Judith Leder– academician, poet, potter, photographer, living in Fullerton, CA–wrote this summary of Mustafa Barghouti’s recent presentation in La Mirada, CA.
On March 2, 2012, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, candidate for President of the Palestinian National Authority (2005), Nobel Peace prize nominee (2010), and founder the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (1979), spoke to a packed house in La Mirada, a suburb of Los Angeles. His disturbing and inspiring talk, “Consolidating Apartheid: Current Facts on the Ground in Palestine,” touched on the Israeli creation of Bantustands in the West Bank, the ineffectualness of the Palestinian Authority, and the social and economic deterioration of Palestine. The current situation tells us what we knew all along: “The Oslo peace process produced no peace.” Our response to the failed peace process should not be violence–which reveals emotional weakness. Instead, our response should be passionate non-violence. We need, said Barghouti, “a strategy that will make the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands unprofitable.” Israel has stolen much of the Jordan Valley and is now making millions on the products that the Valley produces. A world-wide commitment to BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), coupled with an effective and unified Palestinian leadership, would show the moral authority of the Palestinians as nothing else has. Only a day after Israeli troops raided two private Palestinian television stations in the West Bank city of Ramallah, seizing transmitters and other equipment, Barghouti said, with great composure: “Now is not the time for despair, but the time for work.” Read “Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine,” Barghouti’s powerful opinion piece in the NY Times of Feb 21, 2012: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/opinion/peaceful-protest-can-free-palestine.html