From Balfour to Lions’ Den: A contribution to defining Palestinian Nakba

11 Nov, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Makram Khoury-Machool 

The Palestinian Nakba began exactly 105 years ago with the release of a letter from then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the leader of the Zionist movement in what became infamously called the Balfour Declaration.

The project to establish the Zionist entity was and still is based on a long-term joint program between the Zionist movement and some colonial powers, primarily Britain and the US

As someone who grew up and was raised in the city of Yafa after the occupation of eastern Palestine in the 1967 war – known as the Naksa – in the house of his late grandfather and under the auspices of a great educational figure such as my grandmother, known as Madame Khoury, who’s slogan “I’d rather die in my house in Yafa than become a refugee” became a mantra that engraved in our minds the effect of attachment to the land… and as someone who listened and read the successive enthusiastic political articles of his father, the political writer Naim Youssef Machool, about the Nakba, the land, agriculture and steadfastness, as well as the articles, plays, interviews, and lectures of his mother, writer and novelist Antoinette Adeeb El-Khoury, I thought that based on this extensive personal experience, I should support and base my claim, listed below, on journalistic observations from the 80s and 90s in Palestine in particular and on two decades of academic research on the Palestinian issue in Britain in particular, and present a contribution to an expanded project whose main idea I will briefly list below.

We say that it is widely accepted that the Nakba of the Palestinians took place chronologically under the British mandate between the partition plan and Resolution of 29/11/1947 and the 1949 armistice with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, although there was no agreement within the framework of an armistice or the like with the Palestinian people; whether those who were expelled from it or those who remained in their homeland.

Accordingly, the struggle involving the Palestinian people remains open: Zionist domination of Palestine and Palestinian resistance against the occupation.

This article, part of which was presented at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 2011 and the Bandung Conference in 2015 and 2022, argues that although the most catastrophic period of the Palestinian Nakba (lit. catastrophe) reached its peak between 1947 and 1949, the Nakba was neither the beginning nor the end of the Palestinian people’s catastrophe.

This article claims that the Nakba of the Palestinian people began exactly 105 years ago with the release of a letter from then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the leader of the Rothschild Zionist movement in what became infamously known as the Balfour Declaration issued on 2/11/1917, which followed the occupation of Palestine by Britain that was involved in WWI, especially the occupation of Al-Quds by General Allenby in December 1917.

It also argues that the Nakba includes everything that has happened since then until now, but certainly, this catastrophe reached its peak between 1947 and 1949 – which witnessed the forced expulsion of half of the Palestinian people from their homeland and the destruction of the majority of Palestine’s cultural, commercial, and social structure – and is continuing deliberately according to a plan that has not stopped until achieving liberation and independence.

Apart from emotional slogans, the project to establish the Zionist entity was and still is based on a long-term joint program between the Zionist movement and some colonial powers, primarily Britain and the US. In addition, this article claims and warns that an attempt to implement a new chapter of the Nakba of the Palestinian people is very possible, including the expulsion of additional Palestinians from West and East Palestine because the goal is to seize Palestine as a whole and the Palestinian people are seen as an obstacle that must be eliminated to achieve this goal.

Since the peak of the Nakba between 1947 and 1949, Palestinians, whom I defined as the survivors of the Nakba – meaning those who were able to remain in their homeland and who were intended to be loggers and waterers, as per the Israeli occupation administration, for the ruling Zionist class and its Jewish Arab servants who were brought in from the Arab countries to colonize Palestine – consisted a “security problem” not only in Al-Jaleel, the Triangle Area, and Al-Naqab, but also in the Palestinian coastal cities, such as Akka in the north and Yafa in the south.

When late historian Dr. Constantin Zureik published the book The Meaning of the Nakba in 1948, a few months after the catastrophe and the peak of the Nakba, his description of the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people was accurate – due to what he witnessed personally and through his professional academic tools – being coupled with a resounding catastrophic psychological trauma.

However, examining what has happened to the Palestinian people, during the past 105 years, requires a new definition or at least an updated definition of the Nakba that has prevailed so far. What happened since 1917 onward shows the numerous and ongoing chapters of the Nakba of the Palestinian people since the Balfour Declaration till now, including the decision to partition Palestine in 1947 and the occupation of the second part of Palestine in 1967, the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987, the Oslo Accords and their offshoots between 1993 and 1994 and the second Palestinian Intifada that began in Al-Quds in 2000, as well as the killing of the first official Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004, the repeated wars on the Gaza Strip, and the ongoing aggression against the occupied West Bank and Al-Quds, in addition to a set of racist laws against the Palestinian people in western Palestine, specifically the so-called “National Law” of 2018, the continuous killing of the Palestinian people in occupied East Palestine and the arrest of more than a million Palestinian since the Naksa, including women, children and elderly, the expanding settlement that hasn’t stopped and the confiscation of lands, the so-called “Deal of the Century” and Netanyahu and Trump’s annexation scheme, which I called in a previous article the “third armed robbery,” and the economic and “military” occupation siege on the Gaza Strip by air, sea and land, 

On December 16, 2016, exactly on the 99th anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Letter, we launched the Palestine Initiative 100 to re-engage with the beginning of this catastrophe. We were determined to renew encouragement to open the Balfour file since the beginning of the Palestinian people’s Nakba in 1917 and held a publicity evening in London, the capital of the British Empire that issued the Balfour Letter to the Zionist movement. As part of holding Britain to its historical, legal, and moral responsibilities, we demanded three types of steps: apology, compensation, and correction. We believe that canceling any of these steps would be naive, incomplete, or deceptive.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

JESUS WAS ALSO PALESTINIAN, ARTIST REMINDS US

NOVEMBER 1ST, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

What is in a cartoon? Who knows what Michelangelo’s political opinions were? What would he have thought about Palestine? We will never know. But there can be little doubt that had he seen this cartoon by the Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh, he would have been moved. I recently visited Italy and saw Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Pietà. It is so powerful that it draws you to the point where you feel the pain of the mother, Mary, holding the dead, limp body of her young, crucified son. It is a powerful image that recreates the moment that is perhaps more painful than any we can imagine: a mother grieving over her slain son. What could be worse than parents burying their children?

A PALESTINIAN MOTHER AND SON

The story of Jesus took place in Palestine. Michelangelo’s Pietà is an image of a Palestinian mother holding her young son who had just sacrificed his life for others – a Shahid in the purest sense of the word. Mohammad Sabaaneh, the brilliant political cartoonist living in Ramallah, has recreated Michelangelo’s masterpiece and made a bold political statement – Palestinian mothers, in this case represented by the city of Nablus, are burying their sons.

Mohammad Sabaaneh is a political cartoonist who has created some of the most powerful images of the Palestinian tragedy. His work is replete with images of mothers and children, orphans and bereaved parents, and prisoners in Israeli jails. This particular piece encapsulates the young innocent face of a young Palestinian mother, in this case, Mary, her entire body created by the ancient city of Nablus where so many young people are giving their lives. It is within this city that so many young Palestinian lives are being taken by the brute force of the Israeli war machine because they dare to stand.

Mohammad Sabaaneh

Mohammad Sabaaneh. Credit | United Sketches

The image of the son represents the courageous, and perhaps naive young Palestinian sons who, in the face of impossible odds, stood up to the brute force, to the oppression, to the violent destruction of Palestine and its people, and paid the ultimate price. It can be no coincidence that Sabaaneh saw the images of these young Palestinians in the image of the young Palestinian (albeit a Jewish Palestinian), Jesus Christ.

While the image of the mother is still that of Mary, although created by the stones of the city of Nablus, Jesus, the sacrificed, the Shahid, is a young Palestinian, in jeans and a t-shirt. His face is covered in a Palestinian kufiya, which has become the most adored symbol of resistance to oppression.

CHILDREN CRUCIFIED TO THE STAR

The world and Rayan

The World and Rayan

Rayan Suleiman was 7 years old. He was walking home from school when he and his brothers were chased by Israeli soldiers. By the end of the chase, Rayan was dead. According to Al Jazeera, “Doctors at a hospital in Beit Jala, a Palestinian town south of Jerusalem, could not resuscitate him. A pediatric specialist, Mohamed Ismail, said Rayan was healthy and had no previous medical conditions.”

Furthermore, Dr. Ismail said, “The most probable scenario of what happened is that under stress, he had excess adrenaline secretion, which caused the increase of his heartbeat,” and he added, “He developed cardiac arrest.”

Freedom for Ahmed Manasra

Freedom for Ahmed Manasra

The faces of Ahmed Manasra’s parents tell the tale of tortured people who are helpless in the face of the forces who took their son. Ahmed is “my first joy,” his mother says. But those forces then, “brought him to ruin.” The “ruin” that she is talking about is severe emotional issues, illusions, and constantly scratching and hurting himself. All of this is a result of the torture, both physical and emotional, he suffers at the hands of his Israeli jailers.

The agony of this boy, who was arrested at thirteen of “terror” charges. His pain is evident in this Sabaaneh cartoon. Amhed Manasra is both a child and a prisoner being tortured by the brutal Israeli apartheid regime. Manasra has spent many months is solitary confinement, which is considered a form of torture. “He is alone all the time, in isolation. He has no one to talk to, just the four walls surrounding him.” Ahmed’s father told me when I spoke to the family at their home in Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood. “When we visit him he cannot sit still, he is a wreck, the guards keep coming and shoving him onto the chair.”

“I have not been able to touch him for seven years, not even his finger,” His mother said, “I kiss him through the glass.”

This is a small, almost undetectable detail in a larger piece by Sabaaneh. This is a Palestinian, a poor refugee boy with patched clothes nailed to the six-point star – something which has become the symbol of the apartheid state. Although Palestinian children, even ones living in the worst conditions imaginable, are by and large vibrant and full of life, the reality into which they are born is predetermined by a cruel apartheid regime that rules their land and governs their people.

Palestinian children exist in a reality that is so cruel that one sometimes finds it hard to adequately describe it in words. However, Mohammad Sabaaneh nails it in his cartoons. What we may find hard to describe is what he expresses in his art. Knowing what Palestinian children go through, be they rich or poor, refugees or citizens of Israel, this little boy crucified to the Zionists’ star says is all.

It can’t be easy to portray pain, suffering, courage and resistance all at once. Yet in these cartoons, among many others, Sabaaneh manages to combine all of these elements. He has been arrested and harassed by the Israeli authorities, and he even angered the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Mohammad Sabaaneh

Left, Michelangelo’s “Pieta.” Right, Mohammad Sabaaneh’s “Nablus says farewell to her fighters.”

One does not need to be an art critic to see how brilliantly Sabaaneh represents the Palestinian experience through his art. He has published several books of his work, all of which are wonderful expressions of these experiences, including an illustrated novel which details his own experience in an Israeli jail. He is an incredible talent and an incredible fighter.

كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (2/4)

الخميس15 أيلول 2022

عبد الرحمن نصار 

عام 2022، انطلقت كتيبة نابلس ومعها مجموعتان من فتح، لتصبح نابلس ندّاً حقيقياً لجنين، ثم جاءت كتيبة طولكرم لتخفف العبء الميداني عن جنين ونابلس، مع زيادة استنزاف الإسرائيليين على صعيد القوات البرية والمجهود المخابراتي.

كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (2/4)

أخذت جنين حصة الأسد من الحلقة الأولى، ليس حصراً لأن انطلاق كتائب المقاومة المتصاعدة في الضفة بدأ منها، بل لأنها تمثّل الشعلة التي يجب ألا تنطفئ حتى تتّقد المدن الباقية، ولا سيما الخليل. فعلى الطريق إلى الجنوب، زرع الشهيد جميل العموري بذوراً أين ما حلّ، في نابلس وطولكرم، وليس أخيراً طوباس. 

لكن مدناً أخرى، مثل نابلس، تسبب دخولها على خط المواجهة في انقلاب جذري للمعادلة، إذ ربما أمكن احتواء ظاهرة جنين عسكرياً (سياسة القضم البطيء والاستدراج والاغتيالات المركزة)، أو اجتماعياً (“التسهيلات” وزيادة التجارة وتصاريح العمل)، فيما أتى دخول مدن ومخيمات أخرى ليوسّع المأزق الإسرائيلي.

بعد عام تقريباً على انطلاقة “كتيبة جنين” واستشهاد مؤسسها جميل العموري، ومن بعده عبد الله الحصري وشادي نجم وأحمد السعدي وآخرون، أثمر الزرع في نابلس. في 24 أيار/مايو 2022، شهدت منطقة ضريح النبي يوسف القريبة من مخيمي بلاطة وعسكر شرقي نابلس اشتباكات بين المستوطنين والمئات من الشبان الذين رشقوا القوات المقتحمة بالحجارة، قبل أن يتطور المشهد إلى اشتباك مسلح بدا أنه يأخذ الشكل المنظم والمدروس.

بعدها بأيام قليلة، صدر البيان الأول لـ”كتيبة نابلس” شارحاً حيثيات الكمين الذي نفّذه 4 مقاتلين؛ “اثنان اعتليا أسطح أحد البنايات القريبة من القبر… في حين تمركز آخران بين الأشجار في الجهة المقابلة قبل الاقتحام بساعات… انتظروا وقت اطمئنان جنود الاحتلال، وأمطروهم بزخات الرصاص من مسافة قريبة جداً، قبل أن ينسحب مقاتلونا من المكان بسلام”.

أيامٌ أخرى وبدأت عُصب “سرايا القدس” (الجهاد الإسلامي) بالظهور في المدينة التي كانت شبه محسومة لمقاتلي “فتح” (وسط غياب حمساوي مسلح رغم الحضور الجيد للحركة هناك)، وهذا ما كانت تعالجه خطابات الكتيبة بوضوح، إذ قالت في بيان لاحق: “لسنا وحيدين في الميدان… ظروف محافظة نابلس تستوجب العمل ضمن ضوابط في التشبيك والمتابعة والإعلان للمحافظة على أمد العمل المقاوم، فكل بندقيةٍ نفضت غبارها أفقياً هي شريكةٌ حتمية في الكفاح المسلح، لا نقدمها ولا نؤخرها، فنحن نتاج فكرة خرج بها الشهيد المجاهد جميل العموري حينما قال: رسالتي إلى شباب الضفة، لا تطلقوا رصاصكم في الهواء”.

  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح
  • كتائب المقاومة في نابلس
  • كتيبة نابلس / بلاطة – سرايا القدس
  • كتائب الأقصى – فتح
  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح
  • كتائب المقاومة في نابلس
  • كتيبة نابلس / بلاطة – سرايا القدس
  • كتائب الأقصى – فتح
  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح

“جبل النار”

من المعروف أنَّ نابلس لا تُعدّ من معاقل “الجهاد الإسلامي” في الضفة، بل تقتسمها “حماس” و”فتح”، لكن العلاقة الجيدة بين “الجهاد” وعدد من عناصر “فتح”، والأزمة في العلاقة بين فتحاويي المدينة، وخصوصاً البلدة القديمة، والسلطة، والكاريزما التي كان يتمتع بها الشهيد العموري وزياراته إلى نابلس، عوامل ساهمت كلها في سحب قدم كثيرين إلى الظاهرة المستجدة، لكن “كتيبة نابلس” (سرايا القدس) تتركز أكثر في بلاطة الذي يمتاز بواقع أمني وديموغرافي يسمح بتمدد الفعل المقاوم.

