'Recognize Israel'. This term is repeated to Palestinians so often that
it is taken for granted by virtually everyone who hears it – without
pause, or question. Even those who agree with Hamas not recognizing
their Occupiers of 58 years may not think twice about the absurdity of
the phrase itself.

If recognizing Israel had a glimpse of hope in ending the ongoing land theft, killing and starvation of the entire Palestinian people, they would have undoubtedly done so. Let us forget, for a moment, what Palestinians vividly recall happened after the PLO recognized the state.

What most Palestinians recognize about Israel today, is the appointment of Lieberman – a known fascist, whose openly racist and Nazi-like ideologies can only be seen as representing Israeli public opinion. Palestinians also recognize that this trend shows the future direction of Israeli politics, which will impact Palestinians even more harshly than now.

Perhaps Palestinians recognize that the current operation in Gaza, is a result of the bruise on the commanders' pride, which was destroyed in Lebanon, and according to Haaretz are "looking for a diversion, to silence the critics by mobilizing a national consensus for a new operation?" Dr. Muawiya Abu Hassanin, director of ambulances and emergencies in the Palestinian Ministry of Health, recognizes that this "diversion" has killed over 350 Palestinians, including "137 Palestinian children and teenagers under the age of 16 since June, in addition to 29 women and 12 men above the age of 60. The army has been targeting innocent civilians deliberately and forty-two victims died while inside their homes, destroyed by aerial bombing or artillery bombardment". All the while Israeli spokesmen and politicians "continue to mislead the world by claiming that militants are being killed."

When in the history of the world's nations have such demands been made on the victims of such widespread, ongoing repression and violence? In fact, John Dugard the UN's Special Rapporteur of Human Rights has recently recognized that "the Palestinian people have been subjected to economic sanctions – the first time an occupied people have been so treated. This is difficult to understand. Israel is in violation of major Security

Council and General Assembly resolutions dealing with unlawful territorial change and the violation of human rights and has failed to implement the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, yet it escapes the imposition of sanctions. Instead the Palestinian people, rather than the Palestinian Authority, have been subjected to possibly the most rigorous form of international sanctions imposed in modern times."

So why does the one of the worlds largest and most well equipped army in the world need Palestinians, stateless, with virtually no representation or military power, to recognize it!? After all Israelis are doing a fine job in getting on with their lives and forgetting that we exist. The majority seem happy enough with us shriveling away in the confines of the oPt, behind the ever expanding wall and settlements, ongoing incursions, daily kidnapping, administrative detention and killing of whomever they like. In fact, a two year old child was just released from prison (Al-Quds newspaper on Nov 1, 2006), whose mother is still sitting like so many other women, men and children in Administrative Detention," without charge or trial. Recognized by most Palestinians as well, is a family member who has been imprisoned and tortured; at least 8,000 Palestinian political prisoners remain in Israeli jails today.

Could it be perhaps that Hamas has learned a valuable lesson from history?  Perhaps Hamas also recognizes, that after 20 years of attempting to kill the PLO, in the 1990's when they finally did 'recognize' Israel, it was not enough to prevent their marginalization. Only at the pinnacle of their political weakness, were they ripe for Israel's masterful trickery. Only then did the PLO sell its soul and its people's future, to the Occupiers.

In good faith they (we all) actually believed that Palestinians would walk away with at least something resembling statehood. Has Israel honored ONE of its promises or obligations? The examples are astounding with how it continues to avoid implementing any of its obligations under Oslo, or other internationally backed agreements, and gets away with murder.

NONETHELESS, I wish that Hamas would just recognize that Israel came, and took what it wanted, occupied what wasn't theirs and claimed their divine right to do so. Recognize that by having an endless stream of money and power, it pulled off one the most brilliant and cunning PR and branding campaigns in history — and as if magic, turned the victim into the aggressor. We must especially not forget to recognize Israel's ongoing demographic goals that, since its inception have displaced over 6.8 million people. That is 70% of the Palestinian population has been made into refugees worldwide, and within their own country, and that two out of five refugees are Palestinian – the largest refugee population in the world. I too recognize that the inherent racism and fear that Israelis have built their system on requires it to be upheld with guns, F-16's and military might – with the recognition that it is given by pillaging American tax dollars, an economy on the verge of collapse.

Most importantly and least recognized, is also that Hamas has constantly declared their intention for a ten year hudna thus "denouncing terror" and recognizing the "right of Israel to exist peacefully". Most recognize and are waiting to see who is going to intervene and demand that Israel do the same. Therein lies the inherent point of absurdity that makes up the Palestinian question, and can only be upheld in the surreal realm of political double talk. Israeli's prefer Palestinians, who have no effective government, no citizenship and no military to protect their rights and Israel, whether recognized or not, the imbalance to remain this way. If the entire state (and people) of Israel want any credibility in its growing political abyss and ever-sinking world public opinion, I suggest that Israel recognizes the following: 1) denounces all of their governmental violence 2) accepts Palestine's right to exist 3) and begins honoring past agreements and international law.

1) Haaretz Editorial, What motivates the IDF: Is IDF using Gaza raid as way of silencing critics after the [Lebanon] war?
2) Article titled, 'Bellicose government' Khaled Amayreh in Cairo by AL-AHRAM, Nov. 1-7 Iss. 818.
3) Report by Mr Dugard to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva 26 September.