[Published 9 September 2016]
The United Nations effort to create a second Arab State in former Palestine — in addition to Jordan — has suffered another death blow following the Palestinian Supreme Court ordering the suspension of local elections in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip scheduled for October 8.
No parliamentary elections have been held since the 2006 - which Hamas won — but which the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) refused to accept. A bitter internecine struggle saw Hamas end up governing the Gaza Strip and the PLO controlling areas “A” and “B” in Judea and Samaria.
No Palestinian presidential election has been held since PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was elected in 2005.
Hamas boycotted the last Palestinian municipal elections in 2012 - but was due to participate this year.
In the absence of a popularly elected Government exercising complete authoritative and legislative control over the Gazan and West Bank Arab populations — any prospects of reaching a binding agreement with Israel in relation to Gaza and Judea and Samaria remains an impossible pipedream.
Both the PLO and Hamas have used the slogan “End the Occupation” to demand that Israel totally withdraw from Area “C” in Judea and Samaria over which Israel exercises complete administrative and security control under the Oslo Accords.
The United Nations has repeatedly reinforced that slogan by maintaining its flawed position that building in Area “C” by Israel is illegal in international law — completely ignoring that Jews have the legal right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Judea and Samaria under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations very own Charter.
The United Nations has allowed the conflict between Hamas and the PLO to career out of control for the last 10 years — allowing Hamas and the PLO to:
1. consolidate their power structures and political dominance within their own separate fiefdomsThe United Nations has failed to insist that elections be held to enable such stranglehold on power to end and allow the people to have their say on who should govern them — the “self-determination” the United Nations has long been demanding but is being denied by Hamas and the PLO.
2. allow corruption and nepotism to become entrenched and
3. pursue policies of confrontation with Israel that have proved disastrous for their respective long-suffering populations.
Ramzy Baroud - editor of PalestineChronicle.com - summed up the hopelessness of the political stalemate between Hamas and the PLO as long ago as 12 November 2013:
“In an initially pointless exercise that lasted nearly an hour, I flipped between two Palestinian television channels, Al Aqsa TV of Hamas in Gaza and Palestine TV of Fatah in the West Bank. While both purported to represent Palestine and the Palestinians, each seemed to represent some other place and some other people. It was all very disappointing.Nothing has changed.
Hamas’ world is fixated on their hate of Fatah and other factional personal business. Fatah TV is stuck between several worlds of archaic language of phony revolutions, factional rivalry and unmatched self-adoration. The two narratives are growingly alien and will unlikely ever move beyond their immediate sense of self-gratification and utter absurdity.”
These irreconcilable differences between Fatah - the dominant faction in the PLO - and Hamas - not a member of the PLO — are still omnipresent in 2016.
The United Nations should be demanding that Hamas and the PLO end their decade-long occupation of power by allowing their respective populations the right to vote in internationally supervised elections.
“End the occupation” would then become a meaningful metaphor rather than a meaningless signpost that continues to lead to nowhere.