The stark reality of the ‘Palestine Papers’ points the way forward

on 68 Comments

I sat around last night thinking of ways to punish Erekat, Abbas and Qurei for treason. It was an exercise in pure fantasy but it had an ameliorative psychological effect.

George Bush made the noose unsexy, and it’s too barbaric besides. But what if Israeli surgeons were contracted to surgically remove every vertebral bone belonging to the three sludges?

I like this one in principle, but it seems costly.

But what if those same surgeons cracked their ribs open, and tattooed their livers yellow or white.

Too literal? Fine.

We can bind their arms akimbo, attach beaks to their snouts, and make them peck one another to the death. We’ll see who the biggest cock in the room is – and the losers will be eulogized with a message on Qurei’s Apartheid Wall: “This fowl creature died for Palestine.”

That seemed charitable and appropriate.

There was one more: Orchestrating the trio’s attack by a pack of jackals in a manic clown circus. But that one struck me as too closely bound to the reality of the past decade to have any comedic value.


After I worked through what many of you were also probably feeling, I began to think about ways to advance our agenda.

Jerusalem will remain undivided. Occupied East Jerusalem is gone, and in its place we have Apartheid East Jerusalem. But East Jerusalem may also provide us with an opportunity for pushing forward.

Against their own best interest, the Israelis annexed East Jerusalem in 1970. Since then the foolish Israelis have provided an opportunity for Palestinian Jerusalemites to gain Israeli citizenship. They must swear allegiance to the state and relinquish other citizenships, along with some other measures to gain it, but they can (at least, as of now they can). But because of their admirable allegiance to their people and a total refusal to accept the legitimacy of the occupation, the Palestinians in Jerusalem have refused to do so.

Now we know for certain that there is no Palestinian leadership. And there will never be a Palestinian citizenship for them to renounce. Therefore, it’s time for Palestinians in East Jerusalem to:

1) Begin voting in municipal elections. It’s their best bet at halting the ethnic cleansing of their neighborhoods;

2) Apply for Israeli citizenship;

We – the justice-seeking community – can only benefit from their increased privilege in the Apartheid state. And those of us committed to the one-state solution can think of this as a step towards political boot-strapping; the Palestinian-Israelis will help to pull the rest of us out of the apartheid muck.

Does a move like this recognize the legitimacy of Israeli occupation? No. Instead, it represents a strategic reappraisal of what’s doable in this environment, and the recognition that the Palestinians (and their activist allies) are basically alone when it comes to halting the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be completely Judaized by the time the international community acts (if it does). BDS is a long-term strategy that will succeed, but the ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem is proceeding at a faster pace than we can contend with using BDS alone. Voting for someone other than Nir Barakat is the best short-term stopgap available to us. Likewise, putting Palestinians in the Knesset should be a national priority.

    Leave a Reply