It is often easy to be absorbed by plebeian geopolitics, the sectarian divides plaguing Syria or the outward lack of unity amongst various resistance movements within the Middle East and North Africa. On the face of it, the situation is particularly bleak. The factors often missed in these calculations are twofold, the first being the pendulum effect and the second the phoenix effect; both dictate a positive change from a weaker position.
The growing Palestine solidarity movement has commemorated the 68th year of the Nakba (the Catastrophe). This was the forceful displacement of the indigenous Palestinian people in favour of a Zionist state founded on the principles of dispossession, colonialism and violence; in short, apartheid. It is thus no wonder that the colonialist outpost's behaviour has been characterised by brutish and barbaric actions throughout its existence. However, the world has unmasked the state as one which cannot function within the fabric of normal society. It has become harder to protect and defend the outlandish action of Israel, be it the continued illegal blockade of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and slow strangulation by the Apartheid Wall of those in the West Bank; the occupation in contravention of international law; or the continued development of colonial-settlements on stolen Palestinian land. The dire state of affairs for Israel is compounded further by its diminishing capacity to influence political decisions on an international level, such as the P5+1 negotiations with Iran, the net result of which was the defusing of a regional if not global war in favour of a deal favouring Tehran, albeit begrudgingly. This failure to influence political decisions marks a catastrophic inadequacy of the pro-Israel lobby and has signified its isolation in the global arena.
The Zionist colonial state was established on the principles of deterrence capacity and terror. This doctrine, referred to by the late, unlamented Ariel Sharon, has been the cornerstone of Israeli militarism; it has failed since 2006, when Israel faced defeat at the hands of the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah. Indeed, Israel has failed to secure a military victory since it launched that fateful 2006 war against its northern neighbour. The resistance of the Palestinians of Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014 signified the once unthinkable but ever-emerging reality that Israel has lost its deterrence capacity, not only in the political arena but also on the ground. The Israel "Defence" Forces have effectively become a military capable only of policing and maintaining an untenable occupation while not securing any significant victories. This is the assessment of ideologues such as Munir Shafiq and many others.
On a global scale Israel's colonial regime has lashed out at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in the hope of trying to impose an embargo on the choice of the people; it is asking states to transgress the main precept of democracy, namely rule by the people, of the people, for the people. It is this affront to democracy that Israel fails to grasp in its pursuit of the BDS campaign; it continues to place itself outside the democratic domain. This locates it squarely in the realm of colonialism. Despite having an expensive and blanket social media presence, the collapse of Israel's strategies signify a growing consciousness amongst consumers of the plight of the Palestinian people. The lack of depth in Israeli hasbara (propaganda) has debunked most of the Zionist myths; the failure of campaigns such as "Ask Netanyahu" has exposed juvenile errors and the bankruptcy of the Israeli argument bank. The net effect is a weak and failing state which is only being held together by regional instability.
Two recent conferences – Al Quds Conference in Tehran and Palestine Media Forum in Istanbul – marked a momentous turn of events. Not only did they bring together a plethora of thinkers, activists and non-governmental organisations, but they also resulted in a unique discourse that had been silenced for a long time; a discourse of unity and a single vision.
There is now a universal acknowledgement of Israel as a vestige of colonialism; a grotesque relic of a dark past deserving to be consigned to history along with slavery and imperial conquest. The world's lexicon has progressed to the challenging of coloniality, which is the structure of power as opposed to the physical vestiges of colonialism. Israel is an example of a state from a bygone era, unpalatable to the global collective consciousness of today. The united vision exposes Israel not only as an Apartheid State but also as a coloniser; this resonated across all factions and organisations at the conferences. It is this unity that marks a turning point in the struggle against the Zionist occupation. The common vision and the dimensions that it will take mark the first tangible signs of the deconstruction of Israeli occupation and colonialism.
It is often stated that the dawn comes after the darkest part of the night. Indeed, if the 68 years since the Nakba are the darkness, then the commonly-held, united vision is the symbolic dawn. Israel's colonialism is both failing and falling.
The writer is the Chairman of the Media Review Network, Johannesburg. Follow him on Twitter: @ZA_Mayet
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.