This paper analyzes the statement of Prime Minster Mahmoud Abbas before the United Nations calling for a Palestinian Spring and underscoring the need for independence. This paper argues that there can be no peace in the Middle East without meaningful justice. …
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I have chosen the above statement for three significant reasons. First, it represents a crucial juncture in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the conclusion to which has yet to be determined. Generations upon generations of civilians have lived and died amidst this protracted war, victims of and witnesses to the seemingly limitless capacity of human beings for violence. Secondly, the struggle for peace is indeed an aspiration that the whole world shares – and yet, history is rich with examples that tell us that peace without justice is an unsustainable project. The atrocities perpetrated in the context of the conflict must be accounted for, and there must be redress for the injustices wrought to the nameless and faceless victims. Thirdly, the voice of the Palestinians remains unheard in mainstream media and it is important to write about the ongoing conflict using their perspective, which is rarely given mileage, let alone credence.
The issue in the statement is whether or not it is valid to push for the rights of the Palestinian people and whether or not the call for independence is a just call.
Statement of the Problem
The Palestinian region is an example of a region fractured by horizontal inequalities -- defined by Stewart as “inequalities among groups with shared identities – identities formed by religion, ethnic ties or racial affiliations, or other salient ways that bind groups of people together”. Certainly, this includes looking at the broad and multiplex power dynamics that underlie these identities and become the basis for the conferral or denial of economic, political or social privilege. This is of course exacerbated when set against the backdrop of a conflict economy. Kamphuis (185) describes a conflict economy as one “that leads to the breakup of administrative and social institutions, the flight of human capital through migration, and the destruction of infrastructure for education and health care” – the clear contextual backdrop of the Israel-Palestine crisis. Discussion My argument is that fighting for the rights of the Palestinian people is a just call, in light of the persistent historical atrocities committed against them, and the injustice that visit their lives as a result of the incursions of Israel. It must be noted that there are political complexities that come into play. Writers like Danny Rubinstein write that Palestinian nationalism is on the wane and that “about twelve thousand Palestinians from East Jerusalem have received Israeli citizenship” (1). But almost on a daily basis, we are besieged by news report on intensified “terrorist” attacks by Palestinian fighters. Indeed, it is hard to make a clinical assessment of the situation. In the Israeli-Palestine conflict, a website called If Americans Knew published a report in the year 2006 analysing the coverage of the Associated Press (AP) of the deaths of Israelis and Palestinians. It had discovered that there was a correlation between the likelihood of a death being covered by the news wire agency and the nationality of the
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