Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Individual Palestinian resistance

Lamis Andoni 
Lamis Andoni
(The Arabic original of this piece was posted earlier)
There is no doubt that the phenomenon of individual resistance poses a new challenge for the Israeli authorities. Israel's security agency (Shin Bet) admitted that collective punishment has failed and called for "aggressive surgical operations" that target individuals and subject Palestinians to monitoring and censorship on social media websites. However, at the same time, individual operations indicate the absence of Palestinian organisations and organised work which is necessary to contextualise popular resistance and an intifada politically and organisationally because individual operations lack leadership and the network necessary for support and continuity.
We might be facing a new phenomenon which could lead to the formation of new leaderships and organisations. However, the overall situation makes it difficult to find alternative organisations to the PLO or Hamas because this process will take time, although we had hoped that there would be a new beginning for the Palestinian resistance.
The emergence of this phenomenon suggests that the organisations have stopped playing an effective role in the life and consciousness of the Palestinians, as well as these organisations' failure, after the Oslo Accords, to establish their roles and spread across Palestinian society. Most importantly, this phenomenon suggests that these organisations have lost credibility for the new generations that do not know and are not aware of the history of the Palestinian struggle. The new generation finds itself alone in the confrontations against the brutal and fierce occupation. Most of the new generation consider all these organisations to be part of the fight for power and authority and nothing else. In addition to this, the new generation, inside and outside Palestine, is dangerously ignorant to the facts of the Palestinian revolution, which rules out the idea of continuing the path of resistance and building on previous experiences, and hinders the acceptance of the idea of organised work.
The concentration of individual actions, especially in Jerusalem, is a result of the policy of isolating Jerusalem practically and psychologically and the failure of the PA and Palestinian organisations to provide even minimal protections and leadership to the occupied people of Jerusalem who are targeted by measures of Judaisation and expulsion. Israel has succeeded, to some extent, in achieving its goal of fragmenting the Palestinian people and resistance.
The Jerusalemite youth directly clash with the occupation army, perhaps due to the fact that they are under direct Israeli control; nothing separates them from Israeli soldiers other than their bodies and their will, and in doing so they are examples for the Palestinian youth across Palestine, challenging all divisions and fragmentation. These youth are united by the idea of resistance and their actions on the ground across Palestine. They are taking us back to the time of the resistance, when it was a unifying force, both theoretically and practically. The absence of a political framework and context has made it easy for Israel to take retaliatory action, leaving the youth by themselves with no support of a popular movement or political organisation.
It is true that the Israeli security services find it difficult to carry out deterrent action as it cannot resort to targeting an organisation with a leadership and structure, as it has done in the past, nor can they read the minds and intentions of the youth, even if they monitor social media sites. This makes it likely that such operations will spread with no previous planning or coordination. Israel's intelligence services do not know how to confront such operations, not even with all of its advanced technology.
However, if this individual action is not accompanied by a popular movement, it will not produce a resistance movement that has the potential to survive, express its goals and rally the people to support the movement. This puts us back at square one and we will suffer the consequences of the absence of the PLO and the so-called Palestinian-Israeli security coordination.
Ultimately, the resistance operations suggest that the Palestinian people are ready for a new intifada and we fear for such intifadas from the failing leadership more than all of Israel's repressive strategies.

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