The Future of Palestine in Relation to the Arab Spring
By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
San Jose–Mustafa Barghouti, M.D. is one of Palestineâ€™s leading intellectuals â€“ especially since the too early demise of Edward Said to cancer.
Your narrator has been creating an extended article on the Iran-Israel crisis published in bits and pieces on these pages in reference in relation to Pakistan. For the moment, that issue seems to be resolving itself diplomatically between the P-5 (confessed nuclear powers) plus one with Tehran itself – provided that the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and their intelligence apparatus can hold back the Hitler of Tel Aviv and his madmen underlings.
The Israeli defense and intelligence bureaucracy have voiced strong opposition to the civilian government at the helm â€“ recognizing the rationality of the Persians themselves. Your writer would like to get to that issue again — plus print several pieces of other reporting he already has in his notes on the emergency. Now, though, your correspondent is returning to the situation which has brought us to a larger thermo-nuclear zone, and that is the â€œplight of the Palestinians,â€ in the words of (former) Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, and how to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict to the justice of the landâ€™s natal heirs.
Returning to the pith of the story at hand, Barghouti was born in Jerusalem during 1954. His medical training was in the old U.S.S.R (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Even though the Israelis tried to outlaw the medical delivery establishments he had set up, his organization has emerged as the largest Palestinian health provider in the Occupied Territories despite the initial persecution from the occupiers.
Politically, he is General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative (an alternative to the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] and Hamas) besides his Presidency of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. In 2006, he was elected to a seat in the Palestinian Parliament.
He is for a one-State Solution, â€œPeople want freedomâ€¦ [and]â€¦the end of the Occupation!â€ Further, â€œâ€¦Palestine is part of the larger Arab â€˜Springâ€™!â€
Dr. Barghouti began that it is â€œâ€¦the end of the illusion of peace [engendered by] the Oslo Accords.â€ The likelihood of Palestinian Statehood is shrinking (with the expansion of the settlements. A possible Palestinian State will be no more than (scattered, isolated) Bantustans (the terminology for the Black enclaves in South Africa during Apartheid [the Afrikaansâ€™ ideology of the separation of the races] period).
(Your author has some discomfort with the au currant description of the Palestinian conundrum with the Blacks in South Africa during the twentieth century. Having actively worked in the anti-Apartheid Movement from North America during the 1980s, the context of contemporary Occupied Palestine vis-a-vis South Africa of twenty years ago is significantly different. As the hero, Archbishop Tutu, in Cape Town during the Liberation there — and now one of the prominent and courageous champions for Ramallah within Christianity today, has stated that the Palestinian position presently is â€œâ€¦much more insidious!â€)
Back to our subject, Mustafa is very correct to say that the â€œWall(s)â€ built by the Zionists within the Philistineâ€™s ancient land are continuously taking away any glimmer for a Palestinian State. (The) Oslo (Accords) has only become a pretext to annex more land in the opinion of Dr. Barghouti, M.D. It has dissolved the possibility for a two-State Solution! For him, the P.A. (Palestinian Authority) has acted as a hindrance to Palestineâ€™s unity!
Compared to the other States in the world, the Right Bank and Gaza have the sixth highest unemployment in the world. While itâ€™s central opponent, Israel, spends 38% of its Gross National Product (GNP) on security, and is the third largest weapons exporter in the world whereas the Western Bank of the Jordan cannot even produce a credible national defense at all. By the Zionists grabbing 90% of the Holy Landâ€™s aquifer, Arab natives to the land cannot be energy self-sufficient. Succinctly, with twenty-one years of Oslo, there has been no peace!
There has not only been physical segregation but economic as well. Many have found themselves stuck in enclosed enclaves — â€œWall(s)â€ of religious and ethnic separation. They can only cross the arbitrary (not recognized) borders for one hour per day, and never into their capital of Jerusalem. There are six hundred and thirty-three checkpoints throughout their territory. The IDF play games with these checkpoints. The Defense Force keeps shifting the boundaries. For instance, off Gaza, the Hebrew Navy enforces fishermen to a three mile limit from the Stripâ€™s Coast making it almost impossible to fulfill their quotas.
â€œNothing can be changed until the balance of power is changed.â€ Barghouti perceives Tel Aviv to be shifting to the right: â€œThey believe Occupation to be profitable.â€ The International Community has been paying their bills, but as Europe has withdrawn their support, the financial burden is put upon the backs of the occupied.
â€œThe biggest challenge is hopelessness.â€ Curiously, he perceives a growing non-violent resistance there. He is one of the founders of the academic and intellectual boycott of Israeli professionals by foreign institutions, but he advocates for the general boycott (BDS) of trade with Israel, too, which for the citizens of the Jewish State or its non-Jewish Occupied annexations, is a serious crime (Sic!) He extorted the Internationals in San Jose to enforce this BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions).
Nor did he merely gloss over his fellow countrymenâ€™s responsibility, but he exhorted them to react in unity with the Arab Revolts all about them, and to not be afraid to ask for their help. Talking to his American Left/Liberal pro-Palestinian audience, please support them in their endeavor: â€œWe canâ€™t do it without help from you!â€ Further, â€œWe shall continue the struggle! I hope you will endure to aid usâ€¦We can win if we can bring truth and realty to [both] our people[s].â€ We have to change (the attitudes of the more conservative s of) the U.S. Jewish community. Because most of the European aid is drying up for his fellow countrymen, his medical relief group has had to write off 44% of their services in Gaza.
â€œPalestine can be a free country!â€ Deep down Hamas accepts non-violent resistance, democracy and the 1967 borders. We can proceed if we have the chance to do so. Unfortunately, â€œThere is no Left remainingâ€ within Israel itself to support us as allies.
The Palestinian people should be encouraged to buy Palestinian generated goods. This should greatly increase our employment base internally. â€œWe canâ€™t have an independent economy without an end to occupation!â€
If the Israelis do not wish to be subsumed by the Arab Revolts, they should free Palestine. Curiously, the Arabs themselves have become peripheral player within the Middle East to the Turks, Iranians and Israelis.
Therefore, the newly democratizing Arab states should show solidarity with their fellow Arab-Palestinians. Did you know that the Palestinian Liberation Organization is still listed on the U.S. list of terrorist groups? The â€œGrass Rootsâ€ still has work to do in America!
Referring to the diplomatic ploy to receive recognition of Statehood from the U.N. (United Nations), his government can call itself a State, but it would still be a Bantustan. A plan is required to achieve a one-State Solution. The Palestinian people should concentrate on destroying Apartheid. â€We have to have freedom and justiceâ€¦there is no future in Jewish racismâ€ (actually sectarianism).
Even under occupation, the Palestinians have made amazing advancements. â€œThe Israelis only [can] dream we would fight amongst ourselves.â€
MECA (the Middle Eastern Childrenâ€™s Alliance) has presented Americans with an educational opportunity with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on Palestine along with its humanitarian work to benefit Gazan children.
(A playground of theirs was recently bulldozed by the Zionist Moloch to make room for Israeli dwellers to steal their [childrenâ€™s] land in Jerusalem.)
As can be seen, the fight to prevent a war in the Gulf has its roots in the Palestinian struggle for peace and justice over Canaan.