When I was young, I remember my mother reading fortunes in coffee grinds. She’s
from Bethlehem; they do that there and very accurately.
Later, I would
learn, my future was set in stone: I’d be a writer and journalist with strong
opinions that would upset many people. And, I’d have many marriages.
real tragedy is that Arabs and Jews can always see the future, but they can’t
see “the now.” Our future is more obvious than the solutions in front of our
faces, but that we reject. We become accustomed to the misfortunes of our
What will it be like 10 years from now? I could write it in
quatrains, but I’ll just spell it out.
ANGER IN the Palestinian community
will continue to rise. Reasoned leadership will continue to vanish. Secular
extremists will push for more confrontation, while religious extremists will
push for more violence. One state will not only become the mantra, it will
become the only discussed choice. And since it is not an option at all,
but a nightmare scenario, tensions will reach boiling point. The “One State
Solution” will have become the “One State of Mind.”
It will be the 78th
commemoration of the Nakba, and cries denouncing the “Zionist entity” and
Israeli racism will only become louder.
Violence will rise, with a return
of Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli military assaults against civilian
It will be the 12th anniversary of when Israeli commandos stormed
the Mavi Marmara
, and there will have been dozens and dozens of flotillas all
seeking the same goals: conflict, tension, criticism, an atmosphere of
The Middle East will discover that it was not an Arab Spring, but
just global warming. Protests will have become common, and governments once run
by iron-fisted dictators will now be governed by military juntas with puppets as
Binyamin Netanyahu will be prime minister, having converted to
hasidic Judaism in order to appeal to the rising influence of religious
extremists, and he’ll even discover that his ancestors were from Russia, to
appeal to the huge voter block of Russian Jews who, with the far Right religious
Jews, are holding the nation hostage.
Israel’s Knesset will have adopted
a DNA test as a requirement to run for the Knesset – a final move to keep
non-Jews from holding seats. Certain words will be banned from the Israeli
press, including “flotilla,” “Palestine,” and “peace.” Israel will have built
120 more settlements in the West Bank, removed all Arabic texts from West Bank
road signs, and built a second wall, squeezing Palestinians into three separate
PRESIDENT MAHMOUD Abbas and Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh will
have announced a new Unity Deal brokered by Egypt’s ruling junta. It will be
announced at Tahrir Square, where statues of Egyptian and Palestinian martyrs
will have been erected.
In America, President Sarah Palin will order the
120th veto of Israeli criticism in the UN Security Council.
declares that if a constitutional amendment is adopted by Congress allowing her
to serve a third full term, she will introduce a UN resolution recognizing two
states – “an Israeli state and a Pakistinian state conjoined with Jordanistan.”
Said Palin: “I think the Pakistnians and the Jordanians have a lot in common,
starting with the fact that the last five letters of their names are the same.
Betcha didn’t know dat! That’s why I’m the commandant-in-chief!”
announce that not only was former president Barak Obama born in Kenya, not
America, but that he is related to the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.
He will by then be a consultant to the government of Saudi Arabia,
affectionately referred to by the Saudis as “Sheikh Hussein.”
extremists will continue their campaign to distract the public from their failed
leadership, denouncing any Palestinian who engages in “normalization” with “the
They will call it the “Ray Hanania Law.”
NEARLY four decades of watching the tragedy unfold, I’ve seen the same faces of
failed leaders, the same broken issues, and the same events repeating over and
Peace and the solution to the conflict is always so close, yet the
extremist factions continue to grow while those advocating peace
The Arab world, which showed promise of an Arab Spring, will be a
cauldron of continued conflict, and its people will remain in bondage to hate
rhetoric. Arabs will know their governments are still corrupt, but will
prefer to complain about Israel.
Israelis will learn that Arabs are so
predictable that Israel will no longer even need to respond to Arab extremist
rhetoric, nor campaign for an end to the conflict; its continuation will
guarantee everything they want: the land, the power, the funding and US
The real tragedy of Israel and Palestine is that when you look
around the table, you do see the same old faces, the same old failed policies,
the same old leadership vacuum and the same old fuel for this same old engine:
You don’t really need coffee grinds to see this future. It’s in
plain view.The writer is an award-winning columnist and Palestinian
activist. He can be reached at www.hanania.com.