A PLO of Shame

ِAfter many years of the PLO being nearly clinically dead, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas is trying to revive the organization in order to use it as a pawn against Hamas.  The conclusion of the Oslo Agreement and subsequent  coalescence of the organization into the newly established Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1993 drastically weakened the former, rendering it almost irrelevant.  Some PLO factions, like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), left the organization in protest against the “treacherous concessions” which the PFLP leadership viewed as amounting to crossing Palestinian national constants.

During Yasser Arafat’s reign, which ended with his death in 2004, the PLO retained a modicum of symbolism, not so much because it had a life of its known, but rather because Arafat embodied the PLO and PA combined.  After all, Arafat was the PLO and the PLO was Arafat since he took all the decisions, held all the reigns and controlled all the money.  Now, with the American-backed and Israeli-courted PA regime in Ramallah, Abbas and his numerous minions, henchmen and hangers-on are constantly invoking the PLO mantra to justify their manifestly treacherous behavior, not only with regard to Palestine’s ultimate enemy, Israel, but also with regard to the Palestinian masses, especially in the West Bank where the PA security agencies have effectively become another sinister layer of Israeli occupation and repression.  Now, not a day passes without Abbas unleashing the “rusty sword” of the PLO in the face of Hamas.  The cheap theatrics are not really aimed at strengthening or even safeguarding the organization founded by Ahmed Shukeiri in 1964, but rather to force Hamas to accept the treasonous and capitulationist stances which the PLO has adopted in recent years.  These include, inter alia, recognizing the legitimacy of the Israeli regime in return for recognizing the PLO as a sole representative of the Palestinian people.  Well, what do the Palestinian people benefit, in real terms, from an Israeli recognition of the PLO as a sole representative of the Palestinian people?  Indeed, with the passage of 15 years since the PLO extended its stupid and unconditional recognition of Israel, every Palestinian man, woman and child have the right to ask the PLO-PA leadership what gains have we achieved in return for recognizing Israel?

Has Israel recognized a Palestinian state in return?

Has Israel stopped or even mitigated its settlement expansion in our land?

Has Israel stopped its murderous policy against our people?

Has Israel relaxed its Nazi-like repression of Palestinians, whether in the Gaza Strip, where 1.5 million Palestinians are being starved to death, or in the West Bank where Palestinian population centers are besieged by as many as 700 roadblocks, manned by trigger-happy Judeo-Nazi Gestapo-like terrorists?

These are more than just legitimate questions for which the senile and shockingly dishonest PLO leadership has no satisfactory answers.  Besides, we all know that the PLO of today is not the PLO of yesterday.  This is not the same PLO that was dedicated to the liberation of Palestine and realization of Palestinian rights, including the paramount right of return for millions of suffering refugees who were uprooted from their homes and villages, and dispersed to the four winds when the hateful Zionist entity was established in Palestine more than sixty years ago.  Today, the PLO is a house of shame and ill-repute. It is an organization that has allowed itself to be used as a tool of repression against the very people it claims to be serving.  It is an organization that gives treason and national apostasy a legitimate face and an acceptable façade. It is an organization whose behavior and conduct constitute the exact anti-thesis of the authentic PLO of the past which, more or less, represented the national Palestinian consensus.  Indeed, free-minded Palestinians, who won’t be intimidated by the big sticks or bribed by the big carrots into joining the chorus of lies of the neo-Oslo gang, have the right to ask whether it is morally right to give loyalty to an organization whose leaders are saying aloud that Israel is not the enemy and is not the occupier and that both Israelis and Palestinians have one enemy, it is Islam and Hamas? 

In recent weeks and months, the PLO has been working in close concert with the Israeli occupation army to torment Palestinians, raid their homes in the dead of night, and close down charitable institutions and orphanages.  This is not to mention the rampant acts of torture the PLO has been performing on Palestinians who refuse to inform on resistance fighters or hand-over their resistance weapons.  In short, the PLO whose raison d’être was the libration of Palestine from the nefarious Israeli occupation has nearly disappeared, and is being replaced by a PLO that is very much a tool of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people. 

Recently, Chairman Abbas gave a speech before the PLO Central Council in Ramallah which he argued that whoever wants to join the PLO must accept it as it is.  Well, let the PLO then go to hell because the Palestinian masses are not willing to accept a thoroughly corrupt organization whose soldiers (bearing official PLO insignia) raid Palestinian homes in Hebron and Nablus during the quiet hours before dawn, all in order to obtain a certificate of good conduct from Israel.  Yes, the Palestinian people are not and will not lend their support to an organization that is at Israel’s beck and call, an organization that receives vehicles and arms and money from the CIA and American puppet regimes in the region, for the purpose of fighting and tormenting other Palestinians on Israel’s behalf.  Such an organization is a house of shame; it is a disgrace upon the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause. It is a cancer upon the conscience of Palestinian struggle for justice, freedom and independence. The martyrs, tens of thousands of them, are moving in their graves, seeing this PLO becoming an enemy of Palestine.

This organization no longer represents the Palestinian people since it has become very much like a small company run be a number of money-grabbing careerists who don’t hesitate to sell out our national rights in return for American dollars and European Euros.  Hence, it is imperative that free, patriotic Palestinians, from all factions, including Fatah, as well as independents, embark immediately on the paramount task of reforming the PLO.  And in case this task proves to be too complicated, then a new body would have to be created, a body that would move the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian will from the Israeli-American sphere of influence.  Otherwise, we will end up having a PLO that is no better than the infamous village league of Menachem Milson of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Well, isn’t the PLO already there?

Khalid Amayreh is a journalist living in Palestine. Read other articles by Khaled, or visit Khaled's website.