Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrating: Day Of The Land in the Diaspora


America is known as the melting pot—meaning that many people come to the U.S. and melt in the social and community fabric that makes up this great nation.  Yet, as we, the Palestinian  community in the U.S. become a part of that social fabric by becoming voters and active participants in what makes the U.S. great, we also need to keep the beauty of the Palestinian culture alive in our hearts, our minds and our souls.
As Palestinians, we know too well the many attempts to eradicate our culture; to uproot our roots in terms of people and our commercial epicenter—the olive tree; to steal our culinary meals—humos;   to confiscate our land—ever increasing illegal settlements; and to prevent the unification of our political parties—blackmailing one party to not reconcile.
We know too well that we need to be one people on our land—Palestine.  We know too well that our enemy wants to remove us from our land, our Palestine, and they will use any means necessary.  They have and continue to use the “divide and conquer” methods to attempt to destroy our will.  They employ religious tactics to pit Christians and Muslim against each other; and they employ blackmail, war and political incentives to pit Fatah against Hamas.
Our enemy can use all the tactics at its disposal.  It can use military tanks and war planes to destroy our buildings, our schools, our hospitals, our universities, and our commercial centers. They can build an Apartheid Wall which divides our people from each other; which separate us from cultivating our land; and which isolates our towns and cities into separate Bantustans.  
However, there is one thing our enemy can never destroy. They can never destroy our will, that innate human spirit that inspires every human being to be free.  The human spirit inside us, inside the collective will of the Palestinian people, cannot be destroyed; it cannot be separated from our culture; it cannot be stolen by claiming our food as theirs; it cannot be eradicated by military might; and it cannot be blackmailed with piecemeal political incentives that divide our people.
No, our human spirit to be free from the chains of occupation and apartheid cannot be destroyed. It lives in each and every Palestinian. The human spirit lives in the grandfather that still has the key to his house in Yaffa (not Jaffa as our enemy calls it). The human spirit lives in the Palestinian boy who faced down our enemy’s tank with a stone. The human spirit is rooted in our people who steadfastly remain strong and remain on the land.
So we celebrate the DAY OF THE LAND together to energize our collective human spirit; to cultivate the human spirit of our culture in our children and to state that we are ONE PEOPLE who remain defiant against any attempt to separate us from OUR LAND. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oppose The Israeli Three State Solution

I have written in previous articles that Israelis are excellent at using words to manipulate the thought patterns of world public opinion, especially in the United States. They have, through the use of the word “terrorist” against the Palestinians, been able to monopolize a negative opinion of Palestinians in the US, although the history of the creation of the State of Israel is not without horrendous terrorist acts against Palestinians.  I have countered that it is the Israeli soldier that is a terrorist because his/her primary job is to instill fear into the minds of Palestinians in order to get them to do what they would not ordinary do on their own, i.e. give up, leave their land.

Now the Israelis are trying to manipulate public opinion by redefining “checkpoints.” The Israeli soldier controls what Israel now calls “security crossings” to imbed into the minds of public opinion that the formerly called “checkpoints” is the border of the State of Israel.  United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that there were 522 roadblocks and checkpoints obstructing Palestinian movement in the West Bank in July, 2010.  This figure is up from 503.  There are other checkpoints called “flying checkpoints” that are unknown as to when and where they will pop up. On average per month in 2011, 495 of these random checkpoints sprung up, in addition to the 522 permanent roadblocks and checkpoints, to not only hamper, humiliate, harass but also to instill fear, frustration and fatigue into the lives of every Palestinian.

The use of the term “security crossings” and its manipulation and blackmailing of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is what leads me to believe that Israel does not want a Two State Solution (2SS) but rather wants a Three State Solution (3SS). Israel is in a frantic mode to impose this 3SS upon the Palestinians before the projected demographics make Israelis the minority in 2016 to prevent the inevitable solution: One State Solution (1SS). Israelis believe that if they continue its policy of fear, frustration and fatigue, the Palestinians will ultimately succumb to the 3SS that Israel sees as a counter to the inevitable 1SS. This policy will fail.

Israelis argue that the Palestinians have negotiated away Area C in the West Bank by agreeing to give up control of this area to Israel in the Oslo Accords. Nonsense! Israeli intransigence in not agreeing to the final status matters in the so called “peace talks” and it’s continued expansion of the illegal settlements have rendered the Oslo Accords null and void. Israel refuses to discuss the final status of Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as the capital of a Palestinian State. Israel refuses to discuss the right of return of Palestinian refugees. And Israel refuses to discuss the borders between Israel and Palestine. Calling the checkpoints “security crossings” is part of the Israeli attempts to impose a 3SS.

Another blatant attempt to impose a 3SS is Israel’s blackmail of withholding taxes that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinian politicians of the West Bank attempt to reconcile with the Palestinian politicians in Gaza. In essence, Israel does not want Fatah and Hamas to reconcile. It wants separate States for these two political rivals in the West Bank and Gaza. The stupidity of these factions in continuing the divisions between themselves is playing right into the Israeli plans to impose a 3SS.

I argue, in other articles, that this imposition will not be successful as the Palestinian human spirit to be free, innately a part of every human being, will overcome the Israeli aggression against them. However, Palestinians cannot rely on the burning desire inside themselves alone, they must have gumption; they must be shrewd; they must think outside the box.  

Palestinians need to understand what Israel is planning and they must counter the political manipulation of their land, their lives and livelihood. 

There are a variety of practical actions that Palestinians could advocate in their struggle to break the Israeli chains of oppression.

  • ·     Palestinians need to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement . Mobilization and support for the BDS movement needs to part of the Palestinian agenda around the globe.  Supporting supporters of Palestinian Statehood is a must.
  •  ·   Palestinians need to make the Israeli businessman suffer the consequences of the occupation. In my article, “Hitting Israel Where it Hurts—Economically”, I argue outside the box by advocating boycotting a single Israeli product imported into the West Bank and Gaza at a time. Read it at http://fadizanayed.blogspot.com/2011/12/hitting-israel-where-it-hurts.html
  •  ·    Palestinian youth need to throw their stones. I advocate keeping the option of the stone alive in the following articles: “Romancing the Stone” and “Keeping the David vs. Goliath Option Open.”  http://fadizanayed.blogspot.com/2011/12/romancing-stone-option.html and http://fadizanayed.blogspot.com/2011/12/keeping-david-vs-goliath-option-open.html
  •       Palestinians need to reconcile their divisions and present a unified front against the Israelis. I have written numerously in various articles about the need for Hamas and Fatah to reconcile. See “Palestinians Must Establish Parity with Israelis” at http://fadizanayed.blogspot.com/2011/12/palestinians-must-establish-parity-with.html. Opposing Israeli attempts to place obstacles to the reconciliation of these Palestinian political factions needs to be the goal of every Palestinian. Palestinian unity is a must!
  •       Palestinians need to take their fight to the International Criminal Court and bring to justice those Israeli leaders who ordered and Israeli soldiers who committed human rights violations against Palestinians.

While the impending demographics will impose a 1SS, Palestinians cannot sit idly back and let the hope of events control their destiny. Palestinians need to be continuously active to make the inevitable human spirit within them blossom sooner than later.