Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finally, a popular uprising

By Amira Hass

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"The fall of the Rafah wall was a fitting combination of planning and the precise reading of the social and political map by the Hamas government, mixed with a mass response to the dictates of the overlord, Israel.

Quite a few people in Rafah knew that "anonymous figures" had secretly been destablizing the foundations of the wall for several months, so that it would be possible to knock it down easily when the time came - but the secret didn't leak. The hundreds of people who began leaving Palestinian Rafah right after the wall was breached did so despite the risk, and the precedent of the Egyptians shooting at those who infiltrate through the border.

The leadership and public of Gaza, as two elements of the occupied people, were partners in the courageous and necessary step of breaking the Israeli rules of the game. The breach of the wall is a clear manifestation of the conception and temperament of a popular resistance among the Palestinian people, which for various reasons, were dormant in recent years.....

No wonder. Then, like today, Israel worked to heap privileges on senior Palestinian Authority officials and their associates, granting them some freedom of movement. The officials publicly condemned the restrictions on the movement of the general public, while submissively accepting their privileges. Therefore, their political imagination was unable to provide practical plans of action against the separation of Gaza from the West Bank, and against the reality of incarceration faced by the majority of their people....

This boycott contributes to the severance that Israel works so diligently to intensify. The longer the delay in direct talks between the two leaderships over practical ways of lifting the siege of Gaza, the greater the concern that indeed, as Hamas officials argue, the Ramallah government listens to the United States and to Israel - but not to the will of its own people."

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