Theater of the Absurd: Why We Become Schizophrenic!

Political leaders are causing us to become schizophrenic.

They are claiming to be democratic; yet, they order us – their rank-and file – to sabotage meetings and to obstruct dialogue and thus undermining freedom of speech and freedom of expression. They claim they are calling for peace; yet, they incite the masses to demonstrate against the peacemakers.

They called the Oslo Accords: “Peace of the Brave”; yet, they keep degrading the Oslo Accords. They signed a treaty to recognize Israel, yet, they keep referring to Israel as Palestine.

They are negotiating with Israel, yet, they incite their rank-and-file to be against the negotiations. If normalization runs against the legacy of martyrs and prisoners, as they proclaim, why is it that most of those involved in normalization activities are sons of martyrs and ex-prisoners. Shall I go on?

And people ask me why I divorced politics! To keep my sanity. Anti-normalization widens the gap between the Palestinian people and the Israeli people making peace and conciliation unattainable. The result is continued violence, enmity and conflict – a lose-lose situation.

Dialogue helps empower those on both sides in the peace camp creating trust and changing negative stereotype images and misconceptions of one another. It is in harmony with the Holy Quran which instructs: { …and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” (Qur’an 16:125) وجادلهم يالتي هي أحسن.}

We inherited this conflict from our ancestors, and it is our moral duty to end it so that our children and grandchildren will inherit peace and prosperity. We have much to learn from one another. Let us stand for what we value rather than what they tell us.

Those who impose their agenda of conflict fear democracy, and worry about accountability, and transparency.

Let us stand up to our values and principles and shout: “Enough is enough. We are not going to remain pawns in the hands of politicians. Our voice will be heard.”

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Mohammed Dajani Daoudi is founder of the Wasatia movement in Palestine, and Professor of Political Science at Al-Quds University. Read other articles by Mohammed.