Where Do We Start: What Did Oslo Interrupt?

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I wonder, is it in our hand to say "stop the Intifada?" Which idiot in this world lays down their arms in order to negotiate? Who, but those who want to serve their enemies? Hence the arms of the Intifada are the strongest weapons we bear beside the armed struggle.

Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyyad)

Contents

The "Palestinian-israel conflict" is canned and manufactured for ready and fast consumption in a fast pace world by the imperialist West, which designates woke terms that veil its colonial and exploitative agenda. The imperialist West presents a so-called mainstream path that a notable proportion of wavering, assimiliating Palestinians and their allies are taking in the West that contradicts with the people actively resisting in Palestine and the surrounding camps. In the so called "US," participation in organized advocacy for the liberation of Palestine is confined to a virtual world where a lot of false information, predatory kind gestures, and fake news are being shared through fancy posts in language that does not reflect the aspirations of Palestinians on the ground or in the camps. Rather, this virtual playground reflects an intense class struggle between the careerists and those who stand to benefit from coopting and transforming the struggle of Palestinians for digital consumption, likes, and followers. Palestine's influencers are not on social media--they are on the ground and they resist until martyrdom. We follow them.

To set things straight again, Palestinians must go back to the document that announced them to the world as a unified people and movement. The Palestinian National Charter was first drafted in 1964, and the final draft was adopted in 1968 after the Arab defeat in 1967.

This defeat shocked the Arab World in general and had a severe impact on Palestinians' trust in anything but themselves. Despite this was a firm sense of unity and the beginning of a true Palestinian movement for liberation through all means necessary to achieve this goal. Support from allies was constructed with carefully worded principles to defeat the Zionist invaders of the region. However, the 1970s through the 1980s was a time of turbulence in the Arab World, and it was highlighted by Egypt's war in October 1973 to regain control of Sinai, known as the October 6th war, to only sign the "peace" treaty of concession and shame with the Zionist occupation known as the Camp David Accords in September 1978. What was the compass of everyone's liberation was discarded. More Arab states followed suit even if it wasn't announced in public: the corrupt Jordan monarchy started to warm up to the occupation to pursue their own class interest and eventually signed the Wadi Araba peace treaty with the occupation in 1994.

This created pressure on the leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to change their methods and swerve away from the National Charter and its main principles (also known as the Thawabet). In turn, many uncounted problems and setbacks to the liberation movement arose, due to the lack of vision of those who monopolized the PLO and corrupted it with their greed and their immense incompetence.

The Palestinian National Charter went through many stages before the final version was introduced in 1968 to reaffirm the decisions and the Arab Palestinian principles of the first Palestine Arab Congress in 1919 in Jerusalem, which was followed by sessions in 1922, 1936, 1946 and in May 1964 the Palestinian National Covenant was adopted which served as a first draft of the Palestinian National Charter. The only amendments to the Palestinian National Charter were done in 1998 after the Palestinian Authority gave in to defeatism and amended or removed the articles that "stipulated the elimination of the Zionist state!"

This Charter represents the core of a national Palestinian state and constitution which was adopted in the early days of the PLO. The PLO was founded in 1964 after it was initiated during the first Arab summit in 1964 in Cairo and later that year the Palestinian National Council assembled and ratified the proposal of the Arab League. It was declared that the main goals of the PLO are Liberating Palestine and achieving Arab Unity. Work must start to build a homeland with a vision and a commitment that the Palestinian people can lean on and discuss with full faith that everyone is committed. A good lesson should be learned from the Free Officers who took control of Egypt after the revolution in 1952, which resulted in their state building skills being questioned since they opted to free Egypt and plan as things go, simply because the revolution was a target and not a mean to rise. Palestinians must have an image of what a free Palestine should look like.

The Corruptors of Language and Struggle

Some of these issues of corruption and self interest open the door for those with malicious intent to normalize and disband from these points of unity, in particular, the thawabet that mention the right of return and upholding the Palestinian identity. An example of a malicious term that is normalized and circulating by these insidious actors is "israeli Arabs."

“israeli Arabs” is a term that coincides the most with conceding to defeat. This term did not become prominent until the Oslo Accords, which birthed the Palestinian Authority of normalization which began its legacy of not only abandoning the Palestinian National Charter of 1968, but abandoning the liberation movement and its unified front altogether. The results of this can be seen today with the disastrous comprador authority that has burdened the Palestinian People with its false "autonomy," but really it functions as a dog, a hound for the occupation to hunt the Palestinian resistance.

