

Netanyahu formed a new Israeli government earlier this month with his election rival, Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party. The coalition agreement allows Netanyahu to present an annexation proposal to the government as soon as July 1.

The move, long sought by right wing politicians and settlers’ groups in Israel, is also part of the so-called Deal of the Century, President Donald Trump’s absurd blueprint for peace in the Middle East.

Abbas has made similar threats before, and they were mostly empty. That is exactly why Israel and the US don’t take his pronouncements seriously.

This time though, the circumstances should be different. What Israel plans is virtually the death of the Palestinian dream and the end of the road for the peace process.

All the agreements that the PLO signed with Israel and the US since the 1994 Oslo Agreement have been catastrophic. They have all been signed under US, Israeli, and sometimes European pressure, threats and blackmail.

Most of these agreements, especially the security and economic ones, turned out to be in Israel’s favour. Since Oslo, Palestine has gotten smaller and smaller while the Jewish colonies multiplied.

And more agreements signed after that resulted in more lands lost to the occupation, more houses demolished, more olive trees uprooted and more young men and women imprisoned and tortured.

This time around the Palestinian leadership must not give in to any pressure. The future of Palestine is on stake. And the Arab world would stand by any decision taken by the Palestinian leadership.

The international community would respect that decision because most of the world has already voiced its opposition to the Israeli plan.

Abbas and his government have a historic chance to rectify wrongs they have done to the cause. There is no other option.


Source: Emirates News Agency

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