From Gaza to Jerusalem: a culture of defiance

From Gaza to Jerusalem: a culture of defiance
5 min read
26 Nov, 2014
Israel's cruel and illegal suppression of Palestinians will only ever increase resistance, and the international community must be forced to act to prevent a new Nakba.
Resistance to Israeli comes in many forms [Getty]

Binyamin Netanyahu has accused Mahmoud Abbas of incitement and has vowed to expel Jerusalemites from their city - this after he committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza. In other words, we are about to enter a new Nakba that could be even worse than 1948.

This will only be prevented when the international community ends its conspiracy of silence. But statements made by western leaders suggest that is not at all likely.

The expulsion of Palestinians will solve neither Israel’s problems nor the crisis into which Netanyahu has plunged himself and Israel. Expulsion will instead create more trouble for neighbouring Arab countries. Netanyahu’s actions throw into doubt Israel's position as a state which offers security and prosperity to world Jewry.

The culture of resistance in the occupied territories has gained such tremendous momentum that, instead of being an exception, it has today become the rule. Many expect that resistance culture to spread to neighbouring countries exactly as the culture of the Intifada spread across the region.

Moreover the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, is a new form of resistance that confronts the US protection of Israel and targets a system of globalisation that supports oppression, dictatorship and corruption.

Unequal and unjust war

The "violence" in Palestine is not between equals. As the late Edward Said put it, there is a colonial state turning its great power against a stateless and unarmed indigenous people.

     Palestinians have been at the receiving end of merciless assaults ... what are they to do if not intensify resistance?


What is left for the Palestinian people now that the Israeli army, perhaps one of the top three in the world, has bombed and shot Gaza and parts of the West Bank into submission?

More than two decades of "negotiations" have created only non-contiguous bantustans, and when Palestinians ask for the implementation of international law, they are repeatedly and inaccurately accused of having refused many "generous offers".

Palestinians have been at the receiving end of merciless assaults by Israeli troops safe in their helicopter gunships, fighter jets and Merkava tanks. What are they to do if not intensify resistance?

The US government considers the killing of Palestinians by tank shells and missiles "legitimate". It labels what Palestinians call "martyrdom operations" by youngsters living in despair as a result of the relentless oppression and power imbalance as "terrorist attacks".

A catastophic policy

Netanyahu therefore has free rein to launch genocidal attacks against Palestinians, whose deaths the US says are "collateral damage" and a result of Israel's "right to self-defence".

Obama’s administration does not have a workable plan to resolve the crisis in the Middle East. John Kerry has only been trying to reach a deal which aligns with Israeli conditions but which is not linked to a clear political programme based on Security Council resolutions and international legitimacy.

The logical outcome of this biased - even antagonistic - US position, and the lack of will to find a just solution and peace, is catastrophic for Palestinians in the short term.

Furthermore, the US and international conspiracy of silence will lead to more radicalism in the region and to the silencing of genuine moderate voices. The likes of the Islamic State group have started gaining heroic auras. The oppressed Palestinian and Arab peoples can no longer accept the US double standard with the continuing massacres and humiliation.

The Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip has not stopped resistance - it has intensified it. Israel has won almost all of its previous wars against Arab regimes, but has lost against resistance and liberation movements. It will surely lose the war against the Palestinian resistance and will be forced to withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank unconditionally. Its apartheid system will collapse just as its South African model crumbled in 1994.

The Arab response

Shamefully, Arab presidents and kings, in the comfort of their palaces, could come up with no better way to help their Palestinian brothers and sisters than a reconstruction plan for Gaza that rewards the aggressor Israel. This while Gazans and Jerusalemites are slaughtered by Israel on a daily basis.

Arab states, including the so-called "progressive" countries, busy themselves with condemnation of Israeli attacks while begging Obama to intervene and Netanyahu to soften his brutality, while Palestinians sacrifice their blood and their lives for the dignity and honour of not only Palestinians but the entire Arab nation.

The tide of resistance will not stop, even if Israel expels some Jerusalemites or carries out a new genocidal war on Gaza. Such actions would set alight the entire Jewish state with flames of resistance spreading everywhere. Israel’s three genocidal wars on Gaza, its current onslaught on Jerusalem, and all the crimes it has committed since 1948, have created a tinderbox of anger and frustration.

The resistance we have seen in response to events in Jerusalem show that the oppressed Palestinians have decided to fight fire with fire.

Israel and its sponsors would do well to understand this fire for what it is: a call for Israel to be held accountable. The international community can stop this fire by boycotting Israel until it complies with international law.

BDS is the mechanism through which ordinary citizens, corporates and states can force accountability on Israel, which will ultimately lead to justice and self-determination for the Palestinian people.

It has become a culture of resistance exactly like that established against the apartheid regime of South Africa. It is only a matter of time before BDS succeeds in creating the conditions that will force the powers that be to hold Israel accountable.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of al-Araby a-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.