Professor explores link between governance and human rights
Under the title “The Matrix: Rights, government and daily life in Palestine”, Law Professor Asem Khalil, Vice President for Community Affairs at Birzeit University issued a new article to highlight how governance works in Palestine and its relation to Basic Human Rights.
The article starts by displaying a hypothetical situation regarding three Women whom holds different shapes of "Palestinian" IDs in which each of these three women has separate protocol of accessing and obtaining certain human rights. The article projects how the application of governance is varied in Palestine due to the Israeli occupation; the writer argues that the fragmentation of governance results in a structure of discrimination that is becoming more entrenched
Later on, the author poses the question of "who governs Palestine", he portrays the different shapes of Governance in Palestine, Hamas ruling Gaza, The Israeli government in East Jerusalem, and the supposedly Palestinian authority’s governance in the West Bank, arguing in this matter that failed peace negotiations have kept the Oslo Accords' framework of governance, which was intended to be temporary, largely intact. This has allowed Israel to remain an occupying force exercising sovereign powers over the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), while the PA has become the main provider of public services for the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Moreover, the article highlights an important complicating factor which is the individual. In Palestine, people's daily lives unfold in a complex matrix of laws, rules, orders, norms and institutions that shape and compel every action. He shows how Law that supposedly must be general and equal varies from a citizen to another.
On the other hand, The Author criticizes in his article the “rule of law initiatives” by international donors, he shows how various rule of Law initiatives are guilty of the tackling the issue of governance in Palestine by either forgetting about Israel as an occupational power, or assuming the Israeli occupation as an authority exercising owner over people in equal ways, such initiatives like the European Unions’ ones didn’t help ameliorate the justice system; instead they helped consolidate the current policies on inclusion and exclusion in the post-Oslo arrangements. He positively notes that Governance can offer a way to dismantle the current structure of entrenched discrimination, by building models that thrives on the recognition of the existence the apartheid regime, and second in assuming the governance in not entered around the idea of the state but around basic rights like Freedom, equality and Dignity.