Palestine Update 106
Thoughts and views on emerging futures
In this issue of Palestine Updates, we bring you a collection of some very insightful analysis of issues from 2017 written by Ramzy Baroud. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).
Each of these articles does not merely describe a single situation. Instead, they point to wide-ranging options that Palestinians must choose if they are to forge a credible and viable formula for their self-liberation from the clutches of a regime that will not easily assent to part with the asymmetry it has acquired through its colonialist-racist practices and policies.
In the aftermath of ‘the Naksa’, Palestinians have steadily lost ground. Spurred by its military triumph in 1967, Israel is daily rewriting the contours of history by creating facts-on-the ground with a rapidity based on the creation of illegal laws, land grab, and a host of bullying tactics. As Baroud puts it, Israel has assumed this kind of political posture by adopting methods that reflects its “newfound power”.
It has crossed that line and now subjugates millions of its inhabitants, and deems them as virtually “non-people”. Baroud reminds us how former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir notoriously declared that Palestinians “didn’t exist” and that “there is no such a thing as a Palestinian people”. Baroud observes that this comment was patently “far more dangerous than a mere racist comment…If Palestinians “existed” in Israel’s imagination, there could never be any moral justification for the creation of Israel; no spin could be powerful enough to rejoice at the birth of the Israeli “miracle” that “made the desert bloom”.
Fast forward to 2018! Two Intifadas and several wars of aggression in The Gaza Strip by Israel, the Wall, indiscriminate settlement activity, and monumental land thefts to comply with Israel’s expansionist, appropriation of heritage and culture, colonialist schemes mark its trace. Israel is now a fascist regime in totality. It enslaves entire peoples, disenfranchises them, and is moving towards, not just in Palestine. It looks to destabilize the entire region by eliminating any country or ruler who demonstrates the audacity to defy Israel’s supremacist designs. The aggression of Israel’s intent is leading in the direction of evident trends towards ethnic cleansing. Its model of occupation is upheld by military domination and sheer propaganda.
Recent happenings have dampened the hopes of the Palestinian people prompting even the most radical of thinkers and activists to ponder capitulation. The UN has been one such space with powerful resolutions emanating from this august body. In their despair, Palestinians often refer to these resolutions as brave words that lack teeth and bite. But that is a pessimism which cannot and should not hold who seek freedom from their occupiers. This is in sharp contrast to rising resistance internationally. That itself must impel into forms of civil disobedience that frustrate Israel’s evil designs. Israeli territory and especially occupied territory must be made ungovernable. You cannot drop shoulders and demonstrate near-surrender when the enemy is taking strident measures knowing that their intimidation tactics are working. Freedom has never been won by benign disapproval. The ruling classes and the privileged ruling clique have often shunned militancy under the somewhat dubious idea that non-violence is bad. To strike back is legitimate especially since the consequences of such action are to eliminate a still greater evil. Outsiders to the situation, western media, and religious institutions would rather choose the easy way out and slam violence in a manner of romantic politicization. This is rank cowardice. Israel learned from Hamas fighters that even an infinitely less armed group of fighters with crude weapons could force Israel to call a cease-fire. And only because of a coward international community does Israel not yet find its barbaric military and political leaders tried and jailed by the ICC.
For a peaceful vision to replace the current state of conquest, it will require a deliberate strategy which is carefully and strategically constructed. The grassroots will always be the core of such a strategy – the Palestinians must define the goals. Solidarity from the international community and will depend on what level, country, region, or sector the action happens. There it is that hope lies. Today, more Jewish voices are joining Palestinian intellectuals to re-chart the roots of the Palestinian struggle.
Israel worries that a mounting movement among Palestinians, Israelis and others around the world has been pushing for a paradigm shift in order to understand the roots of the conflict in Palestine. They have declared the demise “two-state solution”. Israel is frantic. It has assumed the worst form of atrocities, both in legislative terms and military methods. Its legislative norms fail to meet international benchmarks. It has found what the Zionist clan refers to, as, ‘self-hating Jews’ to punish along the way! Notwithstanding, those Jews who challenge the official Israeli narrative are in increasing numbers. Israel’s coercive methods have driven it to a state of self-siege. Each repressive measure is meeting with defiance and open resentment. And these are elements that are laying foundations for the ultimate assault against the Zionist barbaric escapade. (Useful here to define barbaric from the Webster dictionary as: relating to, or characteristic of a group of people who are alien to another land, culture, or people…
Seven decades since the Nakba, Israel finds itself muddling through its sordid past.
What follows are precious resources from a respected commentator. Do read and disseminate.
What is next for Palestine?
Palestine18 January 2018
Fourteen Palestinian intellectuals tell us about the way forward for Palestine.
‘Children of the stones’: the day Palestine was reborn
Palestine 8 December 2017
Thirty years ago today, Palestinians took the first step to reclaim their identity and stand up to their oppressors.
How a missing ‘the’ enabled Israeli occupation
Palestine21 November 2017
The wording of UN Resolution 242 helped Israel justify its occupation of Palestinian land
The 2014 war through the eyes of Gaza’s youth
Gaza: After the war14 September 2017
Six young people from Gaza share their thoughts and experiences living under siege
The Israel Lobby vs the First Amendment
United States15 August 2017
The Congress’ attempt to ban the BDS movement is an attack on core democratic values of the US.
Nakba forever internalized among exiled Palestinians
Gaza 30 July 2017
Beyond the boundaries of memory, geography and trauma, the Nakba is a focal point in Palestinians’ ongoing tragedy.
How Israel’s violent birth destroyed Palestine
Al Nakba1 May 2017
Nearly 70 years after the founding of Israel, the past is still looming large