Thursday, 15 January 2009

New Beginnings! What New Beginnings?!

“The blazing sun filled the streets with the colour of blood. And Gaza was brand new, Mustafa!” -Ghassan Kanafani, Letter from Gaza.

It’s hard to talk about new beginnings, when the suffering is never-ending, and history fails in anything but in repeating itself. For Gazans and for the Palestinians, the tunnel is definitely dark, narrow and end-less.
And yet there seem to be a huge amount of worship for the Palestinian cause, equivalent or even surpassing that of frustration. This worship has established the Palestinian cause as a religion that speaks to the conscious of humanity - There are children under the debris in Gaza, that have taught us lessons about freedom and determination, to whom the world cannot but bow in awe! But sadly, when such dignified values clash with the reality of power, strategies and state terror practiced by Israel, the results are tragic. Even talks about the aftermath of come what may this tragedy is always guilt wrapped , ideologized, censored or even muted.

So what does the future hold?

Ironically, the near future holds nothing new for the Palestinians, who are still under occupation and that’s the major issue. Unfortunately, this story is not a Hollywood masterpiece where the ultimate courageous hero will win at the end; this is a real life story, an episode in a long epic documentary about the story of Palestinian struggle. So regardless of who claims to have won or is winning now; realities on the ground speak a more honest truth about what is happening.
Hamas will still be in the picture, although more empowered, more legitimized than before. Israel cannot rely on international forces to guard its borders with Egypt, so an actual truce is only achieved through opening dialogue channels with Hamas and only Hamas, this way Israel can guarantee safe borders, and Hamas will bounce back more politically empowered. Now the Palestinian Authority will have to stand facing Hamas in an awkward position, who has the final say on the future of the Palestinians? Mustafa Barghouthi clearly points out that any authority under occupation is a false authority, so the answer would be to unify all the factions to form one Palestinian government. But, who will guarantee for Israel that this new government will work for the security of Israel? An important milestone to any peace talks from a solely Israeli and American perspective. The Palestinians however (Gazans more specifically) see things differently, and clearly believe that resistance is the only way to combat in-justice practiced by Israel - Israel which will not stop building more settlements, or stealing more Palestinian lands, or even solve the refugees problem or discuss Jerusalem. For Israel, these are a bunch of topics for another day!

But can there be any hope for their cause?

Che Guevara once said that “Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms” - May be illuminating the Palestinian cause – which seems more honest and just than ever- is the only good thing that came out of this tragedy. The death toll up until this moment is horrendous (more than 1070), and that’s not just a number. There are children’s dreams involved, mothers’ love, and dads and toys and aspirations and homes and hopes all gone! But for the Gazans, life will have to go on at some point, and hopefully they will be able to enjoy new beginnings just like every other human being!

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