Abu Rashid: Palestinians of Europe changed western stands on Palestine


Amin Abu Rashid, general coordinator of the Palestinians in Europe Conference, said on Saturday that the Palestinian diaspora is the main supporter of the Palestinian revolution, but its role was negatively affected after the Oslo Agreement.

In an exclusive interview with the PIC, Abu Rashid affirmed that the Palestinian diaspora played a key role in launching the Palestinian revolution at first, and then ensuring its continuity for decades. However, after the Oslo Agreement, this role was limited to backing Palestinians inside the Palestinian territories.

Abu Rashid pointed out that the decline in the role of the Palestinian diaspora has to do with the nature of the regimes and countries where Palestinians are scattered, especially the Arab ones, and their position on the Palestinian issue. He added that the positions of the Palestinian factions on some issues also affected their relations with these countries, and thus, the Palestinian presence there was affected.

He added that moving the Palestinian power to the Palestinian territories and forming the Palestinian Authority (PA) significantly weakened the role and the political program of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) abroad after it lost its true representation of the Palestinian existence in the diaspora.

On the Palestinians in Europe Conference, he said that Europe was known for its anti-Palestinian position, yet it was and still is an open arena where Palestinians can move freely. This, in addition to the absence of factionalism in the Palestinian presence there, led to the emergence of institutions and frameworks that represent and meet the aspirations of the Palestinian communities. Through time, he noted, they were able to bring about changes in the attitudes of the western society toward the Palestinian issue.

Abu Rashid emphasized that one of the achievements of the Palestinian communities in Europe is attaining recognition of the Palestinian rights, especially the right of return, and creating space for the Palestinian voice in the western media.

Regarding the Palestinian territories, they helped mobilize support for Palestinians there through organizing conferences, launching campaigns against the siege imposed on the Palestinian people, exposing the Israeli practices against them including the apartheid wall, shedding light on the forgotten suffering of the 1948 Palestinians, and achieving national unity, he underlined.

He pointed out that the Palestinian communities in Europe pay attention to the new generations by offering them opportunities to work, and they endeavor to improve women’s action committees there.

Abu Rashid stated that there is a noticeable regression in the role of the PLO and the PA since they are constrained by a set of agreements and negotiations, and that slowly, the PLO turned from representing the whole Palestinian diaspora to representing one spectrum of it.

On the role of the Palestinian embassies in this issue, he said that these embassies only represent the PA and Fatah Movement in other countries, and as a result, there is a huge gap between them and the Palestinian people abroad.

Abu Rashid stressed that the true representation of the Palestinian people is the right way to activate and employ their energies coupled with the efforts of the Palestinian movements and national and Islamic forces away from factional affiliations.

To achieve this, he added, organizing a popular conference attended by Palestinians in the diaspora, where the problems they face along with their goals and aspirations will be discussed, would help, especially amid the narrow-mindedness of the Palestinian political factions who might be pushed to rearrange their priorities.

(Source / 12.02.2017)

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