One-People, One-State for all

10.01.11 – 10:51

By: Mitri I. Musleh – Ignorance, belligerence, selfishness, power, control and injustice are a combined phenomenon that is clouding the skies of the so-called Palestinian/Israeli peace talks.

In the midst of all this time wasting efforts being displayed by the various players as a result of the mind boggling political manoeuvring of the international community, Israel remains the only benefactor of this political game while the Palestinian people remain living in bondage under the brutality of Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian people have been struggling against occupation and colonization of Palestine for over 6 decades. However, it was not until 1987 that the people of Palestine were able to bear fruit of their struggle and positively influence world opinion.

Israel’s iron fist treatment of Palestinians, Israel’s on going confiscation of illegally occupied Palestinian land and build up of its illegal settlements, Israel’s violations of human rights issues when dealing with Palestinians and its total disregard to international law are all factors which existed prior to the first intifada.

The First Intifada was a protest initiated by Palestinian youth against the Israeli occupation of their land. This protest was waged against the Israeli colonial, unjustified and brutal occupation of Palestine.

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Up to that moment, the Palestinian leadership of the time had not brought about any solutions to alleviate the Palestinian suffering, further, the Arab summit in Amman in November 1987 focused on the Iran-Iraq war while the Palestinian issue was shunted to the sideline. Also, the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip contributed to the growing discontent of the status quo.

Twenty-three years after the fact, the situation today, remains the same and yet, in a worst condition than it has ever been before.

The Israeli grip on the Palestinian territories remains brutal, harsh and fatal. The Palestinian leadership remains divided, weak and incapable of bringing about any solution that would alleviate the Palestinian suffering. Further, the international community and the world media had shunted the Palestinian cause to the sideline.

In 1987, the United National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU), led by community councils Hanan Ashrawi, Faisal Husseini and Haider Abdel-Schafi, and the positive feed back and determination displayed by the Palestinian youth were all factors that brought the Palestinian struggle to the forefront of the world centre stage.

This peaceful civil rights movement, which swept the Palestinian territories was a tactic that included strikes and demonstrations, extensive posting of illegal slogans, flags and symbols, boycotting Israeli-made products, resigning from posts in the military government, withholding labor from Israel and refusing to use Israeli official documents. Most of all, it was a peaceful non-violent form of civil disobedience which influenced a change in mind and heart of world opinion which was poisoned by Zionist propaganda for so long.

Israel’s response to this uprising was fatal. The Israeli soldiers killed many unarmed Palestinian youth.

The large number of Palestinian casualties provoked international condemnation, drew world-wide attention to the Palestinian plight, it created a “growing anti-Israel” movement around the world and in subsequent resolutions, the Security Council demanded that Israel cease deportations of Palestinians.

The most positive and conspicuous aspect of the Intifada was manifested in the collective cooperation among religious groups, political factions, sexes and social classes within the Palestinian society. In addition to this, its detrimental impact on Israel’s economy was characterized by the dramatic increase in military manpower presence in the territories and the loss of cheap Arab labor.

The political developments of the past 23 years has played a fundamental part in changing directions and attitudes of the Palestinian people’s struggle for independence and freedom. This is due, in part, to the failure of both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships in providing the Palestinians with a viable and independent state and establishing peace and economic prosperity for all.

Israel’s continued defiance to international law and its lack of support to establish a  “Two-State solution” should clearly define the Palestinian’s next step of action.
There are two distinct characteristics that would illustrate the Palestinian’s struggle for independence and freedom.

First: The Palestinians should go back to basics and allow their history to determine their future. Since the circumstances on the ground remain the same and even worse than they did in 1987, the Palestinians should mobilize and rethink their next step of action. Civil disobedience in a non-violent resistance mode against Israel’s occupation is how the Palestinians should re-define their struggle.

Second: The Palestinians should peacefully demand equal rights and freedom as contributing members within the Israeli society. The Palestinians slogan of struggle should read “One-people, One-State for all”.

PNN – Palestine News Network – One-People, One-State for all.

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