The excitement is palpable! In Bethlehem yesterday there was a demonstration in support of Abu Mazen’s UN bid for non-member observer status. And tomorrow is a defining moment in the history of this struggle. November 29 is not just any old day. It is the 65th anniversary of the 1947 UN General Assembly vote on resolution 181 for partition and creation of both a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine. In 1977 the UN declared November 29 an “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” How will this day be remembered in 2012?
Palestinians in the region are hopeful that the bid will be successful ~ Palestine will likely become a non-member observer state, a status that could potentially give Palestine the legal standing to file criminal charges against Israeli officials in the International Court of Justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied territories ~ But Israel and the United States are threatening sanctions ~ sanctions for requesting what they themselves hold dear ~ the basic right of freedom of self-determination ~ Critics say that a state can only be achieved through negotiations with Israel. But when have the oppressed ever gained freedom by asking their oppressor for permission to be free?
However, the real question here on the ground is what will happen the day after November 29? Whatever happens, the world will be watching ~ And we will be here to witness ~ May this be a step toward a just peace and not a match to light the embers ~ Is not my freedom bound up with yours and yours with mine? ~ So it is with Palestine and Israel.