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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Un pas historique pour la Palestine

by Patrick Le Hyaric

A Historic Step For Palestine

Translated Wednesday 11 May 2011, by Isabelle Métral and reviewed by Bill Scoble

Very promising news has recently come from Cairo : Palestinian Fatah and Hamas leaders have agreed to strike an agreement and set up a joint temporary government in charge of managing Palestine and organizing general and presidential elections next Autumn. As in other Arab countries, young people, especially in Gaza, have been pushing most actively for unity.

Should all go well a decisive step, indeed one more historic step will have been taken in the astonishing liberating tsunami that is washing over the region’s regimes. “At long last!” we exclaim, with millions of people all over the world who have long been wishing for this to happen. A large number of consequences should follow from this.

It would make a new democratic debate possible within Palestinian society that might open the way for the election of the Palestinian legislative council’s deputies and of the Palestinian Authority’s President, who would thus become the first Palestinian President of a democratic, peaceful, independent Palestinian State.

For indeed Palestinian unity would make it possible for the UNO to recognize the Palestinian State. France must do so without further delay. So must the EU. I demanded as much from Mrs Ashton, EU’s high representative, during a public session of the European Parliament on March 9.

In a vibrant appeal a few days ago, some of the most prestigious of Israeli intellectuals demanded the same.

That Israel’s government has denounced Fatah and Hamas’s joint project only serves to prove its opposition to any real change in the region. This will further isolate the Israeli government, which remains entrenched in its untenable positions. Contrary to Israel’s claims, one may reasonably expect that the people’s mobilization will not benefit the fundamentalists.

The Far-Right Israeli government knows only too well that the UNO’s recognition of the Palestinian State would change things radically, because its occupation of a sovereign State’s territory would automatically expose Israel to effective international sanctions. The demands, so often and so vainly repeated, that UNO’s many resolutions should be implemented could no longer be ignored. This would bring to an end Israel’s attempts at grabbing territories through bargaining, or Israel’s implantation of colonies in exchange for idle promises of peace. Nothing would be the same. From the war crimes in Gaza to the blockade, from the colonization to the building of the wall or the imprisonment of citizens and Palestinian councillors or deputies - all these abuses would become intolerable to a majority of the world’s population and indefensible in Washington and Brussels.

Besides, a UN report concludes that from now on the economic requirements for a viable Palestinian State are met.

Lastly the current movements for democratic emancipation in the countries of Maghrib and Mashriq will encourage the US and UE foreign affairs departments to open the way for the coexistence of two States that live in peace and security within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State.

This evolution is an integral part of the “Arab spring” whose successful conclusion may indeed depend upon it.

Elections must be held in Palestine with all the people’s representatives, and especially with those currently held in prison, Marwan Barghouti first among them. From his prison cell, Marwan invited all his comrades, and all the OLP currents, to sign the first petition for Palestinian reunification.

All of us here who militate for peace and democracy can do something to help history take this decisive, step forward towards the setting up of a democratic Palestinian State that will be the homeland of all Palestinians, including, as has so long been hoped for, Palestine’s exiled refugees.

Patrick Le Hyaric [1]

[1Patrick Le Hyaric is a member of the European Parliament’s delegation in charge of relationships with the Palestinian legislative Council.

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