في بلاطة كثافةٌ سكانية عالية لأربعين ألف لاجئ يعيشون وسط هندسة مدنية تمثّل عامل احتضان أمني جيّد يحرم القوات المقتحمة حريةَ المناورة، لأنه يتكون من بيوت متجاورة وشوارع ضيقة تسمح بإمكانية التنقل من بيت إلى بيت من دون الحاجة إلى الخروج إلى الشوارع الرئيسية. هو أيضاً بيئة جيدة للعمل العسكري ضد الاحتلال، بالنظر إلى خروجه عن تبعية السلطة، فالعلاقة بين الفتحاويين هناك والأجهزة الأمنية علاقة شائكة وصلت إلى ذروتها في شباط/فبراير 2018، قبل أن تنفجر في 2020.

مع أنَّ مدينةً مثل الخليل فيها كميات سلاح أكبر من نابلس، فإنَّ استغلال القيادي المفصول من “فتح” محمد دحلان حالة النقمة على الأجهزة الأمنية في نابلس لاختراق القواعد الشعبية للحركة هو ما أثار السلطة ضدهم أكثر من غيرهم.

امتدّ هذا الاستغلال 7 سنوات ضخّ فيها دحلان أموالاً إماراتية اشترى بها ولاءات كثيرة، بعدما كان المسيطر من قبله اللواء توفيق الطيراوي، والأخير أيضاً سحب منه رئيس السلطة، محمود عباس، حديثاً عدداً من الامتيازات، منها حراسه الشخصيون، بعد صدامه مع الوزير الصّاعد بسرعة إلى سدة القيادة، حسين الشيخ، وعدد آخر من القيادات الفتحاوية.

في النتيجة، سمحت حالة التوتر داخل “فتح” بإنشاء بيئة حاضنة لكل فعل يعارض توجهات السلطة، وهذا ما دفع “الجهاد الإسلامي” إلى التقاط الفرصة، تحديداً في بلاطة. الخطوة الأكثر ذكاء أنها لم تسعَ إلى تحويل الشبان انتماءهم التنظيمي إليها، بل طلبت منهم الاستمرار بالعمل باسم تنظيمهم كي يحافظوا على ما لديهم من امتيازات، وثانياً – ليس السبب الأخير – كي يستقطبوا عدداً أكبر للمقاومة المسلحة. ما ساعد في ذلك أنَّ الفتحاويين عموماً يتقبّلون التحالف مع “الجهاد” أكثر من “حماس”، وحتى “الجبهة الشعبية”، ولا سيما في مدن شمالي الضفة، ولهذا أسبابه التي تحتاج بحثاً منفصلاً.

ما سبق جعل حتى مناصري “الجهاد الإسلامي” يرون في تشكيل هذه الكتيبة “أعجوبة”، وخصوصاً أن كوادر الحركة المنظّمين رسمياً في نابلس لم يكونوا يتعدّون المئة بقليل حتى وقت قريب. مما يزيد امتيازات دخول المدينة على خط كتائب المقاومة هو وفرة السلاح، ولا سيما في بلاطة، الّذي يمتاز شبابه بخصلة مشتركة مع أهالي جنين هي “شجاعتهم الشديدة واندفاعهم غير المحدود”.

وبينما مثّل الأداء السيئ للأجهزة الأمنية و”فتح” على الصعيد الداخلي، ومن ذلك اغتيال نزار بنات وسرقة أموال بناء مستشفى الحسن للسرطان والتنسيق الأمني، عوامل منفرة، تسبب استشهاد أدهم مبروكة (28 عاماً) ومحمد الدخيل (22 عاماً) وأشرف مبلسط (21 عاماً) في 8 شباط/فبراير 2022 بحالة تأثر كبيرة، خصوصاً أن اغتيالهم جرى وسط نابلس، وفي وضح النهار، بالنظر إلى الحضور الشعبي الذي كانوا يتمتعون به، وهو الأمر الذي أدركت رام الله خطورته سلفاً. ولذلك، كانت ولا تزال تعمل قدر المستطاع على إيجاد شرخ بين العناصر المسلحين التابعين لـ”فتح” من جهة، وخلق عداوات بينهم وبين “الجهاد” من جهة، وأكبر مثال على ذلك الإشكال الذي وقع مع قيادات في الأخيرة (خضر عدنان مثالاً).

منذ اغتيال الثلاثة، بدأت مطاردة شاب صغير يُدعى إبراهيم النابلسي (19 عاماً) لم يكن مشهوراً في ذلك الوقت بقدر شهرته بعد استشهاده (9 آب/أغسطس 2022)، لكن الأشهر الستة التي عاشها مطارداً كانت كفيلة، إلى جانب مقتله في معركة، بالدفع نحو تعزيز حالة المقاومة في نابلس. وجاء استشهاده، ومعه إسلام صبوح (في العشرينات) وحسين نزال (16 عاماً)، ليعطي دفعة جديدة للمقاومين، ويجعل عدداً من الفتحاويين الرافضين أوامر حركتهم يخلقون تشكيلاً جديداً حمل اسم “عرين الأسود”، أعلن نفسه بداية هذا الشهر. 

النابلسي سبق أن نجا من محاولة اغتيال قبل استشهاده بأسبوعين، قضى فيها شهيدان كان لهما أيضاً تأثيرهما في الجمهور، هما محمد عزيزي (25 عاماً) وعبد الرحمن صبح (28 عاماً)، عقب حصار واشتباك. مع ذلك، تواجه الحالات العسكرية في نابلس مشكلة في القيادة الموحدة وتنظيم العمل وجعله يرتقي من وضعية التصدي للاجتياحات إلى المبادرة، وهذا ما يحتاج إلى زمن، لكنَّ آثار التحسن بدأت تظهر أكثر فأكثر مع عدد من الكمائن المتتالية، وخصوصاً التي تستهدف المستوطنين ممن يقتحمون قبر يوسف دورياً. 

من جهة أخرى، تعني قوة نابلس تخفيف الضغط على جنين، وخصوصاً أن بلاطة يمثل أكبر مخيم لاجئين في الضفة، والعقبات اللوجستية بشأن إيصال الأموال والأسلحة إليه أقل من جنين، فضلاً عن أن زيادة حالة المنافسة الحزبية تقود إلى مزيد من الفعالية في العمل، خصوصاً بين “حماس” و”الجهاد الإسلامي”. ورغم سيئات الحالة التنافسية على المجتمع ظاهراً، فإن نتاجاتها على صعيد المقاومة إيجابية في هذه المرحلة.

هكذا، حاول الاحتلال في البداية التقليل من قدر “كتيبة نابلس” وكذلك “طولكرم” و”طوباس”، حتى وصل فيه الحال إلى إهمال ذكر الأخيرتين في الإعلام العبري، لتتحول “كتيبة نابلس” ومجموعات “فتح” بالتدريج إلى ندّ حقيقي لـ”جنين”، وتزيد شعبيتها وحضورها مع توالي الشهداء والتصدي للاقتحامات.

كتيبة طولكرم

في 2 نيسان/أبريل 2022، وقع اشتباك في مدخل قرية عرابة في جنين قضى فيه الشهيد سيف أبو لبدة (25 عاماً)، ابن مخيم عين شمس بطولكرم، ليتضح أنه كان في طريقه لتنفيذ عملية استشهادية قبل أن تطارده قوة خاصة من الجيش. 

أثناء المطاردة، وقعت القوة في كمين محكم شارك فيه عدد من عناصر “كتيبة جنين”، ودار اشتباك طويل مع قوات الاحتلال أدى إلى إصابة 4 من الجنود، أحدهم بصورة خطرة، واستشهاد كل من صائب عباهرة (30 عاماً) وخليل طوالبة (24 عاماً)، إلى جانب أبو لبدة.

قاد حدثان مهمان جهاز “الشاباك” إلى أبو لبدة: الأول تنفيذه قبل أسبوع من اغتياله عملية إطلاق نار على قوة خاصة، أطلق فيها 52 رصاصة على وحدات الاحتلال (“لم يصب أي من الجنود بأعجوبة”، وفق وصف القناة العبرية 12)، والآخر أنه ظهر وهو يتحدث أمام مجموعة من عناصر “الجهاد”، مؤكداً لهم أن حدثاً كبيراً قريباً سيسمعون به. 

في وقت لاحق، نشرت “سرايا القدس” مقطعاً مصوراً ظهر فيه وهو يقرأ وصيته على طريقة استشهاديي الانتفاضة الثانية، ليكون أبو لبدة، كما العموري، صاحب الدور التأسيسي الملهم في طولكرم، فيما توكّل الأمين العام للحركة، زياد النخالة، بنفسه إعلان ولادة “كتيبة طولكرم”.

من الجيد التذكير بأنّ علاقة تاريخية مميزة تربط بين مخيمي جنين ونور شمس، فجذور اللجوء واحدة، لأن المخيم الصغير تأسَّس عام 1951، أي بعد 3 سنوات على نكبة فلسطين، وسكان نور شمس في الأساس كانوا يسكنون مخيماً في جنين مقاماً على سهل جنزور، لكن بسبب عاصفة ثلجية أطاحت به رحلوا إلى طولكرم، فكان المخيم الجديد الذي يقارب عدد سكانه 10 آلاف. ومثل نابلس، لم يسجّل عين شمس خلال سنوات انتفاضة الأقصى الثانية أنه كان معقلاً لـ”الجهاد الإسلامي”، لكن الحركة استطاعت أن تتمدد فيه بعدما كان ثقلها متركزاً في قرى مثل عتيل وعلار وصيدا.

جاء اختيار هذا المخيم لتأسيس نواة الكتيبة جاء بسبب هندسته المكانية والتداخل العمراني وإمكانية الاتصال الجغرافي بينه وبين مخيم جنين، ليكون أكثر أماناً من مراكز المدن. وكما يبدو، احتاج الشهيد أبو لبدة وقتاً شبيهاً بالذي احتاجه العموري للتأسيس والتحشيد لإحياء العمل العسكري من جديد، فضلاً عن تنفيذه شخصياً عدداً من عمليات المشاغلة وإطلاق النار.

في البداية، تجاهل العدو هذه الكتيبة على الصعيد الإعلامي، ولا يزال كذلك إلى حدّ ما، بل عمد إلى العمل عليها مخابراتياً من دون مواجهة مبْكرة كي لا يساهم في صناعة رموز ملهمين كما جنين، وهذا ما يفسر محاولة الاحتلال اعتقال أبو لبدة لا قتله، لكن وقوع القوة في كمين هو ما قاد إلى اشتباك دامٍ بين الجانبين. 

مع ذلك، يَفهم الإسرائيلي أنَّ طولكرم لها بعض الخصائص التي تميزها عن كلٍّ من جنين ونابلس، إذ يمتاز شبابها، بالنظر إلى التجربة في الانتفاضة الثانية، بالهدوء الكبير والتفكير المعمّق والصبر الإستراتيجي في تنفيذ الفعل.

هذا لا ينفي وجود هذه المميزات نفسها في جنين ونابلس، لكن لكلٍّ نقطة قوته. المثال على ذلك ما فعله الشهيد لؤي السعدي (“الجهاد الإسلامي”، 1979-2005) حين أسس مدرسة عسكرية كان قوامها التخطيط الطويل للوصول إلى الأهداف المدروسة بعناية، والقدرة العالية على العمل على نحو يتجاوز الفعل الطارئ إلى المستمر الذي يمكن أن يعاود نشاطه بعد كل ضربة، وأيضاً التخفي عن العدو، وأخيراً الحالة المتشعّبة في توزيع قواعد الفعل العسكري إلى قرى بعيدة ومدن خارج الحيز المكاني الذي تبدأ منه.

السلوك نفسه ينطبق على قيادات أخرى في طولكرم على اختلاف انتماءاتهم الحزبية، منهم الأسير عباس السيد (1966)، أحد أكبر قادة “كتائب القسام” (حماس) في طولكرم، وهو مسؤول عن قتل مئات المستوطنين والجنود في عشرات العمليات الاستشهادية، وكذلك الشهيد رائد الكرمي (1974-2002)، أبرز مؤسسي “كتائب الأقصى” (فتح) وقائدها العام عقب اغتيال ثابت ثابت. وقد اتهمته قوات الاحتلال بالمسؤولية عن قتل العشرات من المستوطنين والجنود، وقالت إن الانتفاضة الثانية تزداد سوءاً بسببه. وكان من الممكن أنْ يؤدي الاستثمار المستمر في نهج الكرمي، الملقّب بـ”صائد المستوطنين”، إلى رفع كلفة الاستيطان في الضفة، وصولاً إلى تفكيك بعض المستوطنات.

خاتمة: طولكرم إذا عادت

إضافة إلى ما سبق، تحمل طولكرم جملة أخرى من المميزات، من أهمها التواصل الجغرافي والتداخل التاريخي بينها وبين مخيم جنين؛ ففي اجتياح 2002، انتقل القائد الشيخ الشهيد رياض بدير (الجهاد الإسلامي) على رأس العشرات من المقاومين من طولكرم، واستطاعوا المشاركة في القتال إلى جانب مقاومي جنين حتى الاستشهاد، وهو ما يفسر التدخل السريع لعناصر “كتيبة جنين” في الكمين. أيضاً، تمتلك بلدات طولكرم ومخيماتها إرثاً تاريخياً مرتبطاً بالشهداء والأسرى شبيهاً بالذي تمتلكه جنين، حتى إننا نتحدث عن أجهزة أمنية يفعل عناصرها ما يفعله عناصر في جنين.

ومثلما تحظى جنين بسهولة وصول السلاح إليها من الداخل المحتل، تتميَّز طولكرم بأنها واحدة من أكبر المجمعات البشرية الفلسطينية التي تمتهن السرقة من المحتل، بل شكلت المدينة السوق الأبرز والأكثر ثراءً لسرقة السيارات ذات الأرقام الإسرائيلية لتنفيذ عمليات فدائية أو نقل الاستشهاديين إلى مدن العمق، لكن العنصر الأهم الذي يُبنى عليه هو ثقافة الاشتباك حتى النفس الأخير ورفض الأسر، التي أنشأها قادة “الجهاد” في الضفة، ولا سيما الشهداء السعدي وبدير وإياد حردان وآخرون.

ساهمت “طولكرم” في تخفيف العبء الميداني عن “جنين” وكذلك “نابلس”، وخصوصاً مع زيادة استنزاف الإسرائيليين على صعيد القوات البرية والمجهود المخابراتي، لكن الأخطر على الاحتلال هو نضوج الفعل العسكري لـ”طولكرم”، لأن مثل هذا الحدث سيشكل فارقة نوعية في الضفة، ليس في تمدد خلايا المقاومة فحسب، إنما زيادة القدرة على اختراق الداخل المحتل أيضاً، وربما تحوّل العمل من الاشتباك التكتيكي ورد الفعل إلى المبادرة والعمل المنظم القادر على كيّ الوعي الإسرائيلي، كما فعل بطلان من جنين لن ينسى أحد اسميهما: رعد خازم، وضياء حمارشة الذي عبر من خلال طولكرم، وقبلهما وبعدهما أسرى وشهداء كثر.

