Saturday, January 17, 2009

No choice but to resist...

Operation Defensive Shield (29/3/02-21/4/02) was Israel's last major military rampage in the West Bank. The Israeli terrorist forces used the most advanced weaponry at their disposal: Merkava tanks, Apache attack helicopters and F-15 fighter jets. When it was over, the economic and social structure of the West Bank lay in ruins, homes were destroyed, 220 Palestinians were dead, hundreds more were injured, and thousands were imprisoned. The following words, from Palestinian writer and academic Edward Said (1935-2003) and poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008), written during the operation, are as relevant today as they were then. I dedicate them to the Resistance and people of Gaza:-

"The most important lesson for all of us to understand about ourselves is manifest in the terrible tragedies of what Israel is now doing in the Occupied Territories. The fact is that we are a people and a society, and despite Israel's ferocious attack against the Palestinian Authority, our society still functions. We are a people because we have a functioning society that goes on - and has gone on for the past 54 years - despite every sort of abuse, every cruel turn of history, every misfortune we have suffered, every tragedy we have gone through as a people. Our greatest victory over Israel is that peole like Sharon and his kind do not have the capacity to see that, and this is why they are doomed despite their great power and their awful, inhuman cruelty. We have surmounted the tragedies and memories of our past, whereas such Israelis as Sharon have not. He will go to his grave only as an Arab-killer and a failed politician who brought more unrest and insecurity to his people. It must surely be the legacy of a leader that he should have something behind upon which future generations will build. Sharon, Shaul Mofaz, and all the others associated with them in this bullying, sadistic campaign of death and carnage will leave nothing except gravestones. Negation breeds negation. As Palestinians, I think we can say we have left a vision and a society that has survived every attempt to kill it. And that is something. It is for the generation of my children and yours to go on from there, critically, rationally, with hope and forbearance." (From Thinking Ahead, Al-Ahram, 4/4/02)

"This is a war for war's sake, since it has no other aim than its self-perpetuation. Everyone knows this; and once again, the sword will prove incapable of crushing the spirit... In every corner crimes are being committed. On every street lie the bodies of the murdered. On every wall is blood. The living are deprived of the basic right to life, and the martyrs are denied graves in which to rest in peace. Above all, however, what we are now seeing is the expression of the will of a people that has no choice but to resist... Television has made it unecessary to explain ourselves: now our blood is shed in every home and is on every conscience. From this day on, he who does not become Palestinian in his heart will never understand his true moral identity... In the face of the political genocide being offered by the American-funded Israeli occupation of their land, [the Palestinians] offer their steadfast resistance no matter what the cost. Backs against the wall, their eyes fixed upon hope, they show a strength of spirit for which their can be no facile explanation... What concerns us is the defence of our national and human existence - even if our backs are up against the wall. We have absolutely no other option." (From A War for War's Sake, Al-Ahram, 11/4/02)

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