Mahmoud Abbas and the Right of Return.

23 12 2012

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its leadership never had any legitimacy deriving from Palestinians under Occupation or in the Diaspora. The PLO and its leadership past and present incompetent to liberate, unfit to lead, failed to build and organize a modern nation state, always self serving, a political, financial mafia if not a criminal racketeering organization, a perpetual fraud and lie must disband now.

Mahmud Abbas, the head of the Palestine “liberation” Organization, head of Fatah and the president of the Palestinian Authority chose the 95th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration to renounce on Israeli public television the “Right of Return” of the more than 6 millions Palestinians living in exile.

Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas is desperate to save the political, financial if not criminal mafia that runs and operate the Jewish Occupation from Ramallah. Hostage to salaries of an army of functionaries and civil servants managing the Jewish Occupation not to mention providing security to the Israeli army and armed Jewish settlers to the tune of $1.4 Billions annually in expenses for the Palestinian Security Forces.

Since Oslo, ending the Jewish Occupation was never a priority and was never the objective of the PLO/Fatah and the Palestinian leadership. Perpetuating the Palestinian Authority and the personal and financial interests of the leadership was and remains the only objective for the leadership and the PLO.

By renouncing the “Right of Return” for the Palestinians Mahmoud Abbas gave full recognitions to the Right of Return for all “Jews” kosher and non-kosher, authentic and suspect Jews. Confirming the fraud and lies perpetuated by the PLO and its leadership and the Zionist movement.

For over 45 years the PLO and Fatah leadership past (Arafat) and present (Abbas) have made the Right of Return a fundamental and basic issue in any peace settlement with Israel. Well it seems that Mahmoud Abbas decided to expose the fraud and lies of the PLO and renounce any rights to represent Palestinians of the Diaspora.

If one is to look at the history of the PLO and the leadership of Arafat, Abbas, Qurai one will see nothing but fraud, lies, and looting, with mafia like behavior of many of the leadership within the PLO and Fatah. What we see now in Ramallah from abuse of power, nepotism, lootings, civil and human rights abuses has been going on since the group first established military presence in Jordan and subsequent move to Lebanon where it ran the “Fakahani Republic”. Oslo is nothing but an ingathering and collections of thugs, incompetent and failed cadre that return with Arafat to run the Jewish Occupation and loot the treasury.

Desperate to save his narcissist leadership, that of the PLO and Fatah, the late Yasser Arafat decided to enter into secretes negotiations with Israel undermining the post Madrid public negotiations lead by the late Dr. Haider Abdul-Shafi. Arafat and key members of the PLO/Fatah were afraid that Dr. Abdul-Shafi might emerge as the Palestinian leader that can potentially challenge Arafat leadership.

Having lost much of his credibility after siding with Saddam, having presided over the looting of tens of billions of people’s money, and having caused irreparable harm to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Gulf and around the world, Arafat turn to Israel to recover all that he lost and he was able to do that when he negotiated and signed the Oslo Accord. Arafat and the PLO turn to Israel to regain legitimacy lost among all Palestinians.

Oslo was nothing more than legitimizing the continued Jewish Occupation by giving full and unconditional recognition to Israel an Israel without defined borders. In exchange Israel gave full recognition to the PLO as representative of the Palestinian people thus Arafat was able to secure a perpetual role for the PLO and its leadership and as long as there is an Israeli Occupation. Arafat and the Oslo team left out all key issues to an Israeli veto including Right of Return, Jerusalem, compensation and ending the Jewish Occupation. Under Oslo the Palestinian leadership gave Israel the right to “veto” any and all issues put forward. The Palestinian territories occupied in 67 were referred to as “disputed” not “occupied” territories subject to international law, thus the attempt to go to the UN.

As a consequence of these fatal if not criminal failures, Israel was able to build and expand Jewish Settlements on 58% of the “territories”, was able to build and continue to build the Apartheid Wall, continued to rob and steal water from aquifers located in the “territories”, continued to maintain and expand more than 550 “security” checkpoints that subjects millions of Palestinians to daily humiliations. In exchange for all this give away, Arafat and the Oslo team were granted a Palestinian Authority to manage and pay for the Jewish Occupation through money begged from donors and few thousand VIP passes.

More troublesome is the leadership failed solutions to a Palestinian economy that is hostage to Israel and its total control over the entire economy of the “territories”, suffering from Israel’s economic downturn while not benefiting from a robust Israeli economy. The Palestinian economy under the PLO became one of begging and looting, drowning ordinary Palestinians in debts, mortgage and consumers debts. While ordinary Palestinians become more and more poor, Palestinian leadership and Oligarchs tied to the leadership are racking billions.

