x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Palestinian peaceful resistance viable path

In a commentary article for the Jordanian newspaper Addustoor, Areeb al Rantawi wrote that the stalled negotiations and an increased threat to the Palestinian cause should, in principle, prompt popular struggle against the occupation, or as the Palestinian Authority once termed it, "peaceful resistance".

In a commentary article for the Jordanian newspaper Addustoor, Areeb al Rantawi wrote that the stalled negotiations and an increased threat to the Palestinian cause should, in principle, prompt popular struggle against the occupation, or as the Palestinian Authority once termed it, "peaceful resistance".
To achieve this, the PA needs to promote freedoms, end its security sweeps, reduce - if not end - coordination with the Israeli security forces, and refrain from unfair trials against civil society members, many of whom are university students. It also needs to open up to various Palestinians, including Islamic factions and the opposition.
The Palestinian Authority should also refrain from arresting released prisoners from Israeli prisons on the grounds that they have escaped justice on the charge of supporting militias. It could prompt us to reconsider the role of the Palestinian Authority in the Palestinian national project.
Yasser al Zaatra in the same newspaper condemned the arrest of the freed prisoners. He also condemned the abuse of power by the PA amid reports of the torture and arrest of businessmen, forced to cede part of their properties pending their release as part of a long-term economic framework aimed "at establishing a state under occupation within the border wall and deprived of Jerusalem and refugees," he said.
 
Erdogan moderates in Beirut's tribunal
In an exclusive interview with the Lebanese newspaper Assafir on the eve of his visit to Beirut, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, poured scorn on the excessive hype made over the tense political atmosphere in Lebanon. He instead stressed the importance of containing the media campaign that has blown the internal conflict out of proportion.
"Unfortunately, there are many obstacles, but the Lebanese have overcome many of them after the last election, and now they try to put things in the right order," Mr Erdogan said.
He said the prosecutor general had not yet pronounced a final verdict on the international tribunal regarding the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, as the court cannot base its ruling solely on conjecture.
Mr Erdogan said his visit to Lebanon was not about the tribunal but had been arranged months ago. He emphasised that Ankara is anxious to avoid conflict arising from it.
For this reason, he said his country would continue its diplomatic relations with neighbouring states and also with Lebanese political forces, including Hizbollah, during the visit.
The aim, according to Mr Erdogan, is to assure all parties of Turkey's support, and advise a more moderate approach in stemming further crises.
 
In Korea, a tale of two disparate nations
"Koreans believe they are one nation, sharing similar cultural characteristics, such as language and history. They form one nation that was split 70 years ago when the north came under the Soviet influence, while the south under American," wrote Abdul al Rahman al Rashed in a commentary for the pan-Arab daily Asharq al Awsat.
Yet Koreans differ in their goals. While northerners are busy with collecting weapons to threaten the world, southerners are fully involved in making money - and spending it on leisure. And although the North is richer in terms of natural resources such as gold and coal, its population lives in misery, as the country's wealth is directed towards building a nuclear military arsenal.
Its neighbour, despite its sizable population of 44 million people, has achieved an industrial miracle that has made it rich.
Yet for decades, both have lived on the edge of war, creating global fears of an eventual military clash.
But an old-school mentality has prevented northerners from adopting similar policies to their southern neighbours.
While the world has changed into an open market and abandoned communism, North Korea's leaders have rejected the alternatives for fear of losing their personal privileges.
 
Bill sets new barrier to real peace
"The bill passed by the Knesset that any decision concerning giving out lands annexed by Israel should require a two-thirds vote is an act that undermines the international law, human rights, and the right of self-determination," wrote Mazen Hammad in an opinion article for the Qatari newspaper Al Watan.
In response to the decision, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that ending occupation should not be contingent upon any type of referendum, adding that this is a clear message that Israel wants neither a settlement nor to achieve peace.
The Arab Knesset member Jamal Zahalqa described the move as a political precedent, while Israel's minister of defence said that the new law would raise questions about Israel's willingness to achieve peace.
"Indeed, the Knesset's decision contradicts sharply the promises prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged in order to achieve progress in the peace process with the Palestinians.
"The Knesset has no right to decide about the future of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, that Israel annexed. The new law would also limit the ability of the Israeli negotiators to offer peace deals over the two occupied territories."
 
* Digest compiled by Mostapha El Mouloudi
melmouloudi@thenational.ae