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Zionism Carries Within it the Seeds of its  Demise:

Nayef Al-Rajoub Interviewed By Khalid Amayreh

ME Monitor, August 2, 2010

Nayef Al-Rajoub, 52, is one of the most popular Islamic leaders in Occupied Palestine. His courageous promotion of Palestinian rights, including the right of return for Palestinian refugees, has attracted the unwanted attention of the Israeli security services. He has served a total of eight years in Israeli jails, mostly on trumped-up charges such as "incitement against the Israeli state". Indeed, Mr. Rajoub was released from an Israeli jail only a few weeks ago, having served nearly 50 months for the "crime" of taking part in the 2006 Palestinian elections. In Al-Khalil (Hebron), Rajoub won more votes than any other candidate. The elections were given the go-ahead by both Israel and the US in the hope that Fatah would win. However, when Hamas won a landslide victory, the US and most other western countries, as well as America's puppet regimes in the Middle East, were hostile towards the new Palestinian government, resulting in the imposition of a financial siege (followed by a total siege on Gaza) intended to make the occupied territories ungovernable by the new Islamist rulers.

Khalid Amayreh spoke with Nayef Rajoub in his office in the town of Dura in the southern West Bank.


Khalid Amayreh: How do you see the Palestinian cause 20 years from now?

Nayef Rajoub: I believe the Palestinian Authority of Ramallah will keep on walking along the fruitless path of concessions and surrender until there is nothing or very little left in terms of Palestinian rights. Israel might agree to give the PA a Kafkaesque state that is bereft of dignity, viability and sovereignty.

As to when the conflict will be over, nobody can say for sure, but I am certain that the conflict won't be over until the disappearance of the ideology of Zionism that makes Israel a colonialist state. This is not wishful thinking; Zionism carries within it the seeds of its own demise and Israel is a state based on the dispossession of another people. It is, therefore, based on oppression and injustice. As such, its lifespan will not be very long.

KA: Do you see any possibility of coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Palestine?

NR: As long as Zionism is the ideology underpinning Israel, coexistence is impossible. How can we coexist with a community which insists on enslaving and tormenting us? Besides, Zionists - Jews and non-Jews alike – do not want coexistence; they want Jewish supremacy in Palestine and ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, the Palestinians.

KA: But hasn’t the South African scenario proved that coexistence is possible between previously irreconcilable communities?

NR: The South African comparison is inherently wrong. Israel is an entity that is based on ethnic cleansing and land theft and it won't accept majority rule under any circumstances, unlike the South Africans.

KA: Given the weakness of the overall Arab position, do you think that Israel might resort to committing a major provocation, such as demolishing Al-Aqsa Mosque?

NR: Yes; if the Palestinian Authority and Arab states continue with this policy of capitulation, including conspiring with Israel and the US against the Palestinians’ legitimate rights, this will embolden the Zionist establishment and make Israel embark on more daring crimes, of which the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque could be one.

KA: Do you think the time for the peace process has passed by in light of the chronic failure of that process to-date?

NR: What is erroneously called "the peace process" is actually a series of Israeli diktats imposed on the Palestinians, who have been reduced to the status of a vanquished supplicant begging for whatever Israel condescends to give. Unfortunately, this situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, at least until the Muslim Ummah can generate enough will in the international community to do something more positive.

KA: What do you mean by "something more positive"?

NR: To get into a position whereby we are negotiating from a position of strength; doing so from a position of weakness ends up as begging.

KA: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has warned that he will switch to a one-state solution strategy if Israel keeps building Jewish colonies in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem. What do you think of this?

NR: This is a clear acknowledgement that the folly known as "the peace process" has failed. The PA has been indulging in futile gestures and failure for the past 20 years. This also shows that the US is not really serious about finding an agreement that will put an end to the Arab-Israel conflict.

I don't think a unitary state, or threats to establish such an entity, have a real chance of success under the present circumstances. Israel will not allow an Arab majority to determine the direction of such a state, besides which the Palestinian-Arab side is not strong enough to force Israel to accept a democratic solution.

KA: Does the Islamic movement in Palestine believe in the possibility of creating a viable state in the West Bank within the 1967 borders?

NR: No, not under the current circumstances, given the weakness of the overall Arab position and because of America’s collusion and alliance with Israel.

KA: If you were in the PA President’s shoes, what would you do?

NR: I think that anyone in that position has to agree to abandon principles; I wouldn’t be prepared to do that, so I would never be PA president.

KA: If you had known in 2006 what you know now, would the Islamic movement still have participated in the legislative elections?

NR: Yes, we would. We knew from the very beginning that our path wouldn't be lined with roses. We had to take part in the elections in order to stop the avalanche of corruption and concessions to the Zionists. To put it simply, someone had to stop the rot.

KA: Who is responsible for the national rift between Fatah and Hamas?

NR: The people responsible for the rift are those who didn't respect the outcome of the elections. They are Fatah, the US, the EU and Israel, in addition to the Arab regimes at America's beck and call.

KA: The US and its allies insist that Hamas must recognise Israel before the Islamic movement can be accepted as a legitimate political player. Would Hamas recognize Israel under any conceivable circumstances?

NR: It is both unreasonable and illogical to ask the victims to recognise the legitimacy of their tormentors. It is Israel that must first recognise Palestinians’ legitimate rights, including the right to self-determination and the right to freedom.

KA: How do you view the so-called Egyptian document which is aimed at achieving reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas?

NR: The document is a recipe cooked up by Fatah and Egypt intended to serve Fatah’s interests. What Palestine needs is unconditional reconciliation.

In addition, I would like to say that what the PA is doing in the West Bank, namely the unrelenting persecution of Hamas, underscores Fatah’s lack of seriousness about achieving national reconciliation.

KA: Fatah accuses Hamas of subservience to Iran. Is that true?

NR: Hamas is not subservient to any earthly power except the Palestinian people. Any other suggestion or insinuation should be understood in the context of propaganda against the Islamic movement.

Besides, the Palestinian cause is the cause of all Arab and Islamic peoples. Hence, it is the religious duty of all Muslims and Muslim states to support the Palestinian cause. It is far from dishonourable for Arab and Muslim states to support our steadfastness, whereas it is truly dishonourable to throw oneself into the lap of our enemies.  




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