Saturday, February 1, 2020

Peace Process Revisited

Muhammad Hallaj wrote the following in his editorial in the November/December 1983 issue of Palestine Perspectives. Unfortunately, his words are just as true and applicable today, more than 35 years later, as it was when he wrote it.

For the first time in recorded history, the world community committed itself in the twentieth century to the ideal of universalizing self-government and economic well-being. Self-determination an development became primary objectives of contemporary human civilization.
The transformation of Palestine into Israel in 1948 and in subsequent years deprived the Palestinian people of the opportunity to share this human dream. They have been denied self-government, and their lives have been disrupted and harassed. 
Granted, the vision of universalizing self-government and development has been only partially and imperfectly achieved. Hundreds of millions of people around the world continue to suffer from hunger, disease and ignorance. And in many countries decolonization has not brought liberty and justice to their peoples. The struggle has not yet been consummated everywhere. But nowhere in the world, except in Palestine, has the deprivation been so deliberate, conscious and determined. 
In other places, the problem has been a failure of the dream, a failure to benefit from an opportunity which has been granted. In Palestine, it has been a failure to grant the opportunity and to share the dream. And that is the rationale and the nobility of the Palestinian struggle... 
The struggle in Palestine is not about the location of boundaries, the confiscation of land, the dissolution of municipalities or political imprisonment, although it concerns all of this and much more. It is fundamentally about the inadmissibility of singling out the Palestinian people for denial of access to the contemporary dream. 
All efforts and initiatives made in the name of peace in the Middle East which fail to take this fact as their underlying premise are doomed to fail and deserve to fail. They are doomed to fail because they do not address the issue, and they deserve to fail because they make a mockery of a universally cherished human vision.
And so it is that we begin one more decade with one more mockery of justice.

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