The blues are catchy, I know. Usually, make me wanna take out my harmonica and blow along with the poetry of oppression. Usually, but not today. Not here. Not in the Middle East, where hope is still alive.
Excuse me for being a party-pooper, but isn’t it time Palestinians quit singing sorrow-songs and instead celebrate statehood? Forgive a clichÃ©, but the Palestinians are faced with a glass of water filled to the half-way point. Is this glass full or empty? If they say it is empty, they may never have a nation like the other ones they see on the map; and alas, they will have their own greed and pessimism to blame. If they say it is full, they can march in a parade and proudly wave their flags high.
The anti-Israel vibration is a hypnotizing drone of murmurs, cries, actions and vindictive sneers. Though, it would not behoove the Palestinian’s self-interest to become entranced by it. That would be self-defeating. Why instead don’t the Palestinians count their blessings; measure their power? They might be pleasantly surprised by what they find.
Today the Palestinian Authority has political factions with domestic and foreign recognition. They have a president and a prime-minister. They have a treasury, banks, schools, colleges, hospitals and mosques. The Palestinian Authority is divided into sixteen separate geographical parts, each under its own sovereign governance. And I shan’t forget to mention the Palestinian soccer team!
All of the above are qualities of a state, which, for all intents and purposes, yield ‘stateness’ or ‘statehood.’ In fact, the Latin word for ‘idea’ is ‘forma’, the same as the word for ‘form’ in Latin and almost the same as the word for ‘form’ in English. Therefore, if the idea of a state has been resembled, well, you’ve got yourself a formal state. Indeed, the Palestinians possess all things resembling a ‘state.’ They have, in this sense, and perhaps in any true sense, achieved, ‘statehood.’
Last week, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, announced their recognition of the Palestinian state. I can understand frustration by the Israeli government, and most of the time, when they are feeling frustrated, I am too. Though, not this time. This time I smiled to myself and silently said, “It seems as though the Palestinians have finally, albeit unilaterally, achieved statehood.”
In August of 2011, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salaam Fayyad, plans to declare his country’s independence. When he does this, he will have achieved just that: independence, in the truest sense of the word. An independence which cannot be defeated by other country’s pretending such a declaration never happened, or by any military occupation. Even without such an official declaration and the inevitable consequence of angry cries by Israel and perhaps the United States because their peace-talks failed, the Palestinians already possess, ‘statehood.’
The big question is as follows: will this â€“ such a declaration â€“ be good enough for the Palestinians? Are they willing to, at this point, take their half-filled glass of water and declare that it is half-full? Or will they continue singing sorrow-songs and beating down their own self-esteem; fanning the flames of violent Jihadist insurrection in future generations, which will get their cause, nowhere, but thrown back down the stairs of statehood.