By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah
The new Palestinian Authority (PA) government which was sworn in Ramallah Tuesday, 19 May, is another prescription for failure. Hence, one would exaggerate little by saying that the new cabinet will be a deformed replica of the previous government whose main task was confined to carrying out instructions and orders from the American “High Commissioner” in the West Bank , Gen. Keith Dyaton.
To begin with, the raison d'etre of the new government is to meet the requirements of the status quo. It will be utterly unable, even if willing, to advance Palestinian national interests because it has no sovereignty of its own and can hardly do anything worthwhile without Israeli approval.
Indeed, it is an insult to language and common sense to speak of a genuine “government” under a sinister foreign military occupation when such an entity has no authority, freedom and sovereignty of its own.
Such an entity should be called other names, such as “quisling entity,” or “Judenrat” or “collaborationist administration.”
A true national government rules and governs and is answerable to the people it claims to be serving. It caters for the needs of the people and strives to serve and expedite the strategic goals of the country.
However, the main function of the current so-called government in Ramallah is to beg international donors for funds to keep itself afloat and also beg Israel to allow it to function and operate, e.g. allow PA officials to pass through Israeli army checkpoints and roadblocks undisturbed in exchange for “good behavior toward Israel .”
Like its predecessor, the new government is going to be utterly unable, even if willing, to prevent or impede the unmitigated Israeli settlement expansion throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem .
The new government is not going to prevent Israel from expanding the settlement of Ma’ali Adumim, demolishing entire Arab neighborhoods in al-Quds and dig more tunnels beneath the Aqsa Mosque.
So, one might wonder why Palestinians need a government under such circumstances. Indeed, what is the justification for the very existence of governments if not to serve national goals?
True, the Fayadh government has been able to pay salaries to thousands of employees and civil servants and also to tens of thousands of security cadres whose main job is to repress their own people on Israel’s behalf.
But what the Palestinian people really needs first and foremost is freedom and emancipation form the Nazi-like occupation that is constantly seeking our obliteration and destruction.
Hence, one would wonder how a government worthy of the name can justify its very existence if working to end the occupation is not at the top of its agenda.?
To be sure, the new government does have certain proscribed functions which it must perform in order to justify itself.
These functions include, inter alia, beautifying the Israeli occupation by giving a false impression to people across the world that the Palestinians do have a government that caters for their needs and that the Palestinians have already traveled a significant distance toward liberation and statehood.
However, it is clear that this false impression serves Israeli propaganda goals and seriously diverts attention from the killing by Israel of the two-state solution due to the cancerous growth of Jewish settlements all over the West Bank .
This is in addition to the too well-known fact that the Palestinian government in Ramallah is actually functioning under the banner of the Israeli occupation. Indeed, even the President of the PA himself can’t really move or travel freely, even in Ramallah, the seat of the government, without Israeli permission.
Not withstanding, the most important function of the Ramallah regime has been to torment and persecute and repress the Palestinian people, especially the forces of resistance, on Israel’s behalf.
According to human rights groups operating in the West Bank , a systematic witch-hunt campaign has been carried out against suspected supporters of the Islamic liberation movement, Hamas, especially since the 2007 events in Gaza , when American-backed Fatah elements who were plotting a coup against the legitimately elected government were ousted.
Since then, thousands of innocent people have been arrested, mistreated and tortured mainly as a reprisal for Hamas’s decision to end chaos and lawlessness in Gaza .
Unfortunately, the government of Mr. Fayadh, which was supposed to uphold the rule of law and see to it that human rights and civil liberties were not held hostage to the whims of the security agencies chose to play deaf and dumb and look the other way while the rule of law was being raped, human rights trampled on and civil liberties decapitated by an ignorant and undisciplined security apparatus, receiving orders and instructions from a foreign body that is inimical to Palestinian national goals.
More to the point, one indelible stigma of shame on the forehead of this government and its operatives and functionaries is the scandalous security collaboration with the Israeli occupation army against “non-conformist Palestinians.”
In the context of this disgraceful subservience to our historical enemy and its intelligence apparatus, the PA relayed to Israel every piece of data on members and supporters of Hamas.
The cooperation between the Palestinian security apparatus and the Shin Beth reached so high a level that nearly every Palestinian arrested by the PA security apparatus was rearrested and imprisoned for prolonged periods by the Israelis and vice versa.
This means that the PA has effectively become an additional layer of the Israeli occupation since the ultimate outcome of this disgraceful and treasonous coordination with the occupier of our country and oppressor of our people meant the doubling of suffering for the Palestinians.
This is what the Fatah parliamentary leadership is beginning to understand, namely that the Fayadh-Abbas alliance is detrimental to Palestinian national goals.
I believe Fatah, PFLP, the People’s Party should be applauded for deciding to boycott the new government, ostensibly the worst since the creation of the PA 15 years ago.
Meanwhile, it is imperative that efforts to end the rift between Hamas and Fatah continue unabated. National unity is always a very bad news for Israel since it deprives the apartheid regime of the opportunity to utilize internal Palestinian differences to expedite Israeli goals.
More to the point, a Fatah-Hamas concordance, even a stable modus vivendi would isolate all the quislings and collaborators who are serving Israeli goals, knowingly or unknowingly.
Finally, it is vital that Palestinians and their supporters not be distracted to pay too much attention to secondary issues pertaining to this American-backed and Israeli-tolerated government.
Our core preoccupation must always centre on ending the Israeli occupation. After all, all problems facing our people are in the final analysis mere symptoms of the Nazi-like occupation.
We must, therefore, explore every conceivable avenue that would serve and promote this strategy, including the possibility of dissolving the Palestinian Authority regime.