Their history has been a chronicle of combative narrative; the past sixty-four years have been a period of tumult, upheavals and systematic disempowerment, but their future certainly holds out glimpses of peace and a passage back to their glories.
Time, particularly the past sixty-four years, has not been kind to them. For over half a century the Arab Palestinians have been victims of methodical dispossession, subjected to chilling Jewish apartheid and perpetually persecuted for nursing with unfailing persistence a dream to return to their homes. For over sixty years, West Asia, as Khaled Diab a Belgian-Egyptian journalist says, has been the theatre of a bizarre political yin-yang.
Throughout history, empires have grown and fallen leaving indelible marks of their existence, flourish and even decline on the rocks. And the rocks are yet again getting ready to record a fresh new chronicle of resurrection of Palestinians — a narrative of tryst with their promised land.
"The death of the Israel-Palestine two-state solution brings fresh hope." The death of antediluvian is imminent and how much the Zionists may try to prevent it they can, at best, succeed in delaying the inevitable.
A perceptible change in the perspective of the Palestinians has already started to take place. This change, says Rachel Shabi, an incisive writer of rare and uncommon distinct and an award winning author, is being spearheaded by a new generation of Palestinian activists, in part inspired by the Arab uprisings in the region, who are bypassing territorial demands to focus on civil rights and freedoms.
This generation and the leaders of tomorrow are today looking beyond the zombie peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, which have lost their relevance and need. Educated and empowered with vision to see beyond the apparent they know "it's now impossible to remove half a million Jewish settlers and infrastructure from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem; the international community is opposed to settlements on paper but does nothing in practice, and after 19 years of failed two-state talks."
For them, much like their counterparts on the other side of the fence in Israel, the panacea is in single bi-national state cohabited with equal rights, liberty and respectability by Arabs and Jews.
For long they have remained frozen in time; remained humiliatingly stateless and campaigned with slings for independent Palestine only to be mowed down by the trigger-happy Zionist soldiers. They now realise that their campaign for self determination will never work and time shall never be with them.
The fault always lay not only with the plan but also with the leadership. The Palestinian decision to apply for full statehood at the United Nations last year only set the clock backward; resurrected the forces that threatened to tear asunder the status quo and offered momentum to the alternative — the single state solution to a nagging Palestinian-Israeli territorial issue.
Notwithstanding all the rationale it offers, the germinating one-state solution does not yet offer any logical answer to a few vital questions. And foremost among them is how would the Israeli Jews prioritise people, especially the Arab Palestinians, over their lost land.
And this apart, the question of nationality of the Arab Palestinians, will remain a vexed one. Would they be granted equal civil and political rights? Would the single nation of both Jews and Arabs be secular and democratic?
Neither Shabi nor Ghada Karmi, a leading Palestinian activist, academic and writer, nor veteran journalist Nahum Barnea nor Haaretz columnist Carlo Strenger nor right-wing Israeli politicians such as Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin and ex-defence minister Moshe Arens has given any tangible and logical answer. Their silence on these issues raises suspicion even as "a new generation of Palestinian activists, in part inspired by the Arab uprisings in the region, are bypassing territorial demands to focus on civil rights and freedoms."
The right-wing fanatics in Israel will never even accept the germinating concept of single bi-national state.
They would keep the zombie alive and the cauldron of chaos burning only to delay what is inevitable. These fanatics are ready with spanners as they fear that in less than twenty five years the Jews will become minorities and will lose out the control and power to the Arabs.
Neither will they ever agree to the equal status of the Arabs nor shall they accept equal civil rights of the Palestinians. In next hundred years, these hard-nosed Jews will oppose "principles for a single spatial polity" and will not give up on "exclusive Jewish sovereignty".
"It's all germinal and there are problems, of course. Most polled Palestinians and Israelis still support a two-state framework, even while at the same time believing it doomed. Shared-space alternatives have grassroots momentum, but no leadership support.
The left needs to ensure that Gaza remains part of the picture. And doubtless some West Bank settlers support one-state as a way of avoiding potential eviction, with scant regard for Palestinian rights."
Scepticism has always been deceitful and perilous to the survival of liberalism and hope. It is indeed encouraging to see new paradigms germinating in defiance of the odds and attempts are being made to break the period of paralysis.
It is equally important to thrust aside the spent husks of the Oslo phase and set the ground for fresh thinking. And that can perhaps be best achieved only when the moribund antediluvian dies and buried deep down into the beds
The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman