The Palestinian struggle for statehood has been for the most part a violent one. Whether one agrees or disagrees with its violent path and the goals it achieved, it is important to remember that Palestine today is at the verge of becoming once more a part of the international community after seven decades of being denied that right and privilege.
In the west, the mere mention of the words Palestine or Palestinian conjures up images of suicide bombs, hijacking, killing, corruption and violence. This is the result of decades of worldwide Zionist propaganda painting the Palestinians as hardened, dangerous terrorists that should be feared and isolated at any price. This carefully and systematically projected image is often aided and even bolstered by submissive media outlets, repetitive focused messages from fundamentalist Jewish and Israeli quarters, and perhaps more importantly, the violent actions of Palestinians on the ground playing to the above scenario and fueling its message at every chance.
As an advocate of nonviolence, I cannot but applaud the bravery of the hundreds of Palestinians who erected a village to pave a road to their PalestineOctavia Nasr
Palestinians as a group, have an “image” problem almost everywhere in the world. The image changes with the landscape and the diversity of every country and every continent. It is however harshest coming from fellow Arabs who adopt the Palestinian cause for their own politics while offer Palestinians absolutely nothing of substance or pragmatism. While Palestinians are viewed favorably in Latin America for example as successful immigrants who contributed greatly to their societies and attained high places in business and government, they continue to be mistreated and abused in refugee camps across the Middle East. The word Palestinian for many Arabs is synonymous of refugee tents soiled by open sewage, rations, poverty, and an unwanted people, underserving of any rights or opportunities. Palestinians are seen in bulk; not as the individuals they are, but as a people in hiatus waiting to return back -- as a bundle -- to their homeland. Even where Palestinians were fully integrated such as in Jordan, the Palestinian-Jordanian polarization becomes apparent at the first sign of political instability in the kingdom.