The Palestinian Authority now has a tangible proposal from the US, partly as a result of perpetual waiting. On several occasions waiting was touted as the reason for Mahmoud Abbas’s diplomatic delays and refusal to connect with Palestinian aspirations.
However, since US President Donald Trump laid bare his agenda with his unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israel has been able to employ an overt approach to its violence and expansion, while the PA must accept fragments or nothing at all. So far there is no mention of Palestinian resistance as the means through which decolonisation can come about. As a result the PA has not attempted to alter its limitations. If it does, it will destabilise its entire structure.
The US plan consists of an almost permanent exclusion of Palestinians from Palestine. Having altered the status of Jerusalem enough to set a precedent and for Israel to lay claims, it is ridiculing the UN’s non-binding resolutions which refute changes to the city’s status. In the event that a Palestinian state is created Palestinians would have to contend with a town outside of Jerusalem for its capital – media speculation has mentioned Abu Dis as the option.
Besides allowing Israel to expand its security narrative to the extent that a Palestinian state would still be subjected to the colonial enterprise, Trump has proposed two other concepts which seek to terminate Palestinian claims to historic Palestine. The plan calls for the recognition of separate national homelands for Israelis and Palestinians, ostensibly to promote a semblance of mutual recognition. It also puts forward a ludicrous proposal that Palestinian refugees should have the right to return within the borders of a Palestinian state, rather than to historic Palestine.
The premise of achieving mutual recognition is already erroneous. It is only possible to make such claims due to the fact that there is still no global intent, let alone consensus, to define Israel as a colonial entity without legitimacy. If one takes into consideration the marginalisation of Palestinian refugees whose plight has been incessantly exploited, it is clear that mutual recognition cannot exist in a context that favours the settler-colonial state and its inhabitants.
If justice is to be served the Palestinian right of return should extend to all of historic Palestine. Israel will not redefine itself, yet it is resistant to suggestions which accurately describe its existence. This fact has been ignored by the PA and the international community in order to prioritise a failed diplomatic script which even now remains a point of reference.
A case in point is the intermittent declaration of countries recognising Palestine as a state. Apart from justifications of “timing” in delaying the symbolic recognition, there is also the implication of recognising a Palestinian state based on the two-state compromise. In the current circumstances, with the two-state solution having been exposed as a move to facilitate Israeli colonisation and which has been declared obsolete because there is no longer a need for such a veneer, what have countries recognised? For countries whose recognition is still pending, what do they intend to recognise? If there is no unified intervention from Palestinian leaders that stipulates the people’s demands as the foundations upon which decolonisation can be achieved, countries are merely recognising Palestine’s disappearance in accordance with US and Israeli demands.