The PLO and its leadership failed the Palestinians at every turn and at every level and everywhere from Kuwait and the Gulf to Lebanon and Syria, to Jordan and Egypt. It looted tens of billions that remained unaccounted for. Oslo was nothing but deliberate collaborations with the Jewish Occupation. It rendered the Palestinians people powerless reducing those under Occupation beggars and thieves and undermined any chance for the Palestinians in the Diaspora to have a so say in any final settlement. Diaspora Palestinians have no choice but organize and have their own organization that derives its legitimacy from the people not from Israel as the case with Abbas and the PLO.

Disbanding the Palestinian Authority should not be an Israel demand, but a Palestinian demand. Time to disband not only the Palestinian Authority and the PLO and bring an end to this long chapter of failures, fraud and lies.


One State in Palestine, a State of All of its citizens.

19 02 2012

A State of ALL its Citizens
The One-State Vision and Foundational Principles of a Republic in Historic Palestine

Preamble

I. We, the undersigned, Palestinians and Israelis, believe that the historic land of Palestine should be shared by all those who now live in it and its natives who have been expelled or exiled from it since 1948, and their descendants, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status. Cognizant of the great changes in the Middle East including the recent Arab uprisings, we conceive of our movement as part of the drive towards democracy, accountability, transparency, equality and economic and social justice in the region. We intend to build a model state in the region, rooted in equal citizenship, popular democracy and institutional justice.

II. We, Palestinians and Israelis, united and enriched in our diversity, fully recognize the historic injustices inflicted on the indigenous Palestinian population, including the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba; support all those who are working to build a democratic, pluralistic, secular state (based on the separation of religion and state), that encompasses all of historic Palestine (currently the political entities of the State of Israel and the post-1967 Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories); and honor all those who suffered for justice, equality and freedom in our land.

III. We reject the tragic 1947 UN Partition Plan, dividing the country into two entities, and the terrible damage it has wrought on the country; this Resolution was used by the Zionist leadership as an excuse for the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in the Nakba of 1948. Since then Israel has prevented the refugees from returning to their homes, and the international community has failed to enable their return.

IV. We recognize that for decades efforts to bring about a two-state solution based on a partition of the land of Palestine into a Palestinian entity in 22 percent of historic Palestine, and an Israeli one in 78 percent, have failed because they fell short of providing elementary justice. Based on a policy of separation, fragmentation and inequality, the two-state solution ignores the physical and political realities on the ground, and presumes a false symmetry of power and moral claims between an indigenous, colonized and occupied people on the one hand, and a colonizing state and military occupier on the other. Indeed, ever since 1967, Israel has acted to make a two-state solution impossible by a range of illegal activities, chiefly the building of illegal settlements, confiscation of land, brutal repression of the Palestinian population, and the building of the Apartheid Wall. Moreover, Israel’s ongoing systematic discrimination against Palestinians, which includes practices such as forced transfer, settler-colonialism of the areas occupied in 1967, as well as in areas of Palestine after 1948, segregation, ghettoisation, and the separation wall (declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004), denial of citizenship and basic human rights and freedoms, is consistent with the crime of Apartheid as defined by the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid; http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html) and the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

V. Seeking and working for a better future of security, equality and justice and equal opportunity for all, we believe in popular, non-violent resistance and support the creation of a movement committed to the establishment of the future Republic of Palestine that can serve and meet the aspirations and hopes of all of its citizens. This will be achieved in conjunction with the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid Israeli state, and has the potential to bring substantial pressure to bear on Israel and its supporters.

VI. Our new one-state movement brings together Palestinians and Israelis in partnership, supported by a global solidarity movement based on the principles and programme outlined below. We call on all those who cherish freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and democracy and reject racism and segregation to join us in building our movement. We believe this movement will change the face and future of the Middle East, and finally bring peace and security for the people in the Middle East, and for people around the world.

Founding Principles and Political Programme

We call for a Constitution for the Republic of Palestine based on the following principles:

1. Constitution and a Bill of Rights: The people of Palestine, Palestinians and Israelis, through their freely elected representatives, will adopt a Constitution and a Bill of Rights as the supreme law of the Republic of Palestine.

2. Supremacy of Constitution: The Constitution will be the supreme law of the Republic, guaranteeing separation of powers (executive, legislative and judicial), and guaranteeing the rights of citizens vis-a-vis the state. The Constitution will be voted on by the citizens of the Republic of Palestine and adopted by a two-thirds majority, with constitutional amendments meeting the same requirements.

