Categorized | Middle East



A friend of mine here said that what we need are not “new year’s resolutions but new year’s revolutions.” So what do I hope for in this New Year? I hope for revolutions.

I hope the labor movements in Egypt overthrow their thug government, that the Palestinians in the Bantustan archipelago rid themselves of their mukhabarat, that the Arab monarchies collapse, that the Mizrahi Jews of Israel under the pressure of a burgeoning BDS campaign find themselves a leadership able to express their discontent in a way other than racism at those a little lower on the ladder than they are, that the Tunisian revolt explodes the Ben Ali regime, that the British student movement lights a radical fire under the feet of its neoliberal governments, that Russ Feingold runs for president and begins to rip apart the imperial arch in the Middle East, along with its keystone, Israel, that Palestine erupts in another Intifada, more like the first than the second; I hope that the third world unites in another Bandung around the issue of climate debt, that the Via Campesina destabilizes a few neoliberal governments in the global South, that there’s a global wave of land grabbing by peasants, and that the atomized US working class engages in a strike wave. And I hope that these aren’t just hopes, and that we turn them into the future.

To that end, I hope that the left and the Palestine solidarity movement move closer and closer, as they did at the United States Social Forum, at Detroit, and earlier this year in Albany, New York. So that’s my resolution: to do that little infinitesimal bit to make that revolution, to keep hitting the flint against the steel and to hope it hits dry tinder and to see that tinder erupt in flame.

So finally I hope too today that Jawaher Abu Rahma has not died in vain, and that the children being born today under Gaza’s grey sky can breathe free air before they have children, that my friends my age don’t live the rest of their youth amidst the psychic suffocation of siege, that my older friends, the revolutionary generations, Saber, Haidar, Mona, and the rest, can grow old to the joyous sound of shattering shackles and not to the soul-crushing clatter of them being forged.

The New Year is not so happy here in Gaza’s gloom, but like every day, it is full of hope—we can fill it with hope. Mahmoud Darwish, in an interview several years before he died, said that “Their national will is stronger in reaction to the challenge. They do not have another option but to continue to carry the hope that they are going to have a normal life. The Palestinian people feel that they are living the hours before dawn.” So I hope we can hasten dawn.

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