Basil al-Araj, a beloved intellectual and activist who lived and died on the principle of resistance, was murdered by the Zionist security forces in an early morning raid last week. Basil was no stranger to the repressive nature of the PA, having been arrested and held in Palestinian Authority prisons for months before launching a hunger strike in protest. Upon his and his comrades release, the Israelis repeatedly raided his family’s home in Ramallah in search of Basil, but he was able to evade capture for months before being killed resisting the occupiers.
The shameless collaborators in the Palestinian Authority freely gloat about their betrayal of Palestine, referencing the arrest of Basil al-Araj and five other resistors, PA President Mahmoud Abbas was reported in Der Spiegel in April of last year saying, “Our security forces are working very efficiently to prevent terror. Just a couple of days ago, three young men were tracked down and arrested. They were planning an attack. In this context, our security cooperation with Israel is functioning well.” Adding salt to the wound, in the protests that followed in the past few days, the PA security force has beaten, tear gassed, and shot live ammunition at protestors struggling against the traitors in the PA.
It is clear as ever that the Palestinian Authority exists solely as an external security force for the colonizers, putting a Palestinian face on a settler bureaucracy. There hasn’t been national elections in Palestine in over ten years, even by the standard of international law the PA is an illegitimate governing body. The security coordination that Abbas is all-too-eager to facilitate is the legacy of the disastrous Oslo Accords. The logical conclusion to a “peace” agreement negotiated by imperialists between the settler and the indigenous can only end with the capitulation of the indigenous political force sitting at the negotiation table. We must interrogate why our imperialist government has a vested interest in the establishment and maintenance of the Palestinian Authority, and arrive at the conclusion that the Palestinians have already come to: that Oslo was never meant to provide a just peace, instead it is only a way to strengthen and entrench the colonization of Palestine. For ourselves in the diaspora and allies in the U.S. our job as students, intellectuals and workers must be to unmask that connection between U.S. imperialism and the continued rule of the Palestinian Authority. Basil reminds us that we cannot simply be students passively studying the Palestinian situation,
“If you want to be an intellectual, you have to be an engaged intellectual, and if you refuse to do so, it is no use to be intellectual.”
For Basil, for Omar Nayef Zayed, and for all those betrayed by the PA collaborators, rally with us and the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) today, at 5:30pm at 115 E 65th Street.
PA: END SECURITY COORDINATION WITH ISRAEL OR DISSOLVE!
LONG LIVE THE MARTYR BASIL AL-ARAJ!