PLO official: UN recognition will bring no gains

Head of PLO’s “political department,” Farouk Kaddoumi, criticizes PA leadership for abandoning armed struggle.

Nablus men hold poster of Abbas and Arafat 370 (photo credit: Abed Omar Qusini/ Reuters)
Nablus men hold poster of Abbas and Arafat 370
(photo credit: Abed Omar Qusini/ Reuters)
The Palestinians won’t benefit from the upgrading of their status to non-member observer state in the UN because nothing will change on the ground, veteran PLO official Farouk Kaddoumi said on Wednesday.
Kaddoumi, head of the PLO’s “political department,” also criticized the Palestinian Authority leadership for abandoning the armed struggle in favor of peace negotiations with Israel.
Kaddoumi’s statements came as PA President Mahmoud Abbas was set to ask the UN General Assembly on Thursday to vote in favor of upgrading the status of a Palestinian entity.
The PA has also asked its supporters in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem to stage rallies backing Abbas and the statehood bid.
PA civil servants have been given a day off so that they could also participate in “celebrations” after the UN approves the request.
Kaddoumi, who is based in Tunisia, told the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad that the statehood bid was a “political move” that would not benefit the Palestinians.
Kaddoumi is a staunch opponent of the Oslo Accords that were signed between the PLO and Israel in 1993.
“This will not benefit the Palestinians because it won’t change the reality of occupation and Judaization that exists on the ground,” he said. “What we really need is change on the ground.”
Kaddoumi said that previous UN resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict had never been implemented.
The PLO, he added, has been negotiating endlessly with Israel since the 1991 Madrid Conference “without achieving anything.”
“Resistance has a better impact on Israel,” Kaddoumi said. “Therefore, there is no need for negotiations.”
Referring to the recent Israel-Hamas confrontation, he said, “The era of negotiations has ended in favor of the armed struggle, which has proven to be more effective.”
Meanwhile, Hana Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told reporters in Ramallah that the statehood bid was a “positive change and quantum leap.”
Ashrawi said that the statehood bid would pave the way for freedom and independence for the Palestinians.
She noted that the UN decision would mean that “our lands are not disputed territories, but Palestinian lands.” A vote in favor of the Palestinian application is a vote for peace and justice, Ashrawi claimed.
“This is a moral vote. A vast majority of members supports our request,” she added.
She said that after the UN vote, the PA leadership would embark on “practical and tangible” steps to hold democratic elections and end the rivalry between Fatah and Hamas.
Ashrawi blasted Israel for trying to “blackmail” the Palestinians and sabotage the peace process by “Judaizing Jerusalem and building settlements.”
The Palestinians, she said, preserved the right to prosecute Israel in the International Criminal Court “at the time we choose and in accordance with our interests.”
Upgrading the status of a Palestinian entity would give the Palestinians access to several UN agencies, including the International Criminal Court.
Ashrawi said that the Palestinians would go to the court “if Israel continued to avoid and violate international laws.”