Video Podcast: A look at the future of Israel-Palestine 10 years from now

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Ray Hanania commentary

Jerusalem Post, Creators Syndicate

July 27, 2011

[vimeo w=400&h=220]

Hanania column: Jerusalem Post: The future of the Middle East from Ray Hanania on Vimeo.

Palestine & Israel 10 years from today: One State of Mind
By Ray Hanania — When I was young, I remember my mother reading fortunes in coffee grinds. She’s from Bethlehem. They do that there and very accurately.

Later, I would learn, my future was set in stone: I’d be a writer and journalist, well known with a strong opinions that would upset many people. And, I’d have many marriages.

The real tragedy is that Arabs and Jews can always see the future, but they can’t see “the now.”

Our future is more obvious than the solutions that sit right in front of our faces, but that we reject. We become accustomed to the misfortunes of our fate.

What will it be like 10 years from now? I could write it in quatrains, but I’ll just spell it out in simple terms.

Anger in the Palestinian community will continue to rise. Reasoned leadership will continue to vanish. The secular extremists will push for more confrontation while the religious extremists will push for more violence. One state will not only become the mantra, it will become the only discussed choice. And since it is not an option at all, but a nightmare scenario, tensions will reach boiling points. The On State solution will have become the One State of Mind.

It will be the 78th commemoration of the Nakba and the cries denouncing the “Zionist entity” and Israeli racism will only become louder.

Violence will rise with a return of Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli military assaults against civilian areas.

It will be the 12th anniversary of when Israeli commandos stormed the MV Mavi Marmara during the first flotilla, and there will have been dozens and dozens of flotillas since, all seeking one goal. Conflict. Tension. Criticism. An atmosphere of hate.

The Middle East will discover that it was not an Arab Spring, but rather a Global Warming. Protests will have become a common event and the governments once run by iron-fisted dictators will now be governed by military juntas with puppets as their front.

Benjamin Netanyahu will be Israel’s prime minister, having converted to Hasidic Judaism to appeal to the rising influence of extremist religious politics. And he’ll even conveniently discover that his ancestors will have originated in Russia, to appeal to the huge voter block of Russian Jews who, with the far right religious Jews, are holding the Jewish nation hostage.

Israel’s Knesset will adopt a DNA test as a requirement to run for the Knesset, as a final move to block non-Jews from holding seats. Words will be banned from the Israeli press including “flotilla,” “Palestine,” and “Peace.”

Israel will have built 120 more settlements in the West Bank, removed the Arabic language from West Bank road signs, and built a second Wall squeezing Palestinians in the West Bank into three separate regions.

President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh will announced a new Unity Deal brokered by the Egyptian ruling Junta that took control after deposing Husni Mubarak. It will be announced at “Tahrir Square” where statues of Egyptian and Palestinian martyrs will have been erected.

In America, President Sarah Palin will order the 120th veto in the United Nations Security Council to block criticism of Israel.

Palin promises that if a constitutional amendment is adopted by Congress allowing her to serve a third full term, she will introduce a UN resolution recognizing two-states, “an Israeli State and a Pakistinian State conjoined with Jordanistan.”

Explained Palin, “I think that the Pakistinians and the Jordanians have a lot in common, starting with the fact that the last five letters of their names are the same. Betcha didn’t know dat? Dat’s why I’m the commandant-in-chief, eh!”

“Birthers” will announce the finding of evidence that not only is former President Barak Obama born in Kenya, not America, but that he is related to the late Palestinian President Yasir Arafat. A consultant to the government of Saudi Arabia and affectionately referred to by the Saudis as “Sheikh Hussein,” Obama will have no comment.

Palestinian extremists continue their campaign to distract the public from their failed leadership, denouncing any Palestinian who engages in “normalization” with “the Zionist entity.” They will call it the “Ray Hanania law.”

In nearly four decades of closely watching the tragedy unfold, I’ve seen at the Palestine-Israel table the same faces of failed leaders, the same broken issues, and the same events repeating over and over again.

Peace and the solution to the conflict are always so close, yet the extremist factions continue to grow while those advocating for peace will vanish.

The Arab World, which was in an Arab Spring, will be a cauldron of continued conflict and its people will remain in a bondage of hate-rhetoric. Arabs will know their governments are corrupt but they will prefer to complain about Israel.

Israelis will learn that Arabs are so predictable that they don’t even need to respond to Arab extremist rhetoric nor campaign for an end to the conflict. The continuation of the conflict will guarantee to them everything that they want, the land, the power, the funding and United States backing.

The real tragedy of Israel and Palestine is that when you look around the table of this conflict, you do see the same old faces, the same old failed policies, the same old leadership vacuum and the same old fuel for this engine of failure, hate.

You don’t really need coffee grinds to see this future, though. It’s right there in plain view.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania