The UN’s Peace Process Coordinator is misleading us on Palestine

23/11/17; Published in: Blog, Blogs – Politics, Israel, Middle East, Opinion, Palestine


United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov on 17 February 2015 [A Paranoid Optimist/Flickr] Ramona Wadi  @walzerscent

November 23, 2017 at 2:26 pm Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to RedditShare to EmailShare to More

If in the past there were attempts to disguise political collusion against Palestine, it is no longer the case. Whether the topic is reconciliation or the two-state compromise, Israel blatantly stands out as the prime concern for the UN. A reading of UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov’s comments, which were included in a UN press release regarding the recent reconciliation talks in Cairo, is testimony of such a dynamic.

Amid admissions that so far there has been no alleviation with regard to Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, no discourse of accountability for the situation was included. Descriptions of Palestinians living without access to basic services were concluded with notifications that a meeting in Ramallah discussed “how to support returning Gaza under the Palestinian Authority’s control”.

The statement is not surprising, considering the press release summarises the reconciliation process as a possibility of the PA exercising “control over security” and restoring “confidence in the feasibility of a comprehensive peace agreement”. Full resumption of security coordination between Israel and the PA was also “welcomed” by Mladenov. Despite readily available information of what security coordination entails for Palestinians, the UN Special Coordinator asserted that full control of Gaza “must not be allowed to fail” in order to prevent “another devastating conflict”.

For outright misinformation on the current diplomatic rift between the PA and the US, Mladenov’s concluding statement stirs incredulity: “This is a Palestinian-owned process. All Palestinian factions must seize this opportunity to open a new page for their people.”

            Read more: Save the Children: Rights of Palestinian children eroded in West Bank

If one eliminates the claims of representing the people, all that remains are embodiments of varying degrees of compromise and collaboration, with isolated pockets of sporadic resistance that is vastly overshadowed by political gain. The entire farce of reconciliation seems destined to replicate the previous attempts. Since the PA seems determined to eliminate Hamas as a political entity, it remains to be seen whether, in a context of perpetual isolation, Hamas is able to prioritise its politics or else renew itself into a resistance movement that is capable of mobilisation to confront the PA’s authoritarian schemes.

In the absence of this possibility, which is capable of generating “a Palestinian-owned process” if based upon the legitimate right of anti-colonial struggle, there is only an Israeli-dominated narrative. The international community has no qualms about altering ownership in pursuit of deception, aided by the PA’s willingness to embark upon such corrupt practices. It is not, therefore, as Maldenov states, that dissolution of talks can ignite another conflict. Rather, it is the nature of cyclical negotiations that are preferable to the international community, which can provoke additional strife and punitive measures against Palestinians by Abbas and Israel.

It is the UN itself, with its leniency towards Israel and the PA, which is playing a role in instigating further extension of conflict on various levels. In prioritising agreements leading to collaboration between Israel and the PA, the UN is intentionally neglecting the rights of Palestinians, not to mention its incessant endorsement of peace negotiations as the only solution, despite decades of providing a backdrop for additional colonial expansion in Palestine.


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       The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine

November 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Published in: Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Review – Books, Reviews Nasim Ahmed November 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Book Author(s) : Ben Ehrenreich Published Date : June 2016 Publisher : Penguin Press

Paperback : 448 pages ISBN-13 : 978-1594205903

The author, Ben Ehrenreich introduces readers to his book “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine” with this sharp observation: “The world is made not only of earth and flesh and fire, but of the stories that we tell”. With these comments Ehrenreich makes his intentions clear that through the stories of Palestinian resistance “the narratives…. will conjure up a [new] universe and determine its contours”.

While it would be stretching the realms of metaphysical possibility to suggest Ehrenreich can conjure up magic in Palestine, the American novelist has weaved stories from the West Bank in prose that are as beautiful as any found in a best-selling novel to speak about Palestinian resistance and of the people who “decline to consent to their own eradication”.

By any measure, “The Way to the Spring” is gripping. Ehrenreich opens the eyes of the readers to the daily acts of resistance carried out by Palestinians, their suffering and humiliation under the brutal Israeli occupation. The book is centred on Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian town in the occupied West Bank, whose out-of-bounds spring – the spring of the book’s title – is the focus of its inhabitants’ dogged protests.

            This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book awards 2017, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine book awards site.


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