One Palestinian Flag

  • 17 May 2010

The annual commemoration of ‘Nakhba’, by different Palestinian factions on May 15, reflects a common perception of the danger they face and the need to unite under one flag for their cause. This perception was demonstrated by the different Palestinian factions raising only Palestine’s flag on the occasion and relegating their special flags to the background and calling for an end to the divisions that prevail in the Palestinian ranks. This confirms the Palestinian awareness of the need for a national symbol to rally around and concentrating efforts through it in order to confirm that their cause will remain supreme and that the Palestinian people’s rights, as stipulated by the international legitimacy resolutions, shall be protected by generations irrespective of Israel’s efforts to obliterate or undermine them.

On the ‘Nakhba’ anniversary, Palestinians pledged unity even though it was on a symbolic level and raised one Palestinian flag signaling that unity is the only way they can confront the impact of the tragedy they have confronted since 1948. This show of solidarity, however, has to be transformed into practical steps in times to come so as to bring an end to the internal conflict which has raged since 2007. Only this way they can ensure the political and geographical unity of the Palestinian lands. In order to achieve this national reconciliation, it is necessary that the different Palestinian factions – especially Fatah and Hamas – endorse this approach, make mutual concessions and rise above factionalism to uphold a greater national interest. If this doesn’t happen, with the passage of time, complexities will rise, rifts will widen and obstacles will become more and more difficult to overcome.

If Palestinians are living a tragic life since 1948, the division of their ranks that happened in 2007 is another tragedy and they should make efforts to limit its dangerous impact. This is even more important because Israel exploits this division to further the Palestinian agony and distorts a just and fair cause. Palestinians were united during this year’s ‘Nakhba’ commemorations and they should remain united because they are facing an Israeli government that is taking calculated steps towards judiazing Jerusalem, colony-building in the West bank and posing serious threat to Al Aqsa Mosque. The Palestinian cause of a state cannot be achieved unless there is national unity. The movement will have to gather momentum again and ride its image from the distortions of the past through reconciliation regardless of the obstacles and complexities that come its way.