WHEN failures engulf the most rightful case in the world, it is a no brainer for them to end in failure. This applies to the Palestinian case in which the elites have been the source of the affliction of their people throughout the past century, starting with how they dealt with the Balfour Declaration through the Arab denial mentality and then aligning themselves with the losing side — the Ottoman Empire.
At the time, the Palestinian leaders opted to move against the major power and drag the British colonialist into the battlefield by attacking its soldiers and boycotting its administration, in addition to accusing anyone who talked to Britain of being a mercenary or traitor.
Throughout the 37 decisive years between Balfour Declaration and the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, the Palestinian leaders dealt with the mentality of the Arabic rhetoric, songs, chants and slogans as they refused to communicate with international decision-makers to transform the course of events.
This started with the military operations carried out by groups led by Hajj Al-Amin Al-Husseini against the British, instead of confronting the new settlers and preventing Arabs from selling their lands to the Jews.
Several uprisings which occurred between 1929 and 1936 gave the World War I victors — the British — all the justifications to intensify their support for the Jews. These altercations resulted in the issuance of an execution order against Al-Hussein who fled to the Kingdom of Iraq where he interfered in the latter’s affairs by inciting the uprising led by Rashid Ali al-Gaylani.
Throughout that time, the Palestinian elites did nothing to counter the Zionist scheme. Instead, they preoccupied themselves with confronting the British with the participation of Abdul-Qader Al-Husseini and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam under the leadership of Jihadist groups against the colonialists.
They left the Jews to build their strength and infrastructure. In fact, there were businessmen and wealthy Palestinians who were in charge of implementing the Jewish settlement schemes.
In the Second World War, the Palestinians chose the losing side again; as if they were reliving their recent past. Al-Amin Al-Husseini allied with Hitler. During his visit to Berlin in 1941, he made the Nazi salute in a clear provocation of the Allied Forces. He remained in Germany until the end of the war. This is where he used to conduct his political and military operations.
After the war, the failure lawyers joined the Palestinian leaders club, especially with the increasing appetite for coup against legal Arab regimes; raising the slogan of Liberation of Palestine which has been used as a bloody shirt (Othman’s cloth).
In Egypt, Jamal Abdulnasser allied with the Muslim Brotherhood to take advantage of the Palestinian exodus in 1948 (Nakba) in order to kick off a campaign accusing the king and government of betrayal and corruption. He prepared a suitable environment for his coup.
At that moment, a new Palestinian leadership headed by Ahmed Al-Shuqairi, who belonged to Arab Nationalist Movement of Marxist tendencies, seized the opportunity to raise the slogan, “Throwing the Jews into the sea,” that was later adopted by Abdulnasser who called for military struggle as the only option to liberate Palestine.
None of them paid attention to the United Nations resolution on dividing Palestine. The resolution served as the base for establishing a real Palestinian State and changing the course of events.
In the late 1950s, Fatah Movement emerged, followed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which was founded by Al-Shukairi. The PLO later became the most preferred tool in the Arab market of settlements, especially for the so-called revolutionary regimes.
The strategy of Al-Shukairi was just a ‘copy-paste’ of his ancestor Al-Husaini. Since then the issue has been managed according to the mentality of adopting slogans, instead of declaring the Palestinian State on both West Bank and Gaza. It would have been a real State, not like the unviable State of today.
The lust for power and mobilizing it under the headline of ‘liberation’ prompted a number of leaders to form militant movements. Yasser Arafat was among these leaders. He carried out a coup against Al-Shukairi, kicking off an era that was worse than the previous one. It reached the climax after the defeat in 1967, which resulted in Israel’s occupation of the rest of Palestine, Sinai and Golan Heights.
At the time, military groups started to extend their domination over Jordan instead of devoting themselves to accomplish the liberation. They looked at Jordan as an alternative homeland. Movements like Fatah and Popular Front, in addition to other movements founded from 1958 to 1968 worked hard in order to expand their control over Jordan.
The issue developed until the confrontation between military groups and Jordanians, especially after the hijacking of five planes and setting fire to these planes in the desert of Jordan.
The war in Jordan ended in sending the organizations to Lebanon where they converted the new terrain into a place for commandos’ activities, while one of the areas in the far South is popularly known as ‘Fatah Land’ where the factions set up their bases.
The refugee camps were also converted into a military center. Series of confrontations with the Lebanese Army took place between 1969 and 1973, while the ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’ realized its dream to control power when the Lebanese war broke out in 1975.
Throughout those years, Palestine was not in the agenda of the factions. Yasser Arafat, George Habsh, Nayef Hawatemah and other leaders rather considered gun-running as a lucrative business. They blackmailed Arab nations either by capitalizing on emotions like what happened in Kuwait when Kuwaitis empathized with Palestinians whom they saw as refugees whose land had been occupied. Kuwait supported them with money and the media until the time Iraq invaded Kuwait as the organization’s leadership unmasked their real faces by standing with Saddam Hussein and supporting him in committing the unforgivable heinous crime.
In the new vision of blood investment, he initiated the blood tourism globally. He perpetrated killings in Munich during the Olympic Games, held OPEC ministers hostage in Austria, carried out assassinations in France and Britain, in addition to bombings and assassinations in Kuwait.
Despite the dark history, Arab nations strived to search for a way out of the disastrous injustice against Palestinians. They strongly supported secret talks between Arafat and the Israelis in Norway with the hope of ending the plight of displaced and scattered Palestinians after the possible establishment of a State within the territory.
Unfortunately, the Oslo Treaty that was the real opportunity, like similar other peace moves, met strong opposition. This time, it was supported by Iran such that the Hamas Movement and Islamic Jihad Movement were the arrowheads of the war to frustrate the agreement in favor of Iranian interests. They initiated series of military onslaughts, which made Israel and its backer — the United States — stand firm on their positions.
Today, the world is working towards final reconciliation in the Middle East. It is rather unfortunate that Palestine will not have any representation there. They may not even attend the negotiation table, because they are historically the worst lawyers in their genuine case and they are always the ones causing losses.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times