Palestinian nationalism has taken on several features of Zionism, such as making Jerusalem the symbolic center of its nationhood, seeking a "return" to the land, and building government-like institutions during its pre-state period.
What if this trend continues into the distant future? What if the formerly ardent nationalists of Palestine were to adopt the intellectual currents of their Zionist precursors? They would then surely develop a "post-Palestinian nationalism" similar to today's post-Zionism. Peering into a crystal ball, we see that on a given day around 2050, fifty or so years after the founding of the Palestinian state, the results will look like this in the Palestinian media:
Front page: Palestine's blossoming peace movement, "Salam Now," staged a massive rally in Yahya ‘Ayyash Square in Jericho last night to support returning Hebron to its rightful Jewish owners. Singing the nostalgic song, "Give Peace a Chance," the movement's younger members also held placards proclaiming "The Majority Chooses Peace" at principal city intersections.
Parliamentary page: A controversy has erupted over the call by the governing coalition to include the Star of David in the Palestinian flag as a way to "give expression to all the ethnic minorities in democratic Palestine." The Jewish settlers who agreed to stay in the new State of Palestine fifty years earlier can thus more easily identify with their state. Similarly, the coalition wants the Palestinian national anthem to add stanzas proclaiming "Zion has a right to live."
Business page: The Arafat Economic Foundation succeeded in convincing a Norwegian company to invest $10 million in the Israeli high-tech industry. This surpasses last month's achievement by the Peres Center for Peace, which obtained a $7 million loan from Denmark to promote the Palestinian State agricultural sector. Justifying his work on behalf of Israel, the director-general of the Arafat Foundation explained: "We need an economically viable neighbor. A strong Israel is a top priority for Palestinians."
Literary page: It's never too early for a young state to reflect on the character and intentions of its founders, and so this week's featured book review is of a study titled Jerusalem Birthright? The Political Implications of Yasir Arafat's Egyptian Accent.
Education page: The Palestinian Ministry of Education has decided to replace Mahmud Darwish's poems with those of Yehuda Amichai, the nationalistic Israeli writer, in its junior high school curriculum. It has also drastically reduced the space in high school history textbooks devoted to the Palestinian national movement, thereby allowing room for such topics as "Biblical Traits in Marc Chagall's Paintings," and "The Impact of Vladimir Jabotinsky's Thinking."
Television page: The Palestinian jubilee year has witnessed the emergence on television of a cadre of New Historians who argue that Palestine was actually "born in sin" and that the entire Palestinian nationalist enterprise was a major mistake. Recent documentary films include "There Was No Massacre at Deir Yassin!" and "Overkill at the United Nations: The Palestinian Case."
Community events page: "Who Came Here First and Does It Matter?" a conference at Bir Zeit University, open to the public, that challenges the mythical existence of a millennia-old Palestinian-Canaanite people; the Jews, it turns out, were here first.
Sports page: On hearing of their winning bid for the 2056 summer Olympic Games, the Palestinians announced a minute of silence at "Ramallah 2056" in honor of the eleven Israeli athletes slain at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Flags of participating nations will be lowered to half-mast, and a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at a symbolic site yet to be determined. Grandsons and granddaughters of the terrorists will be on hand to ask forgiveness of the victims' descendants.
Julian Schvindlerman holds a master's degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.