Saturday, October 6, 2007
Unlike Abbas, Abdul-Shafi didn't fail his people, despite all of the hardships he had to endure. He did all that a single person can do on his own, and more.
A Very Good Piece
By Ramzy Baroud
"......In his fight, Abdul-Shafi was not afraid to speak his mind and criticise what disrupted the struggle for Palestinian unity and true sovereignty. He blamed Arafat and his associates for many of the post-Oslo disasters that had befallen his people, chastising the Palestinian leadership for capitulating at Oslo, for accepting far less than his people's rights and aspirations demanded. He refused to take part in the "democracy" charade which instituted, among other pretences, a parliament that had no authority, neither to defy Arafat's will nor Israel's, whose oppressive occupation only intensified after the "peace agreements" were signed.
Naturally, shortly after being voted into parliament Abdul-Shafi was the first to quit, lending his support instead to the Palestinian National Initiative that advocated national unity, democracy and clean government. He saw clearly that while Palestinians may not be able to control Israel's actions, they were certainly capable of coordinating and correcting their own fallouts. This was really all that he asked.
In stark contrast, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to use the Israeli colonial project to his own advantage. Unlike Abdul-Shafi, who would have challenged Israeli domination with a collective Palestinian stance of complete cohesion at home and abroad, Abbas (dubbed a "moderate" and "pragmatic" leader by mainstream media) opted for the deadly option; he collaborated with the enemy. As Palestinians in Gaza are murdered at will, completely besieged and denied the most basic human rights, Abbas's "pragmatic" advisors appear to have warned him against locking horns with the US and Israel. This approach overlooks the fact that defeatism has never helped an oppressed nation recover its lands, its rights and its freedom.
Unfortunately, Abdul-Shafi is no longer there to provide such timely reminders. The soil of Gaza has finally claimed him; the same way it claimed the bodies of many resilient Palestinian men and women, young and old. One can only hope that the spirit of Abdul-Shafi is now free to wander beyond the enclosed borders, electric fences and blocked military zones that turned that poor strip of land into a prison comparable in its isolation to that of Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and his comrades were held for many years.....
Unlike Abbas, Abdul-Shafi didn't fail his people, despite all of the hardships he had to endure. He did all that a single person can do on his own, and more. Shafi's funeral in Gaza reportedly united Palestinians of all factions. The man had spent much of his energy achieving this noble goal during his life. At least his death brought about a fleeting moment of unity, a reminder that such a thing is still possible......."