Marwan Kanafani, Former Advisor to Arafat: Palestine Cause No Longer the Most Serious Arab Issue
In a recent TV interview, Marwan Kanafani, former advisor to Yasser Arafat, blamed the Palestinian leaderships and political parties for the "regression" in the Palestinian cause, saying that the negotiations to bring about reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have been going on for ten years, while the U.S. and Iran reached understandings within less than a decade despite their differences. He was speaking on ON TV on May 27.
Marwan Kanafani: "The Palestine cause is not the most serious issue in the Arab world today. There are more Syrian refugees today than Palestinian ones. More people were killed in Libya than in Palestine or other countries where we lived.
"The Palestinian leaders and political parties bear responsibility for our current situation. This is what was going through my mind as I was writing my book. I may be mistaken or too dogmatic about this, but I believe the time has come to talk about our mistakes.
"Over the past decade, we Palestinians have not made any progress whatsoever in our cause, and, as much as I don’t like to say it, we have regressed. Of course, we cannot blame the Palestinian people for this. The Palestinian people is not responsible for the split between Gaza and Jericho. The political parties and the factions are responsible for that split. The negotiations to bring about reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah] have been going on for 10 years, whereas the negotiations for reconciliation and understandings between the U.S. and Iran took less than ten years, even though they have differences in religion, language, and race, whereas we all belong to the same race and the same heritage.
"Not a single revolution in the world ever ended in a knockout. They have all led to negotiations. Negotiations are permitted by Islamic law – the Prophet Muhammad negotiated with the infidels in the Hudaybiyya [Treaty], and the Caliphs [held negotiations], and so on. Negotiations are part of international constitutions, and at the end of the day, negotiations determine the balance of power."