Palestinian leadership is on a collision course with Arab countries
PICTURES DEPICTING Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan are burned by Palestinians during a protest against the United Arab Emirates’ and Bahrain’s deals with Israel to normalize relations, in Gaza City, Tuesday.
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
Less than a month after the Second Intifada erupted in September 2000, the Arab heads of state held an extraordinary meeting in Nasr City, a district of Cairo.
After the meeting, held at the urgent invitation of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the Arab leaders issued a communique in which they “hailed the intifada of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories” and held Israel “responsible for returning the region to a climate of tension and to manifestations of violence as a result of its practices, its assaults and its blockade of the Palestinian people, in violation of its obligations as the occupying power under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.”
In response to a proposal by Saudi Arabia, the Arab leaders decided to establish two funds to help the Palestinians. Al-Aqsa Fund, they said, will be allocated a sum of $800 million for “the funding of projects designed to preserve the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem and prevent its loss, and to enable the Palestinian people to disengage from its subordination to the Israeli economy.” The second one, Al-Quds Intifada Fund, was to have capital of $200m. to be allocated for disbursement to the families of Palestinian “martyrs.”
A year later, the Arab leaders held another summit, this time in the Jordanian capital of Amman. As usual, the leaders issued another statement expressing full solidarity with the Palestinians and hailed “with great pride the Palestinian people’s steadfastness and brave intifada in the face of the savage onslaught waged by Israel.”
Although the Palestinians never saw much of the financial aid promised by the Arab heads of state, they were nevertheless encouraged by moral support they received from the Arab world during the intifada. Those were the days when the Palestinians felt that they had the full backing of the entire Arab world and that the Palestinian cause was the central issue of all Arabs and Muslims.
The Palestinians were further encouraged by the widespread support they received from the Arab street. No one in the Arab world dared to criticize the Palestinians, especially not during a time when they were engaged in a violent confrontation with Israel.
“We never had much faith in the Arab leaders, but at least they publicly stood with the Palestinians and strongly condemned Israel,” a veteran PLO official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post. “Back then, the Palestinians felt that all the Arabs were with them, and that allowed them to continue with the intifada. We did not feel that we were alone.”
IN 2002, the Arab leaders held a summit in Beirut and announced the Arab Peace Initiative, a 10-sentence proposal for an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The initiative calls for normalizing relations between the Arab world and Israel, in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israel to the pre-1967 lines, a “just settlement” of the Palestinian refugee problem based on United Nations resolution 194, and the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Former Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat immediately embraced the initiative. His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, also supported it.
Some Palestinians saw the Arab peace plan as the turning point in the Arab world’s attitude toward the Palestinian issue and Israel. It was the first time that Arab heads of state had talked about the possibility of normalization with Israel, though they conditioned it on a full Israel withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
“The Arab Peace Initiative represented a decline of the Arab position [toward the Arab-Israeli conflict],” noted Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri. “The Palestinians identified with the plan despite the concessions it contained.”
Masri believes that the Arab Peace Initiative (also known as the Saudi Initiative) came in the context of Saudi Arabia’s “atonement” for the 9/11 attacks. Fifteen of the 19 terrorists who carried out the attacks were Saudis.
In 2007, the Arab leaders met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and “reiterated the adherence of all Arab countries to the Arab Peace Initiative” as it was approved by the Arab summit in Beirut five years earlier.
The Riyadh summit came against the backdrop of reports suggesting that some Gulf states were secretly engaged in normalization activities with Israel. The Palestinians were aware of the secret contacts between some Arab countries and Israel, but refrained from publicly denouncing these states so as not to alienate them.
“We saw the rapprochement between some Arab states and Israel, but we decided that it would be a bad idea to attack them,” explained a senior PA official. “We did not want to deepen divisions in the Arab world. In addition, we didn’t want to be accused of meddling in the internal affairs of any Arab country. We did our best to maintain good relations with all the Arab countries, particularly those that were secretly normalizing their relations with Israel.”
In retrospect, the official said, “we may have made a mistake by remaining silent.”
