As a child, living in a small village near Haifa, I first experienced the horrors of war in 1967. We had no much media, but I was reading the government newspaper every day, and listening to the news on the government radio. After some time it became clear to me that the government doesn’t want peace; that rulers all over the world may wage war for their own interests, causing immense suffering to so many people. At the time I thought that the best thing to do is to have a secret international organization of peace loving people that will be able deter those rulers. For example, it could threaten to kill every ruler that will start an unjust war. If it would have enough credibility, it could prevent a lot of bloodshed and suffering.
Going to university in 1972, I joined the local Marxists, all lit up with the fire of the 60’s revolution imported from the European and North American campuses. I was re-educated to believe that changing history is possible only through the organized and conscious revolution by the oppressed masses, not by sporadic acts of well wishing individuals. Marxism provided us with systematic approach, scientific analysis and a plan for action.
But the European style Marxism, as imported by Jewish activists, could not develop deep roots in the land of Palestine. Meanwhile the Palestinian revolution was steering its own path in the refugee camps and the newly occupied West Bank and Gaza. It started to have its extensions in the local Palestinian population that survived the ethnic cleansing of 1948. In 1984 I joined Abna elBalad – the most radical local political expression of the Palestinian revolution.
Being active in Abna elBalad, I had the opportunity to take part in the historic struggle of the Palestinian people, through the first intifada (1987-1993), the second intifada (2000-2005) and incessant struggle for enduring and resisting the daily oppression, discrimination and deprivation of Zionist Apartheid.
At the same time we continued to follow from afar the big struggle on the world scene: The collapse of the Soviet Union under the betrayal of its own corrupt bureaucracy, imperialist wars and liberation struggles, the anti-globalization and anti-war movement, the dismantling of dictatorships and the rise of the left in Latin America, the rise of China to challenge the world hegemony of US imperialism.
But our local struggle remained a prolonged defensive trench war against mighty forces that we could not really hope to stop.
All this begun to change in the blessed year of 2011, with the blossom of the Arab Spring. The rise of the Arab masses, after so many decades of brutal oppression, to the front of the political scene, makes the return of the Palestinian refugees, the peace and freedom that we always dreamed about, an almost touchable vision. But we are definitely still not there. And it is a new world with new players and new rules of the global and local game. Can we make it?
The new media gave plenty of opportunities to the young Arab revolutionaries to think freely, to communicate and organize, breaking the yoke of local tyrants. It should be used to make the necessary discussion and build the vital connection beyond walls and borders to plan and work together for Free Democratic Palestine and for a new Middle East free of tyranny and exploitation.
If we were not so much anti-walls, I would say that I hope this blog will be “another brick in the wall” of the new world freedom house that we all build together. For some time still, we will have to put most of our collective effort to pull down the walls of repression and prejudice, as well as many concrete walls of prisons and borders. We should all promise to do our best.