As we enter 2012, we Palestinians, along with our supporters, need to start thinking “through” the box. I say “through” the box because our march through independence is not unlike that of the South Africans march to overthrow apartheid and is not unlike India’s march to overthrow the colonization of Great Britain. We can also learn from African Americans in their struggle for racial equality. We can learn from what they did and at the same time, be creative as well.
In South Africa, Nelson Mendala endured over 27 years of prison to bring international support against the White Apartheid Regime in South Africa. Mohandas Gandhi inspired his people to revolt against the imperialist British empire by walking over 240 miles to the ocean to make salt, which theretofore had to be imported from England at a very high tarriff. Dr. Martin Luther King organized boycotts at a bus company for its segration politices and march to Selma, Alabama to protest the restrictions on voting rights of the African-Americans. Each of these human rights leaders led by doing what was most practical for their environment.
Palestinians need to do the same.
There are those who want to boycott Apartheid Israeli products because of the apartheid practices of the Apartheid State of Israel visa via the Palestinians. While I concur with this sentiment with those that live outside of Palestine, those that live in Palestine cannot totally boycott Apartheid Israeli goods. The reason is that Apartheid Israel has made the Palestinians totally depended on its goods.
Israel, through it’s strangle hold on Gaza and it’s carving up of the West Bank, has done this by destroying Palestinian industry and agricultural life. The Apartheid settlers are destroying olive groves by the hundreds of acres.
Because of this dependency on Israeli goods, Palestinians in Palestine cannot totally boycott all apartheid Israeli goods. It is not practical. Therefore, we need to think through the box. We need to boycott limited goods from Apartheid Israel to drive the Israeli business and farming communities to become scared.
I was told by a friend in Gaza that if he wanted a cucumber, he needed to get it from an Israeli farmer who supplied it to the Gaza residents. I replied can you go without cucumbers for a week or two? Imagine if Palestinians ordered, yes I said ordered, their grocers to stop buying cucumbers and then Palestinians did away with cucumbers from their dietary needs. What will happen to the cucumber farmers in Apartheid Israel? The cucumber will rot in their warehouses. This will drive the cucumber farmer into bankruptcy. The farmer will go out of business. Then the following week Palestinians can then boycott bananas or any other product that is supplied by Apartheid Israel. And the following week another Israeli product will be boycotted…and so on.
Imagine how worried the Apartheid Israeli business and agricultural communities will be wondering which of their product will be targeted.
This is a simple plan. It is non-violent. It is what is needed to change the status quo.
If the Apartheid Israeli business and agricultural communities are happy with the status quo, the status quo will not change. We have to change the status quo.
Palestinians in Palestine need to boycott, but boycott one or several products at a time. Let’s drive the Apartheid Israeli businesses and agricultural communities crazy.
We have to be creative. We need to help ourselves. We need to take control of our destiny. We need to think through the box.
( © Copyright, Fadi Zanayed. Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)