هذا ما يفسر أن أكثر من نصف الكتائب الإسرائيلية المنتشرة في الضفة تتركز حول طولكرم، لتعبّر عن المأزق الإسرائيلي في مواجهة هذه المدينة التي تشبه الرمح المغروز في خاصرة “إسرائيل”، بل يكفيها وصول سلاح بسيط في حسابات الجيوش، مثل قذائف الهاون، ليصير قلب “الدولة” تحت النار.

اقرأ: كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (1/4) 

Palestinian Resistance Movements Call for Quitting Oslo and Ending ‘Security Coordination’

September 15, 2022

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord. (Photo: Vince Musi, via Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinian resistance movements called on Wednesday for a total withdrawal from the Oslo Accords and an end to ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation security services, Quds Press reported.

Speaking on behalf of the movements, senior Islamic Jihad official Nafeth Azzam said that Oslo gave “legitimacy” to the Israeli occupation and illegal Jewish settlements.

Azzam made his comments during a conference in Gaza to mark the anniversary of the Oslo Accords. He also issued a warning about the normalization of Arab states with Israel.

“This path is doomed to fail. The Palestinians have surprised the world with their rejection of Oslo and their rejection of the normalization of ties between the occupation and Arab nations.”

The Palestinian resistance, he pointed out, broke the security equation of the Israeli occupation and forced it to leave the Gaza Strip seventeen years ago.

(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)

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«حماس»: عائدون إلى سوريا

الجمعة 16 أيلول 2022

رجب المدهون

تبادَل مسؤولو الحركة والمسؤولون السوريون، خلال لقاءات دورية جمعتْهم، ملاحظات حول فترة القطيعة وما سبقها (أ ف ب)

أخيراً، وبشكل رسمي، وبعد صدور العديد من المؤشّرات المتلاحقة والمتسارعة في هذا الاتّجاه، أعلنت حركة «حماس» قرارها العودة إلى سوريا، مؤكدةً العمل على ترجمته لإنهاء سنوات طويلة من القطيعة مع دمشق، التي «احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن»، كما قالت الحركة. ويأتي بيان الأمس ليُتوّج، بحسب معلومات «الأخبار»، سلسلة من اللقاءات التي جرت بين مسؤولي «حماس» والمسؤولين السوريين، وتخلّلتها مراجعات للفترة السابقة، وتبادل ملاحظات حول الملفّات التي «تجب معالجتها بشكل جدّي»، ليصل العمل حالياً إلى مرحلة «بناء الثقة»، تمهيداً للتطبيع الشامل والواسع

غزة | كما كان متوقّعاً بعد سلسلة لقاءات ومباحثات رعاها «حزب الله»، أصدرت حركة «حماس»، أمس، بياناً أعلنت فيه وقوفها إلى جانب سوريا في وجه «المخطّطات الهادفة إلى تقسيمها»، مؤكّدة سعيها لترجمة قرارها باستعادة علاقاتها مع دمشق. وبحسب ما علمته «الأخبار» من مصادر «حمساوية»، فإن البيان يأتي في ضوء استمرار اشتغال الحركة على تطبيع هذه العلاقات بعد سنوات من القطيعة، و«مواجهة العقبات التي تحاول أطراف خارجية وضعها في طريق تسوية جميع الخلافات مع السوريين». وكشفت المصادر أن مباحثات عدّة انطلقت بعد معركة «سيف القدس» بين «حماس» والقيادة السورية، برعاية من الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله» السيد حسن نصرالله، حيث تمّ كسر الجمود كخطوة أولى، بينما وصل العمل في الفترة الأخيرة إلى مرحلة «بناء الثقة تمهيداً لاستعادة العلاقة بشكل أكبر وأوسع». وتبادَل مسؤولو الحركة والمسؤولون السوريون، خلال لقاءات دورية جمعتْهم، ملاحظات حول فترة القطيعة وما سبقها، والملفّات التي «تجب معالجتها بشكل جدّي لإنهاء الخلاف»، مع إبداء ملاحظات حول كيفية تجاوُز المسبّبات الخارجية والداخلية التي أعاقت التطبيع سابقاً. وأكدت المصادر أن هذا المسار سيتسارع خلال الفترة المقبلة، «في ضوء المتغيّرات والتحدّيات الإقليمية والدولية التي تُواجه محور المقاومة ككلّ، في ظلّ تَشكّل تحالف التطبيع بين الدول العربية ودولة الاحتلال برعاية أميركية، بما يشكّل تهديداً للمحور وأطرافه».

وأعلنت حركة «حماس»، في بيان أمس، بعنوان «أمّة واحدة في مواجهة الاحتلال والعدوان»، مُضيّها في «بناء وتطوير علاقات راسخة مع الجمهورية العربية السورية، في إطار قرارها باستئناف علاقتها مع سوريا الشقيقة، خدمةً لأمّتنا وقضاياها العادلة، وفي القلْب منها قضية فلسطين، ولا سيّما في ظلّ التطوّرات الإقليمية والدولية المتسارعة التي تحيط بقضيتنا وأمّتنا»، مُجدّدةً تمسّكها بـ«استراتيجيتها الثابتة، وحرصها على تطوير وتعزيز علاقاتها مع أمّتها ومحيطها العربي والإسلامي، وكلّ الداعمين لقضيتنا ومقاومتنا». ودانت الحركة «بشدّة، العدوان الصهيوني المتكرّر على سوريا، وخاصة قصف مطارَيْ دمشق وحلب أخيراً»، مؤكدةً «وقوفنا إلى جانب سوريا في مواجهة هذا العدوان». وأعربت عن تقديرها «للجمهورية العربية السورية قيادةً وشعباً، لدورها في الوقوف إلى جانب الشعب الفلسطيني وقضيته العادلة»، متطلّعةً إلى أن «تستعيد سوريا دورها ومكانتها في الأمّتَين العربية والإسلامية»، مبديةً دعمها لـ«كلّ الجهود المخلصة من أجل استقرار وسلامة سوريا، وازدهارها وتقدّمها». وإذ كرّرت «موقفنا الثابت من وحدة سوريا أرضاً وشعباً»، و«رفضنا أيّ مساس بذلك»، فقد جزمت «(أننا) ننحاز إلى أمّتنا في مواجهة المخطّطات الصهيونية الخبيثة، الهادفة إلى تجزئتها وتقسيمها ونهب خيراتها، ونقف صفاً واحداً وطنياً وعربياً وإسلامياً لمقاومة العدو الصهيوني، والتصدّي لمخطّطاته». كما دعت إلى «إنهاء جميع مظاهر الصراع في الأمة، وتحقيق المصالحات والتفاهمات بين مكوّناتها ودُولها وقواها عبر الحوار الجادّ، بما يحقّق مصالح الأمّة ويخدم قضاياها». ولفتت إلى «التطوّرات الخطيرة التي تمسّ بشعبنا الفلسطيني وقضيّته العادلة، وأبرزها مظاهر التطبيع ومحاولات دمج العدو الصهيوني ليكون جزءاً من المنطقة، مع ما يرافق ذلك من جهود للسيطرة على موارد المنطقة، ونهب خيراتها، وزرع الفتن والاحتراب بين شعوبها ودولها، واستهداف قواها الفاعِلة والمؤثّرة، الرافضة والمقاوِمة للمشروع الصهيوني»، مشيرةً في هذا السياق إلى «استمرار العدوان الصهيوني على سوريا الشقيقة، بالقصف والقتل والتدمير، وتصاعُد محاولات النيل منها وتقسيمها وتجزئتها، وإبعادها عن دورها التاريخي الفاعل، ولا سيما على صعيد القضية الفلسطينية»، مُذكّرةً بأن «سوريا احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن، وهو ما يستوجب الوقوف معها، في ظلّ ما تتعرّض له من عدوان غاشم».
وكان نائب رئيس حركة «حماس» في قطاع غزة، خليل الحية، أكد، في حديث إلى «الأخبار» أواخر حزيران الماضي، أن ثمّة قراراً اتُّخذ بـ«السعي إلى استعادة العلاقة مع دمشق»، بعد «نقاش داخلي وخارجي على مستوى الحركة شارك فيه قياديون وكوادر ومؤثّرون وحتى معتقلون داخل السجون». وأوضح الحية أنه «تمّت مناقشة الظروف والتوقيت والشكل»، كما «تمّ وضْع خطّة سيتمّ تنفيذها بمساعدة الحلفاء»، مضيفاً أن «هناك تَوجّهاً نحو البيئة الأوسع، التي تشمل أصحاب الرأي والمفكّرين والعلماء، ومن ثمّ الأطر الشعبية الأوسع»، متابعاً «(أننا) وضعنا تركيا وقطر في أجواء تَوجّهنا هذا، وهما لا تُعارضانه». وسبق كلامَ الحيّة بأسبوع، حديثٌ مشابه نقلته وكالة «فرانس برس» عن مسؤول رفيع المستوى في «حماس»، جاء فيه أن «الاتّصالات مع سوريا في تَحسّن، والعلاقات في طريق عودتها بالكامل إلى ما كانت عليه»، وأن «زيارات عدّة قام بها قادة الحركة إلى سوريا». وإلى جانب تلك التصريحات، أعلن الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله»، غير مرّة، في أحاديث صحافية، اهتمامه «بشكل شخصي» بتسوية العلاقة بين «حماس» وسوريا، مؤكداً أن الأخيرة منفتِحة على هذا المسار الذي وصفه بـ«الإيجابي».

«حماس»: سوريا احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن


يُذكر أن مصدراً قيادياً في «حماس» أكّد لـ«الأخبار»، بالتوازي مع انتهاء معركة «سيف القدس» في أيار 2021، أن لدى الحركة قراراً مسبقاً ببحْث عودتها إلى الأراضي السورية عندما تحين الفرصة المناسبة، «وفي ضوء الرسائل الإيجابية التي نقلها لنا عدد من قادة فصائل المقاومة في سوريا عقب لقائهم الأخير بالرئيس بشار الأسد، وترحيبه بجميع الفصائل من دون استثناء، وتوجيهه التحيّة إلى حماس»، فإن هذا القرار سيتعزّز. وأشار المصدر، آنذاك، إلى أن الحركة ستبدأ مشاورات مع «حزب الله» وإيران خلال الفترة القريبة، بهدف جسّ نبض السوريين حول عودة العلاقة معهم، متوقّعاً أن تكون الردود السورية إيجابية، ومن دون شروط مسبقة، الأمر الذي سيفتح الباب أمام التطبيع، كخطوة أولى تتبعها عودة قيادات «حمساوية» إلى الأراضي السورية في وقت لاحق. ولم يُخفِ المصدر، في ذلك الوقت، وجود محاولات سابقة من قِبَل أطراف في محور المقاومة لترميم العلاقة بين الحركة والسوريين، غير أن تلك المحاولات اعتراها عدد من العقبات، آملاً أن يكون الانتصار الذي حقّقته المقاومة في غزة خلال معركة «سيف القدس» بوّابة لإزالة العقبات المذكورة، في ظلّ الاتفاق على برنامج المقاومة ومواجهة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وتمسّك «حماس» بمبدأ عدم التدخّل في الشؤون الداخلية للدول العربية، وتعزيز العلاقات معها بهدف تجميع طاقات الأمة لدعم المقاومة.

فيديوات ذات صلة

May 31, 2018

مقالات ذات صلة

‘Avenging Sabra and Shatila’: On Israeli Massacres and Palestinian Resistance

September 14, 2022

On September 16, in 1982, several thousand Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon were brutally massacred. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

September 16 marks the 40th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, the killing of around 3,000 Palestinians at the hands of Lebanon’s Phalangist militias operating under the command of the Israeli army.

Four decades have passed, yet no measure of justice has been received by the survivors of the massacre. Many of them have died, and others are aging while they carry the scars of physical and psychological wounds, in the hope that, perhaps, within their lifetime they will see their executioners behind bars.

However, many of the Israeli and Phalange commanders who had ordered the invasion of Lebanon, orchestrated or carried out the heinous massacres in the two Palestinian refugee camps in 1982, have already died. Ariel Sharon, who was implicated by the official Israeli Kahan Commission a year later for his “indirect responsibility” for the grisly mass killing and rape, later rose in rank to become, in 2001, Israel’s Prime Minister.

Even prior to the Sabra and Shatila massacre, Sharon’s name was always affiliated with mass murders and large-scale destruction. It was in the so-called ‘Operation Shoshana’, in the Palestinian West Bank village of Qibya in 1953, that Sharon earned his infamous reputation. Following the Israeli occupation of Gaza in 1967, the Israeli general became known as ‘The Bulldozer’, and following Sabra and Shatila, ‘The Butcher’.

The Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Menachim Begin, also died, exhibiting no remorse for the killing of over 17,000 Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. His nonchalant response to the killings in the West Beirut refugee camps epitomizes Israel’s attitude toward all the mass killings and all the massacres carried out against Palestinians in the last 75 years. “Goyim kill Goyim, and they blame the Jews,” he said.

Testimonies from those who arrived at the refugee camps after the days of slaughter depict a reality that requires deep reflection, not only among Palestinians, Arabs and especially Israelis, but also humanity as a whole.

The late American journalist Janet Lee Stevens described what she had witnessed:

“I saw dead women in their houses with their skirts up to their waists and their legs spread apart; dozens of young men shot after being lined up against an alley wall; children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open, her eyes still wide open, her blackened face silently screaming in horror; countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles.”

Dr. Swee Chai Ang had just arrived in Lebanon as a volunteer surgeon, stationed at the Red Crescent Society in the Gaza Hospital in Sabra and Shatila. Her book, ‘From Beirut to Jerusalem: A Woman Surgeon with the Palestinians’, remains one of the most critical readings on the subject.

In a recent article, Dr. Swee wrote that following the release of photographs of the “heaps of dead bodies in the camp alleys”, a worldwide outrage followed, but it was all short-lived: “The victims’ families and survivors were soon left alone to plod on with their lives and to relive the memory of that double tragedy of the massacre, and the preceding ten weeks of intensive land, air and sea bombardment and blockade of Beirut during the invasion.”

Lebanese and Palestinian losses in the Israeli war are devastating in terms of numbers. However, the war also changed Lebanon forever and, following the forced exile of thousands of Palestinian men along with the entire PLO leadership, Palestinian communities in Lebanon were left politically vulnerable, socially disadvantaged and economically isolated.

The story of Sabra and Shatila was not simply a dark chapter of a bygone era, but an ongoing moral crisis that continues to define Israel’s relationship with Palestinians, highlight the demographic and political trap in which numerous Palestinian communities in the Middle East live, and accentuate the hypocrisy of the West-dominated international community. The latter seems to only care for some kind of victims, and not others.

In the case of Palestinians, the victims are often depicted by western governments and media as the aggressors. Even during that horrific Israeli war on Lebanon 40 years ago, some western leaders repeated the tired mantra: “Israel has the right to defend itself.” It is this unwavering support of Israel that has made the Israeli occupation, apartheid and siege of the West Bank and Gaza politically possible and financially sustainable – in fact, profitable.

