Despite the atrocities inflicted upon Palestinians in Gaza since Israel’s genocidal Operation Protective Edge started on July 8, and despite Israel’s deadliest assault on Gaza over the weekend, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is steadfast in upholding his history of collaborative efforts with settler-colonialist and imperialist dictates.
The earliest plans for a Zionist colonization of Palestine date back to 1882 and culminated in the Nakba of 1948, when thousands of Palestinians were massacred and displaced in order to establish Israel’s settler-colonialist state we see today — an expansionist ideology and implementation in perfect accordance with plans for imperialist domination in the region.
As the horrors of mutilated bodies in Gaza unfold for all to behold, and with international impunity bequeathed to Israel looming in the background, Abbas seems intent on thwarting Palestinian resistance.
Abbas remains completely opposed to resistance — despite its legitimacy. “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets? We prefer to fight with wisdom and politics,” he said recently in a Palestinian TV broadcast without explicitly naming Hamas.
Any claims to alleged wisdom should be seriously questioned within the parameters of historical concessions and recent history. Just as the creation of Zionist settler-colonialism initiated a prolonged process, the gradual deterioration of Palestinian resistance as a unifying component — particularly in the post-Oslo period — translated into a series of extended negotiations that facilitated both privilege among the settler population as well as colonial expansion.
As recognition from both Israel and the hostile international community took precedence over the liberation of historic Palestine, Abbas sought to further the Israeli narrative through evocations of “painful concessions” and the repeated denial of Palestinians’ rights.
“Painful concessions” — the clichéd metaphor that stands in for willing acquiescence — has wrought havoc upon the Palestinian population, irrespective of location and experience. Abbas has contributed greatly to the turmoil. In November 2012, the Palestinian Authority president publicly renounced his right to return to his birthplace, Safed, during an interview on Israel’s Channel 2.
“I visited Safed before once,” Abbas said. “It’s my right to see it but not to live there”
“I am a refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that the West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the other parts are Israel.”
During the recent U.S.-brokered negotiations that resulted in trading the lives of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli colonial expansion, Abbas actually ridiculed the right of return for all Palestinians. The return of all Palestinians back to Palestine is “a joke,” according to Abbas, who added that it was not his intention to disrupt the demography and character of the Zionist entity.
Aside from Abbas endorsing Israel’s decades-long policy of displacing Palestinians through the repudiation of their right of return, security coordination with Israel is often evoked as a favorable operation that allegedly provides stability in the West Bank. Enshrined in U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, the Palestinian right of return applies to all Palestinians displaced since 1948, as well as their descendents. Read more.