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26 June 2019

Surrender? No way

By: Daoud Kuttab
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Special thanks have to be given to Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. In a matter of a few months, he has finally exposed the hidden truth about Israel. This week, he made an even more profound revelation: Israel is not interested in a negotiated peace settlement, but wants Palestinians to sign an Israeli instrument of surrender. All along it seems, if you read the Israeli ambassador’s op-ed in The New York Times, the Israelis have been waiting for Palestinians to raise The white flag and give up on their national aspiration for freedom and independence.

Now things make sense; the constant Israeli efforts to delegitimise Palestinian nationalism, to deny Palestinians the ability to operate any political activity in their presumed capital of Jerusalem, the total rejection of any aspect of the right of return, the detention of poets who dare talk about nationalism, the refusal to accept Palestine in international fora and the refusal of accepting support to families of prisoners and martyrs. There are no Palestinians, Golda Meir once said and she was clearly talking about those Palestinian nationalists who dared ruin the perfect Zionist narrative of a land without a people for a people without a land. It has always been about land, not about peace.

Sure, to warm things up, some ideas had to be developed to augment the distress that some European whites felt when seeing pictures of refugees living in tents or images of Palestinian resistance being harshly put down. Israelis came up with the open bridges policy under Moshe Dayan, the autonomy under Menachem Begin and the Palestinian Authority under Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, but never freedom or, God forbid, a sovereign independent state.

While Palestinians fought hard against all the Israeli ideas which were uncovered, they were not ready for the onslaught of a US president in total cahoots with Christian and Jewish Zionists.

The Jared Kushner/Jason Greenblatt team wisely, from their point of view, kept their real ideas and intentions secret as long as they could. When confronted by pro-Israeli Christian leaders, the American team reassured them that their plan will not hurt Israel and that the Palestinians would reject it anyways but that certain things were inserted to put some Arab countries at ease.

Despite claims to the contrary, there was, and is, no political plan. It was always an economic plan, possibly with some political elements. The failure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government after the April elections provided an opening to roll out the economic plan with the idea that the nonexistent, or very thinly produced political plan at best, would be revealed in October after a new government is formed in Israel.

The trump team has always worked its plans according to the Israeli desires. Israelis were able to sit back and relax while Kushner, Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman did all the heavy lifting for them. Move the embassy, defund UNRWA, squeeze Palestinians financially, close their mission in Washington and taunt them about annexation by recognising the illegal, unilateral annexation of the occupied Golan Heights.

It was almost working; except for the blabbermouth Danon in New York, who, it seems, has ambitions back in Israel. The Israeli ambassador believes that what is needed now is simple. Palestinians must roll over and accept any crumbs the Americans and Israelis will throw to them.

Despite the ridiculous surrender calls by right-wing Israelis and their supporters in the White House, Palestinians do not have an army to surrender. There are no Palestinian tanks, fighter jets, submarines or planes to surrender, and what Palestinians have cannot be bought by money, nor given up by brutal military pressure. Palestinians are a proud people with a rich and vibrant culture and history. Palestinians will not surrender, and like all other oppressed people fighting for freedom, “we shall overcome”.

It may take years and decades but one day Palestine will join other peoples of the world as a free, independent and democratic state.

* A Palestinian columnist based in Amman, Jordan. - dkuttab@ammannet.net

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