Would Israel have been able to invade and massacre at will if it were not for US-western military, financial and political backing? The answer is an affirmative ‘no.’ Those who are in doubt of such a conclusion need only to consider the attempt, in 2002, by the survivors of the Lebanon refugee camps massacre to hold Ariel Sharon accountable. They took their case to Belgium, taking advantage of a Belgian law which allowed for the prosecution of alleged international war criminals. After much haggling, delays and intense pressure from the US government, the Belgian court eventually dropped the case altogether. Ultimately, Brussels changed its own laws to ensure such diplomatic crises with Washington and Tel Aviv are not to be repeated.

For Palestinians, however, the case will never be dropped. In her essay, “Avenging Sabra and Shatila”, Kifah Sobhi Afifi’ described the joint Phalangist-Israeli attack on her refugee camp when she was only 12 years old.

“So we ran, trying to stay as close to the walls of the camp as possible,” she wrote. “That is when I saw the piles of the dead bodies all around. Children, women and men, mutilated or groaning in pain as they were dying. Bullets were flying everywhere. People were falling all around me. I saw a father using his body to protect his children but they were all shot and killed anyway.”

Kifah has lost several members of her family. Years later, she joined a Palestinian resistance group and, following a raid at the Lebanon-Israel border, was arrested and tortured in Israel.

Though Israeli massacres are meant to bring an end to Palestinian Resistance, unwittingly, they fuel it. While Israel continues to act with impunity, Palestinians also continue to resist. This is not just the lesson of Sabra and Shatila, but the bigger lesson of the Israeli occupation of Palestine as well.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

‘Our Gas is Our Right’: Palestinians in Gaza Rally for Access to Mediterranean Gas (PHOTOS)

September 14, 2022

Palestinian activists take part in a rally at the Gaza City Port to demand their right to receive gas from maritime fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Wafa Aludaini

Palestinian activists took part in a rally at the Gaza City Port on Tuesday to demand their right to receive gas from maritime fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and to pressure the Israeli occupation to lift the siege. 

Palestinian groups in Gaza inaugurated a banner at the Gaza Port reading “Our Gas is Our Right”. 

Suhail al-Hindi, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said: “Tens of thousands of families in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line as the Israeli occupation is still depriving us of our rights.”

Al-Hindi added that Palestinians have a right to their natural resources and gas, as well as to a waterway connecting Gaza to the rest of the world. 

“This land is our land, and this sea is our sea,” al-Hindi stated, warning Israel that “the resistance has the capacity to defend our people and our rights.”

Al-Hindi called on the international community to pressure Israel to put an end to the military occupation and the siege. 

“Your silence in front of injustice committed in Al-Aqsa, in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza will lead to an unavoidable explosion in the region.” 

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

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“Israel” planned, LF executed: The Sabra and Shatila massacre

September 10, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Evidence continues to pile up, classified documents are unmasked, and a more complete picture of the 1982 Massacre committed by Israeli occupation forces through Israeli-associated far right militias emerges.

Bodies at the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut in 1982 (Institute for Palestine Studies)

Newly-released classified documents from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office revealed details of atrocities committed during the 1982 Massacre, most notably a direct link between “Israel’s” Mossad spy agency and the Lebanese far-right militia group responsible for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees and Lebanese citizens, including children and women.

The document covers the years 1981-1982, including the planning and execution of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982.

The classified information was made available following “a court petition seeking information about the connection between the Mossad, Israel’s espionage agency, and the [far right] militias in Lebanon responsible for massacring Palestinian refugees”.

On September 16-18, 1982, militias of the Lebanese Forces (LF), the military wing of the far-right Kataeb Party at the time, also known as the Phalangists, carried out the brutal killings of between 460 and 3,500 Palestinians and Lebanese citizens in Beirut’s Sabra neighborhood and the nearby Shatila refugee camp.

Lebanese Forces: Trenched with blood

Israeli cooperation with the LF was already infamous: when the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched the 1982 invasion, they advanced to the outskirts of Beirut but held back in support of the LF as it advanced into the city and seized power.

The IOF maintained nearly complete control over the LF, dictating its actions during the invasion as well as its policies after assuming power, as per the document.

“We have the Lebanese to do what we want them to do,” the document read, according to Haaretz.

“That is the asset we have, now tell us what to do with it. Because the state isn’t all that organized in its decision-making, the ones who told us what to do with the asset wasn’t [Former Israeli PM Menahem] Begin, and the government, but rather the military,” the documents added.

Unsurprisingly, the documents have also unmasked that IOF and LF had been planning the Israeli invasion of Lebanon for over a year.

“It was Israel’s most planned war,” the document says. “The preparations had already begun in mid-1981, and they gained momentum towards the end of that year. In January of 1982, [IOF General and Defense Minister] Ariel Sharon met the [LF] leadership – and said to Pierre Gemayel: ‘We are embarking on a full-scale war and that as a result of it, there ought to be change in Lebanon-Israel relations.’’

The documents went on to reveal that the Israeli connections within Lebanese politics date back to the 1950s and the administration of Lebanese Prime Minister Camille Chamoun. After Lebanon descended into civil war in 1975, Chamoun’s National Liberal Party joined forces with Kataeb to form the Lebanese Forces. Chamoun sought assistance from “Tel Aviv”, which began selling LF lethal weapons.

The documents have also detailed how the arms were covertly smuggled into Lebanon, stressing that they were “loaded onto rafts of a sort that carried quantities of arms. We would arrive on a given night with two shipments, and in the third stage we refined it even more.”

The Israeli Mossad said that it transferred 6,000 M-16 rifles and 60,000 rounds of ammunition for the Lebanese Forces, as well as 40 120-millimeter mortars with 12,000 shells and 100 81-millimeter mortars with 2,000 shells.

How “Israel” through LF, Phalangists horrified the world

The harrowing killings perpetrated by Phalangists against unarmed Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in the two refugee camps outside Beirut horrified the world.

According to an Israeli investigation of the Sabra and Shatila massacre known as the Kahan Commission, Security Minister Ariel Sharon and IOF Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan decided that the Lebanese Forces should be used to enter the Palestinian refugee camps located there. The two, along with several other senior Israeli security officials, met in a building 200 meters from the Shatila camp the day before the attack and gave the order for the LF to enter the camps”

A timeline of forty hours of ruthless slaughter

At 3:00 am on the 15th of September, Israeli Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, Major General Amir Drori, the LF’s Chief of Intelligence Elie Hobeika, and the Lebanese militia’s new commander-in-chief Fadi Frem met to discuss entry into the Sabra and Shatila camps. Sharon instructed, “Only one element, and that is the [IOF], shall command the forces in the area.” While the Israeli occupation forces gave the orders, the Phalangist militiamen did the dirty work:

Fighter jets flew at a low altitude and tankers and troops surrounded the camps from all sides. Israeli snipers were at work, tanks were shelling the premises, and all exits and entrances were blocked by the Israelis. Families locked themselves in their homes. 

By 11:30 am on the 16th of September, the Israelis announced that they had taken control of Beirut. 

At 4:00 pm, jeeps supplied by the Israeli occupation forces drove into Shatila with the guidance of arrows drawn on the walls by the Israelis. 

A platoon of 150 militia soldiers, armed with guns, knives, and axes, stormed the camp. Immediately, they entered homes, slit throats, axed, shot, and raped. On many occasions, they would also slit pregnant women’s bodies open, leaving them and their fetuses to bleed to death. Entire families and neighborhoods were lined up on the streets and shot ruthlessly. 

On Thursday and Friday, Israelis fired light flares into the camps to guide the militiamen in the massacre. One Dutch nurse described the camp as bright as “a sports stadium lit up for a football game.”

By 8:40 PM, a briefing by an army general, Yaron, took place: He said that the militiamen are confused as to what to do with the men, women, and children. They were concerned that they found no terrorists, which left them to wonder what to do with the population they have rounded up. 

At this point, the Israelis were divided on whether the operation should proceed or not. On the one hand, one commander thought things “may have gotten too far,” another commander was impressed with the militiamen’s work and that they should continue, as they called it, “mopping up” till 5 AM the next day. Upon requesting another bulldozer to “demolish illegal structures,” the Israelis unconditionally granted it to the Phalangists. 

On Friday the 17th of September, the systemic murder persisted. Bulldozers were at work: they were digging mass graves, and scooping bodies into piles on trucks just outside the camps. The “illegal structures,” which were inhabited buildings, would be destroyed so that bodies would be buried under the wreckage. At the height of this round of massacre, 400 militiamen were involved.

On Saturday at 6 am, loudspeakers passing through the camps would order civilians to give in to the militia, to exit their homes, and turn themselves in. At that point, it was reported that a thousand people marched out of their homes in lines. The Israeli-backed militiamen would take some of the civilians out of the line and execute them on the spot, whereas others would be dragged to trucks nearby the Kuwaiti embassy and kidnapped…never to be found again. 

At 9 am, international journalists and media outlets entered the camps only to find piles of bodies lying down on the floor – many mutilated, maimed, and unidentifiable. Many graves were shallowly dug, leaving dead body parts to appear arbitrarily. 

By 10 am, the militiamen left the camp and the Israelis stayed out of the “scene” so as to not be blamed for anything, refusing any accountability and denying any involvement in the disaster.

“Afterward, the area was closed off, and only a few journalists were able to get in and describe what they found. One described how many of the bodies of the dead had been severely mutilated: young men had been castrated, some people had been scalped…”

In a cruel and heartless statement, Prime Minister Menachem Begin commented on the massacre, at the time, by saying it is as “goyim killing goyim,” the Hebrew word for non-Jews. 

They did so, in fact, on Israeli orders, and with Israeli weapons.

Read more: The Lebanese Forces: A Long Bloody History

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 01-07 September 2022)

08. 09. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Five Palestinians were killed, and 31 others were injured, including 9 children, a woman and a paramedic, while dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.  Also, a Palestinian detainee died due to medical neglect policy.  Details are as follows:

On 01 September 2022, IOF shot dead Yazan Na’iem ‘Afanah (24) after being wounded in his chest during their incursion into Ramallah in the West Bank. (Details available in this press release).

On 02 September 2022, Fadi Mohammed Ghattas (24), from Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, was killed after IOF fired 6 live bullets at him and left him to bleed for 40 minutes at the entrance to Beit ‘Einun Road in northern Hebron.  IOF took the dead body and kept it in custody, claiming that he stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier. Later, IOF summoned Ghattas’s father for interrogation and to identify the corpse.

On 03 September 2022, Palestinian Detainee Mousa Haron Abu Mehamid, from Bethlehem, died at the Israeli hospital “Assaf Harofeh.” ( Details available in this press release).

On 05 September 2022, IOF killed Taher Zakarna (19) after they fired a live bullet at his head during the suppression of protestors after IOF moved into Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin in the West Bank. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested two Palestinians. (Details available in this press release).

On 06 September 2022, Mohammed Saba’nah was killed, and 17 other Palestinians were injured, including 6 children, a woman and a paramedic, by IOF fire during the latter’s incursion into Jenin, northern West Bank, and demolition of the house of a Palestinian who was killed after carrying out a shooting attack in Israel in April. The house demolition falls under IOF’s collective punishment policy against the families of Palestinians who are allegedly accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli targets. (Details available in this press release).

On 07 September 2022, Yunis Ghassan Tayeh (21) was killed by IOF fire during the latter’s incursion into al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Tubas in the West Bank. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested Yunis’s uncle. (Details available here)

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF incursions into cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 02 September 2022, 7 Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.  On the same day, several Palestinians sustained wounds after being beaten, and others suffocated due to teargas inhalation, while 4 Palestinians, including a child, were arrested during IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest organized in solidarity with Nabi Samuel villagers near al-Jeeb military checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 06 September 2022, a child was hit with a stun grenade in his head during clashes with IOF at the western entrance to al-‘Arroub refugee camp in Hebron. On the same day, 5 Palestinians sustained wounds after IOF opened fire and fired teargas canisters during their incursion into Jalazone refugee camp, north of al-Bireh city. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians, including 2 siblings.

On 07 September 2022, a Palestinian was shot with a live bullet after IOF opened fire at him, noting he was riding his motorcycle by Salem Palin in Nablus. IOF then arrested him.

In the Gaza Strip, 2 shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, and 4 other shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza Strip shore. On 01 September 2022, a burnt boat was pulled out of Khan Yunis Sea, and it turned out that Israeli gunboats fired several live bullets at the boat. 

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 116 Palestinians, including 84 civilians: 24 children, 8 women, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settler and the rest were activists; 15 of them were assassinated. Thirty-two of those killed, including 19 civilians: 8 children and 3 women were in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Also, 1,308 Palestinians were wounded in IOF’s attacks, including 204 children, 40 women, and 22 journalists, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 4 Palestinian detainees, including a woman, died in the Israeli jails.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 3 houses, rendering 4 families of 18 persons, including 6 women and 7 children, homeless. Also, IOF demolished 9 civilian economic facilities and razed a plot of land and property in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 02 September 2022, upon an Israeli municipal demolition decision allegedly for unlicensed construction, a Palestinian self-demolished his house in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering his family and his two brothers’ families of 11 persons, including 4 women and 3 children, homeless.  On the same day, upon a similar decision, a Palestinian self-demolished part of his 80-sqaure-meter house in occupied East Jerusalem. The house sheltered a family of 7 persons, including 2 women and 4 children.

On 03 September 2022, IOF’s bulldozers razed 8 dunums in Sinjil village, east of Ramallah. The levelled land is located in an area of 5200 dunums that IOF attempt to seize them, as these dunums are surrounded by 3 Israeli settlements and a military camp.

On 03 September 2022, IOF razed 8 dunums in Sinjil village, eastern Ramallah.  This plot of land is part of 5200 dunums, which IOF try to seize, and is surrounded by 3 settlements and an Israeli camp.

On 06 September 2022, IOF demolished 2 agricultural facilities, sealed off a water well and seized two containers full of construction equipment in Al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Also, IOF demolished for the second time a 95-meter retaining wall surrounding a plot of land in Jabal Mukaber in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 07 September 2022, IOF demolished a house and 7 civilian economic facilities, including 3 livestock barns, a carwash, tires shop, and 2 stores, in the rented Islamic Endowment property (Waqf) at ‘Anata entrance in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 112 families homeless, a total of 666 persons, including 129 women and 307 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 116 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 89 other civilian economic objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

On 02 September 2022, under IOF’s heavy protection, hundreds of Israeli settlers accompanied by the Extremist Israeli Member of Knesset (MK), Itamar Ben Gvir, moved into Nabi Samuel village in occupied East Jerusalem. They roamed its streets raising Israeli flags and attempted to provoke Palestinians. The settlers then gathered at the village’s entrance opposite to a protest organized by the village’s residents.

On 06 September 2022, Israeli settlers, under IOF’s protection, attacked Palestinian houses in Khelet al-Nahlah and Khalayil al-Louz areas opposite to “Efrat” settlement, south of Bethlehem. They attempted to raid the houses by force, beat their residents and threw stones at them. As a result, many residents sustained bruises. Also, IOF attacked the residents, who tried to confront the settlers, and arrested 6 of them. 

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 178 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 190 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 96 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children and a female journalist.  In the Gaza Strip, on 07 September 2022, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern al-Bureij camp in central Gaza Strip and into eastern Khuza’a in Khan Yunis.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 5,930 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem; during which, 3,540 Palestinians were arrested, including 334 children and 31 women. IOF also conducted 28 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 78 Palestinians, including 45 fishermen, 28 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

IOF maintains an illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly- update on the state of Gaza crossings in July.

