The wall on Gaza

When I was an elementary school student, my teachers used to talk to us about Arab unity. They would talk to us about our brothers under occupation in Palestine. I grew up believing that we, the Arabs, truly wanted to liberate Palestine. In my wildest dreams I would never have imagined growing up in a world where we didn't liberate Palestine. We haven't even helped the Palestinian people liberate themselves. As fellow Arabs we haven't even had the decency to sit aside and not disturb them in their attempts to break away from the occupation! Instead of doing any of that, we see a 'brother Arab country' going out of its way to push a piece of Palestine that actually managed to liberate itself from Israel back under the occupation!

Would an Egyptian soldier, who sacrificed his life for the freedom of Palestine within the last century, believe that there would come a day when his son would build the Egyptian side of the Israeli prison wall around Gaza? What a betrayal to Egypt's great history! What a shame! How did we get to this point? How did this happen?

In order to answer these questions we need to understand the changes in social perception of the Palestinian issue that took place in this region that ultimately made such step by the Egyptian government, well not acceptable, but evidently something that the Egyptian government is getting away with.

Theoretically what happens is that we face a reality on the ground that we don't accept at first. We may even fight these new changes for a while. Then we give up, and then we accept and adjust. With time, these undesirable changes incorporate themselves into our beliefs, they become no longer debatable, they are taken for granted, and accepted. Only then, and a new layer of beliefs accumulates upon them.

In practice, we Arabs, were separated into countries until we believed that we were indeed different nations, with different interests, and different national securities. Then came the time for some of us to believe that there could be a conflict between 'national securities' of different countries.

The peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel are also example of that process. Each generation of Israeli politicians push the envelope further, trying to get the maximum out of the Palestinians. They test the boundaries, find the limits, and then demand a little more. As the conflict continues new leadership comes in on both sides and what has been agreed upon before is now no longer under question. New limits are being searched for, new maximums. The conflict never finishes and Israel's 'rights' keep expanding with each generation.

Eventually, a generation will come along that will accept Israel's 'rights' as a given and will never even know, or imagine, any other alternative. They will be content with what they have now and even ready to compromise as did their predecessors.

So is the case of the Egyptian authority. So is the case of the people of Egypt. So is the case with all of us.

The picture is dark and depressing until we take a look at the people of Gaza. I have to admit that I find it utterly mind blowing to see people who are brutally imprisoned inside Gaza, people who live in some of the worst conditions on the planet, when having a chance to dig a tunnel never escape from their miseries. Instead they search for the means to stay in that place and fight to survive, and fight to prevail.

I think the whole world owes to bow in respect to this epic heroism.

© Kuwait Times 2010

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply