The flag is not sufficient. I want to celebrate Palestinian liberation, and not the hoisting of a flag over the UN (which accepted the division of my home) and not the empty statements of a “Palestinian state” by those who refuse to take action to liberate but find it sufficient to call a broken neighborhood “Palestine”.
A flag, and talk of a Palestinian State, while occupation and apartheid and ethnic cleansing continue – makes a farce of the flag. Perhaps that makes it all the more suitable for Abbas to be there — a man whose presidency expired years ago, and a man who regards security coordination with the enemy to be acceptable behavior.
What we need is strong action against the occupation, against apartheid, against ethnic cleansing — and not flag hoisting and empty statements in support of a “state.” Let’s not be fooled by empty words.
I dream of that flag being raised high on a free Palestine, on a land in which we are all equal regardless of our religion, on a land in which justice – economically and politically and socially – reigns high, and on a land for which all the refugees can return. And need we remind Abbas and others: Palestine is more than a neighborhood in Ramallah – and more than all the West Bank and Gaza.
Until that day of liberation and equality, I am inspired by the Palestinian flag raised high by those who stand and resist and fight for freedom.
P.S. As Yousef Munayer wrote, “Somewhere along the way, statehood went from being a means to an end to being an end in itself.” I would add: that happened for the so-called leaders, but not for the people. Let’s not be fooled.