Why Palestinians are divided by Palestinian recognition
Palestinian’s recognition is not the result of an intifada but the result of thousands who have lost their lives in the conflict over the past 64 years
Nothing made me prouder than watching the British Parliament’s debate on Palestinian recognition, as a Palestinian, as a British resident, as someone who has spent years trying to figure out the perfect response to the classic reaction of “I didn’t know that was even a country” when telling them about my homeland.
Naturally, I was overwhelmed with joy when Parliament voted to recognize Palestine as a state.
Regardless of the outcome of the vote, Parliament had used “Palestine” to describe the country, not “Palestinian Territories,” or “The Occupied Territories.” In my head, we had already one. Yet it seems that nothing can dig a greater divide through the Palestinian population as much as recognizing their existence.
Nothing can dig a greater divide through the Palestinian population as much as recognizing their existence.Yara al-Wazir
If social media was on the Arab streets, there would be gunshots: both celebratory ones and mourning ones. To some, Palestinian recognition has become a great source of pride, joy and a reason to celebrate. To others, recognition of the oppressed means nothing if it is done alongside the oppressor, and that was the case in Great Britain and indeed in numerous countries that have in the past recognized Palestine.
Regardless of personal feelings, as a Palestinian who has spent the past 21 years yearning to go back, uncaring whether I go back to my mother’s Pre-1948 Palestinian homeroom of Haifa, or my late father’s hometown of Gaza, the vote for Palestine is the first step in cutting off Israel’s umbilical cord.
The vote for Palestine is the first step in cutting off Israel’s umbilical cord.Yara al-Wazir
If for a second we take Palestine out of the equation and consider what this vote means for the oppressor: recognition of illegal action, recognition of illegal settlements, of oppression, of systematic injustice and a loss of impunity. For the first time in years, Palestine is not the only country being recognized, rather Israel is being recognized for its atrocities. Israel’s systematic divide was compared to that of apartheid South Africa by Sir Alan Duncan. What the British managed to do, for the first time in decades, is pull religion out of the equation and care about the humans of Palestine.
Palestinian’s recognition is not the result of an intifada, which affects the Palestinian economy every time it happens, it is the result of thousands who have lost their lives in the conflict over the past 64 years and the millions displaced. It’s a recognition that they have not died for nothing.
Regardless of one’s personal feelings toward a one-state, two-state, or no-state solution, politicizing the Palestinian issue will only create a deeper internal divide within Palestinians. Instead, humanizing the Palestinian case will lead to unanimity in driving its future.
Sweden was one of the first to recognize Palestine, Britain was next and it seems that Northern Ireland will follow their suite. Hopefully, once the rest of the world officially recognizes Palestine, we’ll start recognizing it ourselves.
Yara al Wazir is a humanitarian activist. She is the founder of The Green Initiative ME and a developing partner of Sharek Stories. She can be followed and contacted on twitter @YaraWazir