Without boring you with petty details about the First Zionist Congress held in Basel, Switzerland in 1897, or with the Balfour Declaration issued by the British government in 1917, or even with the many conspiracy theories surrounding certain events, such as conniving to get rid of European Jews or implanting a pro-Western entity in the Levant for whatever purpose, the fact of the matter remains that from a Palestinian perspective, a colossal historic crime took place in Palestine about a century ago, and it simply must be rectified. Everything else is a detail.
I will not bore you either with the specifics of the ramifications of this crime on the Palestinian people. It’s worth mentioning though that many Palestinians and their allies are actively working on that front. Details of lost property, land, estates, jewelry, books, furniture, carpets, livestock, etc. are available for those interested. Information on all the villages prior to their being razed to the ground around 1948 is meticulously documented. Emotional damage, opportunity loss, and other things I have no clue about are out there, too.
All attempts to whitewash this heinous crime have failed. Attempts to clamp down on the issue by questioning, for instance, the origins of the Palestinians, their claim to the land, or even their very existence have not only fallen onto deaf ears but also strengthened the Palestinian cause by keeping it alive and ongoing. As far as I am concerned, we Palestinians could have come from Crete or from Mars for that matter, but today, Palestinian identity and nationalism are real, as is the unique Palestinian culture that includes music, poetry, and the arts. Young Palestinians today are more savvy than their parents and grandparents, and I dare say they have a greater sense of nationalism.
They are not only savvy, but more empowered than ever. Events at Damascus Gate and Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, and the results of the latest surge of violence in Gaza, Jerusalem, and other areas of historical Palestine have most certainly empowered Palestinians, particularly the younger generation. The change in attitude among many Palestinians who remained in historical Palestine in 1948 has had a profound effect on all Palestinians. No amount of killing, beating (from whatever source), destruction, or land confiscation will deter Palestinians anymore.
Don’t be fooled, the calamity that befell Palestinians about a century ago is the root of all the evil today and the cause of all suffering. There needs to be a reckoning and soul-searching — as well as an admission of guilt — on the part of those who have perpetrated this crime. Only then will this first step of a thousand-mile journey start to heal the wounds that have been inflicted on Palestinians. Otherwise, the Levant will keep appearing as the Western media’s horror show!
We all know that it’s not over yet. It might take a decade, two, maybe even three, but we Palestinians already know the results of the endgame. The tide is turning.
Long live Palestine!
By Sani Meo