Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer and member of the Executive Committee of the Masar Badil, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, said on September 13, 2023, the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords, that “The Zionist enemy has preserved the essence of the Oslo accords since their signing in Washington on September 13, 1993, and protected it with its surveillance tools, money and weapons, and has succeeded in employing the PLO for the benefit of the Zionist project and strategy in the region.” He said, “We must acknowledge that the PLO, since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, has been working in the service of the Zionist entity and its interests, especially after a class alliance of the security and finance sectors took over the reins of decision-making within the PLO and the Authority, transforming the reality of the PLO into a distorted structure, so that the ‘legitimate representative’ became a small-time trader of the rights of the Palestinian people.”
“The PLO and the Palestinian Authority no longer have anything to do with their names. The truth is that it is closer to a mafia that makes suspicious deals, and some of its leaders work as guards for the Zionist colonial project,” he emphasized.
Barakat said further, “The Oslo accords have not yet fallen. The PLO leadership is lying when it says ‘Israel killed Oslo.’ As long as the security and economic alliance with the enemy continues, a specific sector continues to decide on behalf of all the Palestinian people while targeting the resistance in the West Bank, and works to protect the security of the colonies, constituting a bridge to normalization and a mediator between the Zionist entity and the Arab region, and deepening the state of internal disintegration, fragmentation and repression, this means that the Oslo puppet entity still exists and is continuing its specific functions for which it was created by the hostile imperialist and reactionary powers. They finance and train it to carry out this role, and after three decades, it has become even more corrupt and rotten.”
“The ‘two-state’ liquidationist illusion has fallen forever, and all the oxygen in the world will not bring it back to life,” he said. “Those who justified negotiations in the name of political realism while marketing illusions: their project has fallen, and some of them have begun to work as jailers in the Jericho slaughterhouse [term for the PA’s infamous Jericho prison, where political and resistance prisoners are often held.]”
Barakat emphasized that “there are still some circles in the United States, along with some European powers, who are trying to buy time and present new formulas and proposals to extend the life of the Palestinian Authority. They are working to reproduce the two-state liquidation ‘solution’ and wrap it in new paper, such as ‘establishing an acceptable Palestinian government with greater powers.’ It shall have some symbolic representation in the United Nations and international bodies. But these projects, at their core, are imposed by the Zionist enemy on the Oslo team working in its interests, which has become completely dependent on the will of the Zionist entity, with no choice but to obey and submit to the will of Tel Aviv and Washington, DC.”
“The Palestinian people did not struggle to establish such a ‘state’ or a ‘government,’ nor did they give their great sacrifices and many martyrs over the cost of a century, nor have they suffered wars of genocide and displacement, and a million Palestinian men and women jailed in Zionist prisons since 1948, for a self-rule ‘authority’. Instead, our people struggled, are still struggling, and will continue to struggle for their national rights, their right to return and liberation from Zionist colonialis. All talk outside the project of liberation and return is a waste of time and an attempt to mislead and divert the Palestinian people from their natural path forward to full liberation.”
Saudi Arabia: The big prize
On Saudi Arabia and normalization with the Zionist entity, Barakat said: “The positions of the leaders of the Zionist movement in the West are very clear, as are those of the leaders of the Zionist entity itself. They view normalization as a defeat for the Arabs without a fight, and they see Saudi Arabia as the great prize, a rich fruit ready to fall publicly into the embrace of Zionism. Especially after what took place within the framework of the so-called Abraham Accords and other pacts of surrender that establsihed the Camp David regime in Cairo, all of which essentially mean a public alliance between the forces of imperialism, Zionism and Arab reaction under the auspices of the United States.”
“In this sense, for the Zionist entity, Saudi Arabia represents the ‘big deal’, as Netanyahu described it in a recent press interview. Establishing friendly relations that gradually turn into an open alliance with the Saudi regime would be a net profit for the settler colonial project in Palestine and the region, and would strengthen it in the region, especially its ability to confront Iran and the Arab resistance camp, in addition to the economic, political, military and security gains reaped by the Zionist entity and the strategic depth that such an alliance provides to guarantee its existence and survival. It is a matter of life and death for the Zionist entity and its allies,” he said.
He noted, “It is self-evident that normalization with the Zionist enemy entity and its institutions serve only Israeli, U.S. and European interests, but what is not known is what the Saudi regime gains from normalization. Let Bin Salman ask himself and those who preceded him at Camp David, Oslo and Wadi Araba. They did not and will not reap anything but disappointment, failure and shame.”
“Look at the official Arab regimes, particularly the oil powers, and calculate the outcomes of their policies over the past decade, without even going further in history. They did everything to please imperialism and Zionism, spread a culture of distortion and obscurantism, sowed strife, division and sectarian wars, and participated in destroying Arab societies in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere. They continue the siege of Gaza, they targeted the resistance in Lebanon. They wasted about a trillion dollars since 1993, which would have been sufficient to fuel an economic and scientific renaissance for the Arabs, and they launched a war of aggression against the brotherly Yemeni people. Yes, these are the great achievements of their policies!” he affirmed.