To mention "israel" is to normalize it. And from a religious or historical contradiction the word "israel" is understood is another name for the Biblical figure Jacob (Ya'qub in Arabic). Narratives state that the Israelites, or the 12 tribes, are said to descend from Jacob. When the word Arabs is added next to the word "israel," it denotes that the Arabs belong to "israel." Because zionism manipulates the Jewish faith and its holy books to instill its supremacist movement, this term points to a sick and derogatory erasure of autonomous Palestinian identity and replaces it with servitude to the zionists.

Returning to the path of Liberation

One of the main steps to stay on a path that will lead to the liberation of the total 27027 km2 of Palestine is to return to the National Charter before its illegal “amendment” by the post-Oslo Palestinian Authority of normalization, that was corrupted under the leadership of Yasser Arafat.

"We would like to put to rest these concerns. The Palestine National Council's resolution, in accordance with Article 33 of the Covenant, is a comprehensive amendment of the Covenant. All of the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the P.L.O. commitment to recognize and live in peace side by side with Israel are no longer in effect. As a result, Articles 6-10,15, 19-23, and 30 have been nullified, and the parts in Articles 1-5, 11-14, 16-l8, 25-27 and 29 that are in consistent with the above mentioned commitments have also been nullified." - Yasser Arafat, Jan 13 1998

In a letter addressed to the US president back then, Bill Clinton, Arafat referenced an illegal amendment to the thawabet that marginalized more than half of the Palestinian people, including the writer and nearly all of their acquaintances.

Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority of normalization uprooted their own people with this assertion and their ongoing corruption, their own people who had already been uprooted by zionism and imperialism. We ended up mostly in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and in lesser concentrations around the world. Although there's no precise statistics, it is widely believed that more than half of Jordan's population is of Palestinian origin. While they constantly reaffirm their refusal to accept a so called "alternative homeland" in Jordan, a significant amount of Palestinians in Jordan have been integrated in (or arguably, founded) the society of West Amman. Their resulting identity is impaired by to serve the consumerist culture that has manifested there, distracting from the Palestinian identity that the thawabet uphold and safeguard.

The situation contrasts starkly to the refugee camps scattered around the "Kingdom," where finding a day's meal and dignified work is what keeps people awake at night. The stark contrast between a "higher" class that throws scraps to a "lower" class furthers the arising contradictions to a unified Palestinian identity upheld by the thawabet. As for the Palestinians who were forced to migrate north, towards Syria and Lebanon, they have been subjected to some of the worst practices of discrimination, like being banned from working and being vulnerable to exploitation, to not being able to work in the field in which they were educated, like engineering and medicine, and they are barred from owning property. All of this oppression is in the name of preserving the Palestinian identity and preventing the assimilation that is seen in West Amman.

It is vital when the original charter was written, prior to any amendments, is that there are still some articles that can be revisited and strengthened, not in the sense of its content but in its phraseology that is too broad for today's context and can have disastrous implications when left to the interpretation of malicious and insidious careerists and the enemies themselves. At its conception, the thawabet were written as a reference for the Liberation movement and a reminder of what the the liberation is fighting for. It is practically impossible for someone to write a timeless document, as contexts and change constantly. However, it is a duty to ensure that any written resource does not impose any form of oppression- whether intentional or not- when that charter belongs to the people it intends to protect.

When comparing todays Palestinian National Covenant to the Charter of 1964, the same pattern of language still exists. This may be why the Palestinian Authority of normalization was able to distort it and use it as a tool to oppress the everyday Palestinian.

Some examples of vulnerable language in the Charter of 1968 that will be discussed in this article include:

  • Articles 4 and 5: The definition of parents and the naming of mothers
  • Article 16: Gender
  • Article 6: The beginning of occupation
  • Article 6: Can the Invaders Stay?

Article 4:

The Palestinian identity is a genuine, essential, and inherent characteristic; it is transmitted from parents to children. The Zionist occupation and the dispersal of the Palestinian Arab people, through the disasters which befell them, do not make them lose their Palestinian identity and their membership in the Palestinian community, nor do they negate them.

Article 5:

The Palestinians are those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or have stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father - whether inside Palestine or outside it - is also a Palestinian.

