I watched Mahmoud Abbas’ UN speech along with that of the Israeli ambassador to the UN live. There is much to say about Israel’s mythical narrative. For starters, the Israeli ambassador said that when Israel “withdrew” from Gaza, all it got in return was a barrage of missiles. What a selective reading of history! How can that be considered “withdrawal” when they continued to control the land, sea, and air of the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, when Israel “withdrew” from the Gaza Strip it relocated most of its illegal settlers to the West Bank and continued and expanded its occupation there. Israelis must be informed that what fate befalls the West Bank affects the Gaza Strip and vice versa. The people who reside in those two territories, the remaining territories of historic Palestine, are one. Consequently, as long as the occupation in the West Bank continued and was fortified, the Palestine-Israel conflict never ended in the Gaza Strip.
The ambassador also called Gaza an Iranian “weapons dump.” The thinking, I presume, is that no one is allowed to send Gaza weapons but Israel can enjoy super power military, political, and economic support in order to continue its illegal military occupation of the remainder of historic Palestine. What silly rationale.
He also mentioned that Israel accepted the UN decision in 1948 to partition Palestine but that Arabs rejected it. Of course Israel accepted it, foreign born European Jews got most of the land, much of which was the most fertile, when the native Palestinians were the majority. And he went on to say that Arabs invaded Israel to push “the Jews into the sea.” Elan Pappe’s famous book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, would take serious issue with this narrative. Pappe chronicles how Israel launched the war as a smokescreen to ethnically cleanse the native Palestinians from that land. He argues that the cleansing was not a byproduct of war but the main purpose behind why the war was launched by Israel. Furthermore, the ambassador paints a picture in which he presents Israel as this underdog who survived 1948 miraculously. The truth is, they launched the war and outnumbered Arab soldiers 2 to 1 (some estimates put it at 3 to 1) and systematically killed and scared off the survivors from that land.
Lastly, the ambassador kept talking about how Israel wants peace. I’m sorry sir, but the only peace you and your government want is a peace where you are the masters of all of Palestine and the natives are either gone or subjugated to your savage and racist apartheid system. We all want peace, but your peace is one that has little justice to it. You can’t say you want peace all the while enforcing a military occupation on a largely defenseless population while you colonize their land. Who are you fooling?
Palestine’s upgraded status might change little on the ground but if they’re happy, if it’s a moral and diplomatic victory, then I couldn’t be happier. They deserve it.
For the viewers on this blog that care about justice and have long supported and sympathized with the noble Palestinian cause… I think it’s important to note that as fortunate as we are not to live under that merciless and brutal occupation, we are connected to that people through our shared humanity and are part of a global effort that seeks to remedy this long and heinous injustice. Keep the faith, every dollar donated, protest attended, blog/facebook/twitter/google+/youtube post, university lecture organized or attended, documentary screening, personal conversation with an uninformed but curious friend or stranger, article written, petition signed, etc is all part of a global effort to wake up the world’s citizens to this long and barbarous crime in order to bring it to a just and long overdue conclusion. And you know the world is in fact waking up to the reality in Palestine when neutral Switzerland voted FOR Palestine’s bid, along with nearly 140 other countries.
Indeed, keep the faith… however long it takes, Palestine will see light of justice.