Three very critical things are presently expediting the arrival of your new Palestinian passport.
First, the discourse on Palestine-Israel in the United States is changing. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is making progress day by day and Capitol Hill is finding it trickier to fund a foreign army while simultaneously dodging strengthening discontent.
Second, the collaborationist Palestinian Authority, feeling pressure from the young and the old who’ve taken to the streets to call for an end to any state-sponsored collusion with the occupier, has even begun taking lessons from the old Hosni Mubarak regime and, well, the entire world witnessed just how fast that led to the regime’s demise.
Third, hunger strikers in Israeli jails have brought global attention to Israel’s policies of administrative detention, a policy that has transformed from eighteen days of arbitrary arrest during the First Intifada to indefinite periods of arrest-without-charge today.
If each of these situations can independently sever an artery of support for Israel’s illegal occupation, imagine the combined effect. The occupation stands on frail legs. It is unsustainable and the Israeli government knows it. The Israeli public knows it (even if it won’t admit to it). Sabra Hummus and Caterpillar both know it. It is only a matter of time before Israel’s Oslo-brokered impunity wears thin and it all comes crashing down.
Ideally, an end to the occupation means the return of refugees to their homes or to reparations presented in their names, depending on what each refugee chooses for him- or herself. There will be an end to apartheid in the socioeconomic, political, and educational spheres. Yes, and there will also be free trade, thriving businesses, open roads, beautiful beaches, the freedom to practice religion as one pleases, and a respect for international and human rights law.
There is nothing particularly unique or refreshing about this list since it’s been said thousands of times before. But there is one thing I hear little about—Palestinian citizenship—as if the idea of it is so farfetched or unrealistic that it isn’t worth mentioning.
A friend of mine recently returned from a visit to Ramallah. She travels there at least once every two years and although she isn’t Palestinian, the communities in the cities and villages she visits embrace her as much as she embraces them. In my head I call her an honorary Palestinian but in due time, I will have to drop the “honorary”.
She will be one of us, one of the free—if not by birth, then by citizenship. It is a fast-approaching reality that no amount of scapegoating, hasbara trolling, or violent crackdowns can slow down.
Maybe I’m more optimistic than some, but know that your new green passport, emblazoned with a golden ‘Palestine’ on the top, will one day soon be waiting for you in your mailbox.