Redefining the Palestinian Struggle for Justice and Freedom

31.01.11 – 10:50| PNN – Palestine News Network –

By: Mitri I. Musleh – Judging from current events taking place in the Middle East, one must wonder if and when the Palestinian people will ever realize their dream to live in a free, democratic and secular Palestine.

Throughout the past one hundred years or so, and in most cases, a window of opportunities existed where conflicting nations of the world were able to reach a reasonable compromise, whether through diplomatic means or force, to resolve their differences except in Palestine.

People from all walks of life differ on the causes and effects that have made the Palestinian-Israeli conflict insoluble.

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Some blame God for having favoured some people over others; academics may blame the Western imperialist governments of exploiting the human and natural resource of the weak and helpless. Others point to a lack of a strong leadership needed to take decisive actions in determining war or peace. There are those groups who place the blame on incompetent leaders and their hunger for power and control.

Regardless on what your take is on this subject, and in light of the historical development of the current conflict, it is reasonable to assume that, over the years the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has had its fair share of opportunities to reach a peaceful and satisfactory end.

Unfortunately, every time an opportunity of peace has loomed in the horizon, some big event has surfaced and pushed the peace process aside.

The Ramallah government, led by Fatah, had chosen the path of diplomacy as a way of establishing peace and economic prosperity. Right or wrong, the Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad seem to be a step closer to reaching a decisive decision that may force the United Nations to take a vote on recognizing a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital. Today, there are well over 120 countries of the world’s 152 UN member states who have either recognized or are in the process of recognizing a Palestinian state in the above context.
The leaked document by Al-Jazeera, concerning concessions made to Israel by the Palestinian negotiators and regardless of its validity, is the latest obstacle arising, which has proven more powerful than peace and establishing a Palestinian state.

The intent of publishing the document, at this stage, has successfully jeopardized the Ramallah leadership efforts in gaining international recognition of the Palestinian state. It also managed to shelve the problem for many years yet to come.

In reality, this means that all international efforts applied thus far to resolving the problem, since the Oslo accords, have now been put to rest, once and for all.

In the midst of all this political manoeuvring, the Palestinian people remain the only losers feeling the impact of an unforgiving and brutal occupation of their land.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip and the daily life of all Palestinians living there, shares the same aspirations as that of Fatah. They too want a Palestinian state of their own free of foreign occupation. However, Hamas leadership believes that only by force, Israel will agree to provide for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

In so far, and since the Oslo accords, which marked the beginning of the direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis, Israel’s leaders, from the left to the right, continued to illegally confiscate Palestinian lands, increase the size of current illegal settlements and building new ones, uprooting Palestinian olive trees and demolishing their homes. In addition, they continue to build their giant  separation wall subjecting the Palestinians to live in the largest out door prison in the history of mankind. Further, Israeli leaders dramatically increased the number of their checkpoints making it impossible for Palestinians to farm their lands and Palestinian youth to attend their academic institutions. All of the above, plus the many ways in which Israeli military force and settlement residents are fatally antagonizing all Palestinians regardless of their sex or age.

The Palestinian leadership, whether in Ramallah or Gaza, is incapable of leading the Palestinian people to the ‘Promised Land’ due to their inability to reconcile their ideological differences.

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The Palestinian people, whether living abroad, in refugee camps, or under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, are feeling a sense of defeat, isolation and abandonment. On a daily basis, they feel the humiliation and helplessness as they try to make ends meet in a world of cruelty, injustice, deceit and disgust.

The Palestinian people’s wish is to be free of occupation and oppression, they need to have their rights restored and put an end to Israel’s continued antagonistic behaviour.

Throughout the past sixty some years or so, the path of war to resolving the conflict has ended in total failure. This is due to the United States unquestionable diplomatic, military and economic support of the state of Israel. Equally as important, is the failure of the diplomatic path to resolving the conflict. This is due to Israel’s lack of a strong leader who is able to make things happen and the absence of a united Palestinian front.

The current Israeli leadership, which is made up of small political parties and does not represent the majority of the Israeli people, is incapable of taking concrete steps to eventually deliver peace and economic prosperity to its people.

Equally as important, is the current Palestinian leadership, which remains divided, weak, and incapable of representing the majority of the Palestinian people. Also, it is unable to break the bondage of occupation and most recently, is completely occupied in defending itself from its own demons.

In the  final analysis, it is left to the Palestinian people to fend for themselves and determine their own faith.

The Palestinian people’s struggle for justice and freedom consists of three distinctive factors:

1: Watch and learn from the Tunisian and Egyptian experience.

2: Stand firmly behind empowerment and unity.

3: Strive to achieve a secular state that is free from any broad ideologies that may impose restrictions under the disguise of liberation, justice and freedom.


Related news items:

PNN – Palestine News Network – Redefining the Palestinian Struggle for Justice and Freedom.

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