Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Real Palestinians' opinions

There's little recognition over here of the range of views in Palestinian society. Right-wing Islamophobes and racists pretend that all Palestinians are terrorists (or perhaps will concede that some merely support terrorism) while left-wing "anti-Zionists" pretend that all Palestinians are saints who support terrorism because it's saintly. I'm afraid the willingness to see Palestinians as supporting a two-state solution (they do) has disappeared lately. At one point, I could swear people understood that.

Two interviews (via Guide to the Perplexed) with Palestinians Sari Nusseibeh and Bassed Eid, from New Society: Harvard College Student Middle East Journal, can help people to understand the real views of real Palestinians.

Sari Nusseibeh:
What is Hamas? It is a virtual construct. Behind Hamas are indi-vidual human beings. Now individual human beings are open sys-tems. In other words, one day they may adopt the ideology of this virtual construct and another day they might adopt something else. Hamas is itself, full stop. It believes, for instance, in the liberation of all of Palestine, in the creation of an Islamic state. The question to ask is who is the person who adopts those beliefs and is such a person also somebody who will continue holding those beliefs. My feeling is that that is not the case. I think a majority of Palestinians are prepared to accept a two-state solution based on 1967 lines, East Jerusalem as a capital, compensation for refugees, all those things. If the Palestinians are given this offer, they will take it.

Bassed Eid:
We are having to face the consequences of our actions over the past seven years. In my opinion, the Palestinians totally lost their way during the past seven years. Things will get worse if we continue in the same way. We will have to change our direction.

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