3. Bill of Rights and Citizens’ Charter: The Bill of Rights with its Citizens’ Charter will guarantee the rights and freedoms of all individuals in the state. Basic citizens’ rights include, among others, housing, health, education, employment, social and legal protection, freedom of movement, a ban on racial, religious and gender discrimination, and equal opportunity for all.

4. Truth and Reconciliation Commission: The Constitution will seek to redress the devastating effects of settler-colonial Zionism on the indigenous Palestinians, and other oppressed groups, such as Mizrahi Jews (“Arab Jews”), and to address the structural injustices, inequalities and divisions of the past. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of post-apartheid South Africa, it will promote truth and reconciliation between all the diverse peoples of Palestine.

5. Jerusalem/Al-Quds: The City of Jerusalem will be the Capital of the Republic of Palestine and will be one city, open to and equally shared by all.

6. The Right of Return: The implementation of the Right of Return and reparations for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194 is a fundamental pillar of peace based on justice and the benchmark of human dignity, liberty and equality. Palestinian self-determination will be addressed through full democratic rights and equality in a unitary state. The Constitution will establish the legal and institutional frameworks for justice, reconciliation and integration of the Palestinian returnees.

7. Fundamental Universal Rights: The Republic of Palestine will be founded on the principles of human dignity, human rights, equality and equal rights, freedoms and equal opportunities; supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, universal adult suffrage, parliamentary democracy, freedoms of expression, religion, language, movement, residence and assembly, regular elections, democratically structured institutions, a multi-party system of democratic, non-racist, non-sexist government and the fundamental rights and freedoms as articulated and enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Covenants.

8. Equality and Citizenship: The Constitution will be founded on the principle that all people who live in historic Palestine as well as Palestinian refugees who realise their right of return will have equality of citizenship and equality of stake. Equal citizenship will have the result that the existing apartheid-based and discriminatory laws and demographic racism will be abrogated, together with the whole institutional system of Zionism. Our Constitution will ensure a state founded on the principles of equality of citizenship, equality between women and men and non-domination and equality in civil, political, social and cultural rights for all citizens and a fully integrated society based on democratic values, economic and social justice and fundamental human rights; lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law. All citizens will be equally entitled to the rights and benefits of citizenship; and equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. All organs of the state, including the courts, police and administration of justice shall represent all the people of the land and shall defend, protect, and preserve the principles of equality and democracy. The laws of the state shall provide all citizens with equal access to security, housing, work, welfare, public lands, education, health care, leisure, cultural expression and all the basic requirements for living in dignity and freedom.

9. Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism: The Constitution will recognise and celebrate the diversity of religion and culture of the new society, and the distinct linguistic and historical traditions of the country, consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10. Public Land: The public land of the state shall belong to all its citizens, who shall have equal access to it and benefits from its use. The owners of private property expropriated from Palestinian refugees, and Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza shall be given the choice of the restoration of their property or reparations for themselves or their descendants. Consistent with the principles of the Constitution and international law, the Jewish National Fund shall be disbanded and assets held by this entity or the Israel Land Authority returned to its rightful owners, and what is left will be held in common, or distributed thorough fair and agreed mechanisms.

11. Economic Justice and Affirmative Action: In the new state, economic and social justice requires addressing unfair distribution of resources that resulted from a long history of inequality and racism. Subject to universal equality under the law, remedial economic measures (including affirmative action) shall be undertaken to redress past injustices, remove segregation and allow equal opportunity. Such programmes would ensure social harmony and remove the possibility of maintaining unfair privileges by one group acquired through historical segregation and monopolies on use of land, water and others resources

12. Separation of Religion and State: The Constitution will establish a non-sectarian democratic state based on the principle of separation of religion and state, its governing institutions based on the principle of “one-person, one-vote”. There will be no specific privileges or privileged rights accorded to any ethnic or religious group or individual. Ethnic, religious, cultural or national minorities shall be protected by law, but not assigned any specific rights.

13. Religious Freedom and Religious Sites: The right to religious practice shall be guaranteed by the state. Religious institutions shall be voluntary, totally separate and independent from the state, and shall receive no financial support from it. All residents of the state shall be free to practice their religion and to worship at sacred sites without impediment or discrimination. The state shall ensure that all religions enjoy equal standing before the law, and that no religion impedes or has supremacy over the other.

14. Civil Marriage and Family Law: The civil law of the state shall reign supreme and shall be the ultimate reference in any disputes arising between citizens and between citizens and religious institutions. The state shall require the registration of all religious and civil marriages and civil unions under principles of law that are non-discriminatory as between marriage and civil partners, irrespective of gender, religion, ethnicity, or any other aspect of identity. The state will permit adjudication by religious authorities (including courts) of disputes between partners who agree to such adjudication. The state itself will be guided in matters of family law by the fundamental principles of equality under the Constitution. The state constitutional court shall be the final arbiter for all legal issues arising out of family law, marriages, divorces and inheritance.

