The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine unequivocally rejects the so-called “French Initative” being sponsored at the United Nations by the Jordanian regime as a dangerous threat to Palestinian refugees’ right of return that undermines Palestinian rights in the United Nations under the guise of support for a “Palestinian state,” said a spokesperson for the Front.
The draft resolution before the UN Security Council provides no enforcement mechanisms nor penalties upon the occupying power for its continued flagrant violation of international law, occupation, imposition of apartheid and denial of Palestinian refugees’ fundamental rights for the past 66 years. On the contrary, unlike the resolutions which the Security Council has so eagerly passed against Iraq, Syria, Sudan and other countries, it contains no requirements, mandates or penalties whatsoever but rather presents a false view of the “conflict” as one between equal parties with legitimate rights and interests.
In no way does this resolution mandate the creation of a Palestinian state within 12 months; it simply “affirms the urgent need” to “attain no later than 12 months…a just lasting comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967 and fulfills the vision of two independent, democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized borders.”
In the context of the United Nations, this merely reiterates existing UN policy demanding an end to the Israeli occupation in violation of UN resolutions and international law. “Affirming an urgent need” creates no requirement or mandate to implement this desire, nor does it provide any penalties to the Israeli state for refusing to end its occupation.
The most damaging and dangerous part of the resolution, however, comes in its definition of the “negotiated solution,” where it recognizes the principles of “mutually agreed, limited and equivalent land swaps;” Palestinian land is entirely occupied. It is not to be bartered with the occupier to legitimize its settlements on our land or allow it to transfer Palestinians of 1948 occupied Palestine to the so-called Palestinian state.
Second, and most importantly, the draft resolution seeks to replace the cornerstone of UN resolutions on Palestinian refugees’ inalienable right to return, denied them for over 66 years, Resolution 194, with “a just and agreed solution to the Palestine refugee question on the basis of Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 194 (III).” The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has always rejected the so-called Arab Peace Initiative and all similar initiatives, as they seek to replace the individual, national and collective right of return of the Palestinian refugees with a “negotiated solution” that puts that right on the negotiating table to be sold or bargained away.
The inclusion of this clause within the UN draft resolution renders it a threat to Palestinian rights under the guise of support for “Palestinian statehood,” and a damaging attack and attempt to liquidate the undeniable right of Palestinian refugees to return to their original homes and lands, the cornerstone of the Palestinian cause and the key to the liberation and self-determination of our people. Palestinian refugees are in fact the majority of the Palestinian people – and their rights and those of all other Palestinians are only endangered by this resolution.
The resolution does not recognize Jerusalem as occupied, but only notes it to be “the shared capital of two States.” It provides the longest paragraph in this section for “security arrangements,” labeling the occupation army “security forces,” and viewing the occupation and colonization of Palestine as a security issue rather than one of anti-colonial struggle against a colonizing occupier.
Furthermore, the resolution lags far behind existing UN resolutions: it does not demand an end to the construction of colonial settlements but merely “calls upon…parties to abstain from..settlement activities.” Nowhere does the draft resolution mandate the dismantlement of settlements; rather it promotes “land swaps” and leaves the issue of settlers entirely aside.
The resolution seeks as well to demand Arab normalization with Israel and states that the above “final status agreement” will put an “end to all claims” and lead to “immediate mutual recognition.” Above all, it situates the Palestinian struggle within a framework of negotiations, which have done nothing more over more than 20 years than to provide cover for the crimes of the occupation and the dismantlement of Palestinian rights.
The Zionist state is built on the dispossession of Palestinian land and the displacement of Palestinian people. It is an apartheid, racist, settler colonial state. It divides the Arab people for the interests of imperialism and it is a project that has no place in our region. We do not recognize a colonial racist state; its racist structure must be dismantled. In no way is the achievement of the Palestinian state on one part of Palestine an “end of all claims.” The Palestinian people do not concede their full right of return; the right of our Palestinian people inside 1948 to live free, self-determined lives free of racism and discrimination; and the right to liberate the entire land of Palestine.
The Palestinian struggle is one for liberation of our people and our land from a brutal, genocidal colonial regime. It is for the return of Palestinian refugees, it is for the exercise of the sovereignty and self-determination of the Palestinian people on all of their land. It is not a conflict between equal parties, it is a struggle between the colonized and the colonizer, between the oppressed and the oppressor. It is the fight to establish a democratic Palestine for all on the entire land of Palestine, liberated from occupation, racism and oppression.
The “two state solution” has not been a mechanism to gradually achieve Palestinian rights, nor even any real Palestinian sovereignty; rather, the “state-building initiatives” referred to positively in the draft resolution have supported capitalist investment and exploitation at the expense of the Palestinian popular classes, who have not benefitted from such funding. There is no liberation for any part of Palestine or its people envisioned by this resolution: only the continuation of the endless series of negotiations chipping away at Palestinian rights while the occupier continues to attack and destroy.
Centrally, this draft resolution is an effort to undermine the right of return and enshrine the bankrupt negotiations process in a resolution of the UN Security Council, replacing the right of return with “negotiated solutions,” and UN resolutions affirming Palestinian rights with those affirming the path of negotiations.
The PFLP spokesperson called upon Palestinian and Arab communities in France and French supporters and friends of Palestine to reject the role of the French imperialist state in attempting to redefine and undermine the Palestinian cause. The French state has no legitimacy on the issue of Palestine and has provided no support for Palestinian rights. Rather, it has attempted to legitimize the constant Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people while imprisoning strugglers for Palestine such as Georges Ibrahim Abdallah and suppressing demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine in Paris.
This draft resolution is widely rejected by Palestinian political forces who have repeatedly pointed out the threats and dangers within it. It is supported only by a few Palestinian capitalists who seek to profit and Palestinian Authority officials. Once again, the Palestinian political decision has been hijacked by Abbas and his cronies to the detriment of the Palestinian people.
The fact that the Israelis reject this draft resolution and the United States has expressed its “lack of support” means only that Zionism and imperialism in the region are not willing to concede even a few crumbs to the Palestinian people. Much like Netanyahu’s rejection of the Oslo process, the flagrant racism and genocidal discourse of the Israeli state does not make the draft resolution a step forward for Palestinian rights and liberation.
“We unequivocally reject this attack on Palestinian rights under the guise of ‘Palestinian statehood’ and urge its rejection by all responsible Palestinian parties as unrepresentative and dangerous to the rights and the cause of the Palestinian people for which so many martyrs, wounded and prisoners have given their lives,” said the PFLP spokesperson.