I want to first say that I am very pleased at Assaf won Season 2 of Arab Idol (Check out my previous post about him*). I have followed the show from the beginning carving up to 2:13 hours of my life out for each episode of the show. However, when he won, people went in ethno-political directions. Especially some of my Arab / Palestinian brothers and sisters. Nationalistic posts and nostalgia for their lost watan (nation) filled my facebook feed. This was only one manifestation of nationalism, and I speak on nationalism in general…This is where I think things get paradoxical. Just posing a question: wasn’t it extreme levels of nationalism -Jewish Zionism- that caused the illegal and some would say immoral conquest of Palestinian land? If nationalism is what caused the quagmire of the Palestinian people, will nationalism get them out?
When I hear many people talk about the conflict, many try to classify it as a Palestinian issue, an Arab issue, or a Muslim issue. This ghettoizes the conflict. But I think it goes completely beyond phenotypic realms. It’s an international issue, a human rights issue, etc…You don’t have to be a Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim to empathize with the Palestinians – all you have to be is human. If we all start thinking that way, maybe we could get somewhere.
*I am just stating my opinion. This is not the first time I have said this, nor is this a belittling of the Palestinian struggle. I have been to Palestine and seen the struggle for myself, and I hope to make a change for those treated unjustly.