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March 27, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10540

Former Palestinian Authority Minister: We Shouldn't Gloat Over The Demonstrations In Israel – Our Situation Is No Better

March 27, 2023
Palestinian Authority | Special Dispatch No. 10540

In an article in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, Ashraf Al-'Ajrami, a member of Fatah and a former minister of prisoner affairs in the Palestinian Authority (PA), discussed, inter alia, the ramifications of the current protests in Israel for the Palestinian arena. Al-'Ajrami wrote that the Palestinians stand to gain nothing from the upheaval in Israel. This, he says, is because the Palestinian people is divided and its government has reached an all-time low in the absence of any semblance of democracy, such as the separation of powers, the holding of elections, transparency, and the rule of law.


Former PA minister Ashraf Al-'Ajrami (Source: Snd.ps, May 14, 2019)

The following are translated excerpts from his article about the protests in Israel:[1]

"... It is strange that a large number of Palestinians are following what is happening inside Israel – especially the protest activity that is beginning to escalate and which is likely to lead to civil war if the Netanyahu government does not back down on 'the judicial reform' that it is determined to implement – and are rubbing their hands in glee. [This reaction is] in light of the possibility that this may bring about the collapse of the political regime in Israel – as if our situation is any better and will allow us to benefit from something happening inside Israel, or even from the significant global permutations in the world order caused by the Ukraine war.

"We, as those who live outside history, are divided among ourselves into two separate entities. We do not have one active political leadership that leads the people. Our people is experiencing severe frustration and despair, and is trying to seize the reins of power by means of an improvised resistance movement that demands a very high price. [And this is happening] in the absence of someone who will steer it [i.e. the Palestinian people] to a safe harbor and guide it along the shortest path to achieve its objectives.

"It is embarrassing indeed, 17 years after the last general election in Palestine, that our leaders cannot manage to hold democratic elections – considering that they [elections] are still the most appropriate way to achieve national unity, to revive our institutions, and to revive our democracy. [This] includes separation of powers, transparency, oversight, accountability, and the elimination of the corruption that has begun to take over every aspect of Palestinian life in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

"If the protest movement in Israel aims to prevent the overthrow of the judiciary and perpetuate the executive branch's control [of it] in order to serve the interests of the governing body – which could lead to the collapse of the country – then what's happening with us? [We] already have no legislature and no judiciary! Wouldn't it be better for us to delve into what is happening amongst ourselves and understand the depths to which we have sunk? Is it possible to rescue ourselves and to set our cause on the international agenda, in light of the tremendous shifts taking place in the world? Or have we reached the point of no return, with nothing left [for us] but to wait for total collapse and absolute chaos?

"Essentially, we are in a situation in which we have completely lost our way, with no compass and no exit. [This situation is,] in short, more weakness [and] humiliation, and frenzy on the part of the occupation and its settler gangs that have begun to take control of Israel and, apparently, to lead it to its end.

"Even if Israel does collapse – and it is still too early to tell, despite the intense internal struggle that some call existential – the Palestinian people will not benefit from this if it remains scattered, divided in its opinions, lost, and lacking one leadership and one plan. What can happen is, primarily, two [Palestinian] societies, divided and fighting one another for an unlimited time. Even when a decision is made by the international community – which has been remiss in the face of the Israeli aggression and the war crimes committed by the treacherous Zionist country – to take action against Israel... it will not find one Palestinian institution capable of leading the Palestinian people in all the Palestinian territories.

"The battle over the shriveled-up cake is weakening and destroying the national plan. Our situation is no better than that of our enemy's, which is being eroded by the struggle for the character of the government and of the state."  

 

[1] Al-Ayyam (PA), March 22, 2023.

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