Yalla Peace: Palestine and Israel 10 years from today

It doesn’t take a prophet to predict where things will go in the region, barring major changes.

Bethlehem 521 (photo credit: Israel images)
Bethlehem 521
(photo credit: Israel images)
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.
The 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 fate.
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 areas.
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 hate.
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 frontmen.
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 regions.
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.
Palin 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!”
“Birthers” will 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.”
Palestinian extremists will continue their campaign to distract the public from their failed leadership, denouncing any Palestinian who engages in “normalization” with “the Zionist entity.”
They will call it the “Ray Hanania Law.”
IN 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 over.
Peace and the solution to the conflict is always so close, yet the extremist factions continue to grow while those advocating peace vanish.
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 backing.
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: hate.
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.