Kerry's Plan: A Liquidation Of The Palestinian Cause

14 February 2014

By Khalid Amayreh

It is manifestly clear by now that the so-called "framework agreement" proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would liquidate and decapitate rather than resolve the enduring Palestinian cause.

The scandalously one-sided plan should be treated by Palestinians and all honest people as dead-on-arrival and inherently and absolutely unacceptable.

Among other things, Kerry is demanding that the Palestinians declare that Israel is a Jewish state. What happens to the 22% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian Arabs in a "Jewish state"?

Needless to say, recognizing Israel by the Palestinians as a Jewish state could be viewed and construed as a euphemism for giving Israel the right, to be exercised not necessarily now but definitely in the future, to expel its Palestinian citizens on the ground that Israel is a Jewish state and Palestinians are not Jewish.

The least negative interpretation of this strange recognition would at the very least imply a solemn Palestinian acknowledgement that Israel's Palestinian community would have to content itself with the perpetual status of a wretched and discriminated- against minority on no other ground than the fact that these people are not Jewish and don't belong to "holy tribe."

Their continued existence in their ancestral homeland would be precarious at best.

The shabby plan is also demanding that the Palestinians agree to give up the paramount Right of Return. This would be a thunderous and earth-shaking defeat to Palestinian national aspirations.

In a certain sense, the right of return is the essence, soul and heart of the Palestinian cause. The PLO itself was created in 1965 to affect that right. It is widely believed that the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was liquidated by Israel because he wouldn't cede that sacred right.

Arafat told then President Bill Clinton that American demands that that the Palestinian leader should cede the right of return was tantamount to inciting Palestinians to assassinate Arafat.

The current Palestinian leader is no Yasser Arafat. However, the very least Mahmoud Abbas must do is to consult with the people of Palestine, especially the refugees, the very people whose lives and future would be mostly affected by this one-sided plan.

I have no doubt that the vast majority of Palestinians, especially the refugees, will reject this unethical plan, not because they don't want peace, but precisely because they insist on real peace.

Needless to say, a peace that perpetuates oppression and justice will be neither durable nor maintainable in the long run. It would be a protracted truce at the very best.

More to the point, many, probably most, Jewish colonies built illegally and in violation of international law ever since 1967 would remain intact.

This apparently would also include Jewish colonies in East Jerusalem, the contemplated capital of the would-be Palestinian entity.

Interestingly, Kerry's plan doesn't really define East Jerusalem and whether it denotes the Eastern part of the city of Jerusalem which Israel seized from Jordan in 1967 or the neighboring suburbs such as Abu Dis and Eizariya.

In any case, the continued existence of Jewish colonies in East Jerusalem would effectively scuttle any prospect of the city becoming a real capital of a real viable Palestinian state with demographic and territorial contiguity.

Kerry's plan is more than a lousy plan that perpetuates injustice. It actually allows ethnic cleansing and genocidal Israeli racism to triumph. This would be analogous to the unjust conditions imposed on Germany following the First World War. We all know the rest of the story.

In light, it is highly likely that the vast majority of Palestinians will reject this plan out of hand. The Palestinians didn't wait all these years in order to give up the right of return for a "state" bereft of the means of viability.

We can wait. Time and truth are on our side. History will not come to an abrupt end tomorrow.

Khalid Amayreh is an American-educated journalist living in the Hebron region of the West Bank.



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