The Palestinian issue has had, and to this day, continues to hold a significant place in history and world politics. It is a conflict like no other in that there seems to be no end in sight. It differs from other conflicts of occupation not only by its lengthy history, but for the mere fact that the goal of the occupier (Israel) seems to be the elimination of the occupied (Palestinians) to a point of genocide.
The Palestinians have all the attributes of nationhood-a common history, language, traditions, culture, a representative government recognized universally by every segment of the Palestinian population as well as by other countries (not to mention their legal and historical right to the land). Yet they do not control Palestine. The United Nations has been very clear on the imperatives for Palestinian national self-determination as have other organizations and countries, yet still the Palestinians have been alienated. Today, more Palestinians than ever before are born in exile and face the prospect of continued exile. In the Occupied Territories, more Israeli theft of land, more home demolitions, more uprooting of crops, more illegal settlements, more Israeli violence and collective punishment have unsuccessfully attempted to break the Palestinian national will. As Zionist and Israeli leaders have openly stated, Palestinian national claims are neither admissible nor valid.
The inalienable rights of the Palestinians cannot be denied. The Palestinian people have spoken of their national destiny collectively in terms of accommodating the fundamental human rights of others. The Palestinian vision is predicated upon democracy and justice, not conquest. It is for this reason it has found so many supporters.
With the constant attempt at peace talks (albeit one sided and comedic),proof of world support for the Palestinians right to self-determination is evident. Haven’t the Palestinians done enough by conceding to all of Israel’s requests (including the right to exist) tragically “legitimizing” the atrocities they have suffered at the hands of the illegal occupation. One would assume that after the extraordinary move to unconditionally and unilaterally recognize Israel, they would have given something in return and been willing to negotiate. One can only appreciate the stand Hamas, the democratically elected representation for the Palestinians, has now taken to withdraw recognition of Israel until they abide by International laws and morals. Unfortunately, Israel must be reminded of the duty of reciprocity as they continue to insist on more and more concessions. Let the world be aware of who really wants peace.
The Israelis have always wanted to choose who they will negotiate with. When in history has a party of conflict been able to choose who it will negotiate with? Nobody checks on the members of sovereign states and similarly in the case of the Palestinians, they cannot accept the reaction of anyone to the designation of its own representatives. If the Palestinian leadership was to abdicate its responsibility it would negate its sovereignty within the Palestinian community. There is no alternative Palestinian government other than the one that was democratically elected. It is a simple question of legitimacy. Whatever true leadership is democratically elected and in position at the time of negotiation will be the only leadership to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians and their rights, hopes, memories and sufferings.
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