Date : 2 Feb 2021
On the second day of the Palestinian cause forum,
Participants affirmed the need to provide the necessary environment to ensure the success of the elections.
Occupied Palestine / Gaza: The second day of the Palestinian Cause Forum which discusses options for protecting Palestinian rights has started.
The forum was organized by the International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights “ICSPR” and the Palestinian Democratic Forum in Europe through Zoom, with the participation of elites of representatives of civil society organizations, human rights activists, representatives of political forces, community, youth and feminists leaders, pro-Palestine activists from different countries of the world.
On the second day, the participants stressed the need to provide the necessary atmosphere to hold the Palestinian elections and to agree on all the political and legal requirements that impede their conduct with transparency and integrity, stressing the importance of being an entry point for arranging the internal Palestinian home and restoring national unity.
They stressed the importance of serious work in order to agree on a national recovery plan to protect Palestinian rights, work to internationalize the Palestinian cause, activate accountability and boycott mechanisms, take advantage of international and Arab changes and turn challenges into opportunities.
Confirming the importance of working to restore the status of the Palestinian cause on the Arab and international levels, activating all struggle tools in the face of Israeli colonial plans, and providing support to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and activating the role of Palestinian institutions in defending rights.
Moreover, the participants called on to renew leadership, enhance the participation of youth, women and all sectors in decision-making positions, and activate the role of Palestinians in all Palestinian communities.
The meeting was opened by Mr. Salah Abdul Atti, the chairman of ICSPR. Abdul Atti welcome the guests, and stressed the importance of this meeting, which deals with regional and international changes and their repercussions on the Palestinian cause, noting that the size of national and humanitarian challenges and risks is increasing, which requires examining all options to protect Palestinian rights, and building new approaches that include preserving the Palestinian cause and enhancing its position at the international and Arab levels, and he wondered about the work required internally and externally to protect Palestinian rights.
Dr. Nabil Amr, “former Minister of Information and a member of the Central Council,” said: “The Palestinian cause is one of the most difficult issues. It has a religious, geographical, intellectual, cultural, and political dimension.
He wondered how we can serve the Palestinian cause in order for the Palestinian people to reach their basic rights, stressing that some Palestinians bear the responsibility for destroying the Palestinian national unity, and confirmed that achieving and restoring unity is a Palestinian responsibility in the first place.
Amr emphasized that national unity must be deeper and stand on solid ground, on the contrary, all peoples in the world have differences, but if the goal is to remove the occupation, then the road must be agreed upon, stressing that the Palestinian people must serve their cause better than it is now, and we bear the most important part of the Palestinian cause.
Amr continued: The national unity must be based on a clear program, and to favor the national interest over the factional interest, so far there is no indication that this is taking place, as all regions of the world have realized the importance of Palestinian reconciliation, and no one remains unaware of its importance, and only the Palestinians are unaware of that.
In turn, Khaled Al-Batsh, a member of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Jihad, affirmed that the Palestinian people face a set of dangers that require a comprehensive struggle strategy to address them and in order to raise the costs of the occupation and arrange the internal home, indicating that the movement will determine its position on participating in the upcoming Palestinian elections or not, it will be determined after the dialogue of the factions in the Egyptian capital, Cairo
Al-Batsh explained that the real entrance to Palestinian unity is through consensus on a national program with a real political dimension, pointing out that the elections are not only an entrance to unity, but rather a means to achieve reconciliation.
Al-Batsh demanded that the atmosphere be prepared prior to the holding of the elections, and get rid of the Oslo Agreement, and cancel recognition of Israel.
Al-Batsh also called for the necessity to restore and strengthen relations with political forces and parties in Arab and Islamic countries and to strengthen international solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
For his part, Ahmed Al-Atawneh, Director of Vision Center for Studies in Istanbul, explained that the Palestinian division has weakened the national situation in general, and made it unable to confront the occupation’s violations against our people and even protect national rights.
