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Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations in Beirut published a new book casting light on the crisis of the Palestinian national project and the prospects for resolving it.

The book, to which ten specialists and experts contributed, tries to spot the shortcomings in the national project, and the aspects of the Arab, Islamic Israeli, and international (especially American) impact on its crisis, in addition to the ways to resolve it.

The book shows that the Arab countries, especially those bordering Palestine, bear a historic responsibility towards the Palestinian national project.

This is much because of restricting or banning resistance work, and constraining the Palestinian official and popular activity. It is also referred to curbing the ability of the Palestinians to organize themselves freely in those countries, foiling Palestinian elections or national councils, or preventing them except at high political prices.

Publication information:

Title: Azmat al-Mashru‘ al-Watani al-Filastini wa al-Aafaq al-Muhtamalah (The Crisis of the Palestinian National Project and its Prospects)
Editor: Mohsen Mohammad Saleh
Publisher: Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations
Publication date: First edition, 2013
Physical details: 168 pages, paperback
 Price: $5

The book says that Fatah movement believes that resolving the crisis of the Palestinian national project needs the pursuit of many tracks, the first among which is the Palestinian reconciliation. For its part, Hamas insists that the priorities to resolve the crisis are the agreement on a definition for the national project, putting the Palestinian house in order, a unified leadership, launching a comprehensive resistance project facing the occupation, assessment of the negotiations process/experience, restoring the Arab and Islamic role, and restoring international support for the Palestinian issue. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), however, believes that the treatment can be attained through different means including the convening of a comprehensive national conference, ending the division, the rehabilitation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and adopting the resistance as a strategic option.

The book also presents a historical criticism of the Palestinian national project and it considers the PLO a national achievement that yet suffers five problems. These problems, according to the book, undermine the Organization’s representation of the Palestinian people and incapacitate it. These problems are the dilemma of representation, the institutions and institutional work, decision-making and its mechanisms, the dwindling role and influence, in addition to the problem of vision, track, and frame of reference.

The book asserts that the political agreements based on the Oslo Accords have contributed to transforming the Palestinian Authority (PA) from a state project to a functional entity.

It displays the Palestinian transformations after the Arab Spring, and the influence of the Arab uprisings on the Palestinian reconciliation and the Palestinian national project. Then, it discusses the Israeli impact on the Palestinian decision and the possibility of neutralizing it.

The book displays the role of foreign forces, especially the US, in the crisis of the Palestinian national project. It attests that the US has worked since the Madrid Conference in 1991, then the Oslo Accords in 1993, on sponsoring the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and providing the necessary support for their continuation, where the American impact was demonstrated at the international and internal levels. However, the book says, the US has been biased to Israel and contributed to the deepening of the crisis of the Palestinian national project.

The 186-page book is originally a panel discussion organized by al-Zaytouna Centre on 27/6/2012 and it is considered an important contribution to the ongoing discussion on ending the Palestinian division, rebuilding the national project, and putting the Palestinian house in order.

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies & Consultations, 1/4/2013