Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Palestine Now! The UN vote and Some Personal Thoughts

September 21, 2011

After Forty-four years of the Israeli occupation of lands which had been previously occupied by Jordan (West Bank) and Egypt (Gaza) for 19 years, the time has come for the United Nations to correct an injustice long overdue: recognize Palestine as a state.  Clearly, the Palestinians have exhausted all efforts in reaching an agreement with the current Israeli government.  Since the tenure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s began in early 2009, the current Israeli government has clearly demonstrated that it is not the least bit interested in reaching an agreement with the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.  Without a doubt, once Netanyahu took on board the extreme right-wing Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, it was clear that the Palestinians simply did not have a partner.  Settlements are continuing to eat-up more Palestinian territory, which is no more than a last ditch attempt to de facto annex more land.  The damage Netanyahu has caused Israel in the world is irreversible; be it relations with Turkey, most Arab countries, and the US. Simply put, Netanyahu and Lieberman, long ago became bankrupt of any legitimacy and are continuing to pull Israel into deeper waters with no lifeguard in sight.  

The United States has threatened to veto a move by the Security Council if a majority calls for a Palestinian state.  This move is one of the worst moves President Obama can take in the Middle East today.  He truly has become the disappointment of the region and a veto would be another major blow to an administration that most Arab countries simply do not trust or believe in.  Therefore, I call on President Obama to vote where his heart is and say “YES!” to Palestine and clarify that the US support is contingent on real progress in the peace process, making it clear to Israel that it simply has no other choice than to sit and negotiate. The likelihood of this happening is next to nil; however, it must be stated. Further, recognizing Palestine is practically good since it will give them (and the Israelis) true urgency to reaching a peace agreement. The Palestinians know that in the end it will be an agreement with Israelis which will secure the success of their state.

As an Israeli citizen, I call on Israelis to welcome this move and to support a Palestinian state if recognized; whether in the Security Council or a watered-down version in the General Assembly. We all know that this is inevitable; the time has come to get the show on the road! How much longer can we as a people lie to our children and act as if this land will be ours for eternity.  Our children deserve more than this! Furthermore, I have to admit that I feel the pain of many of the settlers who have been misled by each and every Israeli government and simply are being used as negotiating pawns. We all know that most of the settlements will be evacuated sooner or later. The facts are on the ground: a Jewish state occupying Palestine cannot exist much longer and time is running out.

For Palestinians, I have to state that since immigrating to Israel as a youngster, I have always supported a Palestinian state next to Israel, and for the citizens of the region to be able to decide their fate and what type of state they wish to have (one or two-states). I long for the day when both peoples can live as one.  Together with you, I have shown my solidarity and placed great hopes. Together with you, I have cried and felt the pain of Jewish and Arab violence. Therefore, whatever the outcome I call on all the forces, Jews and Arabs to support the establishment of Palestine through passive resistance and not to raise arms. Enough with death! 

Lastly, I will state that if Palestine is recognized on Friday as a state among nations, I will be the first to make a sigh of relief, while bracing for a storm of chaos and clashes.  This day brings back memories when in November 1988, as an Israeli soldier, I was patrolling in a village near Bethlehem when fireworks lit the sky of the West Bank. On that night, the late Yassar Arafat declared the establishment of a Palestinian state and we, Israeli soldiers, were there to suppress the celebrations and put out the sparks of a dying intifada.  However, secretly so many of us rejoiced in our hearts believing that just like the Jewish people, the Palestinians are equally entitled to the land.  Since then, a whole generation has been raised, with many of them now raising a new generation; new generations having to witness even more extreme violence and destruction.  Palestine as a state is long overdue. For now, the solution is two states for two peoples. Once this is reached the sky is the limit with both peoples challenged to make this work by offering new solutions such as confederacy, open borders and free exchange of populations, with residency rights for both Jews and Arabs to live where they wish. The road is long. Our work is far from over.


  1. As usual you words are lovely.

    I am very confused --

    The United Nations bid does not include Gaza, the West Bank, refugees, Palestinian citizens living in Israel or elsewhere. How come and why not?

    Abbas and this bid are labelled disconnected from Palestinians.

    While I would really like to support and respect this bid, I just can't.

    I want what you want for Palestinians too, but this bid does not give it to them.

  2. "Selective perception" has always been the best tool to rationalize the denial of consciousness in "the West" in post-modern era. The Palestine conflict is the best example. 80% of world population currently recognizes Palestine as a state officially and the 20%, which owns 75% of the money, rejects to do so ( So, it's either the 80% or the 20% which has serious double-morality issues when it comes to Palestine (or anything related to Islam), and in my opinion, it is "the West". As you may know, Israeli special forces killed an American citizen on Mavi Marmara along with other unarmed activists who are Islamists. They put 4 bullets into a 19-year old injured American citizen in international waters; American media did not even cover it all and the issue did not gain much popularity amongst American scholars and intellectuals (except a few examples like this one: USA officials denied to condemn Israel officially ( The list goes on. I am sure that we will find these arguments regarding whether the USA, Europe and the commonwealth realm (which is ontologically hypocrite) must recognize something which is already recognized by the rest of the world hilarious in near future. Even just to argue that recognizing Palestine is something negotiable shows how "the West" fails to demonstrate the simplest aspects of democracy that it invented. USA, Europe, the blue-blooded countries under Queen Elisabeth (not the ship) and finally Israel will have to recognize. Moreover, people of the world will also start questioning the countries in question regarding the status-quo which always favors "the West". They will question why Europe does not invest in any land on the planet if there is no benefit, including the ones that it previously colonized. They will question why it is OK to associate the religion with terrorism when it comes to Islam, but it is not when it comes to Jews and Christians. The world will change, and think the new system will be better, as the new communication abilities and developments in technology will lead other revolutions; Turkish spring is on the way, people are already questioning the system in Europe and other countries.. Things will change because it is impossible to hide the hypocrisy in the information age.