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Defending the decision to resist

Since Israel began its latest brutal aggression against the people of Gaza, a number of articles in the Arab media have included statements blaming the Palestinians for resisting the occupation forces and for daring to confront Israel by firing rockets.

The individuals who have these opinions, and who have expressed them throughout the occupation's previous wars and conflicts, tend to frame and present their argument from two different angles. The first says that the rockets and Palestinian methods of resistance are modest, if not limited, in terms of their ability to pose any real threat to Israel because they are basic and "absurd". As for the second view, these writers claim to show concern for Palestinian lives because Israeli aggression claims hundreds of lives and demolishes hundreds of homes.

These types of opinions try to force the Palestinians into accepting what Israel has been doing to them since 1967, and they find themselves having to choose between these two options. Yet, what this means is that the Palestinians have to accept Israel's settler-colonialism via the settlement expansion project, Judaisation, the siege on Gaza, detention, murder, displacement and anything else that may negate the demands of the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation and their establishment of an independent state plus, of course, the right of return. Furthermore, these interpretations suggest that the Palestinians must surrender to Israeli policies and if this does not happen through negotiations then it will be achieved through collective punishment and wars that seek to exterminate the Palestinian population through the use of internationally-prohibited and sophisticated weaponry.

Such opinions can be read in numerous media outlets and news sources, and have come to reflect the rather degrading positions taken by Arab regimes toward the Palestinian cause. Not only have these regimes shaken off their responsibility to support the central Arab cause, but they have also participated in the demonisation media campaign that has been waged against the Palestinians and the Gaza Strip. They have gone so far as to equate Palestinian resistance with terrorism, criminalising any party that stands in support of this resistance.

What is strange about this situation is that most of these media individuals claim that they are speaking logically and rationally and that they care genuinely about the Palestinian issue when they criticise and refute any point of view that praises heroic acts of Palestinian resistance, including the use of rockets against Israel. Some of these journalists go so far as to remind any writer supporting Palestinian resistance of Ahmed Said, an Egyptian journalist who followed the defeat of 1967 and claimed that the Arabs were victorious in the Six-Day War.

In reality, any reporting which suggests that the Palestinians should surrender to Israel's grip on the Gaza Strip is devoid of any wisdom or rationality. Moreover, this type of journalism represents the flip side of the Ahmad Said style because it justifies the continuation of the siege, aggression and Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip, which resulted from the 1967 defeat that was reported on Said's radio show, Voice of the Arabs.

In terms of what can and cannot be considered logical, it is not logical for Palestinians to continue believing in the mirage of the Peace Process, which began 25 years ago, since when Israel's illegal settlement expansion has increased by 1,000 per cent. Moreover, since the Peace Process began, we have witnessed the ongoing and rapid Judaisation of Jerusalem; the separation of Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland by the apartheid wall; and numerous settler-only roads, the number of which has doubled during the years of negotiations and which have shredded Palestine into "Bantustans". One must also not forget to mention the numerous people who have been killed and imprisoned, the countless houses that have been demolished, the trees that have been cut down and the lands that have been stolen.

All of the concessions that the Palestinians have made have done nothing to achieve or ensure peace or to stop this daily abuse directed at the Palestinian people, and their presence and existence with a distinct identity. Netanyahu did not acknowledge any of these concessions with some of his own, but instead chose to view them as a way to continue to fuel Palestinian humiliation by demanding more; most recently, he has been demanding that the Palestinians recognise Israel as the exclusive "Jewish homeland".

It is not logical for the Palestinians to deprive themselves of their right to resist the occupation, especially when the said occupation is unrivalled in history. It is an occupation that seeks to erase Palestinians' existence, their lives and liberty, as well as destroy every means they have that could allow them to continue resisting. The Palestinian rockets are growing more and more sophisticated and are their only military means of bringing attention to their unbearable life under circumstances that guarantee death in two ways: either being killed suddenly and without warning, or dying slowly and painfully under siege. In this sense, the rockets represent the stubbornness of a people who are determined not only to deprive Israel of its sense of victory but also to cause a security panic in the heart of Israel.

Colonialism around the world would have lasted forever had the people waited to be given freedom; or until they had sufficiently-effective weapons to overthrow the colonial powers. People have the right to resist military occupation under international law. When a population demands its freedom and chooses to fight for their freedom with their will, their generations and simple weapons, they never look at what this may cost them in terms of numbers. Instead, they choose to measure the cost in terms of their humanity, dignity and refusal to surrender.

Those who advocate for submission or a form of surrender to the enemy and argue that the solution will come from Washington fail to recognise that a solution has yet to be found in this way after many years of trying. Instead, these tactics have increased Netanyahu's sense of arrogance and conceit and have given him more confidence to commit further crimes against the Palestinians. Every president who has entered the White House has demonstrated a strong conviction about American bias in favour of Israel and its occupation. In reality, this blatant US bias does nothing to damage America's position with the Arab countries.

The Palestinians should not have to wait for Israel to liberate them when Israel is the reason for their oppression in the first place; nor do they need Arab support considering that many Arab leaders are currently dropping explosive barrels, literally and figuratively, on their own cities and populations. The Palestinians should not have to wait on a peace process that is based on the concept of surrender. They have no choice but to turn the West Bank into a resistance sector and to embark on a third intifada.

Arab governments must stop giving up everything for the sake of the occupation; maintain some dignity, please. Instead, they should expel Israel's ambassadors, shut down their embassies and cut off all trade relations. They should recognise the Palestinians' right to resist the occupation and provide them with the tools to do so.

The media sentiments against resistance echo Anwar Sadat's infamous words on the eve of his shameful visit to Tel Aviv: "There shall be no war with Israel after today." In fact, Sadat's words opened the door to Israel's countless wars of aggression against Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip while also paving the way for sedition and sectarian strife in the Levant. To put it in simple strategic terms, "Israel is hostile to all Arab countries" because it made Palestine the central Arab issue and it acts as a strategic rival to all Arab countries by threatening their stability. Israel paved the way for the collapse of the eastern front due to agreements such as the Oslo Accords and the Wadi Arava Treaty, and produced fertile ground for civil conflict such as the Lebanese Civil War as well as what is happening today in Iraq and Syria.

The occupation will not simply go away. It will not end unless it is done by means of resistance and through the spirit of confrontation and steadfastness. The Palestinians must be ready to make sacrifices if they want to be free. Defeating the occupation does not need to put off until there is a balance of power between Israel and the Arab countries because this will never happen so long as there are super powers behind the Zionist state. More importantly, the Arabs should not wait to unite before they liberate Palestine from the modern-day crusaders. There is a long history of resistance to invaders in the Arab world; it must continue until Palestine is free.

The author is a former Jordanian minister of information. Translated from Al Jazeera net , 15 July, 2014

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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