Total Capitulation

Tariq Ali
24 January 2011

The ‘Palestine Papers’ being published this week by
al-Jazeera confirm in every detail what many Palestinians
have suspected for a long time: their leaders have been
collaborating in the most shameful fashion with Israel and
the United States. Their grovelling is described in grim
detail. The process, though few accepted it at the time,
began with the much-trumpeted Oslo Accords, described by
Edward Said in the LRB at the time as a ‘Palestinian
Versailles’. Even he would have been taken aback by the
sheer scale of what the PLO leadership agreed to
surrender: virtually everything except their own salaries.
Their weaknesses, inadequacies and cravenness are now in
the public domain.

Now we know that the capitulation was total, but still the
Israeli overlords of the PLO refused to sign a deal and
their friends in the press blamed the Palestinians for
being too difficult. They wanted Palestine to be crushed
before they would agree to underwrite a few moth-eaten
protectorates that they would supervise indefinitely. They
wanted Hamas destroyed. The PLO agreed. The recent assault
on Gaza was carried out with the approval of Abbas and
Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, not to mention Washington and its
EU. The PLO sold out in a literal sense. They were bought
with money and treated like servants. There is TV footage
of Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton at Camp David playfully
tugging at Arafat’s headgear to stop him leaving. All
three are laughing. Many PLO supporters in Palestine must
be weeping as they watch al-Jazeera and take in the scale
of the betrayal and the utter cynicism of their leaders.
Now we know why the Israel/US/EU nexus was so keen to
disregard the outcome of the Palestinian elections and try
to destroy Hamas militarily.

The two-state solution is now dead and buried by Israel
and the PLO. Impossible for anyone (even the BBC) to
pretend that there can be an independent Palestinian
state. A long crapulent depression is bound to envelop
occupied Palestine, but whether Israel likes it or not
there will one day be a single state in the region,
probably by the end of this century. That is the only
possible solution, apart from genocide.


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