Towards a boycott of colonialist and Oslo elections
Towards a boycott of the elections of the Oslo Palestinian Authority and the Zionist colonizer
The Preparatory Committee of the “Alternative Palestinian Path” Conference calls on the masses of our people in occupied Palestine to reject and boycott the so-called “presidential and legislative elections” called for by the Oslo (Palestinian) Authority for its subservient self-rule entity, and we also call upon our people in occupied Palestine since 1948 to boycott the elections for the colonial parliament of the enemy, “the Knesset.” So-called democracy under the bayonets of colonialism, as in the case of the Palestinian Authority, is nothing more than a falsehood aiming to give a fake legitimacy to the disastrous Oslo path. And what some call “the parliamentary struggle through participation in the Knesset” is nothing more than a legitimization of the settler colonial system and its systematic structural displacement, oppression and racism.
An authority that oppresses its people in collaboration with the colonizer, and the political class that is complicit with it, cannot today claim that it is eager for democracy. The forces that created and effectively cemented Palestinian division in order to achieve their self-interests or implement the demands of regional projects and ties, must know that the Palestinian people are not flocks of sheep to be driven to ballot boxes designed to re-elect programs and leaders that are thoroughly drenched in defeat and humiliation.
It is absurd to consider that these planned elections will make any significant national impact for the Palestinian people, especially since the organizers and the beneficiaries of them are the same parties that have been unable to achieve reconciliation and agree on a minimal program for 13 years. Our people, wherever the are, realize that this leadership has produced fragmentation atop the displacement, exile and fragmentation imposed by colonialism. Holding elections under the guns of the colonizers will only result in yet more fragmentation, submission and deviation from the path of liberation. It is not enough to claim the existence of a “state” even if it is an mere apparition, just as much as it is not sufficient to work for the world to recognize the existence of a Palestinian state in order to push the energies and commitments of our Palestinian people into a project that has nothing to do with a strategic approach to accomplishing their historic project of return and liberation. Being dragged behind the corrupt political class aligned with the economic mediators of colonialism and its security agents is no longer acceptable, neither in a national or a strategic sense, nor can it be reformed in a direct or real sense. The purpose of these planned Oslo elections is clear:
It is no secret that attempts to portray the elections by this political class as some type of gateway to national unity is nothing more than a deception intended to involve our people once again in the process of quotas, renewing allegiances and pledges to a leadership of defeat and surrender. It is no secret to our vigilant and aware people that this alleged consensus is nothing but an agreement to present credentials to the new American president, Joe Biden, in order to return to the futile path of Oslo under the eyes of all forces and factions. And these leadership figures must know that national unity cannot be achieved by excluding more than half of our people in exile, nor by exclusivity in national decision-making, nor by dividing up the small gains and privileges of Oslo granted to the defeated. National unity comes in the field of work, struggle and confrontation with the colonizer.
Elections that take place under the guns of colonialism and within the framework of Oslo and the devastation and defeat it has wrought will inevitably produce leaderships and programs with the consent of the colonizers and the imperialist Western powers, and the Palestinian experience bears witness to that. Even if we leave aside all of the administrative and financial corruption or overlook the lack of transparency, integrity and impartiality, elections which are governed entirely by Oslo and the demands of regional and international ruling-class alliances, which are fundamentally in contradiction with the people’s liberation movement, will certainly never produce a program of liberation or restore a national path of dignity that upholds the values of liberation and willingness to sacrifice for the people.
On the other hand, participation in the Zionist entity’s parliament elections is being marketed as a parliamentary struggle to defend our people and their rights. From 1949 until today, this participation has been justified, whether it takes place through Zionist parties or Arab parties and lists, at times by claiming to protect the interests and rights of our people, at other times by preventing the victory of the extreme right and its control, and the repeated talk of “sparing our people new calamities” and other nonsense. The parties changed, the deputies changed, the justifications for participation varied, and the Zionist entity remained the same: it remained a racist exclusionary colonialist entity that continued to control the largest area of Palestinian land and the fewest number of Palestinians. Participation, even if it was aimed at opposition, is nothing but a contribution to the perpetuation of the colonial system, and at minimum contributes to the legitimization of the crimes of the Zionist colonial entity.
From a fundamental and strategic point of view, participation in the Zionist parliamentary elections is not only a legitimization of colonialism and an endorsement of its false claims to democracy and respect for human rights, but also poses a threat to the national and international movement calling for resistance to Zionist colonialism and racism. The entity’s alleged “democracy” is based not only on the pluralism of the colonialist parties, but also upon its false and prideful claims to “respecting minorities” and granting them the full right to political participation. We do not exaggerate when we note that boasting of the participation of “Arabs in the Knesset” constitutes a key focus of Zionist propaganda campaigns that aim to conceal the true face of Israel from the world and to market its crimes as “self-defense” against Palestinian “terrorism and anti-Semitism.” This has contributed to the legitimization of racist laws, foremost of which is the “Jewish State Law,” approved by the Knesset in the presence of Arab representatives. Accepting that we are a “minority” in Palestine or merely marketing ideas such as the “Israeli right” and the “Israeli left” constitutes a misleading and deceptive approach to the reality fo the Zionist colonial entity. Participation means recognizing the legitimacy of an entity that is fundamentally based on the colonialists’ claim to self-determination over the entire lnd of Palestine, not to mention its historic, ongoing and escalating crimes and violations against the Palestinian people.
In terms of those who claim a pragmatic approach that aims to achieve civil rights or equality through such illusions: Participation in the colonialist parliament did not prevent the issuance of a single racist law targeting our people, their land, their property and their rights. Their participation did not lead to the expansion of an urban plan for a single Arab town, nor did it prevent the demolition of a single house. The time has come for an end to the scene of Palestinian representatives giving theatrical and enthusiastic speeches, as if rights can be obtained through such performances. Undoubtedly, we understand the particular situation of the Palestinians in ’48, as their circumstances force them, for example, to study in Israeli universities with the colonizers, but these unique circumstances does not provide for participation in the parliament of the colonizer and the enemy. The time has come for frankness and clear recognition of the bankruptcy of all of the calls for “co-existence and equality with the colonizer,” or attempts to terrorize our people into supporting such participation by raising the threats of withdrawal of nationality or further displacement, or the invocation “different criteria” for Palestinians in 1948, as if this means becoming a part of the colonial system.
The liberation struggle cannot be waged by legitimizing Oslo nor by legitimizing the colonizer, but rather by organizing ourselves, engaging with the masses and by adopting effective forms of revolutionary struggle to achieve liberation and return and build a democratic, liberated Palestine on the entire land of Palestine. We call on the factions of the Palestinian resistance not to reproduce the cycle of failure once again and to end the process of chasing after illusions, mirages and absurd false promises. The exit from the Palestinian internal crisis cannot be found through so-called successive elections, as if revolutionary legitimacy is measured by what Europe, America, Qatar, Turkey and Arab reactionary regimes want. The priority now is to develop a national strategy to restore the cause and dignity of our people, their right to return, their self-determination and national liberation.
The Preparatory Committee for the Alternative Palestinian Path Conference
January 13, 2021