PLO and Hamas must hold elections or let their citizens emigrate

September 22, 2020 by David Singer
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The PLO’s continuing refusal to negotiate with Israel on President Trump’s Peace Plan – whilst also denouncing the peace treaties signed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain with Israel – sees West Bank and Gazan Arabs remaining captive to accepting these disastrous PLO decisions without any rights to vote or emigrate.

These disenfranchised, beleaguered and long-suffering populations have seen the PLO reject proposals for peace flowing from:

  • 1993 Oslo Accords,
  • 2000 Camp David Summit,
  • 2003 Bush Road Map,
  • Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza 2005
  • 2007 Annapolis Conference,
  • 2014 Kerry negotiations and
  • Trump’s 2020 deal of the century.

Financial assistance that would have improved their lives has been lost – including:

  • $750 million annually from direct American aid
  • $360 million per annum in American aid to UNRWA
  • America terminating its payment of 22% of UNESCO’s annual budget as a result of UNESCO’s admission of the “State of Palestine” as a member contrary to American domestic law and in contravention of UNESCO’s own constitution
  • $28.5 billion that would have flown from international donors at the Manama Conference held on 25/26 June 2019 if the Trump Peace Plan was implemented.

The UAE voiced its support for the Manama Conference and what it hoped would be achieved:

“The UAE supports all international efforts aimed at supporting economic progress and increasing opportunities in the region, and alleviating the suffering of people in the region, particularly our brothers in Palestine…  It (the Conference) aims to lift the Palestinian people out of misery and to enable them for a stable and prosperous future,”

Hamas and the PLO violently opposed and boycotted the Manama Conference.

Hamas – which turned Gaza into a hell hole following Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005 – had the gall to warn the Manama Conference Arab attendees:

“We warn Arab states against the malicious activities aimed to pave the way for normalisation with the Israeli occupation and involvement in the deal of the century,”

The UAE and Bahrain wisely rejected this advice at the White House last week.

PLO spokesman Saeb Erekat – expressed his opposition to the Manama Conference claiming:

“there will be no economic prosperity in Palestine without the end of the occupation.”

Tens of millions of desperate people have fled their birthplaces for economic reasons in recent years seeking to enter other countries illegally.

Policies espoused by both Hamas and the PLO in relation to Israel have wrought disaster:

  • Materially affecting West Bank and Gazan Arabs’ personal lives and
  • Wrecking hopes for peace and a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Many West Bank and Gazan Arabs would want to emigrate after Erekat’s depressing prediction – especially to Arab countries prepared to accept them legally.

Employment, economic prosperity and better lives tantalisingly beckon West Bank and Gazan Arabs in:

  • Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project– a planned US$500 billion mega city.

The project includes a bridge spanning the Red Sea, connecting the proposed city to Africa.

Some 25,900 square kilometres – the size of Israel – has been allocated for the project – which will be close to the borders of Jordan and Egypt.

  • The planned relocation of the Egyptian Government offices from Cairo to a new $58 billion administrative capital city 45 km east of Cairo covering an area of 741 square km.

West Bank and Gazan Arabs – caught up in three decades of disastrous decisions and continuing internecine in-fighting between their corrupt governments – should be allowed to vote with their feet and move – with international financial assistance – to other countries willing to accept them.

The PLO and Hamas should be spurned worldwide until they let their citizens emigrate.

David Singer is a Sydney lawyer and a foundation member of the International Analysts Network

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog


2 Responses to “PLO and Hamas must hold elections or let their citizens emigrate”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    PLO & Hamas allowing emigration? Not on your nelly! Letting people leave their country (or regime) is a human right, but for jihadis/islamists such rights do not exist. They cannot allow the people under their control to leave for two reasons: emigration would be a vote of no-confidence and, more importantly, allowing people to leave would remove that segment of their societies that can be exploited to get funds from foreign donors with which they line their pockets and who can be recruited to fight terror wars.

    • DAVID SINGER says:


      You are correct in your assessment of the PLO and Hamas who are holding their citizens captive against their wishes and without any hope of elections being held that could see Hamas and the PLO being replaced by more moderate politicians who want to normalize relations with Israel.

      International pressure could see hundreds of thousands of West Bank and Gazan Arabs being given the opportunity to seek better lives elsewhere. Whilst the international community remains silent, it becomes complicit in the PLO and Hamas continuing to refuse their citizens the right to leave for a better life for themselves and their families. The international community stands condemned whilst it remains silent and inactive – especially as other Arab and Muslim countries such as UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kosovo are normalizing their relationships with Israel.

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