Musings of a Palestinian Princess: Patriotism - A Double Edged Sword

Musings of a Palestinian Princess

I'm just your average princess just under occupation...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Patriotism - A Double Edged Sword

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war
reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has 'closed', the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all their rights unto the leader and gladly so.

How do I know? For this is what I have done. AND I AM CAESAR."
- Julius Caesar -

As I read this quote I couldn't help but think about Israel and American tactics to convince their people that their actions are justified. Patriotism, is a double edged sword. I am proud to be Palestinian but not at the expense of lives lost, and I feel that if the rest of the world just thought this way, then we wouldn't have a problem.

Again, I want to bring up a conversation I had, but this time with a Palestinian guy living in Jerusalem who got upset at me because I was upset over the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv just awhile ago... I thought to myself, ok... I feel sorry for everyone killed, even the Palestinin boy who thought that that was the solution. I can't believe this guy was saying that I should support the bombing, I don't and I will never. Its not the solution. If we are going to go to full fledge war with Israel, this random once in a while Kamikazi style bombing isn't the solution, duh... I am not for violence, but logically, if we are going to go to war, which we can't becuase uhhh, with what?? Home made bombs and our archaic rifles, pulease people... My fellow palestinians have to wake up.

Either, we go to REAL WAR (impossible in my opinion) or we do it peacefully...

And when I suggested we do it peacefully, and gave suggestions, he couldn't talk to many any longer and said to me, well, we will talk another time. BYE.

-ok... confused... I know a lot of people are against violence but there are still a few minority, basically the stupid ones who dont SEE the BIG picture... I am trying to show them its different.

Can you guys help me make a list of things we can do here in palestine to help progress the peace process... How can we demonstrate that we do not want occupation any longer without resorting to violence?


At Friday, April 28, 2006 11:50:00 PM, Anonymous VC said...

I don't live in the region, nor do I have any sort of academic authority on it, I just want to see both sides prosper together. My suggestions come in no particular order.

1. Large-scale peaceful protest to show what mainstream Palestinians want and that they can express themselves without violence. You must distance yourselves very clearly from all violent groups.

2. Workers' strikes (in areas that affect Israel). This is a nonviolent but still influential economic tactic.

3. Taking the first step. declare a position of nonviolence to Israel publicly and independently of the Palestinian authority, Hamas, or any other group that would never do such a thing. Then, make it clear that Israel must take the next step. Maybe during the peaceful protests would be a good time. Lead by example and separate yourselves from extremists. I must note however, that you risk a violent backlash from the extremist groups... I'm not sure how you can protect yourselves.

4. Rally support and funding from peaceful Muslims around the world. Show your numbers. Show that the mainstream wants peace.

5. File formal complaints against mistreatment by the Israeli army and settlers. Methodically document instances of abuse and send them to the US, UN, and any organization that will take them. This won't stop anything quickly, but it will make you more sympathetic.

6. Vote Hamas out of office in the next election. They stand for violence and they were elected by the people... what message does this send? Form a peaceful party.

7. Ingratiate yourselves to the poorest and most afflicted Palestinians, those whose children become suicide bombers. Help them economically, build things for them, and establish a close relationship. Make life in this world better so they are less likely to be swayed by promises of a better afterlife as a martyr. Send their children to schools that teach peace (which you may have to build) and come up with afterschool programs that build things for the community, beautify existing places, and foster creativity.

Any real solution will take a very long time to see any results. Good luck.

Full disclosure: I am an American Jew of Egyptian descent. I identify with both cultures and consider Islam and Judaism to be essentially the same.

At Saturday, April 29, 2006 1:17:00 AM, Blogger Abu Shaar said...

Most Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation is nonviolent.

Not that you'd know from the news

At Saturday, April 29, 2006 4:32:00 AM, Anonymous VC said...

Abu Shaar: Well that's the point. Everyone thinks that Palestinians do nothing but throw rocks and blow themselves up... The nonviolent majority needs to make itself known.

