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Palestinians Must Find "True" Voice

By       Message Ramzy Baroud     Permalink
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By denying this fact, one denies the ability of the collective to affect change. In the case of Palestinians, they are often presented as hapless multitudes or passive victims without a will of their own. This is of course a mistaken perception; the conflict with Israel has lasted this long only because the Palestinians are unwilling to accept injustice and refuse to submit to oppression. 

Israel's lethal weapons might have changed the landscape of Gaza and Palestine, but the will of Gazans and Palestinians is what shaped the landscape of Palestine's history. This composition of farmers, prisoners, refugees and numerous other manifestations and characters of the oppressed are resilient individuals. It is essential that we understand the complexity of the past and the present to evolve in our understanding of the conflict, not merely to appreciate its involvement, but also to contribute positively to its resolution. 

The Palestinian narrative has long either denied any meaningful access to the media or tainted through the very circles that propped up and sanctified Israel's image as an oasis of democracy and a pivot of civilization. 

In recent years, however, things began to change thanks to developments such as the Internet and various global civil society movements. Although it has yet to reach a critical mass or affect a major paradigm shift in public opinion, these voices have been able to impose a long-neglected story that has been seen mostly through Israeli eyes. 

A narrative that is centered on the stories reflecting history, reality and aspirations of ordinary people will allow for a genuine understanding of the real dynamics that drive the conflict. These stories that define whole generations of Palestinians are powerful enough to challenge the ongoing partiality and polarization. 

The fact is Palestinians are neither potential "martyrs" nor potential "terrorists." They are people who are being denied basic human rights, who have been dispossessed from their lands and are grievously mistreated. They have resisted for over six decades and they will continue to resist until they acquire their fundamental human rights. 
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This is the core of the Palestinian narrative; yet, it is the least told story. A true understanding would require a greater exposure of the extraordinary, collective narrative of the "ordinary people."  
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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)
 

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