Thursday, January 10, 2013

Homeland


Homeland, as per wikipedia, means: the concept of the place (cultural geography) to which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association with, the country in which a particular national identity began...

It is pretty simple, unless you are still a child, or you are a fanatic stubborn ignorant person who refuses to understand it, right??

So when it comes to my Homeland, Palestine, I don't understand how the definition of HOMELAND above won't apply to Palestinians and Palestine?!? Yet, there seems to be a lot, and a lot, of research and theories and studies, marvelous discoveries, astonishing findings, lengthy papers and publications, just to say that Palestine, the geographical area we know at least since the 20th century, is the homeland for others, not for Palestinians!!!

As in every post I write, I have to clarify that I am no historian or politician or academic with extensive background and information about the Palestine/Israel conflict... Yet, I am an educated Palestinian, a son of two Palestinian refugees, an open-minded peace activist, a supporter of justice, human rights, and equality for all... And this qualifies me, as it qualifies so many people from around the globe, to comment and share their opinion about this issue...

So, going back, there is this simple question of "Who has the right to call this piece of land their HOMELAND?". Well, the answer is not that simple!! I know thousands, even millions, will say "The answer is simple, this is our HOMELAND!!". You will hear this from both sides, and everyone else. Israelis will say this is our historical homeland, Palestinians will say this is our homeland, period!! Others will choose a side, supporting and defending whoever suits their interests or way of thinking or whatever criteria...

Hmmmmm, so what's the answer? If we want to sit and dig and dissect history, and come up with theories and so on, we will wait another century maybe, or even more, if ever, before we reach an answer...

In fact, I believe this question and its answer is irrelevant!! Who cares after decades of war and deaths and inhumanity and terrorism, who cares about this answer!! Yes there are those who only care about scoring points, demonizing the other, insulting the other, demolishing the other!!! Those my friends are the inhumane group who value nothing but war, death, and destruction, and they care the least for the fate of humanity!! We, the Humane folks, should focus on another question: "How do we make this geographical area the HOMELAND for everyone living there?!?"

Palestinians have been living there, at least since the past century, they grew up there, they developed a culture, a national identity, which is different than the neighboring Arab countries. This is the part, the info, the fact that others do not want to understand, or is difficult to grasp!! We did not come from outer space, we did not come from Fiji, we did not come from Jordan or Lebanon or Syria or Egypt, we did not come from anywhere but Palestine!! We are Palestinians, we speak different, we eat different, we dress different, we think different, even our Kuffiyeh is different!! We are unique, like every other country or ethnic group around the world. So I don't understand, how any person who is not from the region, would come and judge a nation, Palestine, create theories, and act upon it, without understanding who those people are, without asking them or trying to know anything about them even, except for digging books and info from the Internet?!!? Hello, we are here, come talk to us!!!

Moving on, it is also a fact that Israelis lived in this area thousands of years ago. And for some reason, not because of Palestinians, they had to flee their HOMELAND. But this is the same with so many other nations throughout history. Unfortunately, we as Palestinians, have been a victim of this historical claim!!

Imagine this scenario: Mexico comes today to claim back all the southern states from the US, based on the historical tie to the land!! Would that be feasible?

But again, we are beyond history, we are in 2013, where this land has become the HOMELAND for all those Israelis who created the Jewish State 65 years ago. Regardless of how, regardless of the wars, regardless of all the details of the past 65 years, there are generations born and raised in Israel, and so it is their HOMELAND...

Hence we are in a dilemma today, where we have two nations who have every right to name this land their HOMELAND... So what's the solution? How to make both groups live in their HOMELAND??

Although it is so complicated to answer the detailed solution, there is a very simple broad answer: LIVE TOGETHER, acknowledge the other, respect the other, feel for the other, understand the other, work with the other to make this land the HOMELAND for everyone who has a tie to this land...

We all know this quote: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...

It is going to take a lot of effort and hard work and transformation, it needs courage and honesty, it needs positivity and determination, it will require compromise and trust... but it is possible. Both sides need to open their minds and hearts, treat each other as humans who want to live happily and peacefully... Remove the hatred and the prejudice, be patient and understanding of the other... Hear the other, compassionately...

No one alone can win this land, BOTH of us can win it, together, with peace and justice and equality, and love...

For starters, if you are an Israeli or a Jew, go make friends with some Palestinians, talk to them, understand the HUMAN Palestinian, not the textbook Palestinian. Know their story, discover their agony, feel their pain, and correct their perceptions about Israel and the Jews as well...

Palestinians, do the same, cross that bridge, break the taboos, and seek a peaceful future in our HOMELAND, for all of us...

If you live in Montreal, I will be more than happy to connect you to some groups that can help you make this connection... Anything for Peace my friends :)

Let's overcome the PAST, let's solve TODAY, and live for a better TOMORROW...

I know I'm being too idealistic, but then again, that's what we all wish for, right?!! I leave the practical details for you to think about & share...

And for those who did not like what I wrote, or got mad because of my opinion, apologies for being ME!!

To Peace and Love...

BISS