On 06 September 2022, Mohammed Yaser al-Leddawi (32), from Rafah, died after IOF obstructed his travel to receive treatment at Patient’s Friends Society Hospital in Nablus and at Al-Mutala’ Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, after he applied for a travel permit 8 times in a row to receive treatment for lymphoma.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 104 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 8 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 04 September 2022, IOF closed the metal detector gate established at the main entrance to Nabi Saleh village in Ramallah, and reopened it on 07 September 2022, as part of the collective punishment policy for an alleged shooting at the military watchtower established there.

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 3,005 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 142 Palestinians at those checkpoints

GIVING VOICE TO THE VOICELESS: TALES FROM THE PARENTS OF TORTURED PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

AUGUST 26TH, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

BEIT HANINA, OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people.

Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.

When I asked the now defeated Representative Andy Levin about this issue, he said to me that, “no Jewish member of congress will sign the bill,” and when I asked why, he said that it was “anti-Israel.” His response was indicative of the problem. Knowing how Israel treats children makes it imperative to sign any bill that is, as he put it, “anti-Israel.” Why he feels that Jewish members of congress should express loyalty to Israel at all, and on this issue in particular, is another question, and one that needs to be explored. Many Jewish people in America resent the fact that they are somehow expected to be loyal and even held accountable for the actions of a country that wrongly declares itself to be the “Jewish State.”

TWO MOTHERS

Anyone who has been to Palestine and has taken the time to speak to Palestinian parents knows what they must endure when Israeli authorities take away their children. There is no law, no court, no human rights organization in the world that can protect Palestinian children from Israel. What these parents know and are unable to understand is the fact that the United States can protect their children, but elects not to do so.

Mourners pray over the bodies of six Palestinians, including children, killed by Israeli airstrikes in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza, Aug. 6, 2022. Abdel Kareem Hana | AP

Just a few days prior to writing these words, I had met with two Palestinian mothers on two separate occasions. One in the village of Nabi Saleh, and the other in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem. No parent with a beating heart can listen to their stories and refrain from crying. No person with a conscience can sit idly by as Israel tortures both children and parents on an ongoing basis and not want to raise their voice.

NABI SALEH

More has been written and said about the village of Nabi Saleh than one would expect for such a small place. Tucked in one of the most beautiful sports in Palestine, Nabi Saleh has about five hundred residents, all part of the Tamimi clan, one of the largest clans in Palestine. However, as they say, it’s not the size of the person, or in this case the village, in the fight, but the size of the fight in the person. Well, never has this been more true than in the case of Nabi Saleh. It is a small village with the heart and a fighting spirit larger than one hundred villages put together.

Probably the most famous fighter in Nabi Saleh is Ahed Tamimi, the daughter of my friends Bassem and Nariman whose home is like a second home to me. Bassem and Nariman have known their share of sorrow and pain with their own experiences and those of their children being taken by the occupying enemy. However, this particular story is about their cousins Osama and Hamada, as it was told to me by their mother Manal Tamimi.

All Palestinians know that interrogation by the Israeli authorities means torture. In this particular case, both the older sons of Manal and Bilal were taken at the same time. Osama was 19 years old and Hamada was about 17. Their interrogation lasted over three weeks, during which Osama had to be taken to the hospital twice. “We were not able to visit him in the hospital, nor did they tell us why he was taken to the hospital,” Manal told me. When the enemy occupier takes your children, you assume the worst.

Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP/Mahmoud Illean)
Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. Mahmoud Illean | AP

“I used to sleep in their beds at night just to feel close to them. One night in Osama’s bed and one in Hamada’s,” Manal said. Knowing your child is being tortured, exposed to the elements, being treated so severely that he has to be taken to the hospital and having no ability to be there with him is more than any parent should have to endure. “The sensitivity to extreme light and loud noises remained with Hamada even after he was released,” she added.

Hamada, who is the younger of the two, spent twenty-two months in an Israeli prison. Osama was held for about a year. Manal and Bilal had to pay thousands of dollars, as all parents of Palestinian children have to do, before the authorities released them.

AHMAD MANASRA

I ran into Ahmad Manasra’s lawyer, Khaled Zbarka, in El-Lyd. We were there at a vigil commemorating the murder of Musa Hassuna at the hands of settlers in May 2021. I was introduced to Khaled by El-Lyd city councilwoman Fida Shehade. She suggested that I meet with Khaled and Amhad Manasra’s parents in Jerusalem, where they reside. As things turned out, Khaled was not available, and I went to meet Ahmad’s parents without him.

The story of Ahmad Manasra is well documented, and the latest development is that on August 16 the Israeli court in Bi’r Saba held a hearing regarding his extended isolation in solitary confinement. “He sits there in that cell with nothing but the four walls surrounding him,” his father, Abu-Ahmed, said to me over and over again. The Israeli court rejected the request to end isolation and the recommendation by several mental health experts and international human rights organizations to release him to a mental health care facility where he could receive the urgent care he requires.

Ahmad was badly injured when he was arrested. He had been beaten, run over, and suffered from bleeding and internal injuries. This was seven years ago: he was thirteen years old at the time. His mother thought he was dead at first. Only after a day was she told that he was still alive. Ahmad was handcuffed to a bed at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. His parents were still not permitted to see him. One can hardly imagine the pain of a parent whose child is in hospital but is not allowed to comfort them.

When he was released from the hospital, he was sent to an institution for young offenders. Only after two months of horrifying experiences there were his parents permitted to see their child.

“We were told our boy was involved in a terror attack!” His mother, Umm Ahmad, told me, still in shock by the absurd notion that her sweet, sensitive son could be accused of something like that. His cousin, fifteen, who was also there, was shot on the scene by bystanders. “At thirteen they accused him of terrorism,” Abu Ahmad said over and over. “Thirteen years old a terrorist? Who can accuse a child or terrorism?”

Visits are limited to forty-five minutes once a month. “When he is in the hospital, which often happens for Ahmad, they are not permitted to see him. “He was moved between prisons about ten times,” Abu Ahmad said. I mentioned that this is a violation of international law. His reply was, “Ahmad’s entire case is a violation of international laws. Imagine that: at the age of thirteen, he was interrogated without the presence of a parent or a lawyer.” When the parents plan a visit, very often they receive a message two days before they leave. “They will notify us that he was moved and so the visit is postponed and we cannot see him for another month,” Abu Ahmad told me.

PRESSURE

The text of the bill to defend Palestinian children can be found here, and the list of co-sponsors, here. Anyone who is eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm election needs to demand that their candidate commit to adding their name to this bill. No consideration should come before the well being of a child.

في الذكرى الحادية والعشرين لاستشهاده: أبو علي مصطفى القائد الشجاع المرفوع الهامة في حياته واستشهاده.. وقصة ظهوره على “الجزيرة” ومفارقاتها

السبت 27 اغسطس 2022

د. ماهر الطاهر

مسؤول العلاقات الدولية في الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين

في ذكرى استشهاده الحادية والعشرين نتذكر بكل فخر واعتزاز وشموخ قائداً ومقاتلاً فلسطينياً وعربياً، كان ولا زال وستبقى ذكراه ومأثره في عقولنا وقلوبنا، رجلاً من أصدق الرجال وأغلى الرجال وأشجع الرجال الفارس أبو علي مصطفى الأمين العام السابق للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين، الذي اغتالته يد الغدر بقرار من المجرم شارون الذي اتخذ قراراً في المجلس الوزاري المصغر في الكيان الاسرائيلي للتخلص من الخطر الذي يمثله هذا القائد الذي يجسد نموذجاً للإخلاص والعطاء والتضحية والشجاعة والتحدي.

ففي يوم لا ينسى السابع والعشرين من اب عام 2001 وعلى أرض فلسطين المقاومة قصفت الطائرات الإسرائيلية مقر عمله في رام الله وارتقى بكل عنفوان شهيداً ليلتقي ب غسان كنفاني ووديع حداد وجيفارا غزة وخالد ابو عيشة وأبو أمل وخليل الوزير وكل الشهداء.

عرفته الجماهير الفلسطينية والعربية على امتداد نصف قرن مقاتلاً صلباً عنيداً لا ينكسر ولا يتراجع أمام التحديات والمصاعب والمحن.

كان لقائي الاول مع أبو علي مصطفى عام 1972 في بيروت وكان نائباً للأمين العام الدكتور جورج حبش وكان عمره 34 عاما وعمري 19 عاما، وفي هذا اللقاء حيث كنا نحضر اجتماعاً للجنة المركزية العامة للجبهة، كان الحديث سريعاً عن المقاومة وعلى الوضع في لبنان ووضع الثورة الفلسطينية بعد الخروج من الأردن. وشعرت أنني أمام إنسان يدخل إلى القلب بسرعة متواضع إلى أبعد الحدود ويمتلك كاريزما قيادية تترك أثراً عميقاً لمن يلتقيه لأول مرة وشعرت بالإعجاب والتقدير لهذا الانسان منذ اللقاء الأول.

بعد الاجتياح الاسرائيلي للبنان عام 1982 انتقل المركز القيادي للجبهة من بيروت الى دمشق وتسلمت مسؤولية جديدة كأمين سر للمكتب السياسي للجبهة وفي تلك المرحلة منذ أن تسلمت هذه المسؤولية أصبحت على صلة يومية مع الأمين العام الدكتور جورج حبش ونائب الأمين العام أبو علي مصطفى حيث كنا نعمل في مكتب واحد وأستطيع القول انني تعرفت على أبو علي بشكل وثيق عبر سنوات طويلة تشكلت خلالها علاقة صداقة وليس علاقة عمل فقط. وعرفت هذا الانسان وهذه القامة الوطنية الكبيرة ومكونات شخصيته الفذة.

أستطيع القول ان أبا علي انسان منظم في عمله إلى أبعد الحدود بسيط ويعمل ساعات طويلة قبل الظهر وبعد الظهر وكان أول من يحضر إلى العمل وآخر من يغادر ولا يتعامل مع رفاقه إلا بكل محبة وتواضع ويشعر الرفاق العاملين معه أننا أسرة وعائلة واحدة في إدارة العمل، يحمل درجة عالية من الدفء بعلاقته مع رفاقه، الأمر الذي يجعل كل الرفاق يعملون بحماس وقناعة ورغبة شديدة في إنجاز المهمات وليس مجرد تنفيذ واجبات ومهام بشكل روتيني، إنما كفريق عمل وأسرة مناضلة تعمل من أجل تحقيق مبادئ وأهداف سامية.

وفي الوقت الذي كان يتمتع فيه بأعلى درجات التواضع والبساطة فقد كان حازماً ومتابعاً للعمل بأعلى درجات الجدية والحرص على إنجاز المهام في أوقاتها المحددة وكان يتمتع بمناقبية عالية ويرفض أية امتيازات، زاهداً لا تغريه مظاهر الحياة، بسيطاً في طعامه ولباسه وأتذكر عندما أصبح أميناً عاماً للجبهة بعد التنحي الطوعي للقائد المؤسس المناضل العربي الكبير الدكتور جورج حبش، اتصل معنا معد برنامج بلا حدود في قناة الجزيرة السيد أحمد منصور طالباً إجراء حوار في الدوحة مع أبو علي مصطفى بعد تسلم موقعه كأمين عام وفي البداية حاول الاعتذار عن اللقاء لكن تم إقناعه بضرورة إجراء هذا الحوار لكي يطل بمهامه الجديدة على الشعب الفلسطيني ويطرح رؤيته وأفكاره واقتنع بالذهاب ولكنه طلب ان أرافقه في هذه الزيارة وسافرنا معاً وقبل السفر بيوم اتصلت به وقلت له نريد أن نأخذ مبلغ من المال كسلفة عمل في رحلتنا فقال لي إذا كانت التذاكر والاقامة على حساب قناه الجزيرة اطلب من المالية سلفة 50 دولار لكنني قلت له أن هذا المبلغ غير كافي وأخذنا سلفة 100 دولار.

عند استشهاده كنا في اجتماع للمكتب السياسي في حلقة الخارج و فوجئنا بأحد الرفاق يدخل بشكل مفاجئ ويقول أن هناك خبراً تناقلته وكالات الانباء بأن طائرات إسرائيلية اغتالت أبو علي مصطفى، شعرنا بصدمة شديدة وأوقفنا الاجتماع وخرجنا من الغرفة واتصلنا مع رفاقنا داخل الوطن وتأكدنا من صحة الخبر المؤلم، انتابنا مشاعر حزن عميق وكانت مفاجأة وصدمة شديدة، لم يكن قائدنا فقط وإنما كان بالنسبة لنا الصديق والاخ والرفيق الذي عملنا معه سنوات طويلة حافلة بالأحداث والذكريات وبدأت تنهال علينا الاتصالات من سوريا ولبنان والاردن وفلسطين والعديد من بلدان العالم شعرنا بحزن عميق وشديد وبنفس الوقت مشاعر غضب وتحدِ باننا يجب ان نرد ونثأر لشهيدنا الكبير ولكل شهداء شعبنا.

وفعلا جاء الرد مدوياً من رفاقنا الابطال على ارض الوطن وقبل مرور أربعين يوما تم الرد بتصفية وزير السياحة الصهيوني المتطرف رحبعام زئيفي.

لا شك أن القرار الاسرائيلي وعلى أعلى مستوى باغتيال أبو علي مصطفى كان ناجماً عن متابعة ورصد دقيق للدور الكبير الذي يلعبه هذا القائد الاستثنائي على أرض فلسطين بعد عودته إلى الوطن سواء دوره على المستوى الداخلي في تصليب أوضاع الجبهة الشعبية والبناء التنظيمي والكفاحي، أو على المستوى الوطني ضمن إطار فصائل الثورة الفلسطينية، ولذلك أدرك الكيان الاسرائيلي أهمية وخطورة الدور الذي يمكن أن يلعبه هذا القائد الكبير فتم اتخاذ القرار وأعلن شارون مباشرة بعد عملية الاغتيال بأنه تم التخلص من شخصية خطيرة.

خرجت الجماهير الفلسطينية في الأراضي المحتلة عام 1948 وفي الضفة والقطاع و القدس وسوريا ولبنان والاردن وكل مواقع اللجوء والشتات والمنافي البعيدة بمسيرات وتشييع رمزي وإقامة مجالس عزاء لهذه القامة الوطنية والقومية العربية الكبيرة لأنها كانت تدرك حجم الخسارة التي أصابت الشعب الفلسطيني وأحرار العالم.

لقد توهم الكيان الصهيوني أنه باغتيال الشهيد أبو علي سوف يتم إضعاف الجبهة الشعبية وتحجيم دورها، ولا شك ان استشهاد هذا الرمز الكفاحي الكبير قد شكل ضربة مؤلمة وموجعة للجبهة الشعبية ولكن هذه الضربة لم تُضِعف الجبهة الشعبية بل زادتها قوة وإصرار على مواصلة الكفاح والمقاومة وهذا ما أكدته مسيرة السنوات العشرين التي أعقبت عملية الاغتيال الجبانة والغادرة.

