Equal Rights

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The purpose of the first map is to show the political divisions that exist within Palestinian society, as well as the politically damaging and constricting situation that Palestinians find themselves in by having one Palestinian political party - Fateh - in control of the West Bank and another  - Hamas -in control of Gaza strip. The second map expresses my  own desire for the formation of a Palestinian national unity government, and shows that this is a necessary step that must be taken, not only to reunite Palestinian society, but also because it is the only way we can begin to solve the Palestinian - Israeli conflict. The third map shows another one of my views on how the conflict can be resolved.

The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza  strip are completely cut off from each other, as well as the Palestinians living within Israel. The number of Israeli checkpoints and settlements within the West Bank are continuously increasing, especially the settlements and their expansion in Palestinian East Jerusalem.  There are about half a million Israeli settlers living in settlements on the West Bank, including Palestinian East Jerusalem, which were built on Palestinian land. Each of these settlements is surrounded by road blocks, checkpoints, barbed wires, as well as the 8 meter high separation wall that runs across all of the West Bank. All these factors make it impossible to have a two state solution, especially since Israel has refused to stop building new settlements (even after  the US President Obama asked them to stop). Israel has recently ordered the building of 400 new settlement homes and continues building the separation wall (80% of which was built in Palestinian territory) even after it was deemed illegal according to international law. This brings us to the third map, the one state solution. After many years of thinking about the conflict it is clear that the one state solution is the only viable one in the long term, given Israeli actions. However, this should be a state in which everyone has equal rights if it were to be acceptable. My main concern with the one state solution is that Palestinians will not be given equal rights and will be treated as second class citizens (the same way in which Palestinians living in Israel are treated today).

Palestinians have been struggling and experiencing the social suffering of war for over 60 years. My hope is that this conflict will soon come to an end; however, it must be based on justice, freedom, and equal rights for all.

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