Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What is to be Done?

Palestinian Solidarity in a Time of Massacres

A Long Piece With A Lot Of Ideas
(I encourage reading the entire piece)

(From a talk for the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in Edinburgh)

"Let's face it; while the Palestinian and Arab resistance evolves into an absolute example of the ultimate heroism and collective patriotism, the Palestinian solidarity movement in the UK and around the world is not exactly what could be called a profound success story. In fact, it would be erroneous to state that this is really the fault of those who dedicate their time and energy to it. Supporting the Palestinians is a complicated subject. Though the crimes against the Palestinians have taken place in broad daylight and are not some well-kept secret, the priorities of the solidarity movement are far from being clear.

I maintain that Palestinian people are largely divided into three main groups and it is actually this division that dictates three different political narratives, with three different political discourses and agendas to consider.

Apparently, the Palestinian discourse is fragmented. It is divided into at least three different, sometimes opposing discourses. Cleverly, not to mention mercilessly, on their behalf, it is the Israelis who maintain this very state of fragmentation. It is the Israelis who manage to stop the Palestinian political and cultural discourse from integrating into a single grand solid narrative. How do they do it? They apply different tactics that maintain the isolation and conflict between the three distinct groups. Within the State of Israel the Israelis maintain a racially orientated legal system that turns the Israeli Palestinians into 10th class citizens. When PA inhabitants are concerned, the Israeli military maintains solid and constant pressure on the civilian population. Gaza is kept starving, it is bombed on a daily basis. Some of it is flattened. More than a few observers regard the situation in the PA as nothing but slow extermination and genocide.

Paradoxically enough, the more pain the Israelis inflict on any of the groups, the further the Palestinians get from establishing a grand narrative of resistance. Similarly, the more vicious the Israelis are, the further the Palestinian Solidarity movement is getting from establishing a unified agenda of activism. Indeed the Palestinian solidarity campaigner is confused and asks himself what campaign to choose. Who should be supported? The division of the Palestinian discourse into three conflicting narratives makes the issue of solidarity rather complicated.

This is exactly where Zionism is maintaining its hegemony within the Palestinian solidarity discourse. It is Israeli brutality that dictates a state of ideological fragmentation upon the Palestinian solidarity discourse. Whatever decision the Palestinian activist is willing to make is set a priori to dismiss a certain notion of the Palestinian cause. It is indeed painful to admit that it is the Israelis who have set us into this trap. Our work, discourse and terminology as activists are totally shaped by Israeli aggression.

Once we manage to internalise that the discourse of solidarity with Palestinians is dominated by the malicious and brutal Israeli practices, we are more or less ready to admit: it is the Jewish State: a racist nationalist ideology that we must oppose primarily. It is Jewish State and its supporters around the world that we must tackle. It is Zionism and global Zionism that we must confront immediately.

Once we are brave enough to admit that Zionism is a continuation of Jewishness (rather than Judaism), once we admit that Israel draws its force from a racist ideology, harboured in national chauvinism and blatant expansionism, once we admit that Zionism, which was once a marginal Jewish ideology, has become the voice of world Jewry, once we accept it all, we may be ready to defeat the Zionist disease. We do it for the sake of the Palestinians but as well for the sake of world peace."

No comments: