Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A West Bank Cry of Despair

Dear Friends of Palestinians and Israelis,

I've reconnected with a 20-something Palestinian, a graduate of Birzeit, whom Sharon and I met in June, 2000, on a visit to Isr/Pal (with Craig Barnes and the folks from National Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C.).

I am in email conversation with him and care about him, his mother and brother, his friends, and his journey. His words speak for themselves, are anguished, filled with frustration and despair driving him to hopelessness. I could say more. He was raised in Ohio, but his mother moved back to her home in the West Bank, after her husband, Hanna's father died at a young age in the US.

He is from a Christian (Roman Catholic) background but has disavowed any connection with that church.

He has given me permission to share his following thoughts.

Hanna, we love you, and have hundreds, even thousands alongside of you, seeking justice, change for the better and reconciliation.

Dear John,

Ever since the brutal war on Gaza I have lost hope in hope. While observing the massacres and destruction in Gaza, the P.A. tyranny in the West Bank, and the silence of almost every government of this world, I became numb. I became numb due to the combination of sadness, rage, and helplessness.
Other than the massacres in Gaza, what shred my soul was how the Palestinian Authority treated the Palestinians in the West Bank when we would protest against the war on Gaza. The authority sent its spies from its various 'security forces' to infiltrate the demonstrations and make arrests. The authority sent riot police to suppress and successfully stop demonstrations headed for Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank (all of which are illegal by international law). The authority beat, and in some cases, even electrocuted the 'political prisoners' that were arrested from these demonstrations, whether the demonstration was headed towards a checkpoint or not.

While almost all of the Palestinian population had rightfully assumed that the Oslo-birthed Palestinian Authority (brought by and headed by Fatah) was merely a puppet government that had traded freedom for stability (and got neither), the people came to realize that it was not only that. During and after the war on Gaza, it became crystal clear that the main and only purpose for the existence of the Palestinian Authority was and is to relieve the Tel Aviv government of the burden of its occupation and act as a police state to erase any sort of ideological, popular, or military forms of Palestinian resistance towards the Israeli occupation. Mahmoud Abbass and his thugs have not yet disappointed their Israeli counterparts and have oppressed their own countrymen even worse than the occupation has and seem to be just as content as their counterparts in regard to what has happened in Gaza.

The Palestinian people are stuck between a corrupt collaborative government in Ramallah and a socially regressive and almost equally corrupt government in Gaza, with almost no other choices other than the almost impotent Palestinian left (which played a huge part in the resistance before establishment of the P.A. but a much smaller one after). They are small in numbers, suppressed by both Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza, and not accepted socially by the majority of the Palestinian people (mostly conservative Muslims) due to their Marxist Leninist ideologies.

Like the content of an email that you sent me earlier, a 2 state solution seems impossible now, mostly due to the illegal settlements, bypass roads, and the apartheid wall constructed by the occupation… so there isn't much left of the West bank for a viable Palestinians state, and a one state solution will never be accepted by Tel Aviv. No partially fair solution will ever be accepted by Tel Aviv.

From what I have seen recently only one thing pleased me, and that one phenomenon was that the resistance fighters in Gaza all united to confront the blood thirsty occupation forces. The military wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the P.F.L.P, the D.F.L.P, Fatah and other factions all worked together to fight back and confront the Israeli ground attacks.

I apologize if I am giving the impression that my heart is full of hatred. It was full of hatred towards the Israeli government, towards the Palestinian Authority, towards what is wrongfully called the P.L.O and hatred towards Hamas. Hatred towards the U.S and EU foreign policies, and hatred for all of those who fearfully would not acknowledge the truth and condemn Israel for the Gaza massacres, which included the weak and fearful Vatican as well as the UN, who were not strong enough to state the truth. Full of hate towards the oppressive Arab regimes who did not even cut diplomatic ties with the occupation. My heart was full of hatred because of my love for my dead, injured, homeless, and terrified defenseless people, hatred because I have seen the looks of confusion, shock and fear on the bloody faces of children who witnessed the deaths of their parents and siblings.

My heart was full of hatred because I wrongfully believed in justice, in right, in truth and in humanity. My heart did not have any more room for hatred because I am not accustomed to hate, so the hatred turned into nothingness. That is why I am numb.

I do not know what to believe in, if anything. And that is why I have not written to you recently, because I wanted to give you good news about Palestine, about the Palestinian people, and about myself instead of a pessimistic point of view of a Palestinian youth.
I apologize for the negativity.


No comments: