Men in a boat at Jaffa on the Mediterranean Sea Holy Land[Historical Stock Photos]
Here's Sumud sharing a vision of the future from a conversation which began with Taxi's story of a Lebanese shepherd looking at the land of Palestine.
Great story Taxi, thanks.
It touches on something that’s been on my mind lately. The two-state solution is dead as a door-nail, this is clearer than ever before. So what is the way forward?
One possibility is that Israel continues its descent into fascism and some fanatic like Avigdor Lieberman comes to power, and decides in a desperate all-or-nothing fashion to ethnically cleanse all Palestinians from Israel and the OPTs. I really don’t think this is outside the realms of possibility. It would be catastrophic for all involved and make zionist as dirty a word as nazi. While this might be satisfying for everybody who cares about Palestinians I can’t see it happening without *massive* loss of life. Maybe Israelis can’t be woken up any other way, but I hope not.
I wrote a little while ago about the small but vital issue of what a single state might be called. It might be Israel, until the majority Palestinian population enable right of return then change the name to Palestine. Again, while this might be gratifying for all of us who resent the injustice of 60+ years of Nakba, going in this direction still represents a continuity of the Israel vs. Palestine conflict.
Your shepherd friend’s grandfather is extremely wise:
He said his grandfather used to say that all Palestinians: jews, moslem and christian, were the real and only ‘chosen people’ – chosen by god and more fortunate than all other arabs to be born and to live on holy land – chosen to belong to the holy land.
He points to a different way of thinking about who is a Palestinian. It’s inclusive, and goes beyond Israel vs. Palestine. If there’s going to be a single state solution – and there is – then it’s either going to be because zionists are forced into it kicking and screaming, or because they adopt it willingly. Whatever it will be, we can’t turn back time. An outcome as occurred in Algeria (the suitcase or the coffin) would be every bit as disastrous as Lieberman trying to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. Other than who was the victim, there’s no moral difference. We can’t and shouldn’t ignore the fact that many Israeli Jews were born in Israel, and maybe their parents and grandparents were too, even if their ancestors weren’t.
What I’m getting at is that maybe a future single-state needs to not be Israel or Palestine, but something more neutral and inclusive like “Holy Land” (though it sounds clumsy and I’m sure there’s a better word). That way, it is not only Israelis who have to give up something to live in a single peaceful multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, but Palestinians also. If they both have sacrificed, then I think there’s a better chance that it really does put the Israel-Palestine conflict to bed forever, by mapping out a third way where neither party is seen by the other as being victorious.
What do you think? I know there will always be zealots on both sides who can only think of victory in terms of their ‘side’ winning, but maybe the bulk of Palestinians and Israelis can be brought together with a vision of living together, in a new entity that leapfrogs the current us vs them paradigm.