– But Italian Italian? Your father, too?
– Also my father.
– Also your mother?
– Also my mother.
– And your father’s father?
– Hey man, I am not Arab.
In Israel everybody is scared, these days. And everybody turns into a cop.
Not only the Israelis. I mean, the Israeli Jews. We are all scared. Scared to get stabbed, but also scared to be mistaken for stabbers, and get stabbed by those who are scared to get stabbed. That’s how these days will be remembered, someday: He was about to kill me in self defense, I had to kill him in self defense.
Meanwhile, on the bleachers the world cheers on.
And many spectators, of course, stand with Palestinians. The embodiment of an endless struggle for freedom. Of pride and dignity: despite it all. Though to me, truthfully, the current turmoil looks more like despair than courage. The first Intifada had a project, a goal: the two states. And the second Intifada, at least, after the collapse of the Oslo process, had a structure. It had an organization. This is rather random violence. Lone wolves. Not only there is no leadership, with Fatah complicit with Israel and Hamas focused just on its own survival, but also the civil society, now, seems to be worn out. Over the last years, activists have been replaced by the employees of countless NGOs, established more as a form of welfare, as means to hand out salaries, than means of participation and empowerment.
And now resistance, for youngsters, is just to stab passers-by.
Well aware that they will be killed.
You don’t need to be a hero for that. You need to be totally desperate.
Mahmoud Abbas is already 80: the only certainty is that these youngsters will be exploited in the plots and counterplots and court intrigues of the impending presidential succession. Also because the international environment, unfortunately, is what we know. And that’s the main difference with the past. The Palestine question is now overshadowed by the jihadist emergency. Should they go on for long, clashes won’t achieve anything anyway. Or actually: they’ll achieve just a further tightening of Israel’s grip. Because the quandary of Palestinians is that whatever they try to do, now, armed resistance like in Gaza, or the opposite, negotiations like in the West Bank, they are trapped: everything plays in the hands of Israel. That keeps on building, building and building, in the meantime. And erasing their state.
And their society.
Without the international community, there’s no way: Palestinians are too weak.
The best they can hope for, is to kill somebody randomly, and get killed.
There also many spectators who stand with Israel, of course. This is the proof of the true nature of Palestinians, they say. Defending the only democracy of the Middle East.
While to defend yourself, you end up saying to a barman who guards with a gun the doorway of your favourite café: I am not Arab. I am purely Italian. The last one to use such an adverb, in my family, was probably my grandfather. A senior official of the Fascist regime.