Ali Abunimah - What Israel perpetrated in Gaza, will remain forever engraved in history. Once again, Israel demonstrated that it possesses the power and the lack of moral restraint necessary to commit atrocities against those it has caged and starved. Yet it is Israel as a Zionist state, not Palestine or the Palestinian people, that cannot survive this attempted genocide. Israel’s “war” was not about rockets, but to destroy any Palestinian resistance to total Israeli-Jewish control over historic Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. To win, Israel had to break Palestinian resistance. It failed. On the contrary, it galvanized and unified Palestinians like never before. All factions united and fought heroically for 23 days. Israel did little harm to the modest but determined military capacity of the resistance. So instead Israel did what it does best: it massacred civilians in the hope that the population would turn against those fighting the occupier.
Stefan Christoff - The distance between Montreal and Lebanon stretches thousands of kilometers over oceans and continents, but is only a short distance in Ahmed’s eyes and living memory of an existence shaped by the daily struggle of statelessness. Ahmed’s deportation, and continuing struggle against statelessness in Lebanon is now etched into Palestinian history. Human stories of those who struggle for justice in the most difficult circumstances, like Ahmed’s, are inspiration for those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people throughout the world. From the refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon to the streets of Montreal, Palestinian refugees are a living example of a people who carry an identity defined by a will to resist oppression.
Amira Hass - During the Oslo years, the illusion was spun that the burning task was to “build a state.” All the efforts of the countries of the world and their financial bolstering, the behavior of the PA and the addiction of its senior people to the symbols of sovereignty reinforced the illusion. As a state it was considered the aggressor, because of the outbreak of the uprising. Arafat’s failure since 1993 was not in that he did not become a respected and respectable head of state, of a state that did not exist. His failure was that neither he nor his movement, the Fatah, developed a liberation strategy in the new conditions of Oslo. Now, without Arafat, will there be a reversal of the policy of the accelerated annexation of extensive parts of the West Bank? Clearly it will not.
Sam Bahour - The Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence is larger than the late President Yasir Arafat. The decades-long symbolism that Arafat embodied should not be underestimated. It is this symbolism that Palestinians are mourning. The substance of Arafat’s symbolism has to do with how it has represented Palestinian nationalism and the five decade struggle for justice for a people that were dispossessed in 1948, militarily occupied in 1967, attacked while in exile in 1970 in Jordan and 1982 in Lebanon, and most recently, battered in their own homes in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. A wide spectrum of opinions about Arafat, the man and the leader, will surely outlive the international flurry of media interest in his death. However, the world must be aware that the Palestinian struggle is beyond any single individual.
Daoud Kuttab - My barber, Abu Salah couldn’t wait for me to come to his shop. He had been very concerned this week and wanted an answer to his question. He was searching hard in his mind for a solution to what he felt was a complicated problem: how could Marwan Barghouthi spring out from the Israeli jail he is kept in. Abu Salah felt relieved when I explained that Hizbollah could answer his riddle. The Lebanese resistance group still has bodies of Israeli soldiers that they could trade with the Israelis for the remaining Lebanese hostages, as well as some Palestinian prisoners, possibly Barghouthi. The long-shot hope that many pin on Barghouthi is not limited to my barber. After wanting to know about the health of their president, many Palestinians, both inside and outside the occupied territories, had the issue of succession on their minds.
Genevieve Cora Fraser - Like a carrier pigeon landing on my windowsill, Fadi Madi suddenly appeared in my in-box bearing an urgent message with the subject heading: “Struggle with Fadi Madi”. “Fadi Madi,” I thought. “Fadi Madi, who?” The name read like a nursery rhyme. As I perused the text I wondered if the message was a hoax or for real. The message was addressed “TO ALL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS FREEDOM FIGHTERS - ANTI WAR MOVMENTS - PEACE HUMANITY JUSTICE MOVMENTS.” I examined the list of fellow recipients and soon realized I was one of the few individuals he had emailed. If I had ever met Madi, he had slipped from my memory. Perhaps he had read my articles and somehow located my email address, I mused. But Madi’s message was frantic, urgent, not exactly an appeal but clearly a man who wanted to be heard or to have his message heard.
Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah - From the first days of what began as a peaceful uprising, to which Israel responded with one million bullets in the first month of protests, Israeli and American analysts have been declaring that the efforts to stop all resistance would soon succeed. A few more assassinations, a few more missiles, a few thousand more arrests, a bit more torture, a few hundred more demolitions, a little more hunger and darkness—and the Palestinians will get the message and realize that their best option is servitude under occupation. But by any standard, in a war between a colonial occupier and an indigenous people, the Palestinians are in a comparable state to those who have trodden this path before them.
Maichael Tarazi - Support for one state in Israel/Palestine is hardly a radical idea; it is simply the recognition of the uncomfortable reality that Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories already function as a single state. In the words of one Palestinian farmer, you can’t unscramble an egg. But in this de facto state, 3.5 million Palestinian Christians and Muslims are denied the same political and civil rights as Jews. These Palestinians must drive on separate roads, in cars bearing distinctive license plates, and only to and from designated Palestinian areas. It is illegal for a Palestinian to drive a car with an Israeli license plate. These Palestinians, as non-Jews, neither qualify for Israeli citizenship nor have the right to vote in Israeli elections.
Like many, I long favored a two-state solution. It seemed to me the best of a set of bad solutions to the problem of two peoples living side by side on a small parcel of land. I believe now that I was wrong. The two-state solution is neither moral nor realistic. The only politically and ethically viable approach to the problem of Israel and Palestine is to support a single democratic secular state that provides equal rights for all of its citizens. Furthermore, the failure to recognize this has, I believe, helped underwrite some of the most egregious of Israel’s policies. The most important reason for this has not, to my knowledge, yet been sufficiently addressed. I would like to do so here.
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