Rashid Khalidi says the Palestinian national movement is in a state of disarray

Historians in the News
tags: Palestine, Palestinian national movement



Re: Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American historian of the Middle East and the Edward Said professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University.  

... With Trump preparing to enter the White House, the Palestinians must put their differences and divisions aside and formulate a new strategy to remind the world about their ordeal.

“As long as the Palestinian national movement is in its current state of disarray, I don’t think we can expect any significant change,” Khalidi said.

He referred to the division between Fatah and Hamas, which, he said, were two completely stagnant movements with huge patronage operations, providing employment and security to hundreds of thousands of people but “probably unrepresentative” to most Palestinians.

“They (Fatah and Hamas) have no strategy: No strategy for the liberation of Palestine, no strategy for challenging the (Israeli) occupation, no strategy for a diplomacy nor for resistance,” Khalidi pointed out.

He blamed both the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas for pursuing respectively in the 1970s and in the 1980s “a narrow or more diplomatic-based strategy focused on two-state solution to which both of these parties are completely committed blindly” while most Palestinians understand that it is very unlikely there will be a Palestinian state.

“The two leaderships are too blind and too unwilling to admit that everything they are doing and have been doing is probably mistaken,” Khalidi noted. “We are in a trap. Our Palestinian leadership has led us blindly not intentionally into that trap.”

A new paradigm is needed, he said, emphasising that it was up to the Palestinians — not Trump — to figure out a strategy, change the status quo and say what they want and what they are going to do with the Israelis and the occupation. ...





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