What a leap! Palestinian flag over UNESCO! The first glimpses of a Palestinian State are finally here. In the reality of today's injustices, this is supposed to be big news, but is it?
For the millions of Palestinians under the unwavering, oppressive, hegemony of Israeli occupation, such faint glimpses of nationhood are too far to discern as Palestinians have to yet have their heads enough above water to see a flag of honor being raised in their name as far away as Paris. Yes, it's a soft song in the melody of Palestinian resilience and unwavering resistance, albeit such a small step that is ominously dwarfed by the miles of Israeli injustices starting with the merciless genocide of Palestinians and their leaders, the senseless siege of Gaza, the shameful apartheid wall, the awful usurpation of Palestinian right of movement, and brutal, systematic dispossession and displacement of Palestinians from Negev to Jerusalem and beyond through home bulldozing, land confiscation, settlement building, and on and on. Over the years, countless condemnations, UN resolutions, demonstration, and calls for justice went blatantly unanswered or even openly mocked. Adding insult to injury are the secret conspiracies, unholy alliances, and socioeconomic checks and balances that allow such unconscionable crimes to go on and on with impunity. Such impotence fuels daily Israeli violations that add up to a deliberate long term plan of ethnic cleansing and religious persecution manifested by frequent mosque burning and demolishing, restriction of passage to the Aqsa Mosque (the 1st direction of prayer (qibla) for Muslims, the 2nd mosque to be built on earth, and the third in status of the three holiest mosques on earth, and the site of ascension to heaven (mi'raj) by prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him), and deliberate desecration of Muslim cemeteries such as those in Jerusalem and Jaffa! Add to all that such unforgiveable crimes as denying right of return, splitting families, indiscriminate bombing, burning farms, uprooting trees, endangering everything Palestinian down to even standing in the way of children going to school in Hebron and elsewhere!
Doesn't all that demonstrate time and again how endangered Palestinian rights are? Are we expected to lose hope because the presidents America and France are caught "by surprise" muttering about the prime minister of Israel constantly menacing them? Is it a coincidence that in trying to promote his candidacy for American presidency, Newt Gingrich, picks (out of all people on earth) the Palestinian people to declare them invented? Are we supposed to overlook all that in the aftermath of the failed attempt to declare an independent Palestinian State in the United States with the help of President Barak Obama and his declaration that there are no short cuts to peace?!
Doesn't this translate to a de facto declaration that the audacity of Palestinian hope after 65 years of oppression is too premature?! Or, is it just part of a game of incessant deafening silence and turning a blind eye over Israeli bloody wars on Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank, and Lebanon along with its never ending list of violations against human rights, international law, and the very fiber of Palestinian existence in any way, shape, or form?
Yes, these realities are enough to make the weak at heart faint or cover their head in the sand at the desperate misfortune that currently befalls the Palestinians; flag over UNESCO or not. Yet, claiming one's place in history in the face of lions and tigers and bears requires basic knowledge of the essence of life and a firm belief above and beyond wizardry and magic. It requires with principled people with live conscious. Ones who believe that this entire life is a test with upward and downward swings that leave no safety except for those who never compromise on honesty, justice, and respect for human dignity for all; that is of course, regardless of their ability to monopolize wealth and media, and mobilize powerful lobbies. Ones with a firm belief in the infinite mercy of the almighty God who will ultimately hold each and every one of us responsible for everything we do and every position we take.
Convictions and beliefs aside, we are witnesses to a truly sad reality of polar opposites: the first has massive monopoly on power and total disregard to all others while the second is forced into a state of subjugation and dispossession, and unmitigated suffering.
This bewildering injustice sent me looking back in history. I started with the well-known David-and-Goliath or the Moses-and-Pharaoh which are easy to discern as parallels to today's Palestinian-Israeli dilemma especially with the sling shot in the hand of the Palestinian child facing Israeli tanks and the Pharaoh-like, overwhelming, disproportionate force often employed by Israel. Soon, I came upon the story of Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him (PBUH) whose life included the most amazing lessons in perseverance through a very long state of deliberate injustice by the powers of his time rendering him, like today's Palestinians, in a state of seemingly insurmountable difficulty and loss of basic rights!
According to the holy Qur'an (Sura:12;Yusuf), Yusuf (PBUH) spent long years in the drudgery of imprisonment and subjugation mainly as a side effect to of the meaningless, unjust, and unruly indulgences of the powerful elite of his time!! The Qur'an tells us of the misfortune that ended up with Yusuf being sold to the Egyptian elite and powerful in whose palaces he grew only to end up, upon reaching the age of maturity, being accused of going after the wife of his master; an accusation that was hailed by none else but that very wife herself who could not resist temptation to such an awesome young man with unparalleled handsomeness!! Her words against his, it came down to material evidence. Proclaimed by one of her closest relatives, the truth came to be on Yusuf's (PBUH) side since his shirt had been torn from the back (a sign of her going after him) rather than the front (had he been facing her to assault her)!! Even with such most clear cut evidence and her later testimony to her elite-closed-circle testimony that she indeed could not resist her temptation towards him, he was told by the powers to be to hush hush and accept being in jail where he was forgotten for years, tens of years!!
How could the world then accept such an oppressive injustice against such an awesome man free of all guilt? What jokes and indulgences did the elite of his time lived while he was immersed in jail with the thugs, murderers, and thieves?
Of course, we all know that Allah with his infinite mercy gave him the most awesome victory and turn of fortunes in the end. With that, I have no reservation but to conclude that tens of years of suffering and oppression against the Palestinians will never stand in the way of God's infinite grace regardless of the seeming overwhelming superiority of the oppressive elite. Mark my words as, with all faith: on Allah I depend.
Dr. Walid M Hussain is a Palestinian-Muslim scientist and college professor of physiology and reproductive biology in Chicagoland. Dedicated to Qur'anic knowledge and memorization and to the issues of injustice all over the world and especially the Middle East Politics.
the following paragraph published in CBC World. Palestine was admitted as a member of UNESCO in an Oct. 31 vote that prompted the United States to cut off funds to the agency -- $80 million US annually in dues, or 22 per cent of UNESCO's overall budget. With the U.S. 2011 contribution not yet paid, UNESCO was immediately thrown into crisis.
Two U.S. laws required the halt in the flow of funds to the agency, forcing it to scale back literacy and development programs in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the new nation of South Sudan.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has said Canada will be cutting voluntary contributions to UNESCO following the decision to give the Palestinians a seat on the organization.
.. is a sign the world accepts this adhesion and opens the question of why we cannot be admitted to the UN," Abbas said at the news conference. He called UNESCO admission a "signal on the road to recognition." It is a "step forward in realizing this dream of an independent Palestinian state," he said.
Abbas said that the Palestinians are deploying their efforts to restart peace talks with Israel.
"We are ready to continue the negotiations with Israel and discuss security and border questions on condition that Israel stops colonization activities," he said, referring to a major blockage in the long-stalled peace process. PEACE is the key word, lets work for the peace, and show the world that Muslims have been always keen to spread peace following the steps of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and the great leaders like Salahuddin Ayubi.