There is a great deal I have wanted to write about over the past few months, from the farce of the US elections (choice between Pepsi and Coca Cola) and the repression of real choices by refusing third parties access to the debates, to the ongoing civil rights and democratic struggles in Egypt and Lebanon and Bahrain…, to, of course, the ongoing — yes ongoing — assault against Palestinians (Gaza and otherwise). I tweeted on those issues, and you all can follow me on tweet at: https://twitter.com/rania_masri
What I am discussing here is what I cannot discuss on twitter: a speech I recently gave to the League of Arab States (LAS).
This past Sunday (December 2), I gave a 30 minute presentation to the Ministers of Social Affairs at the LAS on MDG goals with respect to “Palestine.” What is MDG? See here: Millennium Development Goals. I put Palestine in quotation marks because I was asked to give a talk on MDG goals (status and challenges) in Palestine but I was told to only speak about the West Bank and Gaza Strip. I could not speak about Ramle or Haifa or Jaffa or Safad or any of the other. Thus I would not be speaking about Palestine. The West Bank and Gaza Strip, regardless how beautiful they are, do not constitute Palestine and will never constitute Palestine.
and here is the paper in English –here
I raised two questions that remained (naturally) unanswered:
(1) Why must there be a need for tunnels between besieged Gaza and Egypt? Why can’t the borders be open, if we truly regard both lands as Arab, if we claim to stand with Palestinians?
(2) What is the objective of the League of Arab States: to place bandages or to work for the liberation of the land and the end of apartheid?
Sadly, the Palestinian Minister spoke of the great Arab efforts in Palestine. Yet, when I asked her to name one tangible thing the Arab governments have done, she could give no example.
As I told her: if words could liberate Palestine, we would be in Haifa.