Palestinian Compradors Aid Israel In War Against Palestine
The newly released ‘Palestine Papers,’ leaked to Al Jazeera and shared with the Guardian, reveal what many Palestinians and international supporters already know and suspect: high-level complicity between members of the Palestinian National Authority (PA) and the Israeli settler-state as part of an ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.
The 1,600 secret documents span from September 1999, just before the conclusion of the Oslo ‘Peace’ Accords, to September 2010 and reveal the level to which the Palestinian compradors have gone to appease the violently expansionist Israel. Among other things, Palestinian negotiators agreed a symbolic 10,000 Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to their homes- out of the more than 5 million. PA negotiators also contradicted their own public position and privately accepted Israel’s demands to define itself as a Jewish state. (1) (2)
In Ramallah, one PA leader angrily denounced the leak as a “propaganda game…to brainwash Palestinians.” Others, such as Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian side, describe it as having “misrepresented our position” and in some cases being “patently false.” In the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians responded with shock and protest. (3)
Pakistan-born, UK-based historian, Tariq Ali, described the leaks as revealing the PA position as one of “total capitulation.” Writing for the London Review of Books, he described Palestinian misleaders as willing to surrender “virtually everything except their own salaries.” The Palestinian National Authority receives around 1.5 billion dollars annually in ‘aid,’ mostly from Israel and its imperialist sponsors. (4) (5)
At times, Israel demanded the Palestinian National Authority kill or arrest Palestinians. British intelligence organization, MI-6, drew up a secret plan for a broad crackdown on the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, which later became the security blueprint for the PA. The documents reveal widespread collaboration between British intelligence, the CIA, the Israeli state and the Palestinian National Authority’s own ‘security apparatus.’ Some documents suggest PA officials were forewarned of ‘Operation Cast Lead:’ Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip during the first weeks of 2009. After masked gunmen demolished part of a border wall between Gaza and Eygpt in 2008, the then Prime Minister of the PA asked the former Israeli foreign minister if Israel could occupy and re-seal the border. (6) (7) (8) (9)
Palestinian negotiators have used the idea of a ‘one-state solution’ as a threat against the Israel. Under a one state solution, which is favored by many both inside and out Occupied Palestine, both Palestinians and Israelis would enjoy equal rights in a single, secular, democratic state. However, Palestinian negotiators have never seriously pursued the matter in negotiation or otherwise. Instead in 2008, the former prime minister of the PA, Ahmed Qurei, suggested Israel should officially annex nearly all illegal settlements in and around Jerusalem. (10) (11)
The leak of the ‘Palestine Papers’ occurs within the context of ongoing systemic anti-Palestinian policies pursued by Israel. Some, including former US President Jimmy Carter, describe these policies as one of maintaining an apartheid system. Others, such as Tariq Ali, describe it as a form of genocide. The ‘Palestine Papers’ reveal the depth to which Palestine’s so-called leaders are complicit in such policies.
Some have called the PA traitors. The PA could also be described as compradors because their traitorous role in instrumental to Israel’s structural hostility towards the Palestinian masses. Their traitorous role is not a one-time affair, but ongoing. These compradors in the Palestinian National Authority, Fatah, the Palestinian ‘Liberation’ Organization, etc, are supported by the Zionist settler-state and its imperialist backers principally for the role they play in selling-out the Palestinian people’s struggle.
Previously organizations such as Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization represented a secular resistance to Israeli aggression. It is notable these organizations rose to power and initially became recognized because of armed struggle. However, they, like many other armed movements, sold old the larger struggle of the oppressed for a seat at the table of oppressors. This has created a situation where other forces, largely Islamists, have stepped in and through supporting people’s resistance gained popular support. History teaches that the struggle against foreign oppressors and domestic oppression must be carried in tangent, it must be ongoing and exported. It is correct to unite in coalition for wider defense of the people while independently organizing for the further revolutionary transformation of society.
Israeli aggression against Palestinians is reminiscent of the United States’ aggression against any number of Indigenous nations in the territory it now controls. One tragic story is worth recalling.
In 1813, the Red Stick War broke out. Under the leadership of Tecumesh, thousands of indigenous warriors from 32 tribes fought against the invading United Snakes.
The Indigenous rebellion was put down, in part because Indigenous people were not united in resistance and many fought for the US. Warriors of the Cherokee fought under Andrew Jackson against Tecumesh’s ‘Red Sticks.’ Later, in an attempt to preemptively halt their own demise, the Cherokee pioneered a written language in 1821, and began publishing a biligual newspaper, drafted a constitution and formed a government pattered from the US in 1828. The same year, Andrew Jackson was elected president. By 1830, the US Congress passed the ‘Indian Removal Act’ at Jackson’s behest. By 1835, the US found a couple sell-out Indians to sign away in treaty all Chereokee land east of the Mississippi River. This culminated the forced march known as the ‘Trail of Tears.’ Over 4,000 Cherokee died during their removal. (12) (13)
The removal of the Cherokee occurred with a larger context. The Cherokee would be one of a great number Indigenous tribes removed or exterminated to make way for the ‘masses’ of White settlers over the course of US history. Today, because of the genocide and expansion of the US empire, Indigenous people are less than 1% of the population of the US.
With the treacherous ‘leadership’ of the Palestinian National Authority and a disunited, unorganized Palestinian masses, a similar fate may lie closer for Palestine than we realize. In one 2008 meeting, former US Secretary of State, Condeleezza Rice suggested that Palestinian refugees settle in South America. (14)
The Palestinian masses must be united in resistance, not capitulation. No amount of licking the boots of the Zionist settler-state will halt its genocidal march across the Occupied Palestine. Only resistance and revolution, a forceful stop to the ongoing Israel’s aggression, will achieve such an outcome.
(12)Debo, Angie. ‘A History of the Indians of the United States.’ 11th Printing. University of Oklahoma Press. 1989. pgs 111-127