مقال - التركيز على: منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية والتمثيل الفلسطيني

A Palestinian leadership vacuum looms due to the ill health of the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, and the frailty of the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the PLO and its main constituent party Fatah. The PA has largely co-opted the PLO, with Abbas ruling by diktat in an increasingly authoritarian manner, most recently cracking down on Palestinian use of social media. Yet despite its limitations, the PLO remains the body that has the most legitimacy among the Palestinian people under occupation, in Israel, and in the diaspora.

Earlier this month Fatah’s Central Council called for a meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), which serves as the Palestinian parliament in exile and has only met twice since the PA was established. The PLO Executive Committee is considering the call, but the parameters and purpose of the meeting have yet to be defined, and convening a meeting without agreement on the basics, including on the representation of major political factions hitherto excluded from the PLO, would be detrimental to the national project.

Against this background, Al-Shabaka has pulled together a selection of pieces from its archives in which its policy analysts discuss issues related to the reform of PLO institutions and questions of legitimate political representation.   

Reforming the PLO

Democratizing the PLO: Five Questions

By Toufic Haddad

Toufic Haddad acknowledges in this Commentary that the democratization of the PLO is long overdue. However, he warns that much of the contemporary debate around democratization wants the end result of democracy without undertaking the real work of what democracy entails. Read more

“Who Are You?”: The PLO and the Limits of Representation

By Osamah Khalil

In this Policy Brief, Osamah Khalil argues that, while many Palestinians seek to revive the PLO to its former strength in Palestinian representation, such an act would not lead to greater representation and accountability. Instead, Palestinians must abandon the PLO and begin working to create a new representative body. Read more…

An Open Debate on Palestinian Representation

By Rana Barakat, Mouin Rabbani, Dina Omar, Fajr Harb, Hani Masri, As’ad Ghanem, Yasmine Hamayel, and Aziza Khalidi

In this Roundtable, Al-Shabaka analysts respond to Osamah Khalil’s Policy Brief, discussing possible next steps for Palestinian representation, such as reforming or dissolving the PLO, and how to build a more cohesive and democratic community. Read more

Representation Under Occupation

Palestine After Abbas: Potential Scenarios and Coping Strategies 

By Hani al-Masri, Noura Erakat, Jamil Hilal, Sam Bahour, Jaber Suleiman, Diana Buttu, Wajjeh Abu Zarifa, and Alaa Tartir (facilitator)

It was hoped that the long-delayed Fatah seventh conference would provide insight into how and when Mahmoud Abbas might step down from one or all of the three positions he holds in the PLO, the PA, and Fatah. This Roundtable examines the different scenarios for a post-Abbas Palestine. Read more

Palestinian Democracy Denied

By Mouin Rabbani, Basem Ezbidi, Tariq Dana, and Amal Ahmad

The potential of Palestinian democracy is greatly weakened by Israel and its military occupation, Palestinian actors such as Fatah and Hamas, and key members of the donor community. In this Roundtable, Al-Shabaka analysts examine the notion of democracy under occupation so as to understand what it entails and how it can be expressed. Read more

Leadership to What End?

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

By Osamah Khalil

The conventional wisdom is that the PLO – weakened and on the verge of bankruptcy after the end of the Cold War and the first Gulf War – signed the Oslo Accords to stave off the emergence of an alternate leadership from the Occupied Palestinian Territory and irrelevancy. However, in this Policy Brief Osamah Khalil draws on declassified US diplomatic documents to argue that the roots of Oslo can be traced to the aftermath of the 1973 October War. Read more

PLO/Palestine: Time to Stop Buying Time

By Nadia Hijab and Diana Buttu

Almost every day brings the announcement of a new international initiative by the PLO to seek recognition as a “state” or to end Israel’s military rule. Yet, as noted in this Commentary by Nadia Hijab and Diana Buttu, all this talk about new initiatives rings hollow because the PLO has done so little with the many legal tools already available to it. Read more

 

Al-Shabaka policy analysts are available for media interviews. Please email [email protected] for more details.  

Al-Shabaka Policy Member Yassmine Saleh Hamayel is working on gender and security in Ramallah, and is active in the Palestinian youth movement. Her areas of...
Wajjeh Abu Zarifa is a journalist, researcher and professor of political science in Gaza, and a fellow at the University of Chicago. He holds a...
Toufic Haddad is a Palestinian-American writer based in Jerusalem. He is the co-author and editor of Between the Lines: Readings in Israel, the Palesinians, and...
Tariq Dana is Assistant Professor of Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, and an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University in...
Sam Bahour resides in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He does business consulting as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the...
Rana Barakat is an assistant professor of history and contemporary Arab studies at Birzeit University in Palestine. She received her Ph.D. from the University of...
Osamah Khalil is a co-founder of Al-Shabaka. He is an Associate Professor of History at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Khalil...
Noura Erakat is an assistant professor at George Mason University where she teaches in the legal studies, international studies, and human rights/social justice studies concentrations....
Nadia Hijab is co-founder and honorary president of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. She served as Board President from 2010-2021 and as Executive Director between...
Mouni Rabbani is an independent writer and analyst specializing in Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is a senior fellow at the Institute for...
Jamil Hilal is an independent Palestinian sociologist and writer, and has published many books and numerous articles on Palestinian society, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and Middle...
Jaber Suleiman is an independent researcher/consultant in Refugee Studies. Since 2011, he has been working as a consultant and coordinator for the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue...
Hani Al-Masri is Director General of Masarat, the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies. He founded and was director general of the Palestinian...
Al-Shabaka Policy Member Fajr Harb is a Palestinian political activist. He is currently the Assistant Director of The Carter Center Field Office in Ramallah. In...
Dina Omar is a writer and a graduate student studying Anthropology at Yale. She is a founding member of Students for Justice in Palestine-National and...
Diana Buttu is a lawyer who previously served as a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team and was part of the team that assisted...
Al-Shabaka Policy Member Basem Ezbidi currently teaches at the Honors Program and the Department of International Affairs at Qatar University. He previously worked at Birzeit...
Aziza Khalidi serves on the board of the Najdeh Association and is a founding member of the Forum of Palestinian women in Lebanon, a network...
As'ad Ghanem is a senior lecturer at the School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa. Ghanem's theoretical work has explored the legal, institutional and political...
Amal Ahmad is a Palestinian economic researcher. Amal interned at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute in Ramallah before completing a Master’s degree in development...
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