Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prisoners' Intifada shames Palestine's leaders

By Ramzy Baroud
Asia Times

"Commitment to the Palestine cause seen in prisoners' hunger strikes makes a mockery of the "unity" efforts of a leadership beset by factionalism and seemingly subservient to demands of the international community. As the interests of the Palestinian elite increasingly overlap with those of Israeli authorities, the distance between them and the people is growing too far to bridge......

While calls for a change of tactics are warranted, if not urgent, there is another pressing change that must also be realized. There ought to be a change of Palestinian political culture, away from the repellent factional manipulation and towards a return to the basic values of the Palestinian struggle. It is the likes of Issawi, not Abbas that must define the new era of Palestinian resistance.

An Intifada has already been launched by thousands of Palestinian prisoners, some of whom are shackled to their hospital beds. It offers little in the way of perks aside from a chance at dignity and a leap of faith towards freedom. This is the dichotomy with which Palestinians must now wrangle. The path they will finally seek shall define this generation and demarcate the nature of the Palestinian struggle for generations to follow.  "


Anonymous said...

We must know the roots of the Occupation if we are to ever free Filastin from it.

And its roots, unfortunately, run deep.

Before 1948, Filastin was ruled by a series of empires. "Palestine" was the name given to southern Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria) in the second century by the Romans, in an attempt to break the Jewish adherence to the land. This was a century after the Temple (Beit al-Maqdis) was destroyed and more than a million Jews massacred.

The Jews stopped fighting the Romans only after they had no more fighting men standing. Conservative Christian attitudes toward the Jews and Filastin can be epitomized by the words of Evangelist William Eugene Blackstone, who proclaimed in 1891 that “the Jews never gave up their title to Palestine… They never abandoned the land. They made no treaty, they did not even surrender. They simply succumbed, after the most desperate conflict, to the overwhelming power of the Romans.”

This is what we are up against.

The Jews persisted through the centuries under the various empires, after the Arab invasion of 635AD (which the Jews fought alongside the Byzantines), and after the Crusade massacres of the 11th Century, which decimated much of their population.

Few Filastinun know that Jewish customs, religion, prayers, poetry, holidays, and virtually every walk of life, documented for thousands of years—all revolve around Filastin and al-Quds. They pray for al-Quds in every prayer, after every meal, in every holiday, at every wedding, in every celebration. The whole Jewish religion is about Filastin and al-Quds. Western expressions such as “The Promised Land,” and “The Holy Land,” did not pop out of void. They have been part of Western knowledge and tradition dating back to the beginning of Christianity and earlier.

After the Crusades, the Jews lived peacefully with Arabs, often in the very same villages, as in Pki'in, in the Jalil, until the Zionist immigration of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Article 6 of the PLO Charter calls for the acceptance of all Jews present in Filastin prior to the Zionist immigration. These Jews were simply another ethnic group in a region composed of Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Druz, Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Circassians, Samarians, and more. Some of these groups, like the Druz, Circassians, Samarians, and an increasing number of Christians, are actually loyal to the Zionist Entity.

Incidentally, genetic studies show that the Zionist immigrants are closely related to groups like the Samarians who have lived in Filastin for thousands of years—a fact that Zionists view as a moral stamp of approval on their occupation of Filastin.

Few Filastinun realize it, but it will take a lot to dislodge the Occupation from Filastin, and, as described in Jonathan Bloomfield’s award-winning book, “Palestine,” learning the enemy is an integral part of planning the struggle.

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