Manifestos aren’t what they used to be. A new group in Gaza, Gaza Youth Breaks Out, starts their statement on Facebook with F*ck Hamas, F*ck Israel, …
We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this f*cking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.
[via the Guardian]
Meanwhile in the conservative press, Lawrence Haas of the American Foreign Policy Council (who?) has written an opinion piece against recognizing Palestine as a state. It contains mostly unsupported and unexplained assertions, the main ones being that “a nation needs internationally recognized borders” (as if the borders of the U.S.–or any country in Europe, or Africa, or Asia–have never changed) and that recognizing Palestine would be “followed not by peace but, instead, by more conflict” (unlike the last 50 years of war, intifada, suicide bombers, proxy wars by Iran through Lebanon, and more intifadas). By Haas’ rules, only Switzerland would be allowed nationhood. Haas has not come up with very good reasons for denying statehood, but what are the real reasons conservatives seem to oppose it? Oh, and Haas thinks the existence of both the PLO ( in the West Bank) and Hamas (in Gaza) contending for power would make it hard to choose which one to throw the weight of U.S. official support behind. That to me is a no-brainer.
A Palestinian friend of mine was thrown in jail by Saddam Hussein around the time of Dessert Storm while working as a news service editor in Kuwait. He and a family member got out because they had a Jordanian passports, but the last I had heard (2001) some of his colleagues were still in jail because they lack passports and an official (Palestinian) state to speak for them.
So why, oh why, oh why is not Palestine a state already? How hard can it be? It’s a Nike thing. Just do it.