Gaza Think Tank- The PA’s UN Palestinian Statehood Bid

By: Jehan Alfarra

I miss the day when my little Barbie toy and my fluffy and soft teddy bear were all that mattered. They were the things I clung to the most and the things I held on to too tightly when I layed down in my tiny little bed, with its white-painted wooden bars around, to sleep. I would squeeze the fuzzy ball between my tiny fingers and close my eyes, without having to worry about a Palestine and a world of prejudice and misplaced integrity.

Though I am no child no more. My voice matters, and whether I liked writing or not is irrelevant. Writing is a duty first and foremost, and a way to let off some steam second. I have been brought up to two doctors, thus my life have been more privileged than ordinary residents of the Gaza Strip, my father originally Gazan, and my mother a refugee.  I have been raised on the stories of the Nakba (Palestinian Catastrophe/formation of Israel), and how my mother’s family were thrown out of their houses in 1948 for an Israeli family to live there instead. My mother’s grandpa was shot by the Israeli Hagana gangs, and my grandpa was a kid back then. He is still alive and dreams of going back to their small house and their farm.

My parents got married inside our house, there had been an Israeli curfew and no one was allowed out during those days. I remember, as a child, the invasions of Israeli soldiers. Cracking down on houses, searching some and demolishing others. I remember the piercing sounds of bullets, and how my knees would fail me every time I heard one. I remember the first time for me to see a tank, I was in primary school, but I am not exactly sure what grade I was in. As I was leaving school and waiting for a car to pass by, a tank came out of the blue and was hardly 6 meters away. As soon as I saw that monster, my knees brought me down to the ground in a split second and a loud explosion caused my eyes to shut too tight that it hurt. I never knew why at the beginning, but then as I grew up, I became more aware. I read about Zionism, about the holocaust, and about the state of Israel. I never understood what our fault as Palestinians was. I never understood the relevance between what Hitler did and what my people had to pay. I never understood how a people don’t matter for the sake of other people to exist. Palestinians, for over six decades now have been struggling for freedom, but the only thing I heard when I went to the US for an exchange year is how Israel deserves that land and how we are violent towards them. Does the world (the west more specifically) really thinks Arabs, Palestinians, or Muslims in general are violent by nature? Do they think that not recognizing Israel’s right to exist is racism and anti-Semitism? They clearly do. What I will never tire out from saying, though, is that not recognizing Israel’s right to exist does not mean not recognizing the Jews’ right to exist. Jews lived with us Muslim and Christian Palestinians in Palestine peacefully prior to the formation of the state of Israel, but it is the racist basis on which Israel was built that we oppose. Placing those born to a Jewish mother on top of everyone else, killing us in the thousands and humiliating us at every possible opportunity, denying us our right to our own homes in what is now Israel, and never even recognizing a Palestinian people and their right to exist is what leads to such hatred, anger, and dissatisfaction. You will never hear a Zionist talking about a one democratic state solution for all faiths, but when we do, we are accused of ‘wanting to eradicate the state of Israel and Jews’.

Anyhow, this has not been the exact reason why I am writing this. Today, as known, marks the PA’s Palestinian Statehood bid at the UN asking for the recognition of a Palestinian state on 22% of historic Palestine. I will let you watch the video I am embedding of a video myself and a few of my friends recorded the other day addressing this matter and our thoughts regarding it. It is still uploading… I tried to upload it yesterday  but an electricity cut by Israel yesterday stopped the uploading and it failed. I have been trying to upload it all day and it has been over 7 hours. I hope this ‘state’ will give us a better internet connection at least. I will write more about the pros on cons of this bid later tonight.

7 responses

  1. “You will never hear a Zionist talking about a one democratic state solution for all faiths, but when we do, we are accused of ‘wanting to eradicate the state of Israel and Jews’.”

    This is an attitude that I have never understood. Thank you for articulating its absurdity in such a concise way.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm

  2. First of all, a virtue of what happened today at the UN is that it shows a Palestinian move that is independent of and in opposition to the wishes of the United States and Israel. The beaten down oppressed party speaks face to face to the tyrant. Apart from the practical implications, it was a heroic appearance before the world at the recognized place where nations meet, a simple cry of “we exist!” contrasting so powerfully with the arrogance that tried to suppress it.

    Second: To this point independent acts by Palestinians against Israel have been portrayed as violent acts of Jew haters. But Abbas has done anything and everything to get a positive response to this peaceful effort only to be shunned by those who claimed in the past to support the two state solution. The hypocrisy of the US and Israel is now up in bright lights for everyone to see. President Obama and PM Netanyahu for all their power and leverage made fools of themselves thanks to a Palestinian who forced them peacefully into a corner out of which they could not run. It was like a martial arts master turning the blows of an opponent back upon him but so much better because it was done in a diplomatic manner.

    Israel has been on top of the PR for so long. Now the whole fraudulent situation is coming apart at the seams. What will the future bring but more evidence of oppression, imprisonment, lack of civil law all laid properly at the doorstep of Israel. Combine this with the increasingly strident actions of the religiously devout settlers and the shame to Judaism will become undeniable in any venue. The bully as victim story is crumbling.

    Keep up the conversation – there is much to look forward to.

    PS – I just signed a petition at the White House website asking the administration not to veto the application for statehood. The tiny URL for it is

    September 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    • I get your point, which is why I said I will write more about the pro’s and con’s of the bid. I am for the move, but not the recognition itself. I will elaborate further in my next piece 🙂

      September 24, 2011 at 12:00 am

  3. AR Kaghan

    Peace Be Upon You,

    Existance is resistance. Keep your memories of Palestine alive and that which you and your forefathers endured at the hands of the Zionists in the mid 20th century and pass this down to your children – this is what will keep your legitimate struggle alive. The moment you forget this is the moment the Zionists will win.

    You will get your state back. Keep the faith and keep the struggle alive.

    A brother from the UK.

    September 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

  4. I loved your video. Let me just add that I think that one must call things by their right names, all the time, or else we get Newspeak and 1984. Thus:

    NOT ask for statehood recognition BUT apply for membership in the UN

    Also remember the KISS rule, keep it short and simple. Unless you repeat the key framing parameters over and over and over, people will not get it. Cases in point: Zionism is racism. Palestine was a one-state solution until 1948, but the Zionists refused to live in peace with Palestinians – because they are racist. Racist, racist, racist. Get it? 7 x 7 x 7 times.

    Do check out the Wikipedia articles on the State of Palestine and related, there is a lot of sourced info which shows that USA effectively has made a 180 degree turn over the past century.

    Keep up the good work!

    September 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  5. syed

    keep the good work jehan. I think of Palestine everyday during my prayers. never in modern history a nation has endured so much hardship. even the freedom fighters, when they came to Palestine concluded what they endured under apartheid south africa is nothing what the Palestinians are suffering everyday. may allah give you the courage in your outstanding work.
    God willing one day i will come to palestine. salam and peace.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

  6. Pingback: When Bethlehem Met Anne Frank | Bethlehem Blogger

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