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Palestine

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I once met people in Palestine who dreamt about and fought for a free Palestinian state. I was by their side during demonstrations, I followed their struggle and listened to horrifying stories about their realities. I also met people who said they were afraid of how a suddenly free Palestine would affect them. The problems with corruption and instability was too present in their realities in order for them to feel that they would be able to trust a Palestinian authority. “Our Palestine is not ready” they said, “first we need to get rid of all the criminal minds and make sure that Hamas won’t be in charge on this side like they are in Gaza..”

Israelis are cautious and sceptical, their access to information is somewhat different than ours and many are afraid the first step the Palestinian authority will be taking after having a free state is going into war against Israel. People I have recently spoken to in Israel said they support a Palestinian state but that the time isn’t right at the moment as many things are still to be settled and agreed on before moving on.. as a solution without the approval of Israel is bound to fail. My question is when that approval and move would happen as this intractable conflict never seems to be moving in the right direction and that the excuse seems to have been used so much it no longer is legitimate. But still, I have seen and understood the fear of the people in Israel, and I don’t believe fear is ever a good base for building peace. But when nothing is happening for a very long time, maybe shaking things up a little is the only way to get things to move? Either that or to make them very dangerous.

I have far too many questions about this very complex conflict in order to be able to give any real answers. I don’t really know much and it is certainly not an issue one can explain when writing a small blog post on the phone without access to real sources. There are many issues that need to be emphasized and that should not be ignored, still, I choose to limit myself to the very basics here.

I support freedom for all people. However, I think freedom means two very different things for Israelis and Palestinians. For Palestinians, freedom means having rights. For Israelis, freedom means feeling safe. Both are valid and important wishes.

And the Israeli Arabs I met in 2010?

“I’m staying here, I don’t want two states. I just wish we could all learn how to coexist..”

If the UN says yes, Palestinians celebrate, the Palestinian authorities choose to treat violence and corruption seriously and Israel finally decides to be okay with a Palestinian State.. I will be very happy. Until then, I’ll just follow the debate in Twitter and read what ForeignAffairs has to say on the matter.. and try to understand this whole issue a little better.

What do you think? Please let me know below.

9 comments

  1. “Palestine is not ready…” Perfect timing is an ephemeral assumption, the time is now.
    The implications of the new status given by the UN will affect the reality of Palestine, maybe not a huge impact but definitely will change the reality of Palestine.

    It is important to drop the idea of a recognition worldwide, the recognition of a State is done by individual nations and over 100 nations have recognized Palestine, even if Gaza is controlled by Hamas. The “big deal” is the new status that the UN will provide to Palestine as an Observer State, that will increase the prestige and will allow Palestine to sign International Treaties, such as the International Criminal Court (main worry for Israel).

    Hope the UN say Yes!

  2. Välskrivet och klokt sagt..gillar speciellt mycket dina tankar kring begreppet frihet och hur båda sidor tolkar det olika…ett perspektiv som belyser problemet ganska väl tycker jag!!

  3. Nice post, Caroline.
    I can only speak for my people, and will try not to analyze what is going on in the PA. (BTW where is Gaza in all this process? As far as I know, the PA and Hamas haven’t reached an agreement).
    We are concerned about the ability of the PA to rule and the chances of it to be undermined by the Hamas. I don’t believe Israelis think that the first thing the Palestinians will do as a state will attack Israel. We are afraid to get a new Gaza strip government model 15 minutes from Tel Aviv, next to the narrow waste of the shore line.
    We all know that even if this step in the UN passes in the GA or in the Security Council (in which it won’t), they still don’t have a state, and I believe the Palestinians know that as well. Unfortunately, Israel still occupies the WB, and the settlements still exist there. This means this step is nothing more than a declarative issue, to help shake things up a little. As Adrian Ramos has mentioned above, it will upgrade the Palestinian’s status, which will cause a head ache to the Israeli administration. I also believe it will shake things up with the Israeli public. It is of out most importance that the situation will not deteriorate in to violence, as it will “prove” the skeptic Israeli public what will the a Palestinian state entails. It will play into the hands of a right wing Israeli government which will use it as an excuse to not progress with the process of reaching an agreement. But if it does pass, and help upgrading the status in the UN – it does something more – it roots the Two State Solution in International relations and both within the Israeli and the Palestinian societies.
    I’m not quick to talk about “PEACE”. It is something, that will show up after the clouds of fear, mistrust and hatred will disperse.

    Anyway, good luck to us all.

  4. Thanks a lot Caroline for the post
    As u mentioned the Palestinians dreamed of thier independent state since 64 years
    The first day they where occupied by Israel.
    now and After 20 years of signing agreements with the Israelis and after the failures to reach an agreement
    of peace and declaration of a palestinian right to have thier own state,the time is now to have our independent state
    Our dream became true and our leaders are going to the UN to earn an accruded declaration .
    Is Palestine ready for that..
    We have never been ready as we are today and we do have infrastructure much much more than many countries in the middle east and Africa
    And that’s certificated by the national bank.
    All we don’t need now is occupation , settlements.
    I was in ramallah demonstrations to support our leaders and i saw the brightness and hope in the people eyes
    For me And for the millions demonstrating for the state it’s a win win decision to go to UN
    We lost alot before and we won’t lose anymore

  5. You raise very important questions Caroline. Is Palestine ready? does it have the right leadership? Also important issues to take into account is the status of Gaza if Palestine becomes a state and the status of the millions of Palestinian refugees living in other arab states and around the world.

    However, when will Palestine be ready? In an ideal world we will wait for all these issues to be solved, but we dont live in an ideal world. The reality is that Palestine has lost hope in the peace process, because it is a dead-end. Israel will not stop expanding its settlements, even though it knows it is a ticking bomb to the peace process, and the US will not stop supporting Israel.

    Therefore Palestine has no choice but to seek statehood on its own, I’m sure the PLO knows that it will probably fail at becoming state #194, since the US promised to veto the proposal, but the issue needs to be raised. Because even id it’s denied, Palestine will be recognized by the international community, and the US and Israel will stand alone on the issue, and that is not sustainable for long.

  6. there were a conf for middle eastern Christians youth in Alexandria a friend of me attended it and told me that Palestinian youth keep dreaming of day of recognition of their country but they are greatly depressed of US situation and they don’t think their dreams will come true

  7. Remarkable effort has been done by Caroline Bach therein . Its not only the matter of Palestine which is to be settled down between few factions rather each and every matter which is aroused may be dealt with non-military methods ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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