Had the Palestinian leadership raised its voice and made it known that normalization with Israel was a blatant violation of the Arab Peace Initiative, it’s possible that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would not have taken a decision to establish relations with Israel, the official added.
SOME PALESTINIANS see the peace deals between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain as the direct result of the failure of Palestinian diplomacy.
“The Palestinian leadership failed to see the writing on the wall,” remarked Palestinian lawyer Khalil Zahran. “By the time the Palestinian leadership woke up, it was too late. The leadership’s strong reaction to the Israel-Emirati deal, meanwhile, has proven to be counterproductive. It was a mistake to accuse an Arab country of betraying al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian issue. Worse, it was a big mistake to send people to the streets to burn pictures of UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.”
By the time the PA leadership realized that its harsh rhetoric against the UAE was fruitless and harmful, it was too late.
First, the Arab League turned down a Palestinian request to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the repercussions of the Israel-UAE accord. When the Arab League foreign ministers held their ordinary meeting in early September, they refused to endorse a Palestinian draft resolution condemning the UAE for its “agreement of shame” with Israel.
Shunned by their Arab brothers, the Palestinians were finally forced to come to terms with the fact that the notion of Arab solidarity has passed away. For the first time in decades, the Palestinians now realize that the Palestinian issue is no longer the central issue of the Arab world. And for the first time in decades, the Palestinians are now fully aware that the Arab world has changed.
“As far as many Arab countries are concerned, Iran, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood organization are the real enemy, and not Israel,” said Amjad Shaheen, a prominent activist with the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction. “What’s worrying is that many Arabs are attacking the Palestinians and are saying they are fed up with us and our issue. The Palestinian people feel abandoned and isolated. I don’t think our leadership has a clear strategy how to cope with the new developments in the Arab world.”
Respected east Jerusalem Prof. Sari Nusseibeh believes that the Palestinian leadership has no choice but to make the best of what it has.
“It is incumbent on the Palestinian Authority leadership to transcend whatever feelings and to see if an opportunity has risen,” Nusseibeh said. “I think this has to be studied. Why not ask, for instance, the UAE to push for the kind of solution that the Palestinians have always asked for? Why not ask them to push for things that people have always wanted, such as the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons? I believe that one should make best use of what one has.”
The Arab summit resolutions with regard to the Israeli-Arab conflict have failed, Nusseibeh noted. “The support we’ve had from the Arab world over the past two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight decades has not actually borne fruit, as far as the Palestinians are concerned. It is in this light that one should assess the recent agreements between Israel and Arab countries, whether implicit or explicit. Things seem to be sliding back, so to speak. Of course, this causes a great deal of pain for the Palestinians, just as the failure of the Oslo agreement causes a great deal of pain.”
Nusseibeh, who once served as the PLO’s representative in Jerusalem, advised the Palestinian leadership “to try and see if they could use the developing relations between Arab states and Israel to see if they can push forward the peace process.
“Perhaps it is more possible to do this now than it was in the past, when there were no relations [between the Arab states and Israel],” he said. “I think the Palestinian leadership should look into this possibility, in spite of the pain at the sense of being betrayed. In politics, one has to always be on the lookout for what possible opportunity there is to advance the interests of one. In the past, we had an Arab consensus, which was no peace with Israel until there is peace with the Palestinians. If you look at the history of this policy, one can’t but say it has failed. Why be blind to the fact?”
Like many Palestinians, Nusseibeh is disappointed with the Palestinian leadership for lacking a strategy to deal with the new developments in the region.
“One should be expecting changes sometime soon,” he said. “I don’t think [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is going to be there forever. On the Palestinian side, there may well be change, and some of the changes may actually not come about in a positive way. What I’m concerned about is that the stalemated position our leadership finds itself in might well put some pressure to bring about change in that leadership. Our leadership is under pressure not only because it has not been moving forward with the peace process, but because the Palestinians in the areas it controls are not happy with its governance. I don’t even discount violent change. Everything is possible.”
