January 24, 2011
Palestinians around the world and all their supporters watched in shock, but not total surprise as secret documents, “The Palestine Papers”, detailing carefully the years of so called peace negotiations were released by the news network Al-Jazeera during the last few days. While Palestinians are struggling to win back their rights to their homes and lands, some in the unelected leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) were making offers to give away these rights.
The documents show that they were willing to give up the rights of seven million Palestinians living in forced exile to return to their homes and lands. They were willing to cede Palestinian control over most of East Jerusalem as well as nearly all the land on the West Bank on which the major Israeli settlements around Jerusalem were illegally built. Even the major Muslim holy site the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Haram al’Sharif, was open to “creative” solution.
Long before these revelations, Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, its members, supporters and people of conscience in the US and around the world were already deeply suspicious of the manoeuvring against the Palestinian people that Saeb Erekat, Ahmad Qurei and others demonstrated during these secret negotiations over the past many years. The Palestine Papers released by Al-Jazeerah confirm our people’s worst fears. What the PA officials committed is a grave breach of duty and a betrayal of their own people.
The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and sitting PA president Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, whose term has long expired, bears full responsibility. We demand his immediate resignation or removal from office. A self-appointed puppet leadership beholden only to it’s US and Israeli occupation masters cannot be allowed to stand. It does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people, the vast majority of whom are living in forced exile.
Al-Awda reiterates that a just and lasting peace can only be achieved with the return of all Palestinians to their original homes, towns, and villages, with full restitution of all of their confiscated and destroyed property, and compensation. The Palestinian people, regardless of their religious affiliation, are indigenous to Palestine. Therefore, they are entitled to live anywhere in their homeland Palestine which encompasses present-day ‘Israel’, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
No agreement, negotiations or parties which purport to trade away these rights or any other inalienable rights can have any legal basis and cannot bind or compel the Palestinian people to end the struggle for the fulfilment of all of their rights.
The current PA/PLO leadership has proven to be both untrustworthy and unworthy. We call on all peace-loving people around the world to condemn this unelected unrepresentative leadership. We also call on leaders who support the Palestinian cause to boycott this leadership until it is removed and replaced with legitimately elected representatives.
It’s time for the Palestinians to take charge of their own destiny and be represented by those who can bring justice to their cause and not and not serve the illegitimate racist aspirations of their enemies.
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition