No one knows Israel’s schemes, games, lies and manoeuvres better than the Palestinians. Their experience was moulded after over 100 years of confrontation with the Zionist organisations, gangs, state and settlers. No one is capable of producing creative initiatives and forms of struggle that adapts to every new situation and every emerging challenge like the nation living under the old and new occupation.
While some Arabs looked at Israel’s recent measures against Al-Aqsa Mosque lightly, the Palestinians instantly knew that there was something sinister behind these measures and that whatever Israel deems temporary is actually permanent. The Palestinians know that the security crackdowns have always been Tel Aviv’s way to annexation, Judaisation and settle. They did not buy Netanyahu’s bad goods, like some foolish and disappointing Arabs did and did not believe the Israeli narrative, as they have been told hundreds of the same narratives.The Palestinian people did not wait for their leadership to unite and put the people’s interests before the interests of the “divided leaders”. They did not wait for instructions from Ramallah or Gaza. They staged a united uprising from Jerusalem, the territories occupied in 1948, and the West Bank in order to defend the Arab character of their city and its Islamic heritage, with their bare bodies, and to dispel the myth of the “eternal united capital” with their popular uprise.
Young and old men and women all lined up on the frontlines to throw their rocks and chants at the soldiers filled with hatred and animosity.
The expressions of fear were visible on the faces of the murderers and occupiers and were absent from the faces of the unarmed peaceful protestors. Their faces showed expressions of determination and insistence, proving the state of emptiness, weakness and void that dominates the official Arab climates.
On the Day of Rage, Jerusalem turned into a real battlefield, witnessing attack and retreat operations. The issue is not where the Palestinians pray; it is much bigger than that. The Palestinians are defending their capital, the symbol of their Arabism, and their complete rights including their right to their mosque, the first Muslim qibla and the third holiest site in Islam.
The Palestinians looked at the bigger picture regarding the battle in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, as those who are short sighted approached the issue from the narrowest of angles. Therefore, there was a large gap between the reaction of the Palestinian people and the reaction of the official Arab system.
The Palestinians know that many Arabs have placed their national cause in the corners of oblivion and forgetfulness, and that most of the official reactions will be a telephone call to Washington, a timid statement, and calls for calm and peace. This is regardless of what this round of battles will result in regarding Jerusalem and the holy sites. Despite this, they did not grieve, even though the history of their national cause is the history of successive “humiliations” by an official Arab regime that died long ago.
In the era of sectarian and factional divisions, the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Archbishop of Sebastia have come out to speak in one language. We are one nation and Al-Aqsa, like the Church of Resurrection, is a Palestinian sanctity that is being desecrated and subjected to the Zionist conspiracy against all Muslims and Christians in Palestine.
The churches are raising the call to prayer when it cannot be raised in the mosques and the Mufti is asking various mosques in Jerusalem to close their doors until the doors of Al-Aqsa are opened. This is a scene we are on the verge of forgetting in the time of factional and doctrinal wars, murder and displacement based on identity.
Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa are recharging the Palestinian people’s anger and uprising power in the hearts of all Palestinians. The events in the Palestinian capital on the Day of Rage will give new momentum to the spirit of Palestinian struggle. Netanyahu will realise that the Jabarin people will not break or be contained and that the 100-year war, which began in 1917, will not end in 2017.
This article first appeared in Arabic in the New Khaleej on 24 July 2017.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.