عهداً أيها القائد وفي الذكرى الحادية والعشرين لاستشهادك نجدد العهد، عهد الرجال للرجال بأننا سنواصل مسيرة الكفاح والمقاومة حتى تحقيق كامل الأهداف والمبادئ التي ناضلت وقضيت في سبيلها وستبقى في ذاكرتنا وذاكرة شعبنا وأمتنا الى الابد.

فلسطين لا إيران الخاسر الأكبر من زيارة بايدن

السبت 16 تموز 2022

ناصر قنديل

يحاول الإعلام الأميركي والإسرائيلي والخليجي الترويج لمقولة اعتبار إيران الخاسر الأكبر من زيارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الى المنطقة، من خلال تصوير الالتزامات الأميركية مع كيان الاحتلال بالدعم المالي والعسكري والسياسي من جهة، وإجراءات التطبيع التي ستقوم بها دول الخليج مع كيان الاحتلال من جهة مقابلة، بصفتها خسائر لإيران وخسائر تسببت بها إيران بسبب دعمها لحركات المقاومة في المنطقة من فلسطين الى اليمن، التي تسببت بهذا الدعم الأميركي للكيان وهذا الاقتراب الخليجي نحو التطبيع.

التدقيق في مفاصل ومجريات الزيارة وخطاباتها السياسية سيكشف لنا أن الرئيس الأميركي جاء يلعب بالإسرائيليين والخليجيين لحساب كسب الأصوات في معركته الانتخابية من جهة، عبر ما تقدمه الصورة المنقولة الى الداخل الأميركي عن “الحنان” الأميركي تجاه “إسرائيل” للتأثير باتجاه ونسبة تصويت اليهود وفعالية اللوبيات الصهيونية لصالح حزبه انتخابياً، ولتظهير السخاء النفطي الذي يأمل بالحصول عليه من دول الخليج عموماً والسعودية خصوصاً، رهاناً على فعالية تأثيره في أسعار أسواق المحروقات على الأميركيين، وتأثير ذلك على وجهة تصويتهم.

بالتراتب، بعد الربح الأميركي، أو بالأحرى ربح بايدن وحزبه، يأتي الربح الإسرائيلي، بإعلان تطابق الرؤية الأميركية المقدّمة نظرياً تحت شعار حل الدولتين للصراع حول مستقبل القضية الفلسطينية، ليقدم تماهياً مع الرؤية الإسرائيلية، حيث لا مكان للقدس، ولا لوقف الاستيطان، والبحث بإطلاق المسار التفاوضي، وهي العناوين التي كانت تشكل مفاصل التمايز الأميركي عن الرؤية الإسرائيلية، وبدلاً من تخفيض مستوى الدعم الأميركي لـ”إسرائيل” بسبب عدم تجاوبها مع هذه العناوين كما كان يجري عادة في زمن الإدارات الديمقراطية الأميركية خصوصاً، جاء بايدن يعلن التراجع الأميركي عن هذه العناوين لحساب التطابق مع الرؤية الإسرائيلية، ويزيد عليها جوائز مالية وعسكرية يكافئ بها “إسرائيل” على إغلاق الباب نهائيا أمام فرص حل الدولتين، عبر التهويد المتزايد للقدس, تكريسها عاصمة موحدة لكيان الاحتلال، وتنامي تقطيع أوصال الجغرافيا المتصلة للضفة الغربية بالمزيد من المراكز الاستيطانية، واختزال التفاوض بالتنسيق الأمني الذي يجعل السلطة الفلسطينية مجرد جهاز أمني رديف لأمن الكيان إلى جانب أجهزتها لملاحقة المقاومة، لا شريكاً سياسياً.

على الضفة الخليجية، بمعزل عن حجم الخطوات التطبيعية التي سوف يحصدها بايدن لحساب كيان الاحتلال، ومهما كانت محدودة، تعبيراً عن القلق السعودي من التوازنات الدولية المتغيّرة، وتجنبها الإقدام على خطوات متهوّرة في لحظة تغير الموازين، سيبقى قرار من نوع فتح الأجواء السعودية أمام الطائرات الإسرائيلية الذي استبق وصول بايدن الى السعودية، كافياً لإطلاق الإشارة بأن المبادرة العربية للسلام التي كانت تشكل قيداً ذاتياً عربياً اقترحته السعودية في القمة العربية المنعقدة في بيروت عام 2002، للامتناع عن أية إجراءات تطبيعية إلا ربطاً بحصول الفلسطينيين على حقوقهم السياسية، كما وردت في المبادرة، وبالقياس لما وفرته عمليات التطبيع مع الإمارات والبحرين والمغرب من كسر لهذا الامتناع، سيكون القرار السعودي، الذي سيقال إنه شكلي وهامشي، كافياً لمنح الختم السعودي لمبدأ إزالة الحظر عن التطبيع وربطه بالقبول الإسرائيلي بالمبادرة العربية للسلام، وهذا كاف على الأقل بالنسبة للآن، لكل من واشنطن وتل أبيب، طالما أن الموقف السعودي يقول إن مسألة التطبيع لم تعد مسألة عربية جامعة مرتبطة بالقضية الفلسطينية، بل هي الآن قضية سيادية تخص نظرة كل دولة لمصالحها، وبقياس تخلي العرب سابقاً عن الحرب كأداة لنصرة فلسطين، ثم تخليهم عن النفط كسلاح، يأتي التخلي عن حرمة التطبيع إعلان فك نهائيّ وشامل الارتباط بالقضية الفلسطينية، وإسقاطها من سلم الأولويات والالتزامات العربية.

يحاول بعض المتحدثين الخليجيين رمي مسؤولية هذا الانهيار الأخلاقي العربي على إيران بالقول إنه لولا الخوف الخليجي من إيران لما حدث ما حدث، لكن ما حفلت به الصحف الإسرائيلية عن التاريخ السري للعلاقات الإسرائيلية الخليجية، وحجم التنسيق والتعاون في مجالاتها المختلفة، يقول ما قالته الصحف نفسها بأن ما نشهده من إجراءات تطبيعيّة ليس إلا نقلاً لما كان في السر إلى العلن، وبالتوازي كيف يكون الذهاب لتقديم الجغرافيا العربية لـ”إسرائيل” التي تزداد فرص المواجهة بينها وبين إيران، نتيجة للخوف الخليجي من إيران، وهو يزيد فرص جعل الجغرافيا الخليجية مجرد حقل رمي إيراني لمواجهة التمدد الإسرائيلي، بينما الطبيعي عندما يكون الخوف المزعوم هو السبب أن تكون النتيجة الابتعاد عن كل استفزاز يمكن أن يصعد فرص الاستهداف.

كل هذا في كفة، وفي كفة أخرى ما هو مخفيّ بين السطور، بالتدقيق في البيان الأميركي الإسرائيلي المشترك، سنجد كل ما نحتاجه لنعرف أن الأميركي حصل على الموافقة الإسرائيلية على المضي قدماً بالتفاوض توصلاً لاتفاق على الملف النووي مع إيران، وقد تم تزيين هذه الموافقة بتعابير رنانة من نوع التعهد بمنع إيران من امتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً، وجاء ما تلاه من كلام إسرائيلي على لسان مسؤول المخابرات العسكرية في جيش الاحتلال للواشنطن بوست حول أن الاتفاق مع إيران لا يزال الطريق الأمثل لمنع امتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً يفسر هذا الاستنتاج، بعدما حمل بايدن حبات البقلاوة العربية لـ”إسرائيل”، دافعاً من جيوبهم، أثمن ما لديهم، ثمن الحصول على الموافقة الإسرائيلية التي يحتاجها ليعاود التفاوض طليق اليدين.

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From stones to missiles: Evolution of the Palestinian resistance forms and methods

13 Jul 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

The Palestinian resistance is now on the rise. With every passing day, its military capabilities are increasing steadily, and pledging more sacrifices and efforts.

From stones to missiles: Evolution of the Palestinian resistance forms and methods

After “Israel” invaded Lebanon in 1982, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was forced into yet another exile. PLO’s forces were stationed in far–away Arab capitals (Yemen and Algeria) and the PLO headquarters were moved to Tunisia. This major development resulted in a general decline in resistance activities inside and outside of occupied Palestine. The shock lasted for a few years during which “Israel”, backed by the US, tried to capitalize on its military achievement to turn it into a political triumph, hence the (Saudi) Arab Initiative for Peace in1982, the rapprochement between the PLO leadership and the Egyptian regime, and the increased activities of the collaborationist “villages’ leagues” in occupied Palestine.

That period of lull and uncertainty ended in 1987, when the first uprising (in Arabic: Intifada) erupted. The heroic military operation against the Israeli army, using gliders, launched from Southern Lebanon, was very inspiring to the Palestinian people under occupation and revived the belief in resistance and revolution. The Intifada was very widespread among the masses, far exceeding the framework of the Palestinian organizations. Popular struggle against occupation; demonstrations, strikes, and closures, was its main feature. Brave young people confronting the heavily-armed Israeli troops and throwing stones at them, attracted the eyes of the world. Stone became the symbol of the Intifada. The Stone Revolution was actually a popular invention, considering the lack of support, the absence of infrastructure for armed struggle, and the state of encirclement imposed by “Israel” on the Palestinian people.

The Dark Nineties

After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent Gulf war, the first phase of the Intifada ended. The PLO got engaged in extensive series of public and secretive negotiations with “Israel”, that resulted in the “Oslo Agreement” in 1993 and the formation of the “Palestinian Authority” in the major cities of Gaza and the West Bank. As for the Palestinian struggle and resistance, the nineties were very bad years! The “Palestinian Authority (PA)” joined “Israel” in its battle against anybody who plans for, or even thinks of, fighting the Israeli forces. That happened under the banner of “security coordination” according to the terms of the infamous Oslo Agreement. Life became very difficult, if not impossible, for the real freedom fighters, especially in the environment of fake peace that took over the whole region. Jordan joined in and signed the “Wadi Araba Treaty” with 

“Israel”, and with Egypt already having its “Camp David Accords” with “Israel”, the prospects for armed struggle against the Israeli occupation became gloomy. With Iraq defeated and isolated, Libya under sanctions, and Algeria in internal turmoil, Syria was pushed by the Arab League to join the negotiations process in the middle east – sponsored by the Clinton administration in the US (though it maintained its political stance towards the Palestinian cause and did not sign any bilateral deal with “Israel”).  The only country in the middle east that maintained its support for the Palestinian right to liberation via armed struggle and remained vocal in its opposition to the so-called “peace process”, was Iran. But Iran at that time was very busy in major internal rebuilding after the eight-year destructive war with Iraq (1980 – 1988). Iran’s focus was on helping the Lebanese resistance to liberate the Southern part of the country – still under Israeli occupation.

Under these circumstances, popular and mass resistance actions were no longer possible, so the Palestinian revolutionaries turned to other methods targeting the Israeli occupation, particularly explosive devices and booby traps, individual attacks, and martyrdom operations carried out by small groups and orchestrated by a few individuals – planners. However, by the end of the nineties, “Israel” – with real contribution from the Palestinian Authority – was able to eliminate the active masterminds of that kind of armed resistance, and things in Palestine appeared as if the Israel-PA partnership is working.

The Second Intifada

In the year 2000, negotiations between PLO’s Yasser Arafat and Israel’s Ehud Barak reached a deadlock and collapsed. Arafat failed to get anything tangible or meaningful in return for his years-long cooperation. In the meantime, scenes came from Southern Lebanon of the humiliating and disgraceful Israeli withdrawal under the strikes of Lebanese armed resistance.

Pragmatic in nature, Yasser Arafat decided to use the armed struggle as a means of pressurizing the Israelis. He had done that repeatedly in the past, while in Lebanon. Arafat hinted to his aides to bypass the security coordination with “Israel” and he relied on the Palestinian guerilla fighters. It didn’t take long for the second Intifada to break out. It quickly turned into a wave of strong and impactful martyrdom operations against “Israel”, the biggest of which was in the town of Netanya where 30 Israelis were killed on 27 March 2002.  

Despite the large scale of the Israeli invasion of the PA territories, the massacre in the Jenin refugees camp, and the encirclement of Yasser Arafat in his headquarter, the Palestinian revolutionary spirit didn’t weaken, especially in the Gaza strip. Arafat passed away in 2004 and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, was much less charismatic and powerful. In 2005, “Israel” came to the conclusion that the Gaza strip was a “lost cause” and decided to unilaterally withdraw its forces from there. The net result of these developments was a stronger presence of the armed resistance organizations in Gaza, particularly Al-Qassam group, the military wing of the (Islamic) Hamas movement, which started working almost openly.

Build up of Palestinian Military Capabilities

2007 was a landmark. Hamas movement managed to expel the security apparatus of the PA and imposed its control all over the Gaza strip. Since then, the “golden era” of the armed Palestinian resistance began. The fighting groups, particularly Al-Qassam and “Saraya Al-Quds”, were inspired by the Hezbollah struggle against “Israel” in Lebanon, and gradually started moving in the direction of military professionalism, with brigades and hierarchy. They quickly established links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, headed by Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. For its part, “Israel” traced and thwarted several attempts to stop smuggling weapons from Iran to Gaza via the Red Sea, Sudan and Sinai. It also assassinated Hamas’ military wing liaison officer, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, in turn, arrested the Hezbollah commander, Sami Shehab, in charge of channeling military aid to Gaza in 2009. Despite all that, and the very complicated logistics situation, it was evident that significant technical and financial support did reach Gaza and enabled the resistance movements to start with a “local production” program for military tools and means, though simple and limited. 

With the repeated Israeli attacks and encounters, the Palestinian resistance movements gained substantial military experience and became more effective. In 2014, the Palestinian armed resistance launched rockets that landed inside “Israel”, though with limited precision and range. “Israel” was getting very worried about the developments in Gaza and tried its best to eliminate the scientific and qualified personnel of the resistance in Gaza. “Israel” actually managed to assassinate senior leaders from the Palestinian military wings responsible in particular for the missiles programs, notably among them was Baha’ Abul Atta of Saraya Al-Quds, and before him Ahmad Al-Ja’abari, the deputy commander of Al-Qassam brigades. But the momentum gained by the resistance movements in Gaza didn’t vanish. On the contrary, military wings became even stronger and their work became systematic – not dependent on specific persons. When the Americans assassinated Hajj Qassem Suleimani early in 2020, the role that he played in building the Palestinian military capabilities came into public. The leaders of all armed wings of the Palestinian movements spoke very warmly of him and expressed their gratitude for his help and leadership. On the Palestinian front, Hajj Qassem cared for one thing only: unity against the Zionist entity (Israel). He whole-heartedly believed that Zionist injustice in Palestine will have to come to an end, sooner or later. 

During Saif Al-Quds Battle

In the last encounter of 2021, known as Saif Al-Quds, the much-improved military capabilities of the Palestinian military wings came into display. Within a few days, thousands of missiles were successfully launched from Gaza and reached their targets deep inside “Israel”. The Palestinian movements also formed a joint operation and command room to coordinate activities and responses. The Israeli army, and its “Iron Dome” defense system, failed to down the Palestinian rockets. “Israel” didn’t dare to carry out ground operations in Gaza and was no longer able to sustain prolonged military operations due to the internal turmoil caused by the Palestinian missiles which practically “froze” the Israeli economy for days. A state of deterrence was established with “Israel” as if it were between two armies. That was a remarkable success for the Palestinian resistance. The days when the Israeli army was able to wander in Gaza without expecting a damaging response were long gone. The Palestinian resistance was able to impose new realities on the ground. It’s a new era, that of the “missile” resistance. No more knives or stones throwing. 

The Palestinian resistance is now on the rise. With every passing day, its military capabilities are increasing steadily, and pledging more sacrifices and efforts. The new generation in Palestine is more determined than ever before to liberate its country. And it’s not over yet.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Hussam AbdelKareem 

‘Watani’: A Kanafanian Song in the Time of National Crisis (VIDEO)

July 13, 2022

Late Palestinian intellectual Ghassan Kanafani. (Photo: via as-Safir)

By Haidar Eid

Bodies fall, but not the idea. (Ghassan Kanafani)

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani coincides with the passing of 15 years of the Fatah-Hamas rift, instigated by the Bush administration in 2007 and which has led to the formation of two local, opposing administrations by the two parties in the 1967 occupied territories.

The clashes between the two parties created a new reality on the ground, the brunt of which has been paid, mainly, by the 2.4 million residents of the besieged Gaza Strip, and has led to one of the worst national crises Palestinians have had since the emergence of the contemporary Palestinian revolution and the formation of the PLO.

What would Ghassan Kanafani have said?! This song is an attempt to address this question.

The song is written and performed by Haidar Eid.

Nai: Ismail Harazeen

Oud: Mohammed Oukasha

Graphic Design: Alaa Samir

Lyrics:

Oh, WATANY (MY HOMELAND)

Patience and steadfastness

And forgiveness for what we have done

WATANY!

You are the throbbing heart

You are the throbbing HEART

You are the soul

The soul

THE SOUL

And the soul is dear (to the heart)

And so TRANSCENDENTAL

Algeria: 60 years of endless support for the Palestinian cause

July 5, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

By Ahmad Karakira 

Algeria has always demonstrated unconditional support for the country of Palestine and the Palestinian cause, which dates back to fighting “Israel” and helping Egypt claim back Sinai in the 1973 October War.

Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause

On July 5, 1962, after 132 years of French colonialism, Algeria declared its independence. The Evian agreements of March 18, 1962, ended the war between France and the Algerian National Liberation Army (ALN), and a referendum of self-determination took place on the first of July, 1962.

The results of the referendum came in favor of transferring power from the French to the Algerian authorities on July 3, ending decades of occupation, settler colonialism, and massacres.

The date – July 5 – was deliberately chosen by the Algerian government in reference to July 5, 1830, when the city of Algiers was occupied by France.

The seven-year war between the French occupier and the Algerian resistance left around one million Algerian martyrs on the path of Algeria’s freedom and liberation.

Endless stories about heroic epic battles by the Algerian resistance against Western colonialism can be recounted on the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

However, this piece aims to shed light on Algeria’s endless support for Palestine, the Palestinian cause, and fellow Arab states against all forms of oppression and occupation since the north African country gained its liberation through resistance.

“We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors”

To begin with, Palestinians supported the Algerian Revolution from 1954-1962 and showed solidarity through organizing fundraisers for Algeria.

Despite some Arab states shamefully signing normalization agreements with the Israeli occupation in exchange for some benefits, Algeria has strongly opposed such deals, considering normalization with the occupation as a betrayal to the Arabs and the Palestinian cause.

In the early 1970s, former Algerian President Houari Boumediene said his famous phrase, “We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors.”

It is noteworthy that similar to the official Algerian stance on Palestine, Algerians, according to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, oppose normalizing ties with the Israeli occupation with a 99% rate.

One would wonder about the secret behind Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause.

Historically, Algeria has always been advocating the Palestinian cause and supporting fellow Arab states against the Israeli occupation.

In fact, after only five years of gaining its liberation from the French occupation, Algeria supported the Arab allies against “Israel” by sending troops and aircrafts to fight alongside the Arab states in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Algerian army also played an important role during the 1973 October war.

Significantly, when Egypt signed the Camp David Agreement and established ties with the Israeli occupation, Algeria severed its ties with Egypt.

In addition, Algeria established close relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), providing it with weapons, training its fighters during the 70s, and helping the PLO obtain observer status in the UN in 1974.

After the former US President Donald Trump’s administration, the UAE, and “Israel” revealed the so-called “Abraham Accords” in August, current Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune stressed his country’s deep commitment to the Palestinian cause, affirming that Algeria deems Palestine as a sacred cause.

Algiers also harshly criticized the normalizing states (the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan). It also paid the price for its anti-normalization stance, as the US acknowledged the Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara after years of unresolved disputes and unachievable status.

In trying to understand the reason behind Algeria’s official and popular support for the Palestinian cause, Sami Hamdi, the Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest magazine, explained that “Algerians feel a deep resonance with the Palestinians who have been colonized for some 82 years and believe that whatever the difficulties, resistance will eventually succeed.”

In the same context, TRT had quoted Jalel Harchaoui, a Senior Fellow at the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, as saying that Algeria’s “somewhat exceptional history makes resistance against colonial powers writ large a narrative crucially central to the Algerian state as we know it.”

Algeria’s participation in the 1973 October War

Aiming to restore the lands that “Israel” occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War – Sinai in Egypt and the Golan Heights in Syria – on October 6, 1973, Cairo and Damascus launched an attack on the Zionist entity. The war coincided with the holy month of Ramadan.

During that time, Algeria played a significant role in providing Egypt and Syria with Soviet weapons and bringing in troops to the Egyptian front to fight the Israeli occupation, despite its then-instable economic situation as a result of the pre-independence era of French colonialism.

In fact, then-Algerian President Houari Boumedienne reportedly flew to Moscow to secure military aid for the Egyptians and the Syrians.

In a reiteration of its role in supporting anti-colonialist movements, Algeria sent more than 2,100 troops, 815 non-commissioned officers, and 192 officers to Sinai. It also sent 96 tanks and over 50 fighters and bomber aircraft to Egypt, according to the Egyptian authorities.

Algiers also participated in the oil embargo imposed by the Arab members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the US over its support of the Israeli occupation during the war, which led to significant price hikes around the world.

On October 17, Arab oil producers decided to increase the price of oil by 17% and cut oil production by 5%, vowing to “maintain the same rate of reduction each month thereafter until the Israeli forces are fully withdrawn from all Arab territories occupied during the June 1967 War, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are restored.”

Sharon underestimated the power of Algerian forces

In the context of the 1973 October War, the former Chief of Staff of the Israeli occupation forces, David Eliezer, acknowledged in his released diaries that “Israel” lost this war as a result of the arrogance of then-Major General Ariel Sharon, who underestimated the power of the Algerian forces and thought that they wouldn’t stand a chance against the IOF forces, thinking that they would flee as soon as they set their eyes on Israeli tanks.

Eliezer said that 900 IOF soldiers were killed and 172 tanks were destroyed in just one day during the war.

On his part, the former Israeli Security Minister Moshe Dayan revealed that all the intelligence information showed that Algerians did not have weapons capable of intercepting the Israeli forces.

Dayan also said the Israelis received intelligence about a state of division between the Egyptians and the Algerians. The Israelis were surprised by the Algerian forces downing a giant US Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft by a missile, which frightened the US Staff and frustrated the Nixon administration.

The former Israeli minister said the Egyptian forces deceived the Israeli forces, making them believe that the strategic Al-Adabiya port was not fortified enough. However, the Algerian forces were in charge of protecting the port.

One cannot but hail the role of Algeria in supporting the Palestinian cause and anti-colonial liberation movements, whether on the official or popular level. Despite the geographical distances separating Palestine from Algeria, Algerians believe that the two countries share the same pain, torture, grief, sorrow, and hopefully the same liberation to be achieved in the near future.

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CHOMSKY ON ISRAELI APARTHEID, CELEBRITY ACTIVISTS, BDS AND THE ONE-STATE SOLUTION

Chomsky believes that calling Israeli policies towards Palestinians “apartheid” is actually a “gift to Israel”, at least, if by apartheid one refers to the South-African style apartheid.

JULY 5TH, 2022

RAMZY BAROUD

This is, according to the Italian socialist Antonio Gramsci, the ‘interregnum’- the rare and seismic moment in history when great transitions occur, when empires collapse and others rise, and when new conflicts and struggles ensue.

The Gramscian ‘interregnum, however, is not a smooth transition, for these profound changes often embody a ‘crisis,’ which “consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born”.

“In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear,” the anti-fascist intellectual wrote in his famous “Prison Notebooks”.

Even before the Russia-Ukraine war and the subsequent deepening of the Russia-NATO crisis, the world was clearly experiencing an interregnum of sorts – the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, the global recession, the rising inequality, the destabilization of the Middle East, the ‘Arab Spring’, the refugee crisis, the new ‘scramble for Africa’, the US attempt at weakening China, the US’ own political instability, the war on democracy and decline of the American empire ..

Recent events, however, have finally given these earth-shattering changes greater clarity, with Russia making its move against NATO expansion, and with China and other rising economies – BRICS nations – refusing to toe the American line.

To reflect on all of these changes, and more, we spoke with the world’s ‘most cited’ and respected intellectual, MIT Professor Noam Chomsky.

The main objective of our interview was to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the Palestinian struggle during this ongoing ‘interregnum’. Chomsky shared with us his views about the war in Ukraine and its actual root causes.

The interview, however, largely focused on Palestine, Chomsky’s views of the language, the tactics and solutions affiliated with the Palestinian struggle and the Palestinian discourse. Below are some of Chomsky’s thoughts on these issues, taken from a longer conversation that can be viewed here.

CHOMSKY ON ISRAELI APARTHEID

Chomsky believes that calling Israeli policies towards Palestinians “apartheid” is actually a “gift to Israel”, at least, if by apartheid one refers to the South-African style apartheid.

“I have held for a long time that the Occupied Territories are much worse than South Africa. South Africa needed its black population, it relied on them,” Chomsky said, adding: “The black population was 85% of the population. It was the workforce; the country couldn’t function without that population and, as a result, they tried to make their situation more or less tolerable to the international community. (…) They were hoping for international recognition, which they didn’t get.”

So, if the Bantustans were, in Chomsky’s opinion, “more or less livable,” the same “is not true for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Israel just wants to get rid of the people, doesn’t want them. And its policies for the last 50 years, with not much variation, have been just somehow making life unlivable, so you will go somewhere else.”

These repressive policies apply in the entirety of the Palestinian territory: “In Gaza, (they) just destroy them,” Chomsky said. “There’s over two million people now living in hideous conditions, barely survivable. International law organizations say that they are not likely to even be able to survive in a couple of years. (…) In the Occupied Territories, in the West Bank, atrocities (take place) every day.”

Chomsky also thinks that Israel, unlike South Africa, is not seeking the international community’s approval. “The brazenness of Israeli actions is pretty striking. They do what they want, knowing the United States will support them. Well, this is much worse than what happened in South Africa; it’s not an effort to somehow accommodate the Palestinian population as a suppressed workforce, it’s just to get rid of them.”

CHOMSKY ON THE NEW PALESTINIAN UNITY

The events of May 2021 and the popular unity among Palestinians are “a very positive change”, in Chomsky’s opinion. “For one thing, what has severely impeded the Palestinian struggle is the conflict between Hamas and the PLO. If it’s not resolved, it’s a great gift to Israel.”

Palestinians also managed to overcome the territorial fragmentation, according to Chomsky: “Also, the split between the legal boundaries” separating Israel from “the expanded area of greater Palestine” was always a hindrance to Palestinian unity. That is now being overcome, as the Palestinian struggle “is turning into the same struggle. Palestinians are all in it together.”

“B’tselem and Human Rights Watch’s description of the whole region as a region of apartheid – though I don’t entirely agree with it for the reasons I mentioned, because I think it’s not harsh enough – nevertheless, it is a step towards recognizing that there is something crucially in common between all this area.”

“So, I think this is a positive step. It is wise and promising for Palestinians to recognize ‘we’re all in it together’, and that includes the diaspora communities. Yes, it’s a common struggle,” Chomsky concluded.

CHOMSKY ON ONE STATE, TWO STATES

Though support for a one state has grown exponentially in recent years, to the extent that a recent public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC), concluded that a majority of Palestinians in the West Bank now supports the one-state solution, Chomsky warns against discussions that don’t prioritize the more urgent conversation of Tel Aviv’s colonial quest for a “greater Israel.”

“We should not be deluded into thinking that events are developing towards a one-state outcome or towards a confederation, as it’s now being discussed by some of the Israeli left. It’s not moving in that direction, that’s not even an option for now. Israel will never accept it as long as it has the option of greater Israel. And, furthermore, there is no support for it in the international community, none. Not even the African states.”

“The two-states, well, we can talk about it but you have to recognize that we have to struggle against the ongoing live option of a greater Israel.” Indeed, according to Chomsky, “much of the discussion of this topic seems to me misplaced.”

“It is mostly a debate between two states and one state that eliminates the most important option, the live option, the one that’s being pursued, namely greater Israel. Establishing a greater Israel, where Israel takes over whatever it wants in the West Bank, crushes Gaza, and annexes – illegally – the Syrian Golan Heights .., just takes what it wants, avoids the Palestinian population concentrations, so, it doesn’t incorporate them. They don’t want the Palestinians because of what is called the democratic Jewish state, the pretense of a democratic Jewish state in which the state is the sovereign state of the Jewish people. So, my state, but not the state of some Palestinian villager.”

Chomsky continues, “To maintain that pretense, you have to keep a large Jewish majority, then you can somehow pretend it’s not repressive. But so the policy is a greater Israel, in which you won’t have any demographic problem. The main concentrations of Palestinians are excluded in other areas, they are basically being expelled.”

CHOMSKY ON BDS, INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

We also asked Chomsky about the growing solidarity with Palestinians on the international stage, on social media, and the support for the Palestinian struggle among many public personalities and celebrities.

“I don’t think mainstream celebrities mean that much. What matters is what is happening among the general population in the United States. In Israel, unfortunately, the population is moving to the right. It is one of the few countries I know, maybe the only one, where younger people are more reactionary than older ones.”

“The United States is going in the opposite direction,” Chomsky continued, as “young people are more critical of Israel, more and more supportive of Palestinian rights.”

Regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), Chomsky acknowledged the significant role played by the global grassroots movement, though he noted that BDS “has a mixed record”. The movement should become “more flexible (and) more thoughtful about the effects of actions”, Chomsky noted.

“The groundwork is there,” Chomsky concluded. “It is necessary to think carefully about how to carry it forward.”

Feature photo | Graphic by MintPress News

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Sabbagh: Syria Spared No Efforts to Stand by the Palestinians to Restore their Rights

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

23 June، 2022
New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh, reiterated that Syria spared no effort to stand by the Palestinians in their struggle to restore their occupied lands and their legitimate rights.

In a statement at the UNRWA Donations Conference, Sabbagh said “Palestine was and still the central cause of Syria, for which Syria spared no effort to stand by the brotherly Palestinians, especially their right to establish their independent state on their land whose capital is Jerusalem, and for Bassam Sabbagh to obtain their rights to return to their homeland in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, foremost of which is Resolution No. 194 of 1948.

