The Israeli demand for the disarmament of the resistance in Gaza is an indication of a bigger issue, as stripping the resistance of their arms is stripping the Palestinian people of their right to resist in every form available to them. This includes armed resistance, which is internationally legal in accordance with the UN Charter, no matter how hard America tries to label it as “terrorism” or any other false label.
The legitimacy of resistance in all its forms and its role in the struggle of nations to liberate themselves from colonisation is being wiped away and criminalised. This is done by relying on the accusation of terrorism and intimidating the people and putting more psychological pressure on them until Palestinians in particular, and Arabs in general, reach the conclusion that there is no use in resisting and that the crumbs on the negotiating table and the imaginary peace is the only alternative to the threat of Israeli destruction.
Therefore, the problem does not only lie in the Israeli demand, but also in the official Arab demands, as there is no opposition on the part of the Arabs, and even worse than this is that there is a frustrated mentality and psychology that emerged due to a lack of awareness regarding the Palestinian cause in the Arab community, a psychology that views resistance as foolish and insane.
In the past two decades, and in the context of promoting the “peace process”, a systematic erasure of the history of the Palestinian cause was carried out, as well as the victories of those liberated from colonisation, such as those in Vietnam and Algeria, all of which were absent in the records of history, either under the pretext of sovereignty and “realism” or under the name of “civil” thought that condemns any sort of violence, unless it was carried out by America or Israel, then it is excused from condemnation.
Violence committed with the most deadly weapons becomes a moral right when committed by America and Israel, while resistance, even peaceful resistance, such as the BDS movements boycotting Israeli goods and companies that deal with the occupation, are labelled anti-Semitic and are accused of undermining the “peace process”. Meanwhile, armed resistance is considered absolute terrorism that the Palestinian people and their children must pay the price for because disturbing “Israel’s security” is banned by the Americans.
This is why the “security guarantees” that Israel has and continues to demand is the basis of any negotiations regarding allowing the passing of goods, the movement of people, partial withdrawal of the occupation forces from this area, or the agreement to the ceasefire. On the other hand, Israel requires that the Palestinian Authority restrains the reaction of the masses while the occupation forces continue to kidnap and kill Palestinians, as well as steal their land and demolish their homes.
The occupation is holding the Palestinians hostage and only allows them to demand the improvement of the conditions of their slavery in accordance with Israel’s terms. Whether or not “peace” negotiations are being held, there is no difference, and when the Palestinians explode in anger and resist, then they are accused of disturbing the peace, because peace in the Israel-American dictionary is defined as the freedom of the Israeli army to harass the Palestinians and solidify the occupation without causing any disruption to the lives of Israelis in Jerusalem, Sderot, Ma’ale Adumim and Tel Aviv.
The concept of calm and peace in Israeli customs is a completely racist concept, as according to their vision of themselves, Israelis are superior in civilisation and have the right to enjoy life in comfort and tranquillity, while Palestinians are creatures with less valuable lives and existence, as they do not need water for baths nor do they need to enjoy life. They also do no need shelter or homes, as a community founded on the idea of settlement and uprooting the indigenous people of a land wants the owners of the land to disappear, or they force them to disappear using weapons.
Resistance as an idea always irks colonialism, and it undoubtedly irks the illegitimate Zionist colonisation in Palestine even more so because the resistance expresses the refusal to forget history and give up their rights while armed resistance achieves an imbalance in the occupation’s political and psychological system and haunts those who settled on the land by uprooting its people.
The most recent war, which is ongoing in Gaza, is a war on all Palestinians in order to disengage Gaza not only from the West Bank, but from all Palestinians. Therefore, the resistance’s steadfastness and the support it received from the Palestinian people from every area came as a blow to the Israeli war-makers, as the Zionists cannot declare their victory without remaining committed to their conditions and achieving them, i.e. disarming the resistance as a condition for a truce and ceasefire.
The emphasis on disarming the resistance also has another psychological goal, not only limited to reassure the Israelis alone, but also to send a message to the Palestinians and Arabs that implies that the resistance is responsible for killing the children in the event it rejects the conditions of the colonial ruler.
At this moment, we need the right of the Palestinians to armed resistance not to be confused with the need for the resistance to be evaluated, and even calibrated, because disarming the resistance does not only strip the legitimacy of armed struggle, but also criminalises the resistance. Therefore, any condemnation of the resistance justifies and exonerates the Israeli occupation from its crimes, and erases the most basic right of the oppressed; the right to resist their oppressors.
Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 19 August, 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.