In the original Arabic version, the word parents is recorded as “Fathers” yet it is also used to denote both parents. This may have been influenced by the surrounding Arab legal norms that usually have laws that only acknowledge the role of the father in the family. This oversight can easily be resolved by simply adding the word mother in Article 5. This is important since many Palestinian mothers are not within Palestine, but as exiles and refugees, yearn to be in homeland to bring their children with them, regardless of the nationality of the father.

It must be asserted that the children of Palestinian mothers inherit the Palestinian identity, and as our diaspora has grown to millions around the world, the next generation must be reflected in the language of our unity. It must not be forgotten that Palestinian women are the ones who suffered the most during the atrocities committed in 1948, Nakba. Can the people ever forget the systematic rape and bayoneting of pregnant Palestinian women in Deir Yassin and other massacres in 1947-48? These women are Dalal who shook the grounds of the Zionist entity, they are Leila the most fierce and steadfast freedom fighter, they are Fadwa who insisted on her education, they are the Daisy Flower Organization, and they are the ones who will carry the rifles after they carry the coffins.

Article 16: Gender

Article 16:

The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual point of view, will provide the Holy Land with an atmosphere of safety and tranquility, which in turn will safeguard the country's religious sanctuaries and guarantee freedom of worship and of visit to all, without discrimination of race, color, language, or religion. Accordingly, the people of Palestine look to all spiritual forces in the world for support.

To avoid further confusion regarding the identity and its continuance in the future, Article 16 must also be revisited. This article deals with the rights of the Palestinian people as well to the importance of the land to all religions. It guarantees freedom of worship and of visit to all, without discrimination of race, color, language, or religion. It is recommended that the word gender also be included to make the above amendments clear.

Anyone born of a Palestinian father and/or mother - whether inside Palestine or outside it - is a Palestinian.

Article 6: Can the Invaders Stay?

Article 6:

The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.

Article 6 states that the Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians. It is crucial to go back and study what is a definite date for the beginning of the zionist invasion. Some might propose that it was at the fall of the Ottomans with the British crossing the Allenby bridge, when the League of Nations mandated for British occupation of Palestine in 1920. A different view might propose that a more proper date is the first "Aliyah," the immigration of European Jews to historical Palestine that started in 1881.

Historically, the idea of creating a zionist entity on the land of Palestine started with Napoleon, who opted to find an answer to his "Jewish question." What is certain is that the zionist invasion did not happen suddenly, but it occurred through waves with important milestones along the way:

  • The rise of Theodor Herzl's colonial aspirations through his book The Jewish State in 1896.
  • The first Zionist Congress in 1897
  • The creation of Rotschild settlements or "kibbutzm" in the late 1800s
  • The Belfour Declaration in 1917 before the partition plan
  • The invasion in 1947 which in turn led to the Nakba happening in 1948.

Reaching consensus on an official date needs to be done with utmost competence and delicacy. It can have serious implications on future generations, namely property disputes between the indigenous Palestinians, the invading Zionists, and any normalizing key players who built a legacy from transacting with the enemy.

Zionists have perpetuated a lie from the core of Western imperialism that Palestine is their birthright. Having a firm grasp of their historical colonial invasion into Palestine is absolutely necessary as some settlers have developed an attitude of being original settlers.

A clear historical timeline of their invasion will also immediately disarm the propaganda that Palestine's colonization is simply "Apartheid," a term that liberal zionists perpetuate through their NGO framework and J Street. The word offers the alternative that the zionist left is aiming for: One state for two peoples that maintains class divisions, one Knesset for two peoples where white supremacy reigns, and one Prime minister for two peoples that will always protect the zionist character of the colony. The word "Apartheid" is thrown around in total disregard to the displaced Palestinians and the right of return to the land where liberal zionist settlers reside on the land of our elders. The word "Apartheid" intentionally excludes Palestinian refugees from participating in the decision making process in the land of their ancestors. This is a violation of Palestinian self autonomy and the right of return as outlined in the thawabet!

Some Palestinian activists also have normalized this term even when their compass needle still points towards the correct path, but unfortunately they use language that we did not author as a movement. This language was introduced by foreigners with an agenda. The thawabet are our language and reference point for the movement, and this deviation shows a deficit among diasporic Palestinians in understanding or even knowing that the thawabet exist.

Article 33: Protecting What we Have

Article 33:

This Charter shall not be amended save by [vote of] a majority of two-thirds of the total membership of the National Congress of the Palestine Liberation Organization [taken] at a special session convened for that purpose.