He added: “The factions failed to discuss the national program first and went to the elections directly,” Pointing out that the Joint List is not a good democratic formula, because one of the foundations of democracy is pluralism.
Al-Atawneh called for the necessity to provide a positive atmosphere for the electoral process, to ensure that the elections are conducted according to real democratic standards, establishing a better transitional phase.
Al-Atawneh stressed the need to strengthen the steadfastness of the people in Palestine, to activate the role of the Palestinian diaspora in the national struggle, and to rebuild the Palestine Liberation Organization on the basis of partnership.
Muhammad Barakeh, head of the Arab Follow-up Committee in the 48 lands said: There is a clear absence of the Palestinian national project, expressing his fear that we are dealing with the occupation as a fait accompli.
Baraka added in his speech: “Unfortunately, what we are seeking is to simplify these matters in light of the reality of the occupation, and what we see today is semi-panic and fear of some Palestinian factions in the upcoming elections by submitting a joint list.”
He stressed that our people are facing a critical stage that needs the concerted efforts of all the Palestinian patriots, to ensure the protection of Palestinian rights and constants.
He pointed to the obstacles that faced the Joint List in the 48 lands, stressing that this is a retreat from promoting joint action to confront the racist laws and policies practiced against the Palestinians in the 48 lands, confirming the importance of the Palestinian national work and struggle, strengthening the foundations of steadfastness, restoring unity and renewing policies and institutions, to ensure that it fulfills its role, and to activate the popular, legal and diplomatic struggle to protect national rights.
In turn, Hassan Khreisheh, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Council, said that our people, unfortunately, did not have competent leaderships of the size of sacrifices, and when the PLO was formed, it was, unfortunately, a copy of the Arab League.
Khreisheh stressed the importance of denying the PLO’s recognition of the Israeli occupation and supporting the right of return, stressing that “the required position today is to support our people by all available means for their return to their land and sanctities.”
He stressed that “the world is required to recognize the right of our people to return to their land and their national rights, and this is a right through which detailed rights can be accessed after that and not vice versa.”
Khreisheh pointed to the importance of separating the reality between the position of the Arab people with our people and the position of the regimes. “Many regimes contributed to building the Israeli entity, unfortunately, some of them maintain strategic relations with it.”
On his part, Tayseer Muheisen, coordinator of the NGOs Network in the Gaza Strip and a member of the Political Bureau of the People’s Party, explained that our people need a new national resurgence, stressing that we are not facing many options.
Muheisen said that the important option is to adopt a comprehensive national strategy that guarantees the existence of a single national project and not disparate and contradictory political projects, and work to promote and protect rights and freedoms, arrange the internal home, and preserve the unifying national identity.
He added, “We are committing national crimes by cutting salaries, political detention and suppressing freedoms. Elections alone can’t be relied upon to improve the Palestinian reality and end the division.”
Muheisen indicated that the changes around us carry serious threats, and we must transform these threats into opportunities and be able to adapt to them. Stressing that there is a clear threat to the Palestinian project, as the deal of the century is still in place, even through multiple entrances, dropping it and dropping settlement solutions requires the unity of the Palestinians, reactivating national representation within the Palestine Liberation Organization, learning from past experiences and overcoming the negatives.
In turn, Attorney Alaa Shalaby, head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Egypt, stressed the need to provide a Palestinian strategy that takes advantage of international changes to activate the solidarity movement with the Palestinian people, and to activate the mechanisms of holding the Israeli occupation accountable before the International Criminal Court.
He stressed the importance of achieving Palestinian unity and conducting reconciliation, pointing out that the Palestinian elections are only a means and not a purpose, calling on all Palestinians to rise to the level of fairness of the cause and work to activate Palestinian performance in all fields and maximize the popular, legal and diplomatic engagement to raise the cost of the occupation and ensure the restoration of the status of the Palestinian cause and protect rights Palestinian.