...ok, I’d had enough. I shook my head, raised my hand and just sort of let it all out: “I’m sorry I really have to say something here. I’ve been quietly listening to what everyone has been saying for 20 minutes now- feeling confused and very much out of place, as I listen to people talking about moderates and achieving peace and …I just have to ask: What is everyone talking about? This is not real. What two states? What ‘peace’? Are we living on different planets? Has anyone seen a map of the West Bank lately? Of the settlements? Do you know what the settlements have done? what the wall looks like? Everyone is speaking about “two states”, about an independent viable palestine as if that’s real. As though it were something just within our reach. And all I can think about is Gaza. My parents. My husband, a refugee, who can’t even go back with me when I was able to go back. The West Bank. Jerusalem. This is not real anymore. I’m really not understanding what we’re doing here, and where I fit in to all of this, and what everyone is talking about.”
“We can’t continue to speak like this, its an illusion people. I really also have to protest this dichotomous notion of there being extremists and moderates-who is the extremist here? Are Ray, and others, suggesting that President Abbas and the PA are the moderates? that they are the ones to reach out to? Let me let you in on a little secret: Most Palestinians don’t’ support Abbas. I certainly don’t consider him my president-his term expired in January. Where are all the other Palestinian voices? I am an observant Muslim; I also support a democratic one state solution; but I’m not Fateh or Hamas or anything else- I’m certainly pro-justice; do you consider me an extremist then? The Palestinian political spectrum is very diverse and pluralistic-its high time we recognized that and include these other voices in the conversation.” But of course, that would not be very convenient, would it.
And of course, this is all to suggest a skewed definition of “moderate” on the Israeli side-”moderates” that support a sustained occupation, expansive illegal settlements, a continuation of the siege, and so on.
Anyway I’d said my piece. There were applause and whatnot, and the conversation continued. I never did receive a response form Hanania, since based on his conversations on his radio programs, I would be considered among the “fringe”, a voice that the Palestinain leadership does not WANT to include in its conversation;
Thanks for your honesty.