Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Palestinian Resistance 101

The Palestinians Right & Duty to Resist by Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 26/10/14

"Imagine you're the Palestinians. Perhaps residents of East Jerusalem. Forty-seven difficult years are behind you; a big, depressing darkness lies ahead. The Israeli tyrant that dooms your fate declares arrogantly that everything will stay like this forever. Your city will remain under occupation 'forever and ever.' The defense minister, second in importance in the government that subjugates you, says a Palestinian state will never be established.

"Imagine you're Palestinian and your children are in danger. Two days ago, the occupation forces killed another child because 'he lit a firebomb.' The words 'Death to Arabs' were sprayed near your home. Everywhere you turn, a soldier or Border Police officer may shout at you. Every night, your home may be invaded brutally. You will never be treated like human beings. They'll destroy, humiliate, intimidate, perhaps even arrest you, possibly without trial.

"There are close to 500 administrative detainees, a record number in recent years. If one of your dear ones is arrested, you will have difficulty visiting him. If you succeed, you'll get half an hour's conversation through a glass window. If your dear one is an administrative detainee, you will never know when he'll be released. But these are trivia you grew accustomed to long ago.

"Maybe you've also grown accustomed to the land theft. At any moment a settler can invade your land, burn your orchard or torch your fields. He will not be brought to trial for this; the soldiers who are supposed to protect you will stand idly by. At any moment, a demolition order or random eviction order may appear. There's nothing you can do.

"Imagine you're the Palestinians. You can't leave Gaza and its not easy to leave the West Bank either. The beach, less than an hour's drive from your West Bank home, is beyond the mountains of darkness. An Israeli can go to Tierra del Fuego, between Argentina and Chile, much more easily than you can go to the beach at Ajami. There are no dreams, no wishes. Your children have a slim chance of accomplishing anything in life, even if they go to university. All they can look forward to is a life of humiliation and unemployment.

"There's no chance that this situation is about to change anytime soon. Israel is strong, the United States is in its pocket, your leadership is weak (the Palestinian Authority) and isolated (Hamas), and the world is losing interest in your fate. What do you do?

"There are two possibilities. The first is to accept, give in, give up. The second is to resist. Whom have we respected more in history? Those who passed their days under the occupation and collaborated with it, or those who struggled for their freedom?

"Imagine you're a Palestinian. You have every right to resist. In fact, it's your civil duty. No argument there. The occupied people's right to resist occupation is secured in natural justice, in the morals of history and in international law.

"The only restrictions are on the means of resistance. The Palestinians have tried almost all of them, for better and worse - negotiations and terror; with a carrot and with a stick; with a stone and with bombs; in demonstrations and in suicide. All in vain. Are they to despair and give up? This has almost never happened in history, so they'll continue. Sometimes they'll use legitimate means, sometimes vile ones. It's their right to resist.

"Now they're resisting in Jerusalem. They don't want Israeli rule, or people who set live children on fire. They don't want armed settlers who invade their apartments in the middle of the night, under the Israeli law's protection, and evict them. They don't want a municipality that grants its services according to national affiliation, or judges that sentence their children according to their origin. They also go nuts when the house of a Jewish terrorist is not demolished, while the house of a Palestinian will be torn down.

"They don't want Israel to continue tyrannizing them, so they resist. They hurl stones and firebombs. That's what resistance looks like. Sometimes they act with heinous murderousness, but even that is not as bad as their occupier's built-in violence. It's their right; it's their duty."


Anonymous said...

Imagine row if an Australian journalist handed this article to his editor and the editor published it.

The facts are beyond dispute but that would be beside the point.It would not raise an eyebrow if the article related to, say, Burma or some Arab country.

In our great democracy, the so called land of free speech, we have to ask why.

Anonymous said...

If Gideon Levy came to Australia and, exercising his right to free speech, shouting these comments from the proverbial rooftops, could he be arrested under the proposed new laws aimed at free speech?

How about if the article was republished by some political group, would there be a knock on the door in the middle of the night by the thought police?

Are the Palestinians the only occupied people in the world prohibited from exercising their right to resist the occupier and "to take the fight to the territory of the occupier" as enshrined by the Geneva Conventions?

Of course bigots and Bogans will be free to say whatever they like about the enemys de jour without fear, [you know those who are counted in the growing list of the enemys de jour]. Hello Vlad, G'day Mohammed.

The Bogans will be part of Ugly Team Australia, as the old team has come to be known since the takeover and the change of coach.

Selective justice is in fact injustice.