Thursday, March 29, 2012

Palestinians forge new strategies of resistance

A new generation of Palestinian activists is breaking down old divisions imposed by Israel.

By Ben White

"A one-state solution in Palestine/Israel is a subject being increasingly discussed and debated. One way in which the conversation has emerged is through an analysis of the current situation as a de facto one state, a regime which privileges Jews above Palestinians (the latter being granted or denied different rights according to geography and legal status).

This challenges the orthodoxy that makes a clean distinction between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In doing so, it not only provides a framework for interpreting various policies, but also counters the fragmentation of Palestinians over the decades into "Israeli Arabs", "West Bank" or "Gaza" Palestinians, Jerusalemites - and of course, refugees.

But apart from this discursive "reintegration", as the apartheid regime has been consolidated irrespective of the "Green Line", a new generation of Palestinian activists is breaking down old divisions imposed by Israel and forging new connections and strategies of resistance.

Lana Khaskia is an activist from Haifa. Last October, she worked alongside other comrades to organise a hunger strike in support of Palestinian prisoners. The action went under the name "Hungry for Freedom", a slogan Lana says covers "many demands that can be summarised in one demand: ending Zionist colonialism in all of historic Palestine".....

For now, these flourishing connections are still restricted to youth activists. But Ameer Makhoul, writing from his Israeli jail cell, highlighted how a campaign like the one for Khader Adnan "illustrated how the components of popular struggle can be brought together". After all, as Janan Abdu, an activist and researcher (and Ameer's wife), put it to me, "the connection and co-operation between Palestinians are natural, as one people that was separated by the Nakba and military regime".

As the peace process stalls and stagnates, it is easy to look at events in Palestine/Israel and see only unimpeded Israeli colonisation, coupled with a lack of legitimate, empowering leadership to marshal Palestinian efforts at resistance. This gloomy picture is accurate - but it misses out the signs of hope that are emerging at a grassroots level."

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