Palestinians are done conceding

Only a Palestinian institutional rebirth can end this conflict.

Sam Bahour
18 min readOct 24, 2020

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Yasser Arafat with Willy Brandt, Socialist International President, and Vice President Bruno Kreisky in Vienna, 13th of July 1979. (Source: Yasser Arafat Museum)

Western countries, especially European ones, have a track record of failing Palestine and Israel. Since the outset of this Middle East conflict, these powers have used the tremendous leverage they have on only one party — the Palestinians. At times, they punished Palestinians with military might. When that did not work, they added efforts to financially strangulate the Palestinian national liberation movement. When they realized the Palestinians were not going to vanish, they became innovative in their political and diplomatic discourse to divert Palestinians away from restoring what was forcefully taken from them upon the creation of the state of Israel. At no time in history have Western powers seriously held Israel accountable to get it to change its ways. Instead, they have paved the way for Israeli impunity, all the while funding them, arming them, and covering up for them in the international arena.

Throughout this conflict’s tortuous history, there are lessons worth learning. One is that when real leaders constructively engage, even the most difficult of issues can advance, but first, a riddle.

With all the recent unrelenting chatter in just about every news outlet of record around the world about Israel’s announced, albeit suspended for now, plans to annex yet another part of the West Bank, I bet you have no idea who wrote the following words and when.

“The gravity of [Israel’s] expansionist policy, can only be appreciated when the areas scheduled for annexation, in the West Bank and Gaza, are carefully studied. These coveted zones, represent more than 40% of the area of the Palestinian occupied territories, account for more than 90% of the total arable land and contain nearly all the water and other natural resources. Their annexation removes, in one stroke, the basic means of production in the West Bank and Gaza, which is primarily agricultural and will inevitably precipitate economic collapse and large scale emigration. The depopulation of the West Bank and Gaza will make them a tempting target for annexation in a later stage.”

Do you think you know the answer? Hold your thought.

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