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September 19, 2011

Palestine at the UN: What this moment means

The situation leading up to the UN Palestine vote is fascinatingly indeterminate.

So many people, some brilliant, some fools, some saintly, some vicious (even Elliott Abrams!), all weighing in. Each claims to have a unique grip on the truth of the matter: It's an Israeli plot; it’s an Israeli nightmare; it's the PA takeover; it's the PA's last gasp; it will provoke civil war; it will provoke the third intifada; the settlers will go berserk; the US will never let anything happen; the Palestinian Right of Return will be scrapped; BDS will lose out; BDS will prevail . . .  on and on.

In times like this I turn to Tolstoy in War and Peace: there is an underlying flow to history, which intellectuals, savants, experts think they understand and try to control. But it's like a rider on a horse who thinks he's making the horse go. The flow here, the horse, if you will, is the immortal struggle of Palestine to be free, and the condition making this possible, the disintegration of Zionism and its dream of the "democratic Jewish state."

Back to Tolstoy: the thing is to be alert and to be faithful, like General Kutuzov, to the drive to be free from the invader. There will be surprises and they will always exceed our dreams of omnipotence. But we need to keep the faith and act in the moment. The time of freedom is coming.

Joel Kovel is the author of many books, including Overcoming Zionism.

September 17, 2011

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Dotan Rousso. Holds a Ph.D. in Law—a former criminal prosecutor in Israel. Currently working as a college professor in Canada.

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