Date : 3 Feb 2021
An appeal by the Palestinian Cause Forum for the year 2021
The participants in the Palestinian Cause Forum 2021, which discussed options for protecting Palestinian rights in light of Arab, regional and international changes, held on January 30-31, 2021, organized by the International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) and the Palestinian Democratic Forum in Europe, and within a public appeal issued with the participation of dozens of human rights activists, Arab and international solidarity activists, representatives of civil society institutions, political forces, youth and feminist leaders, representatives of Palestinian communities, members of parliament, and representatives of Arab and international human rights institutions, demanded that a historical position must be taken without any delays to turn the page of internal division, and strive hard to restore national unity, considering that the continuation of the division led to the decline of the status of the Palestinian cause and the international and Arab solidarity movement with the rights and struggle of the Palestinian people, and the participants affirmed the full respect for the will of the Palestinian people to complete the reconciliation and the success of the national dialogue sessions to be held in Cairo and not exposing them to failure, by virtue of the President and the “Fatah” movement uphold its authority in the West Bank and its hegemony over the organization, and the “Hamas” movement upholding its authority in Gaza.
Which requires setting determinants for the success of the dialogue, including agreeing on a national program and a comprehensive strategy based on raising the maximization of popular and diplomatic legal engagement to raise the costs of the occupation and strengthen the resilience of people in the Palestinian territories, leading to a national roadmap to ensure the requirements for holding free, fair and democratic elections that renew legitimacy, activating and unifying all representative institutions of the Palestinian people, headed by the Palestine Liberation Organization on the basis of partnership, as this is the best way to confront the plans and policies of the Israeli colonial, racist, and contradictory state, not to continue the policy of stalling in place and betting on American policies, especially after Biden’s victory and the return of negotiations with the occupation, as there are increasingly alarming indications of the absence of presenting a new Palestinian vision based on learning from past mistakes, from a losing bet on the process of a negotiated settlement as a way to embody the independent Palestinian state, without bringing about a cumulative change in the balance of power, and firstly, the Israeli-American recognition of Palestinian national rights.
The participants in the work of the Palestinian Cause Forum emphasized in their recommendations the need for political leaders to rise to the level of moral, national, legal and revolutionary responsibility to ensure work on:
- Adopting a comprehensive national strategy based on the internationalization of the conflict and adopting clear, declared and participatory policies aimed at thwarting the annexation and colonial settlement plans, the siege of the Gaza Strip, judaizing the city of Jerusalem and the policies of racial discrimination, and demanding the international community and international organizations to take a serious action to end the occupation and develop an international position that adheres to the foundations and references for resolving the conflict, and works to embody them according to International law and United Nations resolutions, in a manner that guarantees the empowerment of the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate national rights to self-determination, return, and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
- Carrying out a critical review of the national movement experience, setting the map of unified action on the basis of joint national action, and taking into account the changes in the balance of Arab, regional and international powers in order to renew the resurgence of the Palestinian cause with new approaches that allow work at various internal, Arab and international levels in a way that enables Palestinians to renew Palestinian legitimacy, change policies and thought and political performance in line with the aspirations of the Palestinian people at home and in the diaspora, adhering to the historical narrative and Palestinian rights, and not making any contradiction between the option of a one-state or two-state solution. The declaration and embodiment of the state of Palestine under occupation and the dissolution of conflicting obligations, considering the relationship between us and the Israeli occupation authorities as a relationship of conflict with a belligerent occupier, reconsidering the form of the authority, its functions and obligations, transferring the political tasks of the authority to the organization, stopping security coordination, and uniting the Palestinian ranks, to ensure that the national movement restored its character as a national liberation movement.
- Creating conditions conducive to conducting the Palestinian presidential, legislative and National Council elections with the participation of all Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Diaspora, in a way that enhances the territorial integrity and unity of the people and Palestinian representation, and overcoming all political and legal obstacles that hinder the holding of transparent and fair democratic elections, so that they constitute an entry point for national revival, reconstructing and unifying the institutions of the political system on the basis of partnership, rule of law, separation of powers, and independence of the judiciary to ensure that it plays its role in serving the citizens, combating corruption, protecting rights and freedoms, and addressing the legacy of human rights violations in accordance with the methodology of transitional justice, in a manner that allows the renewal of leadership and the strengthening of youth, women and all sectors’ participation in decision-making positions.
- Making the elections an opportunity for the renewal of leadership structures and an end to the division, elections were never an end in itself, but rather part of a comprehensive democratic process, that requires the provision of the necessary and assurance, atmosphere and conditions that guarantee the integrity and transparency, such as spreading freedoms, ending geographical discrimination and penalties for the citizens of the Gaza Strip to stop confiscation Rights and freedoms; ensuring equal opportunities for all the lists and participating forces, approving a document of honor for the success of the elections, and an agreement to form a national unity government regardless of the results, all Palestinian leadership and forces must go to the people before going to any external party, and not to take any step that enhances the fragmentation and wastes years in experimenting with the experimenter without any new strategy, warning of the danger of reproducing the current situation or re-establishing conflict and fighting again, which aggravates frustration and perpetuates the policy of indifference and opposition to the national cause in the Palestinian, Arab and international levels.
- Promote work in various Arab and international arenas to restore the status of the Palestinian cause, restore support for the rights of the Palestinian people, confront official Palestinian and Arab normalization, lest it becomes popular normalization, and activate the role of Palestinians in the diaspora in strengthening the solidarity movement and mobilizing international support for the Palestinian cause and rights, and activating the struggle in all available forms guaranteed under international law, on top of which is the use of accountability mechanisms through the principle of international jurisdiction and before the International Criminal Court, and the activation of the boycott movement and the rest of the international and regional mechanisms, including the request for international protection, taking advantage of international and Arab changes and transforming challenges into opportunities.
Finally, the participants in the work of the Palestinian Cause Forum 2021 (persons and organizations) urge the Palestinian leaders to assume their responsibilities by taking meaningful measures to implement the contents of this appeal in a way that guarantees the re-emission of Palestinian energies and capabilities to face national and humanitarian challenges and dangers, and provides a positive image of the resilience of Palestinians, and managing public affairs according to partnership and democracy principles.