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On The Futile Undertaking of Palestinian Statehood

By       Message Esam Al-Amin     Permalink
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In the same fashion that America abolished the system of slavery, and South Africa did away with the apartheid regime, the world must dismantle the institutions of Zionism (Jews-only rights, immigration, employment, housing, roads, benefits, etc.) Not only because this is the root of the problem, but more importantly because it is the right and moral thing to do. But fighting a racist ideology should never be allowed to be exploited by anti-Semitic groups to attack or undermine Judaism or its adherents, a religion and culture that enriched the world for millennia.

2) The historical land of Palestine (Israel, the West Bank and Gaza) is a land that belongs to all its inhabitants including the Palestinian refugees expelled in 1948 and their descendants. They should be allowed to return to their lands if they choose to do so as well as be compensated for their unjust suffering. Each citizen of this land must enjoy equal rights in a democratic, secular, and civil state. For instance, the European Union would never invite a Jewish-only democracy to join it. To qualify for such membership in the 21st century, such a country must be a multi-ethnic democracy guaranteeing equal rights to all its citizens.

3) Any powers that deny a just resolution rooted in racial and religious equality must be exposed and rejected. The path for this struggle must be based on the unity of the Palestinian people and their supporters across the globe including world Jewry. It is also imperative that this approach embraces the struggle of non-violent resistance, civil disobedience, mass protests, and economic boycotts.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have detailed in their book "The Israel Lobby" the reasons behind the unprecedented support the U.S. has provided to Israel throughout the years to the detriment of America's vital national interests.

In a nutshell, American tax dollars have been subsidizing Israeli occupation, repression and brutality against the Palestinians for decades. Over $170 billion dollars have been given to Israel (a quarter of which since 2003) with the most sophisticated weaponry in the US arsenal. Meanwhile, the US has cast 42 vetoes to shield Israel diplomatically from any condemnation of its illegal occupation or war crimes.

Therefore any strategy of non-violent resistance against the cruel reality of military occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people must encompass popular resistance that includes a component that challenges the huge U.S. support, especially by a blind Congress.

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It is U.S. policies, after all, which enable injustice, oppression, suffering, and Israeli intransigence. Until U.S. politicians, power brokers, military leaders, corporate executives, media conglomerates, and opinion makers are forced to side with what is morally right, a heavy price must be exacted through the ballot box, sanctions, boycott, and shaming them in public.

Furthermore, as the fearless masses leading the Arab uprisings continue to be successful in deposing their dictators and challenging Israeli and American hegemony in the region, the Palestinian cause will finally regain its status as the center of regional politics and at the heart of the people's passions in the pursuit for justice. As profound democratic reforms sweep the Arab world in favor of a pluralistic and more equal society, the Zionist project will begin to look more like a relic from a medieval era than an enlightened enterprise.

Eventually a state that represents all its inhabitants on the basis of equality and genuine respect and dignity for all its citizens is one that the world will some day celebrate, not a phony declaration that legitimizes the oppressive nature of one and confers false hope on the other.

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Esam Al-Amin is a regular contributor for a number of websites.

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