Palestine Update 100
New Year wishes to Palestine Update readers
Wishing us all a hopeful New Year where there is freedom for all! May 2018 bring about a new political dynamic and transformation from the cruelty and oppression that the occupation compels on the Palestinians. Likewise let us wish for liberation from bondage for all who are marginalized wherever in the world they endure tyranny.
For now, happiness is an empty notion to the massive numbers of Palestinians in prison, to the uprooted, the refugees, the dispossessed, the widowed and the orphaned, and especially those who live under the brutal and inhumane siege in Gaza.
To wish for hope in Palestine is to revolt against all manner of subjugation of the Palestinians. That’s why we must strive for a radical hope that is liberative and offers freedom for all.
Martin Luther King Jr words remind us: “No one is free until we all are all free.”
Are the Zionists getting it? Israel’s jubilation is premature.
This end-of-the-year piece is a reaction to an article “Are the Palestinians getting it”? by Giulio Meotti an Italian journalist with Il FoglioMeotti, author of the book “A New Shoah”. That researches the personal stories of Israel’s so-called ‘terror victims’. Meotti is an unabashed Zionist sympathizer. In his article Meotti takes a cynical view of Palestinian and Arab responses to Donald Trump’s thoughtless proclamation that recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel. With the cynicism of a hard core Zionist Meotti mocks the Palestinians saying: “Israel is stronger than they are.” He then pokes fun at the Palestinians saying that their expectations have fallen far short of their estimations citing how the skies have not fallen, the gates of hell have not opened, and the Middle East has not plunged into chaos. It was the pro-Israel western media that had forecast this representation in their trivial and racist analysis prior to the announcement. Meotti compares the situation in the post-Trump announcement and its aftermath to events during the Second Intifada. It is as if that was what he wanted to see happening. He suggests in a contemptuous way how, while in the Second Intifada there was visible struggle and virtual war with Israeli tanks fighting snipers, rockets, and suicide bombers, all that is missing. His eyes obviously see what they choose to see and go to blind to what he does not want to know. He reduces the resistance to the Trump announcement as relatively mute or even nothing- Just a handful of rock throwing kids in action, he muses. He is openly amused by the absence of a mass uprising. He misses the nuances of Palestinian circumstances.
Meotti’s vibrant celebratory writing is an affront to those who believe that in this Trump-Jerusalem episode there are several fundamental questions that he is incapable of answering simply because his narrow partisan mind has no place for facts and analysis. He has concluded his celebrations Israel’s tentative win. He is wholly satisfied that the army of the reprehensible and crude fascist Zionists is prevailing over the relatively unarmed Palestinians. In short he is celebrating jungle law- the survival of the fittest. Meotti has already declared an Israeli victory not acknowledging that it is a battle won, and not a war completed. The issue of international law, the legitimacy of UN resolutions, Israel’s disregard for human rights law, and regard for global democracy are all factors that he has emptied his mind of. Meotti’s article is a piece of outrageous and sneering jingoistic journalism to say the least! Meotti has a short term view when he says that it is Europe that faces problems of Trump’s decision because it is the streets of Europe, and not Israel or the West bank that are full of people who are chanting “Intifada”, “No to Zionism” and “Palestinian Resistance”. He is unthinkingly blocking his trivia-filled mind with the fact that the resistance is growing to be global in scope. And, that protests in Europe and elsewhere are protests of that part of humanity that understand and strives for justice.
Palestinians never expected Israel to pack and leave with the protests that might follow Trump’s announcement. Nor do they think that the problem will end when Mahmoud Abbas steps away- much as that is a desirable option. In his racist arrogance, Meotti fails to note that Israel has illegally jailed many of Palestinian civil society’s most effective political animators as well as influential political leaders. They have used an array of bizarre charges under administrative detention – a practice that should be outlawed because it is blatantly against acceptable human rights standards. In short, Israel has done worse than some of the most horrendous dictatorships in suppressing dissent and protest despite its claims to be the ‘only democracy’ in the region. This has been their chicken-brain pre-emptive strategy to avoid being challenged for their illegalities.
