I normally end my column with “Long Live Palestine!” Indeed, long live an independent Palestine that hopefully will be tolerant enough to accommodate everyone, including me.
A Palestine where women, youth, people with physical and intellectual challenges, the poor, minorities, all believers and nonbelievers, religious and secular, tall people and short people, redheads and brown-haired, comedians and boring individuals, artists and monks, dancers and hermits, people who like Umm Kulthum and those who prefer Elissa (hmmm!) are ALL accepted and protected by law. Heck, even thieves should not be excluded or considered outcasts but rather treated in a civilized, lawful, and orderly manner.
In all seriousness, as much as we disagree amongst ourselves, the bond that unites us as Palestinians should never be compromised. This certainly does not mean that we have to agree on everything, not even on major issues. In fact, it is healthy to disagree, but the parameters of our arguments must be clearly determined and respected. In the extreme, this means that common blood and national interest ought to take precedence over personal or factional interests.
We still have a long way to go on our path towards justice and independence. As I wrote not too long ago, Palestinian nationalism is here to stay, and we’re witnessing a surge of international support for Palestine. So let’s get our act together and make every Palestinian’s desire a reality: to experience the security and protection needed in order to live the fullest life possible even as we struggle against the occupation. Nothing can guarantee that except the implementation of the rule of law.
And yes, long live Palestine!
By Sani Meo