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An article by Mazin Qumsiyeh
"What happens to a dream deferred?"


30 May 2012

Langston Hughes wrote a poem, "Lenox Avenue Mural" in the 1930s

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load?
Or does it explode?

Our situation in Palestine is very dire indeed. Millions of Palestinians squeezed into concentration areas and money pours in to a few of them to keep the lid on the rest of us.

Among Palestinians and Israelis, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (though the disparity of money allocation is still 10:1 in favor of Israeli Jews over the indigenous Palestinians). But it is also not just an economic issue: the issue is racism. Zionism, built on notions of privilege and chosenness cannot help but spread racism.

The pogroms in Tel Aviv against Africans is just a small manifestation of the kind of pogroms and ethnic cleansing done against the native Palestinians. And it continues to be done. Even as Zionists celebrated occupying Jerusalem, studies show Israeli policies succeeded in creating the highest levels of poverty among Palestinians of Jerusalm. And the disastrous effects of the Oslo agreements continue to be felt throughout the occupied areas. Settlement building and destruction of lives and livelihood continue.

There is a process of slow transfer from most of the West Bank to the ghettos otherwise designated area A. The Palestinian "Authority"continues to have a charade of a "government" (appointing new "ministers" recently) while under occupation. And while talking for years about "reconciliation" and the need to revive the "peace" process (it is a process so the quotes are correctly placed only on "peace"). No consultation with people and no strategy of liberation is presented.

An Israeli general once quipped to his fellow criminals "once we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do is run around like drugged roaches in a bottle." Sharon used to call it with his thick English accent: the "piss process" and his right hand man Dov Weisglass correctly identified the purpose: to ensure there will never be a Palestinian state and to never discuss Palestinian rights.

The only efficiency worth noting today for the PA is its ability to suppress any "friction" via the security cooperation with the Israeli army. Acts of armed and non-violent resistance are both successfully suppressed. The PA meticulously adheres to its obligations under Oslo (as subcontractors for the occupation) while Israel regularly invades area A that is nominally under PA "control" (the 12% of the West Bank or 2% of historic Palestine). Meanwhile, money and resources are taken from Palestinian lands and people to enrich the coffers of Israeli billionairs (including land developers) and the Israeli military. A profitable occupation indeed!

The Palestinian dream of living in freedom and dignity is deferred yet again as the Zionist dominated media works feverishly to talk about Iran and other issues. Israeli authorities continue to think of ways to direct anger towards anything and anyone other than Zionism (the primary cause of instability in this part of the world). Billions of dollars keep moving and millions become poorer.

But back to Hughes question: does a dream deferred sag or does it explode?

Mazin Qumsiyeh
(Extract from the letter of 25 May 2012)

Mazin Qumsiyeh is a tireless activist for Palestinian human rights who returned to his hometown of Beit Sahour in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and now teaches at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. He is now president of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People in Beit Sahour, a suburb of Bethlehem. The author of “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle” (2004), Qumsiyeh is both a human rights activist and a scientist who has a lengthy list of publications on genetics to his credit.
See his website: http://qumsiyeh.org/

Source: Mazin Qumsiyeh

All the versions of this article:
- « Qu’advient-il d’un rêve reporté ? »