I came across this blog post from last year from my friend the Palestinian Human Rights Activist and political commentator, Bassem Eid, . Powerful words that capture a lot about the role the Palestinians can and should play in building a better future. This does not exonerate the Israelis, but makes it clear that the problems are not one sided.
I am a proud Palestinian who grew up in a refugee camp and raised a large family. I want peace and prosperity for my people. I want an end to the misery and the destruction.
After 66 years of mistakes and missed opportunities, it is time for us Palestinians to create the conditions for peace and to work for a better future. It is time that we stopped pretending that we can destroy Israel or drive the Jews into the sea. It is time that we stopped listening to Muslim radicals or Arab regimes that use us to continue a pointless, destructive, and immoral war with Israel.Our sad state of affairs
Let’s be realistic. We Palestinians are not doing well.
In Gaza, our schools are controlled by Muslim fanatics who indoctrinate our children, and Hamas uses our civilians as human shields in a losing battle against Israel. Hamas maintains power through violence, and it ensures that money is spent on its arsenal rather than on making the Palestinians’ lives better. While President Abbas is quick to denounce Israel whenever it attacks Hamas, he has absolutely no ability to stop Hamas from provoking Israel.
In the West Bank, while Abbas has been incapable of stopping the construction of Israeli settlements, the only good jobs are with Israeli companies, and the BDS (Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment) movement is doing its best to take those jobs away from us. Abbas runs a corrupt dictatorship that uses international funds to consolidate its own administration rather than to develop the Palestinian economy.
In East Jerusalem, the PA is so mistrusted that most Palestinians would prefer to live under Israeli rule than under PA rule, and yet some of us seem unable to live in peace with the Jews.