15. United Nations Charter: The Constitution will promote the quality of life and welfare of all citizens and free the potential of each person; build a united and democratic Palestine able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations and as a member of the United Nations. The state shall uphold international law, and at all times seek the peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiation and with regard to collective security in accordance with the United Nations Charter.

16. Official Languages: The Constitution shall recognise the distinct historical, linguistic and cultural traditions of Palestine. The official languages of the Republic will be Arabic, Hebrew and English. Recognising the status of the official languages of our people, the Republic must take practical and positive measures to advance the use of these languages and support a mutli-lingual educational system.

17. State Education: The state shall guarantee free primary and secondary education for all children. Schools and curricula shall teach pupils the historical heritage of their country and region, so that they may grasp, respect and appreciate the origins and historical experience of their fellow citizens, strongly reject racism and doctrines of segregation, honour human rights, protect human freedoms, and guard the peace, rights and security of all the people in the country and the world. Education and vocational training shall not be segregated in any way that impedes equal access of all citizens to employment and other opportunities to fulfill their talents and hopes.

18. Abolition of Capital Punishment and Outlaw of Torture: Within one year of the creation of the new state laws will be passed outlawing capital punishment and prohibiting torture in any form.

19. Immigration Policy: The state shall operate a transparent and non-discriminatory immigration policy, and provide a refuge for those seeking asylum from persecution, especially racial or ethnic persecution.

20. Nuclear-free Zone in the Middle East: The state shall seek and actively contribute to the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East that shall also be free of all weapons of mass destruction. Israel’s weapons of mass destruction, including but not limited to its arsenal of nuclear weapons, inherited by the Republic of Palestine shall be dismantled or destroyed under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within one year of the creation of the new state. The state through its Constitution shall include and incorporate limitations on the state to engage in wars and conflicts outside its borders.

Drafting Committee (in individual capacity)

1.Dr Oren Ben-Dor, University of Southampton, Southampton
2.Prof. George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco
3.Prof. Haim Bresheeth, University of East London, London
4.Dr Ghada Karmi, European Centre for Palestine Studies, Exeter University, Exeter
5.Mr Sami Jamil Jadallah, International business consultant, Fairfax, VA
6.Prof. Nur Masalha, SOAS, University of London, London
7.Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, University Bethlehem, Bethlehem


One State; a republic for all of its citizens, an introduction.

19 02 2012

Note: Dear readers: The Arab – Israeli conflict has defied so many generations of Israelis and Palestinians, so many Noble Prize winners, so many US presidents, so many wars, and so many proposed solutions.  There is only one solution, the One State solution. For months I had the honor to work with a groups of Israelis and Palestinians negotiating and drafting both the introductions and the Preamble for the One State. I hope all of you will support and promote the “One State: A Republic for all of its citizens” as the only thing on the table to solve the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Read the rest of this entry »


Palestinian leadership behind bars; why not?

9 08 2011

Other than Israel and the US, no group or organizations or countries did more damage to the Palestinian cause of liberation and freedom than the incompetent, corrupt and reckless Palestinian leadership past and present.  This leadership should be behind bars not sitting at the UN or at negotiating table representing the more than 8 million Diaspora Palestinians and those under Jewish Occupation. Read the rest of this entry »


Israel vs Palestine; them and us

10 05 2011

As Israel celebrate its 63rd anniversary, I could not help but compare the Zionist Israeli leadership to that of the Palestinian leadership past (Hajj Amin Husaini, Ahmed Shukairi and Yasser Arafat) and present (Abbas & Company) and what each achieved for their people in over 100 years of conflict?  While one celebrate a nation, strong as ever (Peres) the other is wondering how to meet the current payroll? While one celebrates a nation with an army and institutions, the other promises the people a “virtual” state with none of the prerequisites of a modern nation state. While one talks of expanding and solidifying the Jewish Occupation, the other talks of reviving the PLO and restructuring the Palestine National Congress as if any one gives a damn about the PLO or its PNC. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Hamas, but not Likud and Yisrael Beituna?

29 04 2011

I do not understand why Israel, the US, EC and some Arab countries insist on Hamas, a political party recognizing Israel, when Likud, Yisrael Beituna and Shas not only failed to ratify Oslo, but also refuse to recognize the PLO and the Palestinian State? It makes no sense, unless of course there is a different standard, one for Jews and one for Arabs. Read the rest of this entry »


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