Palestinian resistance is, at times, diluted by a certain resignation wrought by fear of excessive Israeli retaliation. This hindrance, which speaks volumes about the psychological trauma endured by Palestinians as a result of Israeli colonisation, has been acknowledged by Palestinians who, despite their best efforts at maintaining an organised strategy, find themselves facing reluctance and thus, the struggle deteriorates further. From a Palestinian perspective, it is a consequence. Israel, however, has once again exploited fear into opportunism.
The Times of Israel has dedicated ample space lauding the construction of a mall in North East Jerusalem – the project of Ramy Levy who has simplified colonisation into an unavoidable “destiny” in which Palestinians and Israelis “must do what they can to make the best of the situation and serve each other as best as possible.” According to Levy, the mall can “lead to an understanding that we can do everything together.”
“Everything” is a vague reference to the idea that Palestinian retailers will be able to rent the premises which, according to Israeli narrative, is proof of alleged coexistence. The project is described as a joint venture, albeit one that is entirely under Israeli control and orchestrated as a means of financial gain derived from exploiting land and people.
Veering into political discourse, Levy stated: “We need to show people who want to frighten us that they won’t beat us.” According to reports, security concerns in this case seem to have absconded from the scenario, citing “elation” rather than fear. If both Levy’s opinion and the current outlook regarding the prospective mall do coincide, it is clear that Israel has embarked upon a different tactic to exercise control over the Palestinian population, using the same characteristics of colonisation and dependency – this time disguised under the fallacious theme of coexistence.
The Palestinian Society for Consumer Protection has expressed its opposition to the project through the intent to boycott and blacklist Levy and any affiliates. As with other issues that stem from settlement expansion and colonisation, the Palestinian reaction is immediate yet unfortunately temporary – a perpetual phenomenon that is the result of widespread dependency and lack of political vision exacerbated by the PA, which has traded Palestine in numerous statements urging Palestinians to recognise Israel rather that cherish their dignity.
It is easy to decipher how in this instance, politics has been dissociated from yet another exercise in assimilation. Cheap prices are a commodity only for Palestinians who are able and willing to visit the mall, which is hardly reflective of any purported coexistence. It is not an incentive for Palestinian emancipation but a profitable economic venture for Levy which also serves as a propaganda tool for Israel.
Indeed, the dependency that has been cultivated so diligently by Israel through shortages and deprivation; and the PA through its pandering to Israel, will now manacle Palestinians who are perpetually cornered in the priority struggle: survival or resistance. In the end, a semblance of normalcy will appeal to a segment of the population, even though Palestinian reasons for such choice will not coincide with Israel’s narrative. For the colonial entity, however, the reasons are insignificant compared to the opportunity to promote colonialism as coexistence.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.