Written by Fredrick Misleh – check his blog – http://fredrickmisleh.blogspot.com
Fredrick Misleh is a junior studying global politics at the California State University in San Marcos. Member of the Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science) Honor Society. A Christian Palestinian-American and I am aspiring to become a political journalist.
Back in April (2011), I learned the Palestinians will be taking their case for statehood before the UN General Assembly this September in response to continued stalemated negotiations with Israel. The UN, the EU, and the American people supported the move. I was ecstatic about the development. However, the US government is planning to vote against Palestinian statehood. This should have been an obvious decision, considering Israel is our Cold War ally and Hamas is a terrorist group. However, I had hopes that President Obama would have at least considered a favorable vote for several reasons.
Chief among them, a favorable vote for Palestinian statehood would improve our standing in Arab and Muslim worlds. The diehard Salafists and Wahabis will never be won over, nor will the Shiite Khomeinists in Iran and Lebanon (Hezbollah). Those three groups of individuals will continue to twist our actions to show how “hostile” the US is to Muslims. But to the average Palestinian and Arab nationalist or to the secular Arabs and Muslims throughout the Muslim world, the US is no longer ash-shaytan al-akbar (the great satan). Rather, we would be seen as fair and reasonable human beings who understand the time for stalled negotiations, violence, and suffering is over.
The second reason is Hamas may be coerced into laying down their arms if they see the US, their second enemy, support the Palestinian people. Why? For decades, Hamas has claimed, “Israel exists because of the US, and the Palestinians suffer because of the Israeli occupation. Thus, our suffering if because of the US.” If the US government were to vote in favor of Palestinian statehood, Hamas will lose the propaganda war against the US. The next step in this reason is for Israel to recognize the State of Palestine. This will prove difficult, but I have confidence in the American diplomats in Israel in finding a way to mollify the Israelis. When this happens, and Israel withdraws from the West Bank and ends the blockade of Gaza, Hamas will have no realistic reason to continue the fight. Their constituents will not allow them, in the atmosphere of the Arab Spring.
A third reason is simply this: the time has come. With the ongoing Arab Spring and the wave of liberty sweeping the region, the time has come for the freedom of a nation from the grip of occupation. The time has come for the second-class citizens to be lifted from under the boot of discrimination and humiliation. The time has come for the violence and the racism and the suffering on both sides of the wall to give way to peace, understanding, and prosperity. The time has come for freedom.
America has one last chance to right the wrongs (in the minds of the Muslim world) of the past 63 years. If the bid for Palestinian statehood succeeds this September, the US will never again have such an opportunity to improve our standing in the Middle East and the Muslim world and disarm Hamas without firing a shot. The time has come for the wave of liberation to reach the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We as the Palestinian nation will not wait any longer for bureaucrats to push papers through. We will stand as a free nation and we will extend our hands to Israel and to the US in friendship and peace. It is their choice to join us in brotherhood or not.