At Saturday, April 29, 2006 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Abu Shaar said...

It's not for the lack of their trying.

At Saturday, April 29, 2006 5:37:00 PM, Blogger jerusalemgypsy said...

Education - starting in Kindergarten for both Israelis and Palestinians. Getting to know and hear the Other and to learn the culture of the other. My experience teaches that Israelis are not aware of Moslem holidays - traditions and don't know anything about Palestinian history, the Nakba, etc. As well, Palestinians don't know of our history here either - they don't believe we have roots here. Perhaps more interfaith dialogue. When we realize we both have roots here, and we will respect each other more and there won't be a need for walls, checkpoints, etc. All this nonsense is because of the violence on both sides and the fear of each other.

Check out the Sulha in the summer -where thousands of Jews and Arabs get together to just Be together. perhaps more communities like Neve Shalom are needed. When we both come to the realization that it is God's land only, we won't be so possessive about it and we'll embrace the Other in the land too.

At Saturday, April 29, 2006 6:07:00 PM, Blogger Palestinian Princess said...

Here is the site:

Its happening May 1... I wish I had known about it sooner...

At Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:58:00 AM, Blogger ontheface said...

The event on May 1 is the Sulhita, which is for teenagers. The Sulha for adults is August 22-24.

Here's an article about last year's Sulha:

At Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:45:00 PM, Blogger Clare White said...

1. Do everything you can within the constraints you face (and appreciate that's not easy) to build a successful and prosperous, independent nation. Get friendly countries with wealth to invest as much as they can into Palestine and bring wealth to ordinary people. Make your own structures a success.

2. Carry on the dialogue with Israeli bloggers, get to know eachother, carry on writing about your own life so that people all over the world can see who you are and not identify you with violence.

Lots of luck!
Clare, UK x

At Monday, May 01, 2006 8:20:00 AM, Blogger Abu Shaar said...

I think it behooves us, the people outside occupied Palestine, to counter the Zionist propaganda and broadcast the nonviolent resistance that, as I said, is the majority of the resistance.

Westerners have the advantage over Palestinians under occupation, not only because we can travel freely but the Western press sees Palestinians as aliens and Israelis as "like us". As indeed, many Israelis are from Western countries, especially the US.

At Wednesday, May 03, 2006 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An organization called Just Vision recently released a film called "Encounter Point", with stories of Israeli and Palestinian peacebuilders... Their website has portraits of many people (including those from the film), all trying to answer your same question.

At Wednesday, May 03, 2006 11:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,

I've been reading your blog from New York, and I find it really interesting.

Someone asked what their ideal future would look like. What if someday there were a "United States of the Middle East?" Member states could have their own flavor/culture (Palestinian, Jewish, Egyptian, etc.) and their own state government, but they'd be subordinate to a Federal Government with a written Constitution guaranteeing everyone basic rights. Citizens could travel freely from state to state, there would be free trade, and there would be peace.

Okay, everybody, go ahead and laugh. But you have to have dreams, right?

Keep up the good work!

At Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon dreaming of peace is not comething to laugh at, but why limit ur dreams to the middle east? changes in the rest of the world (eg. US, europe) would be of more consequence I would say. also, u assume a model based on the US?
vc, palestinians have tried to distance themselves from violence, they have made consessions (araftat signed oslo) - where did this get them? when ur enemy is attacking u should u accept it peacefully? hamas is not commited to violence - they see it as a last resort - hamas tried a ceasefire, and have indicated they are ready to recognise israel and negotiate if israel first recognises palestinians rights.
showing the mainstream is difficult when the media is so biased, and making formal complaints - are u kidding?
and who do u expect should help the poorest palestinians? their economy is being crushed by the west - an effective welfare state is not really feasible.
i have no suggestions - all those that i can think of have been tried and have got no where, but i still hope one day there will be peace and justice


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