To Meotti one must say: “The wall is not too high nor is the IDF invincible”. Every passing day demonstrates defiance against both the IDF, the Wall, and every obstacle placed against the Palestinians. In the end it will be political ethics and morals that define the fate of nations. Empires fall and the Israeli colonialist project supported by countries that have practiced colonialism for almost all of their recent history will also trip, tumble, and fall sooner than later. The once seemingly invincible British Empire went into oblivion in a relatively short time. America was driven out of Vietnam by a seemingly under equipped set of guerillas. Dictators have fallen in the aftermath of sustained peoples movements. The politics of cruelty, theft, and hounding seemingly weaker oppositions falls on its own.
Israel is a case of political stench. Labor, Likud, or any of the smaller parties- Left, Right, or centre are all guided by the same political instincts, namely to oppress the Palestinians and keep them enslaved. Each of them is Zionist, self-declared or not with variations in degree and commonality of character. They are all part and parcel of the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the ‘historic Land of Israel’, or the Holy Land, the region of Palestine, as they would describe it.
Sure, the Palestinians have fouled up their own political fortunes with inept leadership. Mahmoud Abbas is too corrupt and devoid of charisma and competence to confront Israel. He has also his glaring self-interests. Arafat had his own charisma and influence globally and, for as long as he was alive, Palestinians had some chance. And yet, Arafat must also be blamed for an erroneous start post-Oslo – wrong choice of leaders, wide spread corruption and lack of unity.
Hamas has had to cope with an image issue with the western media labeling it a ‘terror outfit’. The western media is so jaundiced eyed they cannot see the social movement dimensions of Hamas- the very factor that makes it a popular political choice and challenge to the PLO. Hamas has not abdicated its right to armed struggle (permissible under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Palestine is after all, occupied and citizens of the land have every right to fight back to repossess what was snatched away under war-like conditions. They do not need western approval. Elections are long overdue in Palestine and western nations who swear by the significance of democracy won’t push Abbas to conduct them. Their fear is that Hamas will repeat win again because it has a wider mass base than any other political entity in Palestine.
Meanwhile, Hamas has now chosen a pragmatic option – to make the needed political compromise and hand Gaza back to the PA to rule. Its political guess is that the PLO’s ineptness will guarantee it a victory when an election comes along. Their bargain is long term. Wise politics!
Are the Zionists getting all this? Recent UN decisions have shown that the world has seen through the manipulations and incoherence in global policy making with regard to the Middle East as a whole. Israel survives by the sheer skin of its teeth – a veto from the USA. In other words, Israel has some 10 friendly nations at best and another handful that can be bullied and bribed by the USA because they are enslaved economies. Clearly, Israel lives in international isolation.
Meotti may also want to study the recent movement to regain control of the Al Aqsa mosque as recently as July 2017 before he runs ahead with his jubilance. It was not an army of the PA, but a people’s movement relatively weaker in military capacity than the Israeli army which won back control of Al Aqsa. It was small protests against the Israeli-imposed restrictions in different towns and cities in the occupied West Bank that sparked off a massive movement.
History is replete with examples of how the fusion of small struggles can destroy an edifice. It is also abounding with examples of how the mighty can be brought down with a determined and sustained people’s struggle that have a moral case to make. Israel is not an impregnable wall. The Wall will fall. The bypass roads will be bypassed by a mass movement. An international solidarity movement will make further inroads into a dependent and fragile Israeli political system to cripple the Israeli economy. The BDS Movement will be the backbone this international movement. There will then emerge political repercussions given how the political divide within Israel is so undefined. Each political group will trample over each other to claim political power and space and the inner conflict in Israel could well spell political chaos. Already, the reverse-migration is mounting with secular Jews returning saying they had not bargained for the insecurity and chaos that Israel now mirrors.
So, in the aftermath of Trump’s political gaffe, things are not actually realigned. On the contrary it has probably prompted an uprising of a global nature. In faraway lands where people had never bothered too much about Palestine-Israel, there is an upshot of anger about Trump, USA and Israel. The arrogance and imperialistic outlook of empire has unsettled the silent and apathetic and the streets are humming with pro-Palestine actions. Small countries who were threatened with punitive measures if they voted in the UN in favor of Palestine not only defied the US but snubbed it with stubborn rejection. Suddenly The USA is alone. And when the USA is alone, so is Israel.
Are the Zionists and their political stooges getting it? Perhaps not- as yet! Arrogance is the root of political short sightedness. Israel and the USA are prematurely celebrating what they think is a victory.