Farewell to Victimhood

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In the wake of mounting violence and unrest in the Palestinian territories and Israel over the past three months, over forty thousand Palestinians have taken to the streets to protest Israel’s occupation and its policies in Jerusalem. Reuters recently reported that 24 Israelis and at least 142 Palestinians have been killed in clashes since the beginning of October 2015. The uprising, led by young Palestinians, is taking place against the backdrop of stalled negotiations over a two-state solution and increasing disillusionment with the Palestinian Authority.

In his piece, “Farewell to Victimhood,” Dr. Salam Fayyad, former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority and Distinguished Statesman with the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, addresses the root causes and historical context of the popular uprising overtaking Palestine– what he terms a third intifada–and a desire to put the intifada and its post-Oslo youth on a path to positive outcomes. In “Farewell to Victimhood,” Fayyad proposes a work plan, comprising three main components, to bring about positive change in Palestine:

  1. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) should categorically affirm its full commitment to the array of inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, as provided under international law.
  2. Through an interim PLO leadership framework, the Palestinian people should promptly implement measures aimed at bringing the current state of division and fragmentation in the Palestinian political system to an end, once and for all, starting with the Gaza Strip.
  3. The movement should fully engage all official and civil-society levels in the battle for Palestinian statehood as an integral component of the national effort going forward.

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