15 May 2011

Palestinian Transition ~ Morally Savvy Strategies

Since the state of Israel was unilaterally declared in 1948, the many displaced Palestinian refugees and those who became partial-citizen Israeli-Arabs have marked Nakba Day today, on May 15, to commemorate the Catastrophe of their expulsion and occupation. But as Karin Laub of the Associated Press notes in Palestinians test tactic of unarmed mass marches, this year we are witnessing the growing Palestinian Transition away from terrorism, suicide bombings, and armed resistance towards unarmed mass demonstrations and peaceful protests (e.g. as documented in Budrus) plus clear articulations of the moral case for fully equal, secular, democratic human rights -- and also crucially -- accelerating entrepreneurial economic development (e.g. as evidenced by Rawabi)...
"Palestinian activists are calling it a preview of new tactics to pressure Israel and win world support for statehood: Masses of marchers, galvanized by the Arab Spring and brought together by Facebook, descending on borders and military posts -- and daring Israeli soldiers to shoot. [...] Israeli officials openly puzzled over how to handle an unfamiliar new phase. "The Palestinians' transition from terrorism and suicide bombings to deliberately unarmed mass demonstrations is a transition that will present us with difficult challenges," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak."
This Palestinian pincer strategy of non-violent moral rightness combined with pro-growth prosperity policies will force Israelis to finally actually share the land and riches of Canaan instead of continuing their racist "Jewish majority", ethnic cleansing, and law of return practices, repeated gross violations of international law and multiple UN resolutions, outright criminal behavior including land seizures as well as raw material and water theft, and irrational Apartheid-like policies, including illegal settlements, concentration camps, and barrier walls, all of which are morally reprehensible, politically indefensible, and culturally barbaric. There's room for many creative solutions here, whether this is a separate two-state future with strong freedoms of cross-border movement, or a federalized bi-national state with strong local rule, or even a one state solution -- or perhaps a blend of these over time with trust-building and peace-keeping measures phased over many years. Or maybe now's the time to be thinking about post-nationalist solutions which instead empower individuals instead of ethnic or tribal collectives. P.S. As added context, please see Palestine's Hidden History of Nonviolence by Yousef Munayyer in Foreign Policy...
"You wouldn't know it from the media coverage, but peaceful protests are nothing new for Palestinians. But if they are to succeed this time, the West needs to start paying attention."

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