Under the current circumstances, it seems unlikely that Abbas and his cohorts in Ramallah are going to listen to advice such as the one offered by Nusseibeh. The Palestinian leadership has placed itself on a course of collision with many Arab countries, and it’s hard to see how Abbas will be able to climb down from the tall tree anytime in the near future.
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AKANCopied from the book, Reality as Myth by Onyeji Nnaji. The influence of the
Akan on their content nations lies on their population and commonwealth of
their brother nations. The Akan are one of the largest ethnic groups in West
Africa. Their population is scattered across West Africa and beyond. Among this
huge population of the Akan, the Ghanaians are more popular, perhaps because of
the political influence of the Ashanti Empire in the area. Not much is heard or
known about other Akan settlements like the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem,
the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the
Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the
Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji,
the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure,
the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people and other peoples of Côte d'Ivoire. Every Akan nation adopts the image…
from the Book; "Reality as Myth"
by Onyeji Nnaji
of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves
the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the
birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims
notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing
them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first
river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold,
bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed
through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to
Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to
the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining
river; remarkable with Hiddekel.
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The major problem towards deciphering the original plac…
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji NnajiThe world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the
migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement.
Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in
the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the
nature of the Umudiala, the
generation that gave birth to them. Bantu migration was rated the third
earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their
movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of
people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia,
Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the
Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter
above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers that founded
many of the nations of antiquity mentioned earlier. Discussing them in beat
will pose a little challenge since their migration condi…
My neighbour had vowed never to let any girl
survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three
times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or
three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my
husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other
items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to
avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underling truth is
that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave
her loosed husband. Recently, the woman threatened to f…
The name Nkalaha is a
coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional
setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to
explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the
community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some
documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have
traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men
had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally
founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety
as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible
with his own people. Nkalaha
is one of the communities that make up Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi
State. Nkalaha occupied the northern part of Ishielu Local Government Area. She
is located through the zip 135.031.000. The community sits on 923.768km2. She shares boundaries with neighbourin…
The Mystery of
Number, “Five” in the Igbo Cosmology.From: Aspects
of the Ancient African Metaphysics;Chapter: Seven;Topic: Igbo
Geometries and the Metaphysics of Numbers.Author: Onyeji
Nnaji. In the Igbo
cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through
the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The
hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary
in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the
food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in
the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four) and the
concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life
bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and
essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore
it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would
want the fulfillment of the prayer unanimously …
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable
legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one
of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of
Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after
a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried
in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the
stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought
to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the
fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the
inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki,
Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu,
Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria,
Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situation every…
There are four generations…, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal (The Nag Hammadi, 219)
Also read Nsukka Civilization: The Peopling of Ancient Nsukka One of the African homes that colonialism has completely deformed beyond certain level of recognition is Nsukka. Colonialism apart, the most affecting factor to the survival of the meaning which the rich cultural enclave, Nsukka, carries will best be blamed on postcolonial political structure. The biggest harm all these have against Nsukka as a people is that they rubbed her of the meaning of her name; their place of origin; how their fathers managed to come into their present abodes and who their ancestors were. A profound understanding of the excerpt above will open the door towards deciphering the meaning and origin of the people called Nsukka. Geographica…
ETHIOPIAHISTORY & ORIGIN (Extracted from the
book, Reality as Myth)BYONYEJI NNAJI
Those piles of ruins which you see in that narrow valley
watered by the Nile, are the remains of opulent cities, the pride of the
ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. ... There a people, now forgotten, discovered
while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race
of men now rejected from society for their sable skin and frizzled hair,
founded on the study of the laws of nature, those civil and religious systems
which still govern the universe(Count Volney). Because of the position of Ethiopia
in the Bible story as one remarkable black nation with ancient history, it
becomes almost impossible to see any other nation as being of more ancient than
Ethiopia. Ethiopia suddenly became the yardstick for the analysis of the Negro
race. And with the influence of Christianity in the inner part of Africa, the
adherents were provided with bold pictures of the cradle of the human race…