Posts Tagged ‘State of Palestine’

Less than a week ago, I started reading on Twitter that there will be a large demonstration organized by Israeli Leftwing activists in Jerusalem protesting the new Boycott Bill and Israeli occupation of Palestinian Occupied Territories. I expected that activists will challenge the anti-Boycott law and chant for BDS or call for Settlement boycott as well as chanting for a Palestinian state, I was wrong. It turned out to be a march organized by Zionist leftists calling for a legitimate Palestinian state next to the state of Israel. I just lost all motives that would make me want to attend that demonstrations, but I eventually did, only as an observer and not a participant.

I am extremely critical of Zionism and I dislike the Two-State Solution for many reasons which I hav

e mentioned in a previous article which you could take a look at here.  I believe the one and only proper eternal solution for this conflict is one democratic secular state, it is not going to happen by Palestinians’ effort alone, nor Israelis’ effort alone, it will happen when Palestinians and Israelis decide to join hands to fight for the right to live together equally on this land. The West Bank, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon… are not homes for Palestinians who were expelled from their homes in 1948, they deserve the right to live in their lands and enjoy equality.

Event's official poster

Something that is worth mentioning is, as Ali Abunimah noted on his twitter, that the event official poster was slightly misleading. It was written in Arabic and Hebrew. Hebrew title said “We march for Independence” and the Arabic title said “We march for Liberation” معا نسير للتحرير. As I already said, this could be misleading, two different things, it should have said “Marching for independence” too in Arabic rather than “Liberation” if liberation isn’t what they really seek.

I decided to attend this demonstration as an observer because I believed in the goodness of their short term goals standing in solidarity with Palestinians living in threatened East Jerusalem neighborhoods like Shekh Jarrah, Silwan, Ras Amoud, Tur, and others and of course against West Bank illegal settlements. I decided to overlook the actual purpose they decided to march through the streets of Jerusalem. I simply despised the idea that many people there carried posters saying “Two People, Two States, One Future” That is an oxymoron. Three quarters of the Palestinian citizens in Gaza are refugees expelled from their homes back in 1948, and similar is the case in the West Bank. How would two separated peoples each living on a side of a border holding hostility to each other would have one future? If they reconcile they’d live together, or the idea of one future would be out of reach.

While heading to the demonstration, I was lucky to meet an Italian guy who was active with Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah group, I began conversing with him on the background of this demonstration and why is he attending. His words actually gave me hope, he is not a Zionist, and he does believe one day those anti-occupation activists will refuse the idea of political Zionism. He said it would take them a while, maybe decades, but just as they became anti-occupation in few years, this generation can become the hope for a peaceful futuristic one Palestine-Israel state. “Everything positive starts from demonstrations like this” he said, and I appreciated that. I believe what he is saying is true.

Youth leading the march

An Israeli holding a placard which says "I love Arabs"

There was one other guy who caught my attention at this demonstration, he was carrying a placard saying “I love Arabs” in Hebrew. I immediately came up to him and asked him what his views were; he simply said “I don’t care about solutions”. Men like him, who put extreme religion and politics aside and focuses on humanitarian aspects, are men who keep me hopeful. We have seen enough misery and destruction caused by extremism, time to accept each other as humans and separate each other even more.

Big crowds at the march

 

 

 

 

Although I was not officially participating in the demonstration, but I was extremely happy that thousands of Israelis actually showed up for this march, from this point anything is possible. Hopefully the one state vision spreads between Israeli youth as well as Palestinian youth, because we have seen enough today to prove that youth are capable of achieving what none could.

As for a different matter, the organizers of this march hoped they could achieve a joint-struggle title where Palestinians and Israelis together would march for the same cause. It was a success, but not as in the scale expected. Palestinians did join the march, and for the matter of fact, many Palestinians lead a majority of the chants at the march. But I believe most of those Palestinians were marching for the sake of their threatened homes in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, therefore serving short-term aims of the march to put a stop to the ethnic cleansing of Arab Jerusalemites, and not to call for an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Some may call me naïve, but I assure you I am not. These views are not of mine alone, they’re shared by a majority of Palestinians and many Israelis as well. This phrase is one of my favorites as it holds a true meaning, “If we can’t live together, we will die alone.”

