Today I was watching a news show on the CBC called The Hour hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos (not to be confused with Clinton’s press secretary George Stephanopoulos). The show featured a recap of last night’s Golden Globes and pointed a certain verbal slip during the listing of nominees of the Best Foreign Film category and the announcing of it’s winner: Paradise Now of Palestine.
George ran a clip of presenters Matthew Mcconaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker saying “Palestine” twice and then said something along the lines of Palestine not existing and no one at the Golden Globes had pointed that out or fixed that error. This is what the whole conflict is about George said.
This comment interested me because a few weeks ago I attended a debate between university students about the Israeli Arab conflict and one Israeli student suddenly declared in the middle of all the arguing “Palestine doesn’t even exist!”. Everyone in the audience was taken aback by this comment, regardless of their stance on the conflict. The professor at the time said something very interesting as the referee of the debate. “To deny the existance of Palestine is to deny the existance of Palestinians…”
It’s an interesting question to pose though: what constitutesexistance?
Do people have to live on the land? Does the land have to be defined by the historical existance of those people with relation to their ethnicity?
Is there a paper you have to sign to be acknowledged by the world as a country that exists?
And if George and that guy who spoke up during that debate are right, does the “fact” that Palestine apparently doesn’t exist mean it is fictional? Is Palestine the new Neverland?
Is there a secret handshake? Do you get a t-shirt?
It seems to me that the world has in fact acknowledged the existance of Palestine (based on the 67 borders) and the right of Palestinians to exist.
Does “state” mean “nation”?
If you’re stateless does that mean you’re nationless?
Should we be literally politically correct when it comes to “Palestine”?
If so, then perhaps Matthew Mcconaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker should’ve said “And the Winner is Paradise Now! From…that-piece-of-land-with-a-bunch-of-people-living-on-it-between-Jordan-and-Israel-and-is-occupied-by-the-latter.”
Maybe the Golden Globes people were just trying to save time.
But it makes me wonder what we’re fighting for these days.