Can Palestine win in the U.S.-Israeli rift over Iran?

I am often reminded of Palestine and the plight of the Palestinian people and their suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupation. I am also often reminded how Palestinians in Israel are treated as second-class citizens, or of their much worse treatment as neglected and abused refugees in Arab nations lacking basic rights and opportunities to live in dignity and prosper.

I'm talking about those forgotten by opportunistic seasonal “heroes” who pretend “Palestine is the compass” but are willing to start wars and commit massacres under the pretext of “freeing Jerusalem” and reclaiming “all of Palestine,” while they hurt Palestinians first and foremost.

A recent report published in the independent Israeli publication +972 Magazine asked this question, “Do Israelis have any idea how bad it is in Gaza?” The article describes in painful details how “nearly two million Gazans are living in a state of poverty and shortages.” The headline prompted me to ask the question, “Does anyone have a clue?” This includes Arab media, governments, people, militant groups, extremists and ideological talking heads that make a living off of “Palestine.”

I'm talking about those forgotten by opportunistic seasonal “heroes” who pretend “Palestine is the compass”

Octavia Nasr

As Israel prepares for what could turn out to be a historical election, and with a major rift between the White House and Netanyahu over nuclear talks with Iran, Palestine is more important than ever. It is the real thorn in everyone’s side, more so than Iran’s nuclear ambitions will ever be.

Looking at the developments on the ground, it is clear that Netanyahu prefers to draw the world’s attention away from Palestine and focus it instead on Iran and its “third front” against Israel as he calls it on the Golan. Hezbollah with its blind loyalty to Iran, as well as Hamas, serve Netanyahu’s rhetoric and fear tactics. So much so, that under an objective microscope they all would appear as partners in distracting the world's attention.

With the growing distrust between the U.S. and Israel over Iran, it would appear a perfect opportunity to fill the gap with moderate, effective and progressive moves on behalf of Palestine.

Alas, Arabs are busy with their internal problems or ambitions. Broken Lebanon is unable to function as a democracy. Military-run Egypt is busy jailing journalists and peaceful opposition, according to rights groups. Syria’s tyrant is still not done killing and displacing his people. Jordan continues to polish its image, while Gulf countries race for world records and become unrecognizable in the process.

This leaves Palestine advocacy open to the sober Palestinian intelligentsia as well as human rights activists and nonviolent freedom fighters; all eyes should be on them. History can use them if they are willing to use the opportunity to make their voices heard.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on February 24, 2015.
Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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