Baraat recalled the position of the ‘President’ of the Palestinian Authority within the official Arab framework. “There is no clearer scene than when Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) stood in support of the U.S.-Saudi war on the Yemeni people in a miserable speech he delivered during the Arab Summit in Cairo in 2015 in exchange for a handful of dollars. He was expressing the role and function of the PLO today in the official Arab system. Does this treasonous and cowardly position represent the will of the brave Palestinian people? Does it reflect the nature of Palestinian-Yemeni relations? We see how our people look at Yemen, and how the Yemeni people go into the squares and streets, marching to answer the call of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the resistance.”
Egypt is a hostage of Zionism and Sisi is a fascist general
Barakat strongly denounced what he called “the fascist Camp David regime,” consideing it to be a brutal regime at home, surrendering sovereignty to external forces. “It has played the role of the godfather of normalization and defeat in the region since 1974 and the initiator of the series of official Arab defeats since the signing of the Camp David Treaty in 1978, selling Egypt to foreign interests and multinational corporations, and putting it in the pocket of the U.S., the Zionist entity, the capitalist clique and the oil and gas emirates.”
He described Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi as a “fascist failed general who usurped power, arrrested tens of thousands of innocent Egyptians, minimizes the great role and history of Egypt, and participates in besieging the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”
“Sisi lies to the Egyptian people,” he said. “He claims that he has read the books of the late great Egyptian thinker Gamal Hamdan and is following in the footsteps of Gamal Abdel-Nasser. But the truth is that he is defeated, with no connection at all to Abdel-Nasser’s positions and leadership. As for the late Gamal Hamdan, his theories about the role and position of Egypt all condemn the Camp David regime.”
Rehabilitating the Arab National Liberation Movement
Barakat warned against what he called “normalization regimes that violate the rights and dignity of their people, ally themselves with the Zionist entity, and position themselves as an adversary and enemy of the Palestinian people, after they have lost all national loyalty and are even gambling with their own fate and interests. When these regimes take steps such as normalization and alliance with the enemy, they eventually incite resistance. Over time they become vulnerable to crises at home an even become a legitimate target for resistance as well.”
“The central mission of the vanguards of the Arab peoples, and the armed popular resistance forces, is to rehabilitate the Arab national liberation movement, and to struggle again in order to cross into a new stage of struggle to extract complete Arab national independence and get rid of the remnants and hegemony of colonialism and imperialism, in all of its political, economic and cultural forms, and to confront the regimes of normalization and oppression,” he said.
“The Arab peoples have, until now, not exercised their natural right to self-determination. Almost the entire Arab nation has beome an occupied land. You can call it ‘Greater Palestine,’ and American military bases and the interests of major countries and multinational corporations are spread throughout it. Arab countries have been stripped of their sovereignty and dignity, even some of the areas where the weapons of the resistance are present,” he said.
“The Arab resistance camp has begun to regain the initiative, and its spearhead is in Lebanon and Palestine,” he said. “This popular camp is the only force capable of steadfastness and protecting the cause and the rights of the people. It accumulates military and political capabilities and enjoys popular support at Palestinian, Arab, Islamic and international levels, and it represents the true hope and potential of salvation for the nation and its people.”
“Palestinian reconciliation” is far inferior to national unity
As for Palestinian reconciliation and the restoration of national unity, Barakat said: “The resistance factions in Palestine still use the slogan of ‘reconciliation.’ The Zionist enemy, the Oslo authority and many regimes in the region unfortunately know this fact, and therefore this camp exploits what is called ‘reconciliation’ from time to time to pressure the resistance on the one hand, and on the other, to buy more time and give ongoing legitimacy to the illegitimate leadership of the PLO.”
“Palestinian reconciliation expresses a patriarchal concept that lags far behind the true meaning of national unity. Even the word itself, ‘reconciliation,’ is an expression of crisis, where each faction is expected to be content with what it has, whether participating in the Authority or in the resistance, whether small and marginal or with great popular weight. It has become easier to blame others and to evade responsibility. Therefore, it has become necessary for the resistance forces to take responsibility to leave this closed circle,” he said.
“The resistance forces must resolve their ambiguous relations with the Authority and the PLO. This is necessary in order to take a complete political step forward and to build political and organizational unity, in the manner of Jenin camp. This can only be achieved through dialogue and working together: that is, through open popular dialogue and the establishment of a unified national resistance and liberation front on national and revolutionary foundations,” he said.
He continued, “The Authority’s team has emptied the phrase and concept ‘national unity’ of its real popular and democratic content, meaning and effectiveness in confronting the enemy. Instead, it wants to impose a reactionary ‘tradiitonal’ formula of clan reconciliation on the Palestinian liberation movement.”
Barakat concluded by saying, “Our Palestinian people are aware, with all of their knowledge, senses, and long experience of struggle, of the extent of the dangers that threaten the cause and national rights. They are burned daily by their fire. Therefore, our people in diaspora and exile in particular must regain their central position and bear their responsibilities toward themselves and toward our people inside occupied Palestine as well. This means regaining their natural position in the movement for real change and national liberation, and this can be achieved with the free will of the people, charting their revolutionary path once again, as they have done through all of the prior difficult stages and periods.”