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November 20, 2001
We Must End the Nightmare

By Mousa Ishaq


This is a nightmare that can end if we will it to. It is a horrific nightmare in which both peoples are locked into a disastrous lose-lose relationship called the MAD (mutual assured destruction) occupation. oppressor and oppressed, masters and slaves, prisoners and prison guards.

The captive, subjugated Palestinians are resisting (I prefer totally nonviolent resistance which, by the way, does not guarantee you do not get shot) to gain their freedom from an occupying foreign army, one of the mightiest anywhere, that has been abusing them day and night for the past 34 years, besieging them, assassinating their children, men and women, humiliating them, robbing them of their dignity and their land and passing it to their own settlers in the name of the Creator; collectively punishing them by destroying their homes & property, razing their crops, uprooting their beloved olive trees, restricting their movement to visit or picnic with family and loved ones in the next town or village, preventing them from going to hospitals or emergency care, to schools, universities, or work to earn a living, blockading food supplies that sustain them, controlling every aspect of their lives, their entrances and exits, the skies above them and the precious water that is under the ground, choking and suffocating them into Bantustans, reservations, ghettos, in an evil apartheid system where they are to remain marginalized for some expansionist end with the delusion that they will eventually submit and accept the occupation.

The Israelis are traumatized not by a foreign army in their midst or at their gates but by their weak captives and prisoners who are not accepting their lot in life of continued subjugation, enslavement, and confinement for the pleasure and security of another nation. They are especially traumatized by the occasional crazed prisoners so driven by despair, hopelessness, and aborted tomorrows that they take their own lives and others with them. The Israeli death squads, meanwhile, continue snuffing out the lives of the resisters whether armed or not. The Israelis are traumatized by their own ruthlessness and brutality that are necessary ingredients for maintaining absolute control over the subjugated, it comes with the territory. Certainly other occupiers and oppressors had resorted to such behavior in the not too distant past in India, Algeria, South Africa, and the list goes on and on. And in the end and after horrendous losses by both, the oppressed always gain their inalienable right to freedom.

With all the pain that both Palestinians and Israelis have endured, and despite the sustained and increasing strength of Israel and the deepening weakness of the Palestinians neither have acquired more security under their current poisoned relationship of inequality.

We, in our hearts know the solution and can work towards it. It is not a complicated or a confusing matter as some would have us believe. The silence of some and worse the acquiescence and perhaps the hope of others, to have an exclusive good ending for one's own chosen group/team, is delusionary and will only contribute to the extended misery of both. The obvious solution requires our combined effort to point them, nudge them, push them to the only safe exit of equal access, dignity, and opportunity to a place in the light and not in the shadow of any ethnicity or religion whether Judaism, Islam, or Christianity, to a place where equal goodness and universal humanity, not tribal allegiance and exclusivity, rules: to a place called true democracy that serves all its citizens with equal measure. There are no other options. The solution is at hand if we collectively choose to reach out and grasp it for the equal benefit of both our beloved peoples.