Hasan Abu Nimah
The current situation of the Palestinian National Authority is critically precarious, and hardly tenable. Israel has destroyed much of the fragile structure built as part of the Oslo process, systematically destroying the Palestinian security forces, reoccupying most of land, almost bankrupting the authority by withholding its funding, and placing the president under a humiliating siege. The PNA, in its turn, has only been reaping failures, indulging in opportunism and corruption, dedicating all its effort to its own survival at any a cost, even if that meant at the expense of the rights of its people. It is high time that, one way or another, this failed leadership should let the beleaguered Palestinians choose the right leaders.
It is a tragic irony that, more than 55 years ago, one desperate people seeking sanctuary from murderous racism decimated another - and continue to oppress its scattered survivors to this day. Today, many assume that to achieve Middle East peace, we Palestinians must surrender our right to return to our homes and homeland. Millions of Palestinians - with memories and photographs of our stolen properties, keys to our front doors, and an abiding sense of injustice - are expected to swallow our losses in order to facilitate a “two-state solution.” But it’s not that simple.
Hasan Abu Nimah
Today, Israel considers that abandoning the idea that Palestinian statehood is the true threat, and seems to be insisting that the Palestinians have a state even if they no longer want one. Now we are told that Israel will cease to exist if there is no Palestinian state! This apparent reversal is baffling. Israelis increasingly realise that you cannot have a “Jewish state” and a “democracy” and at the same time hold on to any of the land occupied in 1967. Israel must choose, and yet it remains incapable of choosing; actually, it is too late. This state of affairs has prompted many serious observers and political leaders, including prominent Israelis, to openly question the viability of the two-state option.
Open Letter from the Arab-American and Muslim Community to the USA Anti-War Movement
In the USA, we, Arab-Americans and Muslims have been maliciously targeted, stripped of our rights, and positioned outside the constitutional framework of this country. A new COINTELPRO has been unleashed against our homes and living rooms, as our fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are plucked away and thrown into unknown prison cells. Thus, in a continuum of history, we stand with African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and all others in the painful struggle for justice. From them all, we take our cue, for they are our predecessors and our partners in this long march.
The pressure on apartheid South Africa began with a decision of the same International Court of Justice that the ‘security fence’ in Israel has now been brought before. From there, it’s a short step to imposing economic sanctions and other boycotts, until the regime collapses and justice is established in the battered country. Had it not been for the economic sanctions and political isolation, apartheid in South Africa might have lasted forever, but South Africa was saved from itself because of international pressure exerted on its government. This could be the narrative of events in Israel’s case too. Anyone who fears for Israel’s moral image should not be afraid of this.
"The Palestinian dream of achieving an independent state will happen no matter how long it takes,” Yasser Arafat promised on 1 January, the 39th anniversary of his Fatah movement. Three days on - and closer to earth - the Palestinian leader admitted the dream is not imminent. 2004 “is going to be a difficult year” he told reporters outside his bullet-holed headquarters in Ramallah. There are some in the leadership who fear it may prove terminal, if not for the dream then for the political “peace of the brave” they and Arafat have long argued is the only means to realise it. They have grounds for pessimism.
All the political luminaries that attended the formal presentation of the Geneva Accords last month are citizens of states imbued with institutions whose creation are due, in no little measure, to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s seminal “Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality”, published in the same city some 250 years ago. The Geneva Accords have been universally welcomed as a moment of great hope; a serious response at last to Sharon, and his bleak enterprise. How, then, to explain that the Accords directly contradict the values shared by those dignitaries at Geneva? Or how to portray the despair it has engendered among the vast majority of Palestinians?
My own response to the events of 9/11 was to begin work on a documentary film that I entitled “Reason and Revelation: Averroes, Maimonides, Aquinas in Their Time and Ours.” Who were these three men, Averroes the Muslim, Moses Maimonides the Jew and Thomas Aquinas the Christian, these three geniuses from a long-ago age, and what, if anything, do they have to teach us today? Before we can answer that question, we must first explore, as will my film, the world into which they were born.
There is an awakening in Israel, and less conspicuously among Jewish intellectuals elsewhere, coupled with a dramatic shift in terminology that conveys a different breed of apprehension: suicide bombings, militants, and Molotov cocktails are conceding to a much greater distress: demography, Jewish identity, democracy vs. apartheid. Opposite to Israel?s rude awakening however, the Palestinian leadership swarms with confusion, unable to unify its ranks behind a single idea. In an attempt to reflect political shrewdness they are only yielding further ideological disintegration.
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