Know More About Palestine

Thursday Sept. 22, 2011 5:41 PM (EST+7)
OPINION: Mr. President, we don't want a shortcut, we want our freedom

Read more: Barack Obama, Abir Kopty, occupation, statehood, United Nations, independence, statehood bid, Arab revolts

RAMALLAH, September 22 (JMCC) - Writing on the Mondoweiss blog, activist Abir Kopy responded to US President Barack Obama's speech Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly.

Obama said that peace is hard work and called on Palestinians to return to bilateral negotiations with Israel instead of seeking statehood recognition at the UN this week.

He also spoke of Israeli suffering and evoked the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, saying that the Jewish people have built a state in their homeland that deserves recognition.

Kopty took Obama to task for not acknowledging Palestinian suffering.

When you fail to mention Palestinian suffer under occupation, when you fail to consider Palestinian children as equal human beings who deserve a better future, who are also entitled to human rights, you might win elections, but you lose your integrity, and you make it clear to everyone why the ‘so called peace process’ should be out of your hands.  

We listened to you when you said “there are no shortcuts”, we couldn’t stop wondering, how come South Sudan deserved such a shortcut? A new precedent has been made with the case of South Sudan, UN recognition in five days. No need to answer, we understand that the interests there are different, and so are the standards and the values.  

You are telling us: after 63 years of ongoing Nakba, dispossession, denial of our basic rights, killing and imprisonment of our people, there are no shortcuts. You are telling us: that after the PLO compromised, recognized Israel and accepted only 22% of Palestine (and Palestinians can’t access 60% of that), there are no shortcuts, and after 20 years of negotiations that lead nowhere there are no shortcuts. Is that why the US vetoed 42 security council resolutions critical of Israel against the whole world? Actually Mr. Obama it is not a shortcut we are looking for, it’s an end to the occupation and apartheid, and that’s the one thing we have learned your negotiation process will not give us.  

We listened to you when you talked about the Arab Spring with such a passion. We listened with much suspicion, as America was very happy with the leaders of those countries who ruled for decades, and did not care then for Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan, Syrian, Yemeni and Bahraini aspirations for freedom and dignity. And we know that you won’t leave those nations alone.

We listened to you and we did not understand why Palestinian freedom and dignity can wait? The only thing your speech made clear is that you do not dare to speak honestly.







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