Friday, January 23, 2009

How can the Palestinians be free?

Professor of Middle Eastern History, Mark LeVine, has written an informed and thoughtful piece about the Palestinian freedom struggle. He addresses a question that has been in my mind for some time: Given the low probability of the Palestinians defeating Israel militarily, and the disproportionate Israeli response to Palestinian resistence, where on earth can the Palestinians go, strategically?

In addition, even with an independent Palestine, how could a state geographically divided and surrounded by Israel be viable?

LeVine puts forward the abandonment of a two state solution, and a mass movement nonviolent campaign as the only viable way forward. His column is well worth a read.

For myself, I know there are people in places like NZ who still fail to be moved by the plight of the Palestinian people, even after seeing the slaughter and destruction wrought upon them in this latest invasion of Gaza. I do not really understand why. I long admired the stamina, the persistence and the sheer bloody mindedness of the Israeli people in their fight for the survival of their nation. But I have become ashamed for them, for how their nation grinds the faces of the suffering Palestinian people in the dirt. I have become contemptuous of the claim of their Governments and people to desire peace, seeing these kinds of Israeli attacks and the soaring polls that result.

I know there are Israeli's who do truly desire peace. They understand Peter Tosh's point when he sang against those who do not also cry out for justice. I also know there are Palestinians who see the futility of sending glorified sky rockets and kids with bombs against Israeli citizens. Whether you agree with him or not, LeVine does us all a service by examining some other possibilities.


Anonymous said...

Well Gaza is not entirely surrounded by Israel. It does have a border with Egypt and its own coast. Which begs the question: Why has Egypt closed their border with Gaza?
You dont see this mentioned much. It all seems to be about how bad Israel is.

rangi said...

"its own coast"
The Gazan coast and airspace are controlled by the Israeli military.

The Rafah crossing is closed because of pressure from Israel and also the Egyptian "president" Hosny Mubarak is afraid of the Palestinian democracy spreading to Egypt - something that would see him democratically lose his job.

The White Europeans living in biblical Israel are going to have to live side by side and accept their Palestinian brothers, or face their judgement!!

Anonymous said...

Palestinian democracy is indeed an example the rest of the Middle East would do well to follow.

And Nandor, the Palestinian rockets are not 'glorified sky rockets'. They are the struggle of an oppressed people against apartheid and genocide.

Nandor Tanczos said...

By 'glorified sky rockets' I wasn't describing their intent, only their military prowess. They inflict little damage - certainly nothing compared to the sophisticated armour deployed by Israel. The Palestinians can make life uncomfortable for Israelis, probably for a very long time, but they cannot win a military victory unless something drastically changes.

This is why I found the article such an interesting read. Anyone actually check it out?

Aj said...

I couldn't agree more with your 2nd last para

Brett Dale said...

Would you agree that if Hamas had the military power, there would be a lot of dead Israeli's right now.

It's all about intent.

Nandor Tanczos said...

That may be true, but they don't. It's not all about intent IMO, it's also about what people actually do when they have the power. What people who have power do significantly conditions what those without power do, because people without power have few options.

I also think that if Israel wasn't so belligerent towards Palestinians then the population wouldn't support armed struggle. When people in a position of inferior strength choose armed struggle it's almost always because other strategies aren't working for them.