FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Palestine Today Offers a “Perfect Storm” of Possibility

Fluorescent lights burn in the homes of Palestinian activists 24 hours a day now. Ambiguity is evaporating. Options lie on the rock-strewn tarmac near the physical and figurative checkpoints – more stark, more risky, yet more promising than in the last 20 years.

“Is this good?” some ask, motioning to the TV.

“Is this bad?” others ask, pointing at the smartphone.

“We don’t know yet.”

1936-1948-1967-1973-1982-1987-1993-2000-2008-2012-2014

Will 2015 also have a section in undergraduate Middle East textbooks? Will the sub-title read: “End of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”?

The status quo was temporary—that was understood. So why are newscasters surprised that the rubble it was built on has shifted, eroded, dissolved? Although the world knew the status quo was unsustainable, a viable Plan B never coalesced. So now, after decades of evidence that Palestinians would not surrender, it is happening. Label it whatever you wish.

Between the stabbing and lynching and stoning and demolishing, some people are appealing for calm. But sadly, when things are calm the most we can hope for is more talk about more talk. Death and injury are tragic, but they have propelled us to this crossroads. Now, good people who have for decades signed petitions for peace have to commit more. We have to run forward through the metaphorical tear gas to reach the future that awaits us on the other side – even if we have not yet envisaged it. If we hesitate we may miss this moment of possibility.

Possibility? Yes, for it may be, I contend, a “perfect storm” of possibility.

* Never before has Israel made itself so difficult to defend in the court of popular opinion by people who claim to represent the civilized world.

* Never before has the Palestinian Authority been more exposed as an obstacle to Palestinian liberation, catering to foreign and Israeli interests at the expense of its own people, and thoroughly despised for it.

* Never before has the global solidarity community been more organized and empowered, including the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists and anti-Zionist US Jews.

* Never before have international donors been more tired, more over-stretched and more anxious for a viable alternative to the “peace process” charade and the financial and political costs of going along with it.

None of this would matter, though, without the youth. As in the first Intifada, young Palestinians acting out of conscience and desperation are not waiting for political parties or responding to wrinkled leadership. They leave home, school and work and flock to flashpoints to taunt soldiers, an ostensibly doomed strategy, and yet, it has impact. For now, again, the world is looking at Palestine and Israel, and more than ever before, they are seeing the truth: The Israeli occupation must end.

But what will happen if the Israeli occupation ends? Do we—Palestinians and global allies—know what we are fighting for? Or do we only know what we are fighting against?

In Egypt, Algeria, Iran and other places where inspiration turned into disappointment, smart and fearless heroes and sheroes sought to reclaim history for the people. But good did not come from bad, just more bad. How can we learn from the past, avoid a power vacuum, and finally (finally!) enable Palestinians to unite their people on their land and build a society with dignity?

It depends:

* Will local leaders emerge to harness these disparate possibilities into a strategy?

* Will local thinkers formulate a bold vision for a just settlement that captures the hearts of decent Palestinians, Israelis and global justice advocates?

* Will the movement be diverse, inclusive, geographically integrated and democratic

* Will global solidarity expand beyond the usual suspects in response to local calls against Israeli impunity, thus cracking the long-standing global complicity?

Surprisingly, I am hopeful. For we have tried every process and arrangement and mechanism and have learned that stopgap measures and temporary agreements are impotent. It will take guts to permanently end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but not more guts than we have shown in generations of fighting. It is time – right now – to try the only option not yet tried – true justice and genuine peace.

More articles by:

Nora Lester Murad, PhD, is a writer of fiction and commentary living in Jerusalem, Palestine. Her blog, The View From My Window in Palestine, addresses international aid, philanthropy and daily life under military occupation. She has published in The Guardian, Aljazeera, Open Democracy, Mondoweiss, This Week in Palestine, and more. A co-founder of Dalia Association and Aid Watch Palestine, Nora is among their most loyal volunteers.

June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Are Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail