Formulation of a New Vision for PalestineOne People, One Homeland
We have yet to be free as a people but have diverged from the path to liberty. This social contract is the basis of a new popular movement towards our liberation. The Palestinian people and their struggle are now confronted by a disastrous situation. We are divided. Our priorities are confused, and our agenda for liberation is unclear. We have consequently fallen short of achieving our freedom. We lack justice and have yet to practice our inalienable right of self-determination. Today, we derive our strength and legitimacy from our urge to end the suffering and aspirations of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Galilee, in the compulsory diaspora in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and around the world. We stand infused with the energy emanating from the Arab people?s glorious revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and the revolutions in Arab countries from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. We say, in the name of our innocent martyrs, the wounded, prisoners, refugees, men, women and children, youth and elderly that our compass now points in one direction, and it points towards freedom. To get there we must and shall achieve the following: Freedom, Justice, and Self-determinationThe Palestinian people shall begin to build a realistic vision for their future based on a new Palestinian Social Contract. Our social contract shall be based on the inalienable rights to liberty, justice, self-determination, and the pursuit of happiness. This contract shall ensure freedom, human dignity and justice. Equality, clarity, transparency, democracy and full societal participation in the struggle shall be the guiding principles for this contract. The Palestinian citizens? cause, concerns and aspirations cannot be reduced, in anyway, to one third of the Palestinians who are in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Therefore, the required Social Contract represents all the Palestinians. It addresses their rights within a formula that observes what is common among all Palestinians and recognizes the differences among the diverse components of our society. This statement balances between the daily concerns of the Palestinian people and their aspirations. It also suggests realistic alternatives to the current status quo that results in a state of division, weakness, economic crises and the marginalization of the majority of the Palestinian people. We pose three necessary changes to the status quo that express our vision for the Palestinian people.First: The Establishment of a New Palestinian Social ContractThe Social Contract is based on the need to establish unity amongst the Palestinian people (in Palestine within its historical borders and in the diaspora). We all have the same aspirations: Freedom, justice, return, the unhindered pursuit of happiness, and the dream that we will practice our right to self-determination. To achieve these aspirations all sectors of the Palestinian people, civil society, different political factions, the youth and trade unions are invited to:- Rebuild the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people and maintain its independence. This requires re-structuring its institutions and ensuring that it is away from the Israeli occupation control.- Reformulate the Palestinian National Charter in accordance with the new Social Contract, in a manner that ensures the supremacy of freedom, justice and equality that light the path for our movement towards liberation, democracy and self-determination.- Re-building of the PLO requires, first and foremost, election of a Palestinian National Council (PNC) representing all Palestinians (inside and outside the homeland). Preparations for the elections shall ensure full democracy.- Pursuant to the PNC elections, the PLO Executive Committee shall be formed in a manner representing political forces, independent personalities and representative institutions with a special focus on ending the factional quota tradition.- Full separation between the PLO institutions, tasks and persons and the institutions of the administrative bodies responsible for maintaining the day to day life of Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).- End the existing status quo and begin building mechanisms that ensure the broadest democratic representation of the Palestinian people. - Ensure that the newly formulated PLO is the sole responsible party for the political track of the Palestinian cause before the Palestinian people. Consequently, the Palestinian Authority, as an institution or personalities, does not politically represent the Palestinian people and does not identify mechanisms of our struggle and resistance.- Struggle against the occupation and its injustices using all internationally legitimate and ethical means. Any strategies for the struggle shall be decided upon through national consensus (achieved within the PLO) and strategically formulated according to the challenges the Palestinian cause is facing to ensure that the most practical tactics are being used. - Ensure that our inalienable rights are non-negotiable.Second: The Struggle Against the Occupation and its Apartheid policiesMain principle: The Palestinian people shall struggle against the Israeli occupation using all morally legitimate means of resistance until they are free and establish a just society with full equality. - The Palestinian people, through the PLO, shall identify the strategies of the struggle. - We shall increase the momentum of nonviolent popular resistance, using the media, international law, strikes, boycotts, divestment and sanctions and shall seek international support for our struggle.- We shall support the steadfastness our people on their land, especially in Jerusalem, areas threatened with eviction such as the Jordan Valley and areas in the Negev desert, and near the Apartheid barrier.- We shall forming popular committees to confront occupation?s measures and create daily realities to protect innocent people, their private properties and land.- We shall launch international campaigns to combat the occupation and its racist separation. We shall use international law to assist us in ascertaining our rights and coordination with international organizations that support values such as human rights, freedom, and equality. - We shall struggle against the Israel?s racist measures against our people inside the Green Line, support them and provide political and legal protection for their demands and struggle.Third: Administration of the daily living affairs of the Palestinian people in the OPTMain principle: The Palestinian administration in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the civil entity mandated by the PLO to manage the Palestinian affairs. Hence, it does not have the authority to represent all Palestinians. It is not a political entity or authority.- The PLO forms a representative council for the Palestinians in the OPT responsible for management of their life affairs.- The representative council is the realistic alternative of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Presidential institution in the OPT. - An administrator shall be elected from the representative council. He/She shall nominate the heads of the differnet administrative directorates, which shall work according to a platform set up and approved by the representative council to ensure the fulfillment of the people?s day-to-day demands in the OPT.- The representative council shall be constituted of experts and not politicians whose tasks are confined in taking care of administrative and legislative demands pertinent to people?s day-to-day lives. This will reduce factional competition and enhance the role of the elected representative council. Formation of security apparatuses and their tasks, and the resistance arms- All security apparatuses will be integrated within one police service that maintains public safety and the rule of law in the OPT. - The police apparatus shall be fully separated from and independent of the political factions.- Weapons shall be used for legal reasons only such as maintaining the people?s safety and defending them from mortal harm. - Political factions do not have the right to individually select their resistance strategies.- The police apparatus will be restructured based on new laws that shall govern its duties.Combating corruption- Full transparency shall be restored. Corrupt institutes and individuals shall be tried and the stolen funds returned to their rightful owners and the Palestinian people. Requirements of national and societal reconciliation- Banning any political platform from inciting to violence.- The youth and academic experts shall formulate a document to end Palestinian disunity in a manner that is beneficial for the Palestinian cause. - The youth shall use wide ranging activities to pressure all conflicting sides to come together- Any delay in ending the division after this document is presented shall be borne by the present leaderships.- A court shall be formed from independent persons guaranteed by the PLO to decide on all the division implications at the individual and collective levels. The court?s decisions are binding to all. Let all people who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:- WE SHALL STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY.