[News] Palestine de-Osloized

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 10 12:27:34 EST 2015

  Palestine de-Osloized

Haidar Eid <https://electronicintifada.net/people/haidar-eid>
9 November 2015

What is happening in Palestine? Is it a new intifada? If so, what are 
its slogans?

Many compare the current situation in Palestine with apartheid South 
Africa <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/south-africa>. The tribal 
chiefs of the South African bantustans 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/bantustan> — the nominally 
independent Black-ruled “homelands” created by the racist government — 
used to believe that they were heads of sovereign states. The apartheid 
regime promoted the fiction of Black independence under its overall 
control in an attempt to legitimize and perpetuate white rule.

While the anti-apartheid movement and most of the world rejected the 
idea of separation based on racial identity in South Africa, the 
Palestinian leadership boasts of having laid the foundation for its own 
bantustan, claiming it to be the “State of Palestine 

For Zionism <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/zionism> to survive in 
Palestine, the “other” — the indigenous Palestinian people — must be 
assimilated and subjugated without being conscious of that subjugation. 
This was the thinking behind Israel’s decision to grant Palestinians 
“autonomy” under the Palestinian Authority. It is the logic behind the 
1993 Oslo accords <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/oslo-accords> 
between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/plo> that created that authority.

Oslo aimed to bring about the Palestinians’ surrender and create among 
them a passive consciousness, but its architects did not foresee that 
Israel created its antithesis — defiance and reaction — as a result of 
decades of ethnic cleansing, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

They did not account for the legacy of civil and political resistance 
that has become a trademark of the Palestinian struggle. The formation 
of the Boycott National Committee 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/bnc> in 2007, two years after the 
boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) call 
<http://www.bdsmovement.net/call> made by more than 170 Palestinian 
civil society organizations and around which there is an overwhelming 
consensus, the resistance to Israel’s war machine in 2009, 2012 and 2014 
in Gaza, and the current uprising, all represent what I call a process 
of de-Osloization.

    Statehood illusion

Oslo held out the promise — illusory though it always was — that 
one-third of the Palestinian people, those living in the Gaza Strip and 
the West Bank, would realize their “national dream” of statehood on no 
more than 22 percent of historic Palestine.

But the impossibility of realizing even that — as Israel has entrenched 
its occupation and relentlessly expanded its colonization in the West 
Bank, and placed Gaza under permanent siege — ended up, ironically, 
reviving the embarrassing question of the rights of the remaining 
two-thirds: the millions of dispossessed refugees inside and outside 
historic Palestine and the 1.5 million third-class Palestinian citizens 
of Israel <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/palestinians-israel>.

The Oslo accords paid lip service to the millions of Palestinian 
refugees scattered all over the world as a result of the Nakba 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/nakba>, the 1948 ethnic cleansing 
of Palestine by Zionist militias.

But the Palestinian elites who signed Oslo more or less explicitly 
reassured Israel 
that they were ready to sacrifice the rights of those refugees in return 
for a state. The Palestinians in Israel were not mentioned at all.

Oslo was designed — at best — to improve the conditions of oppression 
(while making some Palestinians partners in the occupation) and thus 
make Israel’s Palestinian “problem” disappear. In the end, it did not 
even do that — save for a small Palestinian elite that profited from 
economic deals with Israel.

    Oslo generation

Most events that have taken place in Gaza since the 2006 Palestinian 
Legislative Council elections — won by Hamas, which had opposed the 1993 
accords — have represented a complete rejection of Oslo and its 

And noting that some 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees 
from other parts of Palestine, the results of the 2006 elections in the 
Gaza Strip and the West Bank become more comprehensible as anti-colonial 
and anti-Oslo acts.

But this is deliberately hidden by the Oslo signatories and their 
complicit sponsors.

Palestinians’ resistance depends, like that of Black South Africans 
under the inhumane apartheid regime, and African-Americans under Jim 
Crow laws, on the higher moral ground that they occupy as a result of 
being dispossessed of their rights and land.

Palestinian victory will be the inevitable result of their /sumoud/ — 
steadfastness on their land — that has not wavered, despite the feeling 
that they are left to fight Israel on their own.

What has helped keep the Oslo regime alive for so long is the ever 
fainter promise that redemption — in the form of “statehood” and 
“self-determination” — lay at the end of it. But the Oslo generation 
Palestinians born after or around the time the accords were signed, do 
not buy it. They are fed up and their message is clear: the problem is 
not only with the occupation, but also with settler colonialism, 
apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Israel’s genocidal policies 

The current uprising — whether one calls it an intifada or not — may be 
the crucible where a new leadership is forged, one that can understand 
the unity of the cause of all Palestinians, whether inside or outside 
historic Palestine, whether refugees from today or from long, painful 
decades ago.

This is a generation that is telling us that they are opposed to all 
forms of collaboration with the occupier. This is a generation that has 
seen nothing from Oslo but defeat and humiliation, and they are throwing 
it off.

They are saying — and we should hear them — that coexistence based on 
colonization and apartheid is no coexistence at all. It is slavery and 
they will no longer accept it.

Palestine’s youth are saying: we want all our rights and will accept 
nothing less.

/Haidar Eid is an independent political commentator from the Gaza Strip, 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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