The Secretary General of the National Palestinian Initiative has called for intensified popular resistance to restore the spirit and culture of public struggle in the face of the Israeli occupation. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti said that the world which is watching Israelis celebrating their country’s “independence” are watching celebrations of the Palestinian Nakba and the beginning of the ongoing refugee crisis.
“Those who are watching in silence,” he said, “should take the legal and moral responsibility, end their silence and work on implementing international law, which has been destroyed by Israel with its violation of Palestinians’ human rights.” The priorities, added Dr. Barghouti, are the end of the illegal occupation, the establishment of a viable independent Palestinian state and the return of refugees.
In a press statement, Dr. Barghouti said, “It’s time to end the historical injustice that the Palestinian people have been enduring since the Balfour Declaration, which resulted in the displacement of the Palestinian people from their land and homes and turned them into refugees around the world.”
According to Dr. Barghouti, the legal and historical rights of the refugees to return to the land of their parents and grandparents will not become invalid over time, nor will the Israeli occupation authorities destroy those rights. “No matter how long it takes,” he said, “Israeli ‘facts on the ground’ cannot and will not diminish our legal rights.” Palestinians, he continued, need to adopt the path of resistance, restore national unity and mobilise international solidarity for their cause.
“Time,” said Dr. Barghouti, “is important to the national cause and it is every Palestinian’s duty to realize the seriousness of the current situation and work on national reconciliation, which is the source of Palestinian strength in the face of Israel’s occupation and arrogance.”
What Israel is doing, he explained, with its illegal settlements and land seizures in Jerusalem and the West Bank is very similar to the Israeli Judaization of the Galilee and the Triangle after the Nakba. “This isolates the Palestinians in cantons under an apartheid system in order to prevent the establishment of a real Palestinian state that is sovereign and viable.”
Dr. Barghouti expressed his confidence in the ability and the indomitable will of the Palestinian people to defend their rights and dignity. He also expressed his belief that Palestinians will never agree to be slaves of the Israeli occupation.
“History will have no mercy on those who fail in their duty under the current circumstances for personal or party gains,” he added. “The Palestinian cause is more important than any individual or party.” He pointed to the fact that Israel capitalizes on divisions in Palestinian society and uses them to attack the Palestinian people, in a classic colonialist tactic of “divide and rule”.