Thursday, October 01, 2020

Barghouthi: Disregarded Facts

By Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi - March 09, 2019
Section: [Main News] [Opinion]


"Despite all that has been said in describing the danger and damage resulting from the internal Palestinian split, it may be useful to recall a number of facts that stand clear before our very eyes but that are nonetheless being disregarded amidst the domestic squabbles and conflicts," write Mustafa Barghouthi. 
- The first is that the balance of power between us and the Zionist movement is dangerously tilted in the latter's favor, and that Israel's rulers are exploiting this to implement their schemes on the ground in an unprecedentedly insolent and ferocious manner. And in doing so, they are benefiting from domestic, regional, and international factors. But the only way to galvanize the elements of Palestinian strength to confront this imbalance is to end the Palestinian split and rally national ranks.
- The second fact is that ever since the 1948 Nakba, the Palestinian people have never experienced a more dangerous phase than that facing them today. This is a phase whose main headline is the attempt to liquidate the elements of the Palestinian cause from Jerusalem, to refugees rights, to our right to self-determination and to establish a free, independent, and sovereign state.
- The third fact is that the Zionist movement's main failure and the Palestinian people's most important achievement is their steadfastness on their homeland's lands. But this is under threat today because of the existing separation between Gaza and the West Bank and the isolation enforced on the city of Jerusalem.
- The fourth fact is that the occupation and the ethnic cleansing that was pursued in the past in 1948, has now turned fully into a racist, colonial, apartheid system that seeks to replace the Palestinians and expel them from their land. This includes all of the Palestinian people's constituents both inside the lands occupied in 1948 and in the [1967] occupied territories, as well as the Palestinians outside Palestine. And this apartheid system can only be confronted and defeated by reuniting the Palestinian people's three constituents.
- The fifth fact is that the Palestinian people's right to represent themselves – a right they wrested by making huge sacrifices since the contemporary Palestinian revolution was launched, including the brave popular nonviolent first intifada and that is embodied in the Arab and international recognition of the PLO as the Palestinians' representatives – is under threat today because of the inter-Palestinian split and foreign conspiracies, foremost among which is the so-called 'deal of the century' that is seeking to exploit the split to strip the Palestinians of their right to represent themselves and their cause.
- The sixth fact is that any democratic process, including comprehensive democratic elections, which should have been held long ago, will fail to achieve its aims and attain its full legitimacy without the participation of all Palestinian forces, and without ensuring that it is held in the West Bank including Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and outside Palestine wherever possible.
- The seventh fact is that our people's friends and supporters on the international arena are voicing their unprecedented concern. They find themselves in awkward confusion thanks to the worsening domestic split. Feeling exceptionally and deeply pained and disappointed, they repeat that they cannot understand why this split persists, or justify the Palestinians' failure to unite so far, despite all the aforementioned threats. This needs to be accurately understood when trying to explain the Russian initiative to invite the Palestinian forces to Moscow to discuss ending the split and achieving unity. We must benefit from this initiative so as to pass the test and emerge from the split's dark tunnel – bearing in mind the dire consequences of another failure to achieve unity via that meeting.
- The eighth fact is that unity can only be achieved by accepting the two principles: That of partnership and that of the people's right to democratic practice. Unity can only be realized by giving priority to national interests over factional, party-political, subjective, and personal interests.
"The split will only lead us towards the abyss. And nothing will save us from it except a genuine belief in national unity in confronting the enemies of our cause," concludes Barghouti.

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