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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/9/15

"Palestine Can't Wait!"

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Message Ahmad Barqawi


Maybe we've just grown tired of the Palestinian cause; maybe Palestine has lost its "revolutionary" luster after the hellish season that was the "Arab Spring", in favor of "nobler" and more urgent matters in the Arab World, like chasing the Houthis out of the Yemeni capital for instance or liberating Syria from the "Alawite" occupation, according to Government-Corporate Controlled (GCC) media that is.

Maybe it's the fact that the Palestinian issue cannot be maneuvered into yet another frontline for the Sunni-vs-Shia conflict, or maybe we've just become so brand oriented and media-hyped that we constantly need a glittery tagline to identify every little event that occurs in the region, otherwise it's forgotten or cast as an insignificance not-worthy of our already short-tempered attention, maybe it's the fact that we've become so antipathetic towards anything that no longer has a face, a name or at least a catch phrase when we're still wrapped up in a pointless debate on whether what is currently happening in Palestine qualifies a Third Intifada or not (and if you're watching Western or GCC funded media: it's no more than rising "tension" in the West Bank).

Brutal occupation, land confiscations, the carnages in Gaza, phosphorous bombs, blockades, generations of refugees, the settlers binge killing sprees of Palestinians; evidently we're okay with it all. None of what happens in Palestine offends our slumbering conscience and human sensibilities which seem to awaken with fervent urgency the minute terrorism hits a Western capital for in moments of "blowback", terrorism and counter-terrorism. Everything is relegated to triviality and irrelevance, and no one even dares mention the Israeli occupation of Palestine; that other decades-old brand of terrorism which manages to cloak itself as a mere "territorial dispute" between the Israelis and the decrepit Palestinian Authority.

In fact, if the Arab world has spoken, the message is loud, clear and unequivocal: "Palestine can wait". And the Palestinians, whether living in the squalid rubbles of what used to be their homes in Gaza on a strict Israeli preset calorie allowance, or those disappeared into the black hole of indefinite detention and torture that is the Israeli prison system(IPS). Those in the IPS will have to stick it out in a wretched, terror-ridden existence till they get their own mainstream media headlines, 24/7 hour live coverage, hashtags or "safety checks" (as if the concept of safety is strictly reserved to and monopolized for the benefit of white European victims).

Nobody wants the people of Palestine to revolt, protest or even disturb the Israeli occupation with a mere stone's throw at its unrelenting apparatus of death, torture and destruction; everyone wants (and expects of) the Palestinians to hopelessly cower behind the bullet-ridden walls of their overcrowded, half-demolished homes, heads down to their bellies and surrender themselves to a bleak reality of living as sub-humans, stripped off their most basic rights, under an apartheid regime where arbitrary arrests and summary executions are the orders of the day, unless, of course, they're torched alive along with their loved ones in the safety of their own bedrooms by state-sponsored, swarming gangs of Zionist settlers.

Every time the hope-deprived Palestinians attempt to rise against the occupation, it is much to the bitter chagrin of the GCC club and its allies; for fear it might steal the "thunder" away from their unholy crusade against the people of Yemen and Syria, and manage to yet again expose the depths of their own hypocrisy and hyperbolic macho rhetoric that passes for foreign policy when it comes to Iran and the "Shiite threat".

But the Palestinians are not ones to cower in submission, they rose up against their occupiers again just like they've done countless of times before" only this time armed with knives and screwdrivers of all things, which only speaks volumes about our own complicity and chronic state of apathy towards the Palestinians and their ongoing plight; the fact that the Palestinians had to resort to kitchen utensils to defend themselves against the disproportionate military might of Israel while only a few kilometers away all manners of sophisticated weapons and multi-million dollar bombs are being recklessly dropped by the "Arabs" themselves on the poorest civilian Arab population in Yemen is both a profound indictment and a glaring testament to the rotten state of affairs that the Arab world has sunk itself into.

Evidently the Arab World is just too busy with its own frivolous sectarian wars and internal bloodletting to bother with the "annoyance" that Palestine has become to some of its Arab brethren, the Arab World is too preoccupied with its own self-inflected cleansing of religious and ethnic minorities to even notice the decades-old, ongoing-still (albeit at an accelerating pace) ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their own homeland, and we've become too enamored with the notion of (re)partitioning the Arab world along sectarian frontlines to worry about the wholesale land annexation and systematic bantustanization of Palestine. I guess Mark Sykes and Franà ois Picot weren't cynical (or in their case; optimistic) enough when they reworked the map of the region in 1916 into vying, hopelessly disconnected western spheres of influence.

For Arab Governments; the Israeli Occupation of Palestine was never a priority, and the sorry lot of Arab leaders and ruling politicians right from the years of Egypt's Anwar Al Sadat onwards were never serious about challenging the Zionist colonial project, nonetheless paying a lip service to the Palestinian cause, which at least used to be a mainstay within Arab political discourse, if anything else but to get a tinge of legitimacy for themselves, and to pacify an emotionally charged Arab public that was still attached to the central issue that was Palestine at the time.

Alas, nowadays; Palestine is totally forgotten and deliberately sidelined, especially (and most lamentably) on a public level, for it doesn't fit the strict sectarian brackets through which almost everything seems to be seen, dissected and understood in the region, it no longer fits our current post-Arab spring reality of chronic sub-divisions and religious fanaticism. Our priorities have been drastically reshuffled, altered beyond recognition and reconfigured to best suit the west's parasitic agenda in our region, and Palestine was thus swiftly pushed down right to the very bottom of that list.

The word "Occupation" is no longer associated with Israel, today it is solely (and excessively) used in the misleading context of the so-called "Iranian influence in the Arab World", which, for all intents and purposes, is but a direct reference to the centuries' old presence of indigenous Shiite populations in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

Every little war and military misadventure in the Arab World is a "Holy War", especially if it's one that is (generously) funded by the GCC club; except for Palestine" it's a peace process there, and an endless one at that; never mind the daily massacres, home demolitions and mass arrests which have all become fixed components of every Palestinian's life, or the fact that Gaza has become one giant killing field and a testing ground for the latest in Israel's arsenal of internationally banned weapons and chemical munitions, when it comes to Palestine; we're all proponents of peaceful resolutions, passivity and none-violence.

Billions of dollars are being recklessly spent on the futile "Operation: Assad Must Go!" enterprise in Syria by the GCC; a fraction of which is more than capable of (literally) buying Palestinian lands' as a way to freedom from the clutches of the Zionist settler colonial project; not to mention, god forbid, supporting the Palestinians in their struggle against the occupation instead of splurging on throat-slitting terrorist groups and organizations. Yet not a penny for Palestine.

The Zionist usurpation of Jerusalem Al Quds somehow does not even so much as tickle "Sunni" sentiments among Arabs and Muslims, and the now routine ransacking of Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, no longer triggers explosive "Sunni" hypersensitivities, let alone militancy, which seem to rage on only at the mere mention of Iran or the Shia sect.

The repeated invasions of refugee camps in the West Bank, the night raids into homes and the kidnapping of Palestinians from their beds and in their sleep, defacing mosques, the desecration of cemeteries, the illegal (albeit lucrative) trafficking of Palestinians' organs" apparently none of that warrants so-called "Sunni solidarity", while daily scenes of death, assault and point blank street executions of Palestinian schoolgirls and minors does nothing to shake our newfound "Sunni" moral high ground and obligation.

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Ahmad Barqawi, a Palestinian freelance columnist & writer, he has done several studies, statistical analysis and researches on economic and social development.

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