Advocates of a two-state solution in the Middle East say they’ve drawn inspiration from watching leaders of the St. George incorporation effort stand fast in the face of criticism and numerous setbacks.
Several vocal supporters of a sovereign Palestinian homeland, including Baton Rouge restaurateur Khaled Farsoun, expressed appreciation for the unwavering resolve of St. George leaders like chairman Norman Browning and spokesperson Lionel Rainey, whom they consider role models for their own cause.
“As a Palestinian who wishes to see my people have a land we can call our own, sometimes I get discouraged, like when (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu gets re-elected and says he will never let a Palestinian state exist,” Farsoun explained. “But then I see the brave St. George people fighting for their own land, even while people call them bad things and they do not have enough signatures for petition. It gives me hope.”
Besides the obvious separatist angle involving territorial control, Farsoun said there are other parallels between the fights for a free Palestine and an incorporated city of St. George.
“I see the brave St. George people fighting for their own land, even while people call them bad things and they do not have enough signatures for petition. It gives me hope.”
“The St. George people have a few people who did the forged signatures on the petition; we sometimes have crazy Palestinians who blow up bus or café in Tel Aviv,” Farsoun said. “That does not make us all bad people. It is only a small number.”
Farsoun also compared the anti-St. George group Better Together to Netanyahu, claiming that just like the Israeli prime minister vowing to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state, its members are doing everything in their power to prevent the creation of a new city and separate school district.
“The Better Together is just like the Zionists! They want to rule the area and treat the St. George people like dogs,” Farsoun lamented. “But the St. George people continue to fight for their own land, no matter what, and so do we.”
The hilal restaurant owner says he appreciates the encouragement provided by the perseverance of St. George leaders so much, he’s now become actively involved in helping them gather petition signatures.
“The St. George people give me so much hope, I sign their petition, and I get all my employees and Palestinian friends to sign, too, even though we are not yet citizens,” Farsoun said.