Oh, Israel, what your latest (and continuous) carnage on Gaza has wrought upon you! It has opened a whole can of worms that I am pretty sure the Israeli Government never foresaw. For one, it has proven that no matter for how long and how adamantly one continues to fudge the truth and blatantly lie, somehow – somehow! – Truth eventually reveals itself. It just does! And the Truth that the Palestinian people have been talking about to nobody’s listening ears, and that has been suppressed for sixty years or so, has not only mushroomed across the Planet, but has found voices aplenty to echo its story and speak for it! Young Palestinian activists, their emotions fired up all the more after Gaza have been talking, orating, blogging, writing and, finally, people’s ears across the world are listening! Young Jewish activists, Israeli writers, thinkers and journalists, American and European Jews have also never been as vocal and as serious about their indignation at what the Israeli Government has been – and continues – doing. That European Governments are finally beginning to say, overtly and covertly: Enough is Enough, our support cannot be endless, upholding continuous occupation, colonization and expansion is not anti-Semitism, nor does it mean we are condemning the State of Israel, or throwing the Jewish people under the bus! It doesn’t! The whole world is, at last, realizing that we have to solve this intractable problem and, the Israeli and Jewish people have a very clear choice now more than ever: Solve this equitably, or wait for the whole region – and, perhaps, the world – to implode? And implode, it just might!
Patience, diligence, wisdom and perseverance are required from us now as at to no other time! However, even in our fast-paced twenty-first century, this unending tragedy will take quite a while yet before either an evenhanded resolution occurs, or . . . the melodramatic happens. Frankly, I am not placing any bets on this!
So, as all of this is unfolding in the midst of events in a Middle East that seems to be spiraling out of control, the pundits and thinkers, the writers and bloggers are abuzz with discussions of One State or Two? I feel like tossing a coin: Heads it’s One, Tails it’s Two! But that won’t work, would it?
In an ideal world One State would seem like a very logical outcome in an area that is quite geographically small to begin with. However, our world is not Shangri-La and utopian dreams, while inviting intellectually stimulating discussions, are not the reality.
After sixty-six years of a very savage and brutal occupation and colonization, the Palestinian people, having sacrificed and stood steadfast in the face of an aggression so egregious and ruthless, cannot be assuaged with being incorporated into a state that has a proven record of discrimination and ethnic cleansing as the Israeli government has been wont to do ever since its inception. The European Jews who were the founding fathers of the State of Israel looked down with utter disrespect upon the Palestinian inhabitants of that land – even on the Palestinian Jews who had been there for even longer than the Palestinian Christians and Muslims. They still do! Therefore, a One State that promises Equality and Justice for all is a pipe dream at this stage. That it is even remotely possible is something that the citizens of that land will have to decide in the far-reaching future. What will be in that future? Will it be One State, a Federation, Something? I don’t know. No one does. Anything and everything is possible. The human ingeniousness and innovation, when it is in a peaceful environment, can produce formulas of peaceful coexistence that we might not even be able to envisage at present.
At the moment, and with the situation as it is, the Palestinian people need and require a state of their own. It is the only solution that will vindicate their tragedy, that Nakba in which they are still living on a daily basis, the humongous sacrifices that they have been – and are still – going through. It is the one vindication that will heal that deep and ghastly wound. It is the one answer to the aspirations of all the Palestinian people: Christians and Muslims, Palestinians within Israel and those in the refugee camps, Palestinians in Gaza, in the West Bank and all the others strewn involuntarily across the world. It is the only solution that will bring on Justice. The Palestinian people are not asking for charity, they are not demanding a piece of land that belongs to someone else; they are not soliciting a land grab out of the blue. They are not requesting the return of all the land that was historical Palestine and on which they have lived for thousands of years; whose soil they had tilled; whose olives and oranges they had planted; whose history going back to Abraham they can trace with their long memories and lore. They are simply demanding what is rightfully and legally theirs. They have to have that Right and that Legality restored before they can ever begin to forgive Israel and the world that has marginalized and let them so painfully down! It is the least that they deserve in order to begin feeling whole once more.
At this juncture of history I, who was born a Palestinian in Jerusalem, and whose sense of Justice has been rudely affronted ever since my birth by the belligerence of the State of Israel and what that has inflicted on me, my family and the Palestinian people cannot accept any solution other than the Two State solution. It is the one – and only – resolution that will alleviate the tragic events since 1948. No other answer to this catastrophe will restore my, or the Palestinian people’s faith and trust in humanity and in a world that has chosen to be willfully blind to our misery and despair over these agonizingly long decades.