Palestinian Dead End Highlights the Right of Return

Al-Shabaka Commentary
Randa Farah

The Palestinian people must hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for the persistent failure of negotiations. As Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Randa Farah argues, the PLO/PA should not replace different forms of resistance to the occupation with unlimited negotiations while finding itself under pressure to actively work to halt other acts of resistance simply for these negotiations to continue – and should remember the centrality of the right of return.

An Illegitimate Leadership Can Sign Away Rights

Al-Shabaka Commentary
Zachariah Sammour

As Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Mahmoud Abbas heads to Washington to meet U.S. President Barack Obama, Palestinians are fast approaching a critical juncture in the U.S.-driven negotiations with Israel. Al-Shabaka Policy Member Zachariah Sammour warns of the grave implications and urges an immediate and sustained response by all Palestinians, including those in the Diaspora who may stand to lose their historic claim of return to the homeland.

Oslo's Roots: Kissinger, the PLO, and the Peace Process

Al-Shabaka Policy Brief
Osamah Khalil

According to conventional wisdom, the PLO signed the Oslo Accords twenty years ago because it was almost bankrupt and feared an alternate leadership would emerge. Drawing on declassified U.S. documents, Al-Shabaka policy advisor Osamah Khalil debunks this view. He demonstrates that PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat sought to establish relations with the U.S. after the October 1973 War and offered significant concessions before ever reaching the negotiating table or obtaining recognition by Washington. These concessions occurred when the PLO’s international stature was growing and were in sharp contrast to its revolutionary rhetoric.

How Sovereign a State?

Al-Shabaka Policy Brief
Camille Mansour

Will re-launched Israeli-Palestinian negotiations lead to a sovereign Palestinian state? In this brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Camille Mansour analyzes Israeli and Palestinian positions relating to key issues of sovereignty (i.e. armaments, alliances, crossings, borders, Israeli military posts). His conclusions – and warnings – are essential reading.

Looking for a Leadership with a Strategy

Al-Shabaka Roundtable
Haidar Eid,
Samah Sabawi,
Loubna Qutami,
Noura Erakat

In this Roundtable, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisors Haidar Eid and Samah Sabawi as well as guest contributor Loubna Qutami discuss Noura Erakat’s policy brief Beyond Sterile Negotiations: Looking for a Leadership with a Strategy. They critique issues relating to the Boycott National Committee (BNC), the questions of representation and self-determination, the colonial condition, and the future of the struggle. In her response, Erakat expresses her concern over the fragmentation of the Palestinian national body and the failure to articulate a political vision for a solution. She argues that Palestinians should adopt a one-state solution as a political vision that aims for the equality of all persons irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, religion, or race.

Beyond Sterile Negotiations: Looking for a Leadership with a Strategy

Al-Shabaka Policy Brief
Noura Erakat

Given the abject failure of the Palestine Liberation Organization to secure Palestinian rights since it was established, and especially since it adopted an exclusive peace process track, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat argues that it is past time to explore how a national liberation strategy can be elaborated -- and who can lead it. She discusses the transnational Palestinian networks that are being formed as well as the Boycott National Committee. The former have aspirations to build political programs and authoritative leadership but are still in their early stages, while the latter has become a leading body but has deliberately opted against a political program and leadership. She explores the South Africa model, and argues for a dual approach of working for rights while at the same time actively seeking answers to the pressing need for a unified political program and leadership.

What's Next for Palestine?

Al-Shabaka Commentary
Samah Sabawi

The failure of the Palestine Liberation Organization's bid for full membership in the United Nations marks the end of the road for the Palestinian Authority, argues Al-Shabaka policy advisor Samah Sabawi. She discusses the PA's disarray and notes that future setbacks can only be avoided with a completely different approach in the struggle for human rights.

The Geopolitics of the Hamas-Israel Prisoner Exchange

Al-Shabaka Commentary
Laila el-Haddad

Each of the key actors involved in the Israeli Palestinian conflict is using the Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange to position themselves to regional advantage although it is too soon to tell who will come out ahead. Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Laila El-Haddad examines the way in which the shifting geopolitics will impact internal Palestinian dynamics.

The Future of Jerusalem: Sacred Space or Open City?

Al-Shabaka Policy Brief
Salim Tamari

In this policy brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Salim Tamari examines the different proposals for the future of Jerusalem. Rooted in the sacrilization of the city, Tamari argues that the proposals ignore the colonial subjugation of Jerusalem. He contends that this fact must be addressed in order to achieve an equitable resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Strategies if Talks "Succeed"

Al-Shabaka Roundtable
Bashir Abu-Manneh,
Ali Abunimah,
Naseer Aruri,
Diana Buttu,
Mary Nazzal-Batayneh,
Mouin Rabbani,
Samah Sabawi

Over the past month, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisors Bashir Abu-Manneh, Ali Abunimah, Naseer Aruri, Diana Buttu, Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, Mouin Rabbani, and Samah Sabawi responded to Nadia Hijab's Policy Brief "What if Peace Talks 'Succeed'?" They reflected on Hijab's recommendations and offered other strategies for consideration by Palestinians and their supporters in order to achieve Palestinian rights.

What if Peace Talks "Succeed?"

Al-Shabaka Policy Brief
Nadia Hijab

Direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis resumed earlier this month in Washington. Al-Shabaka Director Nadia Hijab examines the possibility that a framework agreement will be achieved and the implications for Palestinian rights. Hijab offers strategies that Palestinians should adopt to ensure that their rights are protected and fulfilled if an agreement is reached.

Palestine 2010: Time for Plan B

Al-Shabaka Policy Brief
Mouin Rabbani

Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Mouin Rabbani argues that Israel’s determination to permanently control East Jerusalem and large swaths of the West Bank coupled with the lack of political will in the U.S. and Europe has made it impossible to achieve a meaningful two-state settlement.

The Dangers of Disaggregating Sovereignty

Al-Shabaka Commentary
Diana Buttu

Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Diana Buttu discusses Palestinian attempts to achieve sovereignty through piecemeal negotiations with Israel since the 1990s.