Following the latest genocidal attack on apartheid Israel, some serious questions have once again been raised about the usefulness of the resistance and whether or not the outcome of the war can be considered a victory for the Palestinian people. These same issues arose in 2009, 2012 and 2014, when Israel launched massive attacks on Gaza, and even during the 2018 Non-Violent Return March, when Palestinians marched towards the fence in the around the Strip and were killed by sniper shootings and deaths.
Some “liberals” resorted to the usual proclamations, blaming the “two sides of the conflict,” namely the colonizer and the colonized, and concluded that the Palestinians should stop firing rockets from Gaza.
Once again, these same “neutral” voices challenged us on the same definition of resistance. They do not see, for ideological reasons, that resistance, broadly speaking, is not only the ability to fight a more powerful military oppressor, but also the ability to creatively resist the colonization of the land. They do not understand the power of people, in our case, the “sumud” (firmness), not even to see that it exists.
In other words, they accept Israel’s narrative, where there are “two sides to the conflict” with equal military power and moral standing. They reject the reality that this is a colonialist and apartheid project of Western-backed settlers that the Palestinian people are resisting. They also ignore all our moral “weapons”: that we are natives of the earth, that we have an international law that supports our demands, that we have high moral ground, and increasingly the support of international civil society and others.
Edward Said once said that the intellectual is supposed to be “someone who cannot be easily co-opttable by governments or corporations and who has as his reason to be to represent all those people and issues that are forgotten or swept away. routinely under the carpet. ”
The “liberal” voices that have been condemning Palestinian “violence” in the latest apartheid confrontation with Israel are anti-intellectual. They refuse to see that Palestinians can be agents of change in their present and future. They are ideologically incapable of recognizing the Palestinian agency because they refuse to respect the will of the people as expressed in the popular support given to the resistance in its various forms: in Gaza, the West Bank and the areas Israel occupied during the its creation in 1948.
Nor can they see the Palestinian victory over apartheid Israel in recent events. They side with the fascist and Israeli ruling class that believes it “won” because they killed a large number of “terrorists”: 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, 39 women and 17 elderly people.
However, none of the so-called “goals” of the Israeli war in Gaza: to end the rocket from Gaza and destroy the tunnels used by the resistance and overshadow any form of unity between Jerusalem and Gaza – has not been achieved. Rockets are still being launched and the resistance movement has proven strong enough to respond to the call to action of Sheikh Jarrah’s Jerusalemites who are facing imminent ethnic cleansing by Israel.
As one frustrated Israeli pilot, who bombed Gaza, said in an interview for Israeli Channel 12: “I went on a mission to carry out airstrikes with the feeling that destroying towers is a way to avoid frustration so we passes. and for the success of the groups in Gaza by kicking us … We failed to stop the rocket and hurt the leadership of those groups, so we destroyed the towers. “
But more importantly, Gaza 2021 shatters the carefully constructed and zealously defended myths that Israel has been promoting for decades: that it has the “most moral” army in the world; that his Iron Dome is invincible; and that the Palestinians are just “Arabs” who do not have a common identity and would give up their claim to the land once the old generations are exhausted.
It is obvious that these “neutral voices” blaming “both sides” are under the “spell” of these myths and that is why they see the Palestinian resistance as “unjustified violence” and “terrorism”. But as the Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire wrote in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed:
“With the establishment of a relationship of oppression, the violence has already begun. Never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed. How could the initiators be, if they themselves are the result of violence? … He would not have been oppressed if there had not been any previous situation of violence to establish his subjugation. Violence is initiated by those who oppress, who exploit, who do not recognize others as people, not by those who are oppressed, exploited and unrecognized. “
It is clear to everyone except the Western Liberals and the Israeli elite that the Palestinians have emerged from the protests across historic Palestine and the victorious attack on Gaza.
These events put an end to the famous “agreement of the century” by stating that the Palestinians will not give up their claim to Jerusalem, put another key in the coffin of the fictitious two-state solution and brought liberation and the rights of third-class Palestinian citizens of Israel and five million refugees return to the top of the international community’s agenda. They have also highlighted a new Palestinian consciousness that challenges the haphazard hegemony of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
The new consciousness formed by the Sumud and the Palestinian resistance is clearly characterized by a rejection of the conditions imposed by apartheid Israel on the three components of the Palestinian people, residents of Gaza and the West Bank, the Palestinians in the territories occupied by Israel in 1948 and refugees. living in fields and in the diaspora. More importantly, it is a rejection of the crumbs offered as a reward for good behavior to a select minority of Palestinians.
We have been told that we accept the Israeli occupation in its ugliest form: the apartheid wall, settlements, checkpoints, segregated roads, color-coded license plates, forced evictions, and demolitions. of houses, “security coordination”, arrests, torture and imprisonment, or imposing a medieval blockade on us and being periodically bombed against death and oblivion.
But the response from Gaza, Jerusalem, Lydda, Haifa and the rest of historic Palestine this spring was very clear: the Palestinian people will not be reduced to just those living in the occupied territories of 1967. We are witnessing a paradigm shift since separatism , as represented by the two-state solution – which seeks to establish a Palestinian Bantustan and deny the rights of millions to their land – towards full Palestinian unity.
It is true that the Palestinian victory was very costly, but it was decisive. The Palestinian people imposed themselves on the apartheid regime armed to the teeth and their Iron Dome made in the United States breaking their own “Mental Dome”. Palestine after Gaza 2021 will not be like Palestine before. The Palestinians have begun to decolonize their minds away from the “peace process” and the racist two-state solution and, with their sumud, have brought the aggregate Palestinian Zionist regime to its knees.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.