A declaration from the PYM

We have received a declaration from the PYM concerning Mahoud Abbas's intention to request that the U N General Assembly recognize the "State of Palestine". The revue Dialogue considers this document to be an important contribution to the necessary discussion on the problems confronting the Palestinian people today. We have taken this opportunity to ask Loubna Qutami, General Coordinator of the PYM, several questions.

- Could you introduce yourself to the readers of "Dialogue" ?

-The Palestinian Youth Movement ("PYM") is a transnational, independent, grassroots movement of young Palestinians in Palestine and in exile worldwide as a result of the on-going Zionist colonization and occupation of our homeland. Our belonging to Palestine and our aspirations for justice and liberation motivate us to assume an active role as a young generation in our national struggle for the liberation of our homeland and people.

Irrespective of our different political, cultural and social backgrounds, we strive to revive a tradition of pluralistic commitment toward our cause to ensure a better future, characterized by freedom and justice on a social and political level, for ourselves and subsequent generations.

- What is the attitude of the young people of Palestine today regarding the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian organizations in general?

-The debate about recognition of statehood in the United Nations has sparked an abundance of diverse sentiments, perspectives and attitudes amongst Palestinian youth of the world. While some Palestinians, who stand the chance to gain individual economic and political forms of power, support the statehood proposal according to their individual interests, we assume the majority of Palestinian youth who support the state declaration may see it as an oppurtunity, a last resort, for the Palestinian people to pull themselves out of the political predicament they have found themselves in as the result of almost two decades of a faulty peace process and negotiations. The continued annexation of Palestinian lands by Israel, the denial of refugees returning to their lands, Israeli control of borders, land, airspace, the apartheid wall, checkpoints, and the stalemate of negotiations has generated a level of exhaustion and has wedged the Palestinians in between a rock and a hard place. The Palestinians do not have anything to negotiation with because systems and processes of negotiation does not recognize the power differentiation between the colonizer and the colonized. As a result, those in support of the proposal may see it as a process in which Israel becomes more accountable to the International community and thePalestinians can establish their sovereignty without approval by the oppressor. Furthermore, the statehood proposal capitalizes on the political momentum sweeping the region at large that is rapidly overturning neo-colonial tyrannical regimes and the Palestinian leadership does feel pressure to compensate for it's failure over the last two decades of not being able to determine a final solution, better the lives of the Palestinians under occupation, and weakening their sense of legitimacy by their own people.

However, it is irresponsible and unethical to say that the majority of Palestinian youth support the statehood declaration recognition. The proposal is being presented by a Palestinian leadership that does not represent the majority of Palestinian youth in the world-namely those living as refugees and exiles. The statehood proposal negates the Palestinian right of return to all of historic Palestine because it solidifies borders based on June of 1967 which also does not represent the majority of Palestinian youth national aspirations. Furthermore, the statehood proposal does not address the fundamental issues that are of the upmost importance for Palestinian youth today; Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, borders, exploitation of labor, and corruption by certain individuals and entities within Palestinian leadership. More importantly, the statehood recognition does not address what Palestinian youth inside Palestine and transnationally aspire and are demanding; a liberation movement that is transparent, ethical, involves all Palestinians (refugees, exiles, women, youth, poor, political prisoners) and that is anti-colonial in it's premise. The statehood recognition does not address the division or corruption in Palestinian leadership, or the prospects to engage more youth and other disenfranchised Palestinians in the process towards negotiating the terms of freedom and homeland. In it's simplest form, for PYM and many Palestinian youth of the world, statehood recognition does not equal nor preclude freedom, sovereignty, justice, and return. Rather, it distracts our people from being perpelled by the sweeping revolutions of the Arab Spring to re-formulate and re-vitalize our own liberation movement. The proposal disempowers the Palestinian people inside Palestine and in exile by allowing the UN, US, Israel, to determine what characterizes Palestinian statehood rather than equipping the Palestinian people to construct a truly liberated, self-determined and democratic nation that secures justice and peace for it's people and all in the region.

Fundamentally, the PYM sees the statehood recognition proposal as a production that distracts the International Community from what is truely needed to end occupation and colonization; holding Israel accountable by means of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Furthermore, the proposal distracts Palestinians by once again putting fourth a false and unethical promise of sovereignty (as had been done in the 1991 Madrid Talks and 1993 Oslo Accords) to distract and disempower the Palestinian and Arab youth at large from building grassroots, liberatory, consistent and sustainable political transformation.

- What are your projects for the immediate future?

-The PYM is currently working on strengthening the transnational bases of PYM chapters and empowering, inspiring, and preparing Palestinian youth of the world to assume their rights and responsibilities to revitalizing a transnational-justice centered-Palestinian based-youth based- liberation movement.

We will do this through the implementation of the "Until Return and Liberation" project which will be conducted and facilitated in various chapters across the world which includes various components including political education for our communities and allies, organizational development, and larger social transformation. PYM needs support from all who support these efforts. For more information on how to support the project, or to join please email pym@pal-youth.org . ( www.pal-youth.org )

Attached Document :
declaration from the PYM

From DIALOGUE REVIEW ( www.dialogue-review.com )