THE PALESTINE Liberation Organisation (PLO) issued a statement slamming the US-sponsored conference in Bahrain on its second and final day yesterday:
‘The PLO Executive Committee reaffirms that the lack of political and legal dimensions in the presentation of the so-called plan presented by the Trump administration in the Manama diversionary sideshow is grounds for its sealed fate of failure. The Trump administration, which has already disqualified itself from any credible role in peacemaking, presented this “plan” to pre-empt and prevent any viable political solution in the future.
‘Further, the de-contextualisation of the situation reflects this administration’s willful blindness to the occupation and deliberate refusal to deal with reality, as well as its rejection of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and sovereignty over our natural resources. The workshop attempts to circumvent the real issues by peddling in recycled and failed ideas. It wants to sell a mirage of economic prosperity for the Palestinian people so long as they accept and endorse their perpetual captivity. This is a formula that no dignified people can accept.
‘The purpose of the workshop is clearly the normalisation of two abnormal situations. On the one hand, the Trump administration is attempting to normalise the illegal settler colonial regime of occupation in Palestine and promote its permanence by advancing the illusion that occupation and subjugation can be made more palatable. On the other, it wants to normalise Israel in the Arab world and reposition it as a major economic, security, and intelligence power in the region.
‘This administration is ideologically aligned with the fundamentalist right in Israel.
‘It has endeavoured to accommodate Israeli colonial aspirations, as demonstrated in its recognition of the illegal Israeli annexation of occupied Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights, rejection of the just plight of Palestine refugees, and promotion of the illegal settlement regime, while negating Palestinian rights and national aspirations, including the right of return as “ideas of the past”.
‘This is an arrogant and irresponsible approach that undermines international legality and undermines the real requirements of peace.
‘The Trump administration’s negativity and rejectionism of Palestinian rights and international law are evident.
‘It has employed cruel and illegal measures to pummel the Palestinian people into submission while railroading any attempt to align the discourse with applicable international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.
‘In this regard, while the Manama workshop is discussing economic issues, the grave political implications of this approach must alarm all responsible international actors who remain committed to an international rules-based system.
‘The Palestinian people and leadership are in unison. No one attending this workshop represents the Palestinian people or speaks on their behalf.
‘In this regard, the PLO reaffirms its commitment to defend the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. The PLO will continue working with all responsible international actors to protect the Palestinian people and ensure the realisation of our inalienable right to freedom, return, dignity, and prosperity.
‘The freedom of Palestine from Israeli occupation and economic domination are non-negotiable and essential requirements of peace.
‘We remain committed to engage in good faith with sincere and credible efforts to realise these requirements. Finally, the PLO calls on states to act with the required courage and integrity to defend Palestinian rights, which are an integral part of the universal principles of human rights and international law.’