Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finally, Some Hope for Palestinians…and Israeli Jews

After a long winter – actually, after several years of winters – the Palestinians today have taken an important step towards national liberation, self-determination, and the overthrow of the yoke of Israeli sovereignty. The twin announcements of a Hamas-Fateh reconciliation (albeit fragile) and an interim national unity government in anticipation of elections (albeit under occupation and siege) breathe fresh air into the lungs of Palestinians and of those Israeli Jews who desire to be free of their bondage as overlords. Indeed, all for whom the Palestinian cause is dear – that is, all decent, freedom-loving people – can only rejoice at these signs of Palestinian unity and purpose.

That does not mean that there are no potential problems with the reconciliation. Neither Hamas nor Fateh has shown itself to be responsive to the rights of Palestinian and the independence of Palestinian civil society. I, for one, would like to see a third force emerge that would be composed of both factions but would also pledge allegiance – and not just lip service -- to the democracy movement sweeping the Middle East. Civil society folks on the ground will have to see whether the new government cares about itself and its ideological agenda, or about empowering the Palestinian people.

But with this caveat, I am cautiously optimistic that the unification of the Palestinian people – not only within Occupied Palestine but throughout the Palestinian diaspora -- will pay dividends in the short and long term.

In the short term, I hope it will end the dependency of the Palestinian Authority on the Americans, especially in terms of the security cooperation that pits Palestinian against Palestinian in the service of Israel. Already we are hearing that the United States may cut its funding to the PA because of the presence of Hamas. If that eventuality occurs (and it is difficult to think that the US can be so stupid, but one can only hope), the US will lose a lot of its influence with the Palestinians, and will become pretty much irrelevant within Israel/Palestine – to which one can only add, in shallah. This may split the Americans from the Quarter, who will feel emboldened to try its own diplomacy. And, of course, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying that he will not negotiate with the new government (as if it was willing to negotiate seriously with any Palestinian government!) it is back to the 80s before the Oslo trap was sprung.

In the long term, only a united Palestinian people can hope to stand up for its rights against a superpower like Israel and the support it gets from the United States.

With the Palestinians now (gingerly) united, steps like declaring independence will be even more representative of the will of the people. US influence in Israel-Palestine will wane, the Israelis will be further isolated, and the Oslo process will be jettisoned, once and for all.

And there is hope that some Israelis will embrace this double liberation – the first, of the Palestinians from the Israelis, and the second, of the Israelis from themselves, and from their neurotic addiction to land, tribe, and power.


Anonymous said...

ah yes...your dream of dhimmitude is almost at hand

not sure what you are waiting for...nothing is stopping you from moving to gaza today

go...embrace hamas...give them a big mazal tov

and maybe you too will end up like one of your heroes, Vittorio Arrigoni, and be given a state funeral

members of the us congress are moving to cut all funding from the pa as you typed this idiocy, you call a blog post

the so-called unity government wont last a week

Jerry Haber said...

"members of the us congress are moving to cut all funding"

I wrote "Inshallah!" and now I write, "Im yirzeh ha-Shem". The sooner the PA loses funding from the US, the better.

You see, bacci40, we agree on something.

Michael W. said...

I'm wondering what you think about Israel withhold tax revenue from the PA. I think that in the government's eyes, it's like the US freezing monetary assets of the Karzai regime if they decided to reconcile and unite with the Taliban. Yes, it's the PA's money, but that doesn't mean that Israel should willingly give their enemy access to their financial resources.

Jerry Haber said...

Michael W

It makes me long for the day when Palestinians can move their armies into Israeli towns with impunity, when they can determine whether the Israel tax money that they collect for the Israelis will go them, when they can control who comes into Israel and leave, when they reward good behavior with carrots and punish bad behavior with big sticks.

And the Israeli's...well, they will be able to complain at the UN, and that's about it....

Michael W. said...

What about the Taliban? Do you long for the day that they can do the same to the US?

Jerry Haber said...

Michael W -- Ask me that question after we have occupied Afghanistan for forty years and have ethnically cleansed the Afghanis.

That you place the Taliban and Hamas in the same boat shows the depth of your knowledge about both groups. A more accurate comparison would be Hamas and Likud, or at least Herut, both of which groups glorify terrorists (ditto for Fatah) After all, both Bibi and Abu Mazen put plaques up commemorating terrorist activities.

When Labor and Likud formed national unity governments, I didnt hear the Palestinians complainIng and threatening not to meet with Israeli reps. heck, they will meet with Israel even with fascist trans wrists like Lieberman in the govt.

Nobody but the Israelis can determine who will represent them. Ditto for the Palestinians. Why is such a fundamental truth of equity so difficult to grasp?

Jerry Haber said...

I meant transferist

Michael W. said...

When I place Hamas and the Taliban in the same boat, I admit, it is a large boat. But I don't think Likud is the equivalent of Hamas. That's just my thought, I'm not going to bother defending Likud. At least they didn't have the opportunity to behave like Hamas.

This reminds me of that famous quote by Clausewitz, "War is the continuation of politics by other means."

Talking about the Taliban and their friends, we got him!

Mark said...

Come on now Jerry. For you to come down on the side of terrorism (Hamas) says so much. You actually lose credibility by taking such positions.
You are aware of Hamas' take on Bin Laden's death are you not. He is their hero. Is he yours?
You could aid peace with a position that does not always point the finger at the Israeli government as the bad guys. Otherwise, you will fail and accomplish nothing. Just because one is not armed as well as the other does not make him the victim.