Our Beacon Forum

Gaza Freedom Flotilla
By:Mazin Qumsiyeh, Occupied Palestine
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2018, 10:36 pm

[Please share these important links and sorry for sending two messages in
one day, usually one message a week is sent]

One day, when picketing the White House in Opposition to the Vietnam war, a
journalist asked A. J. Muste: "Why do you demonstrate in the rain? Do you
think you will change the country this way?" "No," replied Muste, "I don't
do this to change the country. I do this so the country doesn't change me."

Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2018 https://freedomflotilla.org/

BDS Victory: WA Court Dismisses Seven-Year Lawsuit Over Boycott of Israeli
Goods
https://ccrjustice.org/home/press-center/press-releases/wa-court-dismisses-seven-year-lawsuit-over-boycott-israeli-goods

Congratulations Durham, NC first US city to ban police exchanges with
apartheid Israel (thse police exchanges cause militarization of US police
forces and allows them to shoot more blacks in the same way that Israel
shoots Palestinians https://secure.everyaction.com/otiWElra0kaHdtALZBYQig2

Boycott Starbucks: Its chairman is a racist supporter of apartheid Israel
and it has just decided to hire the ADL (a racist organization that works
against arabs and muslims in America) to brainwash Starbuck’s employees to
be like the ADL: hateful. http://jvp.org/starbucks

Palestinian Mental Health Workers Statement regarding IARPP Conference June
2019
https://ukpalmhn.com/2018/02/13/palestinian-mental-health-workers-statement-regarding-iarpp-conference-june-2019/

Browse this remarkable website BDS South Africa
http://www.bdssouthafrica.com/

Over 850 Israeli soldiers did break the silence and tell us about what they
were ordered to do by the fascist Israeli regime:
http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/

This article of mine was just published and is relevant to developments
today
in “Moment Of Truth: Tackling Israel-Palestine’s Toughest Questions” Jamie
Stern-Weiner (editor) . OR Books.
http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/moment-of-truth/

Is a new intifada possible? By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Decades of Zionist colonialism transformed the Palestinian people from
among the most economically and educationally advanced in Western Asia to
among its most dependent and desperate. Seven million of us are refugees or
displaced people. Many thousands have been killed. This begs the question:
how can a people in such a position resist and overcome? In 2010, I
published a book on the subject.[1] It focused on the victories
and accomplished of Palestinian resistance, and projected a very optimistic
note. The events of the past five years—not least among them, the
destruction and disarray in the Arab world; the disastrous impotence and
complicity of the United Nations in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere; the
ascendance of belligerent populism around the world, including the United
States—have cast a heavy shadow on this optimism. But Palestinians under
occupation do not have the luxury of despair.

Resistance to colonialism never develops in a linear fashion. Any struggle
goes through peaks and troughs, and suffers regressions even as it
advances. Palestinians call such escalations of resistance intifada, or
uprisings. In South Africa under apartheid, there were perhaps 14 or 15
such uprisings before the system collapsed. Focused on the short term, many
Palestinians and international observers focus on the symptoms of this
conflict and thus feel despondent. Others look at the situation and see
that it is near boiling point. In my view, one has to take a longer
perspective.

The Palestinian struggle is today at a low-point. The Oslo process set in
motion in 1993 has given Israel much, including international recognition,
regional economic integration, a subservient Palestinian Authority which
acts as a sub-contractor to the occupation, and, most importantly, time and
diplomatic space to dramatically expand its colonial presence in the OPT.
Even now, a full quarter-century after the “peace process” began, and
notwithstanding its manifest and acknowledged bankruptcy, international
powers use it as a pretext to avoid action. The European states condemn
Israel’s occupation in words while enabling it in practice. As for the
United States, President Obama dropped 26,000 bombs in 2016 on seven
different countries,[2] and we do not expect better from President Trump.
Nor do Arab leaders inspire hope: Palestinian President Abbas believes in
talking for the sake of talking, while the King of Saudi Arabia is
preoccupied with bombing hospitals and schools in Yemen.

In other words, the conditions for revolution are in place:

1) The Palestinian factional leaderships are disconnected from the people’s
needs and thoughts; enjoy little popular legitimacy, and attract great and
growing popular resentment.

2) Most people have given up on political structures and international
diplomacy; Palestinians today realize that the so-called “peace process” is
an industry of empty talk and serious profit for elites.

3) The colonizer-occupier is so confident that the natives are under
“control” that it has become complacent and reckless, killing unarmed
demonstrators and demolishing homes as collective punishment. At the time
of writing, Israel just decided to deport from Jerusalem 12 family members
of a Palestinian who killed four soldiers while they were illegally
occupying East Jerusalem (under international law, this constitute
legitimate resistance). Such gratuitous provocations can accelerate the
arrival of uprisings.

4) The international community does not attach importance or urgency to
Palestinian suffering, and, driven by its own interests, has become
complicit in the crime.

These conditions were present before every one of the uprisings in
Palestine.[3] For example, in 1936 the Palestinian political scene was, as
it is today, divided into multiple competing factions (most of which—like
Hizb Al-Istiqlal, Hizb Al-Difa’, Al-Hizb Al-Arabi, Mu’tamar Al-Shabab, Hizb
Al-Islah, and Hizb Al-Kutal Al-Wataniya—did not long survive, and have been
forgotten). In the years leading up to the 1936 revolt, the British
authorities and Zionist movement felt secure in their control, having
suppressed the 1929 uprising and integrated many Palestinian elites into
subordinate positions in the Mandatory administration. (The 1929 uprising
itself came in a context of widespread collaboration by Palestinian
institutions—including the Palestinian police—with the Mandatory
authorities.) By 1936, the White Paper of 1930[4] was already fading into
memory, and the years 1920 to 1936 had seen a near doubling of the
colonial settler Jewish population. The British government and underground
Jewish terror organizations like the Haganah and Irgun were straining to
transform the multi-cultural and multi-religious Palestine into Eretz
Yisrael, as the prelude to a Jewish state. Analogous conditions prevailed
before the outbreaks of the first and second intifadas in 1987 and 2000,
respectively, and we see them again today. Lack of trust in Palestinian
authorities; a divided and complicit leadership; an ever-more arrogant and
flagrantly repressive occupation, and increasing Palestinian
isolation—these conditions are always cited by skeptics as factors
preventing an uprising, but history shows that they in fact they promote it.

It is normal to experience lulls between uprisings. This partly reflects
the generational character of waves of resistance. Palestinians have gone
through 14 uprisings in 130 years—a rate of about one a decade. The next
one is overdue. Let us hope it will be the last. Palestine is the world’s
sole remaining unresolved case of colonialism, and it will most likely be
settled in the same manner as it has been in more than 140 other countries:
by sharing the land, and agreeing to coexist. Until this freedom and
equality is achieved, Palestinians will continue to resist.
________________________________
[1] Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope
and Empowerment (London: Pluto Press, 2010).
[2] Micah Zenko, “How Many Bombs Did the United States Drop in 2016?,”
Council on Foreign Relations (5 January 2017, http://tinyurl.com/hkj3swg.
[3] See Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance.
[4] The 1930 Passfield White Paper was the result of British inquiry
ordered in the wake of the 1929 revolt. It recommended restricting Jewish
immigration into Palestine.

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
http://qumsiyeh.org
http://palestinenature.org
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