The march reaches Shekh Jarrah neighborhood

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The reason I am writing this is because I have been seeing, in the past few years, increased amount of Israelis who come to share the struggle with the Palestinians who face Israeli occupation every day. I want to ask them, how do they define “Coexistence”?

Time has passed quickly, decades have passed since the Two-State Solution has been put on the table. Palestinians have wasted their time negotiating, given up a lot of what was once their right, and have lost far more than they have gained in negotiations with the Israeli Apartheid State past decades. Having said this, I don’t believe any kind of a two state solution is even realistic to think about, two state solution simply means a Jewish-only state, with a Palestinian semi-state next to it filled with Illegal settlements and a wall which basically takes away all natural resources and strategic lands from the Palestinians, not to mention there is no Eastern Jerusalem to be governed by Palestinians.

With even more recent developments, Netanyahu, the Israeli PM refused to even consider going back to 1967 borders. That is nothing new, but it is all becoming official that Israel does not want to see a Palestinian state.

I was never pro-Two State Solution, since that, as for those who yearn for it , rejects the Right of Return for Palestinians. It reject the Palestinians right to claim back their stolen property, to come live in their hometowns in Yaffa, Haifa, Safad, Tiberius and others. Some Israelis and Palestinians are seeking a two-state solution. As a Palestinian, I consider a two state solution to be a dream far from reality. There is no way (current) Israel will give back East Jerusalem to the Palestinians, the wall and settlements all across the West Bank have already designated the borders of the Palestinian state, even the West Bank is barely under Palestinian control.

I often criticize few Israelis who come to the West Bank to support Palestinians struggling in the fight for their state, a state which will co-exist along with Israel, an unarmed poor state of Palestine aside with the nuclear-armed mass-destruction power, Israel.  Those who seek the two state solution have forgotten who owned the house they live in, who owned the property their Mall is built on, who owned the land of Palestine which is today referred to as Israel.

Historic Palestine is a land that welcomes all faiths, all people. Israel seeks to become a Jewish-only State; even Barrack Obama started referring to Israel as a Jewish state in his last MEspeech. A Jewish state will set its agenda to expel those few 1948 Arabs from their homes to refugee camps in a tiny Palestinian State, or neighboring countries.

I refuse Zionism; I refuse to even discuss this struggle with a Zionist. Zionism is another word which describes the complete ethnic cleansing of Arabs from the land between the River and the Sea, and replaces them with Jews from all over the world that don’t even belong to this land.

We have lost our lands in 1948, we have lost more lands in 1967, and we are losing whatever is left of Palestine today. The only way to not lose it all, is to not give up anymore. I will accept to live in a one state joining Jews and Arabs, equal rights and of course, the Right of Return must be applied.

I respect every Israeli who is ready to have me or any Arab alike, to be his neighbor in an apartment in Tel-Aviv. I am ready to respect every Israeli who feels we are all equal and we all deserve the same equal rights of living. 1948 Arabs today are living in ghettos around Haifa, Yaffa, Jerusalem and others due to the extremely racist apartheid Israeli laws and regulations which consider Arabs as inferiors in the state of Israel. This is not acceptable.

I am extremely inspired by the South African experience which succeeded using non-violence, to gain equal rights for all citizens whatever their race or ethnicity was. As their Apartheid system has fallen,  the Israeli Apartheid System can and will fall, hopefully democracy will prevail, the people will speak, and their voice will be heard.

We are not different, no one deserves to be treated different than any other person because of his religion or ethnic origin. We are all Semites after all; we can and should live together, not separated by walls or borders.

I ask you, how do you define “Coexistence”? Do you accept me as your neighbor? Are we different?

Please take time to read and sign this [Action for a One-State initiative]

If you want to take part in the campaign against the Apartheid State of Israel and the Zionist regime, join the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

Photo from the Atlantic of an Israeli and Palestinian suffering from Tear Gas in Qalandia 15 May 2011

Best,

A Palestinian Field Negro