Before I begin writing, I would like to thank Ahad Hadaam , former IDF officer, for introducing me, not to this dream, but to this idea. For I have had the dream for a long time, but to see it as an idea is an entirely different matter.
There is little doubt that the Palestinians of today have a desire to self determination. Many who live in Gaza, the West Bank, the refugees of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and the rest of the diaspora around the world, from Chile in South America to Australia and Poland, desire this. It is a desire rooted in their subjection to the Ottoman empire, a foreign force that did not have their self interests at heart. After their collapse, their dreams came closer, yet the British and the French stepped in with their mandates and colonies. I do now know much about this period of history, but I know that the idea of nationalism was fanned and the flames grew within the Arab nation, including the Palestinians.
The political Jewish Zionists have also had their aspirations and self determination for a similar time. For the hundreds of years that they have been in the diaspora, they did not dream of an Israel but stayed in their religious communities, waiting for the coming of their Messiah who will bring them Israel. Yet in the 19th Century, as more and more Jews broke away from their religion (a speculation), they realized that nothing stopped them from self determination now. They looked upon the nations in which they lived, mostly in Europe, and made a dream of their own. They considered to settle in countries like Argentina and even Uganda. They wanted to be at the mercy of no one but themselves, and the years of discrimination had only increased this desire
On the present
Today, what we have created is the United Nations. In theory, many world nations have a consensus on the fundamental rights of the human individual. But more importantly, and personally, I have come to realize that the desire for nation hood in the Israeli Palestinian conflict is something of a different age. Globalization has shaken the foundations of our reality, not before two world wars. We are in the information age, an age where technology advances at an exponential rate (as some claim).
In light of this, I have come to a realization. While we may ponder morality and it’s meaning as we have for hundreds of years, an undeniable fact has come forth. Every human being is equal, not necessarily in ability, but in moral value, for they have made no choices in their heritage, especially when it comes to ethnicity. As I look on a map of the world, I begin to see the borders of age old nations fade, and give way to a diverse and powerful humanity.
What does this all mean?
When reflecting upon all of this, it becomes very clear that political Zionism was destined to force it’s members into war and chaos in order to achieve it’s dream. It wanted to create a Jewish democracy, or ethnocracy in a place that had a large native population of non-Jews. It achieved this, and the price was paid in blood and tears, and it continues to be paid today. There was bound to be a clash between Jewish nationalists and Arab nationalists, and it surely happened.
A two state solution now would only mean that I am satisfied with leaving Israel’s ethnocracy to it’s devices, and the native Palestinian population under it’s mercy. And I am not, and will not be satisfied. While Israel continues to stress that it is too small, and the Palestinians remain stateless, the only way forward is a one state solution. One man, one vote, Arab or Jew.
Self determination does not equal staunch nationalism or having “your own country”, although I know how tempting patriotism can be.
I am ready to abandon Palestinian nationalism, to fight Israeli nationalism and to promote equality for the sake of peace. But we shall see what the world has in store for these two “peoples” .
Of course, the idea is still fresh in my head, and I will take more time to think about it.