This post is part of “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.” This series was initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace as an investigation into the current state of thinking about one state and two state solutions, and the collection has been further expanded by Mondoweiss to mark 20 years since the Oslo process. The entire series can be found here.
I wrote two books on the conflict in Palestine: one that explains why coexistence and “Sharing the Land of Canaan” must be based on human rights and is inevitable, and the other explains “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment.” I am 100% sure that peace will come to this troubled land. I am equally sure that this will involve Palestinian refugees being finally allowed to implement their inalienable right to choose to return to their homes and lands. My certainty is based on the lessons of history in Palestine and lessons from similar struggles like South Africa, Vietnam, and Algeria. Some of the peculiarities that will be critical for our success:
- The rich history of nonviolent resistance.
- The logarithmic growth of the boycott, divestment, and sanction movement.
- The inevitable collapse of the remaining undemocratic Arab leadership.
- The amazing growth of knowledge among Jews around the world and thousands of Israelis. We are especially thrilled at the publication of hundreds of books in the past 10 years by these conscientious Jews exposing the distortions that came about to justify the land theft done in the name of Judaism.
- The growth of international solidarity.
In Palestine, these and many other reasons increase our certainty in the inevitability of a successful end to our decades of repression, colonization, and occupation. We faced, almost alone, the best organized, best financed, most Western-supported colonial enterprise in history. Rational human beings see that the spread of fundamentalism is only fostered when Israel is made an exception, funded and protected while it flaunts human rights and international law. We tell our stories with dignity and we explain why this racist/tribalistic system is harmful to all of humanity. We do it without hatred to any person but with anger and hatred at the inhuman actions of a deluded few who think they can get away with war crimes and crimes against humanity forever. Increasingly, people around the world see the reality and join our struggle.
With seven billion human beings on this earth, we cannot afford to keep squabbling. Fear of change is what paralyzes many people. As others have pointed out, our biggest fear is not that we will fail, but that for many human beings the biggest fear is that we can be more successful than our wildest dreams. The more people realize this, the quicker we will get there. We should all be working on the nature of society to follow our inevitable win: one based on human rights and the rule of law, not of military might and repression. Arriving at our destination, we will finally have liberty not just for Palestinians but for Israelis. We can then truly become a “light unto the nations.”