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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

 

Hey, there, lonely girl

Vladek writes:
Please Umkahlil do explain why Palestinian voices are not represented on CiF. Is it that they do not have access to Internet? Or that they do not have sufficient fluency in English? Could you yourself become more active on CiF? Do you see any possible value in such an involvement? Could you stimulate some of your friends to take part in this forum? For example can you envisage that such a forum could stimulate Israelis like Seth Freedman who, I presume, would be willing to engage themselves in your struggle for free Palestine? Which immediately brings a related question: Do you envisage a just two state solution?
Dear Vladek,
I am just one among millions. All that I offer is mere conjecture. Why don't Palestinians write in forums like these? Some are scared, some are only interested in making money, some find it more lucrative to collaborate. Mostly we're ignored as Israelis seem to have the monopoly on explaining us for others. I certainly would be overjoyed if other Palestinians would join me here.
There are many Palestinians who are quite fluent in English, and who have access to the internet and many do write beautifully in English in various venues: Rima Merrimen, Joharah Baker, Laila El-Haddad, Khalid Amayreh, Ali Abunimeh, George Bisharat, Saree Makdisi, Omar Barghouti, Lisa Tarazi, Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Mohammed Omar, Dr. Mona El-Farra, to name just a few, and there are many Palestinian bloggers; just check out http://www.palestineblogs.org/ for the full gamut ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. I feel sort of weird having to explain that Palestinians are just like you, but I've been doing this all my life.
One-state, two-state is of no importance to me; I devote my energies to advocating for the implementation of the right of return.
What really does bug me is the oft stated query: Why is there no Palestinian Seth Freedman?
Well, for one thing there is no moral equivalency between the two sides. Among Palestinians there is a lot of criticism about ourselves, but to ask why there is no Palestinian Seth Freedman is to castigate us for lack of humanity and is just another form of demonisation. To be really blunt, it's a way of glorifying Israeli heroes and just another way of paying homage to Israel at the expense of Palestinians.

Comments:
Excelant article
 
well said Umkahlil!

I like how you point out that " To be really blunt, it's a way of glorifying Israeli heroes and just another way of paying homage to Israel at the expense of Palestinians."

That said perhaps I should not put in my two cents as to why more Palestinians don't speak up in public forums- for the question itself really is a bit of an insult... However I will anyway:

I think economics is a huge factor - Zionists don't just argue online... they tend to take it a step farther, and often seek to ruin a person's life- that includes seriously trying to get people fired from jobs. Such harassment is despicable- but for now at least it is a relatively effective way to discourage reasonable family oriented Palestinians from speaking out.

There are multiple online Zionist 'treasure troves' of misinformation on various Palestinian activists and organizations- resources for hate mongers. It's very creepy.
 
Brilliant and to the point. well-done.
 
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