Published 25/10/2023 13:41 | Edited 10/26/2023 12:40
One of the leaders of the Palestinian People’s Party (former Palestinian Communist Party), Akel Taqaz, explained to the Red Portal the consequences of the conflict that has surprised the world since October 7th, in the Middle East. The interview was given to journalist Moara Crivelente, who represented the PCdoB during the 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (EIPCO) in Izmir, Turkey.
In his analysis, the violent losses in Israel made everyone “lose their minds”, promoting a disproportionate reaction that affected the way public opinion and the media see the conflict, unmasking Western manipulations.
But another consequence that has been discussed concerns the Arab neighbors, who had been normalizing relations with Israel, as if the conflict with Palestine was no longer everyone’s problem. The resistance would have attacked Israeli territory precisely to interrupt this process. In addition to the pioneers Egypt and Jordan, this year, in addition to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan also normalized relations with Israel.
For Taqaz, these countries really stopped to reflect after the Palestinian insurgency. “Because they believe that with pressure from Israeli and American politics, they can normalize with Israel without solving the Palestinian problem.”
The Palestinian noted that these countries had been considering the Palestinian problem as a third category, after the war in Ukraine. But now they have to make efforts for the solution. “I believe that some comments from some Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, are heading in this direction, which is positive,” he pondered.
Permanent cycle of violence
Taqaz stated that the situation the world is witnessing is not new, just “another new round of violence committed by Israel over all these years.” “But this time, when the Palestinian movement began to attack and Israel suffered some losses, not only the Israelis lost their heads, but the Americans and Europeans also rushed to come to the region to support Israel, to say that they are on the side of them in this aggression, ignoring that Israel has been committing these crimes for years and years”, he stated.
For him, Joe Biden (USA), Olaf Scholtz (Germany) or Emmanuel Macron (France) are dedicated to explaining why Palestinian people, children, women, have to be killed every day by Israeli attacks. “Unfortunately, this is the double standard of Western countries dealing with the situation in the Middle East,” he said, pointing to discrimination between Palestinians and Israelis in the same territory.
This logic spread by these Western leaders prevents the UN from doing anything effective to resolve the problem, knowing that if it does not resolve the Palestinian problem there will be no peace in the Middle East. “We believe that if there is no real solution, this will repeat itself from time to time, until they understand that they have to sit down at a table and discuss the issue and give the Palestinians their basic rights of determination,” he emphasized.
For him, the first event has to be the end of the occupation. Palestinian people must have their independence, establish their state and live in peace like all people in the world, in Taqaz’s opinion.
Two weights, two measures
He referred to what is happening now, with more than 5 thousand dead, 30 thousand injured, thousands of homes destroyed, as well as schools, mosques, churches and hospitals. “To protect Israel, they said that the lethal attacks on hospitals in Gaza did not come from Israel. While the whole world sees that Israel is attacking. This is the double standard and discrimination between people. For them, one Israeli life is very important, thousands of Palestinian lives are not important. Unfortunately,” he added, regarding the war crime that Israel tries to attribute to the Palestinians themselves.
The Palestinian party leader believes that social networks have contributed to changing public opinion about the conflict in Palestine. Western corporate media dedicated to the task of demonizing Hamas and the Palestinian resistance are being forced to make room for the Palestinians in this dispute over the narrative.
At first, Taqaz assesses that people were surprised and condemned Hamas as terrorists, only to later understand nuances of the problem. The Palestinian explains that the perception is growing that Hamas is part of the Palestinian liberation movement. “Yes, they are Islamists, we have many differences with them, ideologically, economically, socially, etc. But they are part of the Palestinian population. And this campaign to characterize Hamas as terrorists is making us targets to say that the entire Palestinian movement is terrorist, as they have been saying all these years.”
However, the disproportionate scale of the devastation of hospitals, schools, churches, mosques, thousands of buildings destroyed with people inside, makes people see something they didn’t see before. In this way, hegemonic economic forces in the West lose the totalitarian control they had over media and narratives.
“Social media now plays an important role in showing the true picture. Before, you could only see what they wanted to show on television. Now it’s not like that. And because of this, we believe that all solidarity activities with the Palestinians are very important to be distributed around the world to make the Western media campaign in support of the Israeli cause fail,” said the politician.
30 years of “solutions”
The tragic events of recent weeks are a direct result, according to Taqaz, of solutions presented by the West for 30 years. There were decades of international resolutions, which the United States, in hegemony at the United Nations, did not allow any decision to be implemented. “When they wanted to invade Iraq, they did it in two days, without any resolution, just like they invaded Afghanistan. But for the Palestinians, they don’t want a solution, because they are supporting Israel’s occupation and crimes, before Gaza and after Gaza”, he is indignant, citing the US-supported Israeli conflicts in Egypt (1956), in Lebanon (1982), in Gaza (2008, 2012, 2014, 2021 and now).
Therefore, he says that without stopping this policy and without respecting International Law, there will be no solution, and therefore, there will be no peace. The first condition for having peace in the Middle East, as he points out, is to resolve the Palestinian problem and give Palestinians the right to have indigenous occupation, self-determination, establishment of the state within the 1967 borders with the capital in East Jerusalem, liberation prisoners and give refugees the right to return in accordance with the UN resolution.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has not played a relevant role, according to Taqaz. Since the stabilization of the Palestinian Authority, the organization’s role has become smaller, with the leader of the PLO being the same as that of the PA, which is also weakened.
After 35 years of negotiations and agreements, there is no prospect of a solution, as “Israel is annexing the Palestinian territories, building settlements, walls and, practically, destroying the possibility of a two-state solution.”
In this way, if the international community continues to turn a blind eye to Israeli behavior, there will be no place for the Palestinian State, which means that the conflict will continue. Something that spreads, because Israel is part of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. “No force in the world can convince people to give up fighting for freedom and for individuals,” he declared.
Taqaz also sees many problems with the strategy of strengthening the PLO through elections this year. First, the rules of the international community, which are not willing to force Israel to accept the elections that will be held in Jerusalem, something that is fundamental for the Palestinians. There are 300,000 Palestinians living in the capital, who cannot vote without giving up their Palestinian nationality.
The Palestinians’ biggest fear is that the current conflict will further divide the Palestinian people. “They don’t want to deal with the Palestinians as a whole. They were happy with this division into scattered territories. Their solution foresees that the Palestinian state will be in Gaza, they can give another part of Sinai, in Egypt, to expand the territory, and with the camps and other things in the West, the Palestinians can live under the occupation, which is not viable ”, he criticized, citing the unrealistic proposal made by Donald Trump, when he visited the country in 2018.