Ambassador Sabbagh indicated that “terrorism’s destruction of a large part of the infrastructure and vital sectors in a number of Palestinian camps calls for an urgent need to rehabilitate these sectors, which we hope will take place as soon as possible, including schools and health care centers, and UNRWA restores its headquarters and offices to resume managing activities through them”.

Fedaa al-Rhayiah/Amer dawa

PALESTINIANS “ARE BOUND TO WIN”: WHY ISRAELIS ARE PROPHESYING THE END OF THEIR STATE

JUNE 16TH, 2022

RAMZY BAROUD

While it is true that Zionism is a modern political ideology that has exploited religion to achieve specific colonial objectives in Palestine, prophecies continue to be a critical component of Israel’s perception of itself, and of the state’s relationship to other groups, especially Christian messianic groups in the United States and worldwide.

The subject of religious prophecies and their centrality to Israel’s political thought was once more highlighted following remarks by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in a recent interview with the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Barak, perceived to be a ‘progressive’ politician, who was once the leader of Israel’s Labor Party, expressed fears that Israel will “disintegrate” before the 80th anniversary of its 1948 establishment.

“Throughout the Jewish history, the Jews did not rule for more than eighty years, except in the two kingdoms of David and the Hasmonean dynasty and, in both periods, their disintegration began in the eighth decade,” Barak said.

Based on pseudo-historical analysis, Barak’s prophecy seemed to conflate historical facts with typical messianic Israeli thinking, reminiscent of statements made by Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017.

Like Barak, Netanyahu’s comments were expressed in the form of fear over the future of Israel, and the looming ‘existential threat’, the cornerstone of Israeli hasbara throughout the years. At a Bible study session in his house in Jerusalem, Netanyahu had then warned that the Hasmonean kingdom – also known as the Maccabees – had merely survived for 80 years before it was conquered by the Romans in 63 B.C.E.

The “Hasmonean state lasted only 80 years, and we needed to exceed this,” Netanyahu was quoted by one of the attendees as saying, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported.

But, even according to Netanyahu’s purported determination to exceed that number, he had reportedly vowed to ensure Israel will surpass the Maccabees’ 80 years, and survive for 100 years. That is merely 20 years more.

The difference between Barak and Netanyahu’s statements is quite negligible: the former’s views are supposedly ‘historical’ and the latter’s are biblical. Worth noting, however, is that both leaders, though they subscribe to two different political schools, have converged on similar meeting points: Israel’s survival is at stake; the existential threat is real and the end of Israel is only a matter of time.

But the pessimism in Israel is hardly confined to political leaders, who are known to exaggerate and manipulate facts to instill fear and to rile up their political camps, especially Israel’s powerful messianic constituencies. Although this is true, predictions regarding Israel’s grim future are not confined to the country’s political elites.

In an interview with Haaretz in 2019, one of Israel’s most respected mainstream historians, Benny Morris, had much to say about the future of his country. Unlike Barak and Netanyahu, Morris was not sending warning signals but stating what, to him, seemed an unavoidable outcome of the country’s political and demographic evolution.

“I don’t see how we get out of it,” Morris said, adding: “Already, today there are more Arabs than Jews between the (Mediterranean) Sea and the Jordan (River). The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with an Arab majority. Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights cannot persist in the 21st century.”

Morris’ predictions, while remaining committed to the racial fantasy of a Jewish majority, were far more articulate and also realistic if compared to those of Barak, Netanyahu and others. The man who once regretted that Israel’s founder, David Ben Gurion, did not expel all of Palestine’s native population in 1947-48, spoke with resignation that, in a matter of a generation, Israel will cease to exist in its current form.

Particularly notable about his comments is the accurate perception that “the Palestinians look at everything from a broad, long-term perspective,” and that the Palestinians will continue to “demand the return of the refugees.” But who were the “Palestinians” Morris was referring to? Certainly not the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders have already marginalized the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, and most certainly have no “broad, long-term perspective”. Morris’ ‘Palestinians’ are, of course, the Palestinian people themselves, generations of whom have served, and continue to serve, as the vanguards of Palestinian rights despite all of the setbacks, defeats and political ‘compromises’.

Actually, prophecies regarding Palestine and Israel are not a new phenomenon. Palestine was colonized by Zionists with the help of Britain, also based on biblical frames of reference. It was populated by Zionist settlers based on biblical references dedicated to the restoration of ancient kingdoms and the ‘return’ of ancient peoples to their supposedly rightful ‘promised land’. Though Israel took on many different meanings throughout the years – perceived to be a ‘socialist’ utopia at times, a liberal, democratic haven at others – it was always preoccupied with religious meanings, spiritual visions and inundated with prophecies. The most sinister expression of this truth is the fact that the current support of Israel by millions of Christian fundamentalists in the West is largely driven by messianic, end-of-the-world prophecies.

The latest predictions about Israel’s uncertain future are based on a different logic. Since Israel has always defined itself as a Jewish State, its future is mostly linked to its ability to maintain a Jewish majority in historic Palestine. By the admission of Morris and others, this pipedream is now crumbling as the ‘demographic war’ is clearly and quickly being lost.

Of course, co-existence in a single democratic state will always be a possibility. Alas, for Israel’s Zionist ideologues, such a state will hardly meet the minimum expectations of the country’s founders, since it would no longer exist in the form of a Jewish, Zionist state. For co-existence to take place, the Zionist ideology would have to be scrapped altogether.

Barak, Netanyahu and Morris are all right: Israel will not exist as a ‘Jewish state’ for much longer. Speaking strictly in terms of demographics, Israel is no longer a Jewish-majority state. History has taught us that Muslims, Christians and Jews can peacefully coexist and collectively thrive, as they have done throughout the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula for millennia. Indeed, this is a prediction, even a prophecy, that is worth striving for.

Feature photo | A Palestinian boy faces an Israeli tank on the outskirts of Gaza City, Oct. 29, 2000. Laurent Rebours | AP

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Three Palestinians killed in a raid on Jenin camp

June 17, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli occupation forces kill three Palestinians in Jenin which has been targeted in the occupation’s latest wave of violence.

The three martyrs are Laith Abu Sorour, Youssef Salah, and Baraa Al-Halhouh from Jenin camp.

Three Palestinian youths were murdered and another eight wounded during an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian health ministry reported that the three martyrs are Laith Abu Sorour, Youssef Salah, and Baraa Al-Halhouh from Jenin camp.

Local witnesses said that Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have opened fire at four Palestinian young men while they were in a vehicle during a military raid into the occupied West Bank camp of Jenin.

Simultaneously, confrontations were renewed after the IOF brutally stormed the refugee camp and fired live ammunition and tear gas bombs at civilians there.

It is worth noting that the occupation forces have been actively storming Jenin and its camp, aiming clearly at killing Palestinians and arresting others who, in turn, are confronting the occupation forces.

This is happening as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet has recently given a green light for killing Palestinians. 

“There are not and will not be limited for this war. We are granting full freedom of action to the army, the Shin Bet [domestic intelligence agency], and all security forces,” Bennet said last April.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF killed at least 70 Palestinians,  27 of them from Jenin and its camp.

Shireen Abu Akleh

When talking about Jenin, the name of Shireen Abu Akleh, famed Al Jazeera journalist and veteran reporter, comes to mind. Shireen was murdered on May 11 when Israeli occupation forces storming the Jenin refugee camp, north of the West Bank, shot her with a live bullet to the head as she was covering the events of the storming.

The Washington Post has lately published a detailed examination of the deliberate murder of Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli Occupation Forces.

Read more: 

‘Our Vision for Liberation’: Book Launch Special with Baroud, Pappe and Karmi

June 9, 2022

Ramzy Baroud, Ilan Pappé and Ghada Karmi discuss the just-released book Our Vision for Liberation. (Photo: PDD)

In its latest live show, Palestine Deep Dive celebrates the book launch of Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out (Clarity Press).

Deep Dive’s host, Mark Seddon, is joined in the studio by the book’s co-editor Dr. Ramzy Baroud and one of its many Palestinian contributors, Dr. Ghada Karmi, joined via video link with co-editor Prof. Ilan Pappé.

Kicking off the show, Seddon asks Pappé what the idea was which inspired him and Baroud to put the book together:

“It was a sense that while there is a lot of information about the oppression, about the brutality of the Israeli policy, whether analyzing it in the past or understanding it in the present, there was a sense that the Palestinian agency in this is sometimes forgotten,” Pappé responds.

“I think also the obvious, disunity in the Palestinian leadership, a sense of disorientation that cannot be hidden is clearly there. Sometimes this obfuscates the very individual bravery and resilience that is taking place all over Palestine or wherever the Palestinians are in the globe. We thought that the first mission was to show, first of all, how this resilience, resistance, sometimes very personal, not as part of an organization, sometimes as part of a larger movement is a daily occurrence which gives us a lot of hope that there is still a Palestinian liberation movement, even if, from an institutional point of view, it seems sometimes that it does not exist.”

Asking Ghada Karmi for her thoughts on the title of the book, she responds:

“I must say it’s very brave, as you point out, to actually include the word ‘intellectual’ at a time and in a context in which there is an anti-intellectual movement. It’s very courageous, but it’s the truth. It’s the truth and it has to be said. Palestine, like many other nations, has its own class of people who think about things, which is what an intellectual is, and debate within themselves and with others what is the best way forward for whatever it is that they’re concerned about.”

Seddon probes further, asking, “When you talk about liberation as authors, what do you actually mean?”

Karmi responds: “… I think that there is this unity that Ilan Pappé spoke about in the idea, in the belief, that liberation means regaining Palestine. It’s very simple, no Palestinian ever really accepted the loss of the homeland. None of us ever believes or thinks that it’s gone forever.”

Dr. Ghada Karmi’s chapter in the book is titled: “An Equal Rights Campaign – Key to the End of Zionism” which she elaborates on in the show:

“We, that is not only the ‘we Palestinians’ who are living already in historic Palestine, but all the Palestinians who are living outside it or exiled or who are sitting in refugee camps, people like me, how can we accommodate this? How can we realistically do it? Quite clearly, there are no divisions. You can’t partition Palestine, the people have to live together. How are they going to live together? Ideally, of course, as one person, one vote in a democracy with equal rights.”

Returning to Seddon’s question on the title of the book, Baroud responds:

“We were thinking of liberation at two different levels, the actual act of liberation, the ending of the occupation, the dismantling of apartheid, and for Palestinians to be given basic human rights, to be treated as citizens in a territory that we can identify and the rest… but there is also a different kind of liberation that we were aiming for. This is why I think some of our 30 contributors may have discussed liberation from a different point of view, which is the liberation of the discourse itself, the liberation of the language itself, the liberation of how we locate ourselves as Palestinians.”

Baroud progresses by emphasizing the misrepresentation of Palestinians historically and how this book seeks to undo this injustice by giving Palestinians center-stage to articulate their own discourse:

“We’re always, in some ways, being perceived to be the aggressor, which makes absolutely no sense given that we are the ones who are colonized and aggressed upon and constantly trying to fight, not only for the freedom to move about, but for our own survival as we have seen in the case of Gaza.”

Currently in Gaza, where two million Palestinians endure a 15-year-long hermetic siege, 98% of water there is undrinkable, electricity is shut off daily due to power shortages and a mental health crisis afflicts the population who have lived through four deadly military assaults on the enclave by Israel since 2008.

“We wanted to say if we as Palestinians imagine a different narrative in which the story is told from our point of view, what would it look like? What would the story be if it’s based entirely on Palestinian priorities? Not in a cliché sentimental way, but rather in a very specific way, people with programs.

“Ghada was quite courageous in her chapter. Others also talk on various issues, whether in art and cinema, in embroidery, in science, in archeology, in diplomacy, and all of these issues talking about them; this is how we have been doing it, this is what we learned, these are the mistakes that have been committed, this is what we think is the proper way forward.”

Expanding on the idea of liberating the discourse, Baroud explains how Palestinians historically have been denied the right to speak freely:

“When Oslo was signed in 1993, we quite often talk about Oslo as a political doctrine, but we rarely discuss Oslo as a culture. Where Palestinians were told that in order for you to be accepted within the realm of good moderate nations, you have to behave in a certain way and you have to speak in a certain way as well.

“Certain terminologies like liberation, freedom fighting, resistance, muqawama, we were not allowed to use those terms anymore. The terms that we were supposed to use, ‘the peace process’ only ‘two-state solutions’, we can’t venture out of this stifling paradigm that was really never meant to actualize in the first place. There were the good Palestinians, the bad Palestinians, the terrorist sympathizers versus the moderate friendly one.”

Returning back to Pappé, Seddon puts to him an audience question, “Is this book a manifesto for change or a history of what has already been tried?”

Pappé responds: “Well, I think it’s both. First of all, it’s a record. It’s recording through individual stories. A humanizing story.”

“I would just mention one thing here that is very important, and this comes out in several of the contributions. The Palestinian society is one of the youngest in the world. 50% of the Palestinians, wherever they are, are under 18 years old.

“You talk to Palestinian teenagers all over, wherever they are, and you understand that this is an assertive generation that would continue the struggle of liberation. With the way Israel is going to evolve, it’s very clear what’s going on on the ground in Israel. The way it’s going to evolve, giving up on the democratic charade anyway, and really becoming an official apartheid state. I think that this is more than a manifesto.”

Keen to emphasize one of the book’s vital takeaways, Baroud mentions:

“There is an implicit message in the book about solidarity. In fact, if you notice that all the endorsements come from non-Palestinians, and all the contributions come from Palestinians. As if we are trying to say there’s a message there.

“Solidarity is not when you take my place, solidarity is when you stand by my side and try to create networks, support me, help me to communicate my message, but not to replace me. I think that becomes quite clear throughout the book.”

Turning to the question of the Palestinian leadership, Seddon asks with the abandonment of elections recently in Palestine, is it indeed possible to create a unified Palestinian leadership any time soon?

Baroud responds: “Now, according to a recent public opinion poll, a majority of Palestinians in the West Bank support a one-state solution. That critical mass is about to be reached in Gaza. That happened within relatively a very short period of time. If these indicators continue, at this level, it seems that sooner or later, Palestinians will back this particular solution, and we will then speak about an objective that is being championed by the Palestinian people.”

According to a poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC), published on November 22, 2021, there are more West Bank Palestinians who support the one-state solution than those still in favor of the two-state solution.

“Now, the question is, will we ever have that leadership that is going to support the people’s position? Edward Said famously said, ‘Palestinians are cursed by a bad leadership.’ Far from trying to correct Professor Said in any possible way, but I don’t think it’s really a matter of bad leadership per se, as much as we had no other alternative but to have that bad leadership, because our good leadership is either in prison, assassinated, marginalized, deported out of Palestine, and so forth.

“This is the very purpose of the book. How do we move beyond this? How do we create that legitimate leadership? Not necessarily via elections, because we know that Israel is not going to give Palestinians the space and the room to really create democratic representatives. Even though the elections have never even taken place, many Palestinian potential candidates were arrested anyway. We know that either way, we will never have that moment. We need to have alternative ways in which we can have a legitimate leadership. Within the framework of liberation movements, legitimate leadership does not necessarily have to be the outcome of the ballot box. There are other ways of achieving that.”

Order your copy now of Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out here

(Palestine Deep Dive)

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