Article 33, the last article, explains how the amending process to the Charter should occur. It obliges a two thirds majority of the Palestinian National Council should be present to pass these amendments. The dilemma lays in how a national charter for a liberation movement could be amended while being under occupation. The National Council today has been entirely hijacked by the Palestinian Authority of normalization and is boycotted by all of the resistance groups and political parties who reject such corruption.

There is a necessity to add the phrase “under the Parliament in Al Quds (Jerusalem)” at the end of article 33 for two reasons: The first is to stress on the importance and the significance of Al Quds, the eternal undivided capital of Palestine, since there was no mention of the capital what-so-ever and nothing that prohibits conceding any part of it. A reason for that omission may be because this was widely understood and never acceptable that anyone could give up a grain of sand in Al Quds to the founding authors and leaders like Hajj Amin Husseini, Ahmad Abdelbaqi, Abdelkader Husseini, Abd al-Rahim al-Hajj Muhammad and Ahmad Shuqairi.

Yet this addition is necessary today because of the Palestinian Authority of normalization's role in normalizing the term "East Jerusalem," which is only widely used in English normalizing, traitorous dialogue and policies. Meddling with the Palestinian National Charter after the Oslo Accords empowered such propaganda and resulted in the presence of a serptine enemy obsessed with lessening our firm positions.

Thawabet and a Class Conscious Struggle

Shutting the door on the manipulation of language means giving us Palestinians control over our decisions and over how we choose to resist the occupation. The self autonomy that the Thawabet champion is inherent in this principle. It also means that we will not allow anyone to dictate how we look at their own cause or how we handle it.

There is a common trend happening among the international solidarity activists, especially those who practice their white privilege and visit Palestine, and leverage their access to harm and supersede Palestinian organizers and voices. They see our cause as a career and have monetized it or built our struggle into their personality.

Upon return to the imperialist core, they feel a sense of superiority towards other Palestinians who have no access to the land, and discard them from any "educated" discussion that they might hold.

One could also argue that classism is at the core of this behavior. In extension, one must also examine the lack of class unity between Bourgeoise Palestinians or the compradors of the PLO, who police the resistance to secure their class interest.

The Two-State sale presented in Oslo, which was the departure point from the Thawabet marked by the Palestinian Authority of normalization, is a common interest for the bourgeoisie, and they are the main receiver of what is called foreign aid which is nothing but bribes to uphold oppression on other Palestinian classes that strive to be liberated from the shackles of occupation. Their interests meet with the interests of the International Monetary Fund and other NGOs, that call for the practicality of development under imperialism.

At the same time, the occupation itself is a contributor to this class division. The zionists have a source of cheap Palestinian labor, like construction workers, because of the economic siege it maintains. It pushes zionist goods into Palestinian markets, and in return the occupation provides facilities, clearances, and privileges to the bourgeoisie class that benefits on the back of the proletariat. Is it no surprise that is the proletariate, the refugee camps, the falaheen, and the laborers who who often wage revolutionary resistance against the zionist enemy?

Conclusion

All the points mentioned in this article are not points of disagreement, but points of discussion and wonder. The ideas presented in this article are to point out where any future vulnerabilities may appear and to try and prevent them as soon as possible--because the day of liberation may be nearer than we think!

We must plan ahead and imagine our liberation and what a strong independent Palestinian nation looks like, that's able to rise despite the vultures that may roam around a dead zionist dream.

As we witness this historical moment in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine (or better yet, let us call it East Palestine to reject the term "West Bank" that comes from imperialism) we monitor the Palestinian condition of ongoing resistance that has never stopped, not even for a day, since the 1920s. Today we see a whole generation who grew up surrounded by a colonial wall, holding the banners of liberation that their honorable parents held in the past before they were let down by the traitorous and planted  Palestinian Authority "leadership." Today, what we used to call the children of the stones grew up to be the men and women of rifles.

This new generation that mastered today's art of resistance, and unified in the spirit of the thawabet fulfill a lineage of generations of resistance fighters and a people determined to achieve liberation from the river to the sea.​​​​​​​

The Unity of the Fields and the unification of the resistance is a testament that despite documents, the values and spirit of the revolution live in us to see the end of imperialism and capitalism that birthed the zionist movement. While the resistance rages forward, the rights we have upon our liberation will be written in blood for Palestinians by Palestinians.

فليسقط غصن الزيتون ولتحيا البندقية