The title of this article was inspired by the poem One Road by the late Nizar Qabbani. He wrote it after the June 1967 defeat in the Six Day War; it ends with, “To Palestine, there is only one road; that passes through the barrel of a rifle.”
Indeed, that is the only road to Palestine and any other road is a mirage. The alleged peace that is spoken of is merely surrendering to the status quo and defeat; “a play”, as Qabbani put it. It is a farcical play, of which its creators have tried to convince the naïve masses, but they cannot fool those who understood the game from the very beginning.
Qabbani said it early on, before the signing of the ill-fated Oslo Accords that disregarded the national Palestinian constants and replaced them with recognition of Israel. This had been a taboo that no one dared utter or approach. In exchange for this sin, Oslo created a fake “Palestinian Authority” and false promises about the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The Palestinians have been lost for a quarter of a century, going into an endless cycle of negotiations and fruitless debates. The Palestinian cause has been lost in this way. The PA has become a part of the Zionist project through its security coordination with the occupation forces. It is persecuting Palestinians across Palestine, cracking down on them and arresting activists. The PA also informs the occupation security forces of the whereabouts of the resistance heroes in order to liquidate them, as was the case with Ahmed Jarrar and other martyrs. Such manifestations occur with each heroic resistance operation in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Perhaps the most recent was the uprising in Ramallah and Hebron last week, where the Palestinian security forces used violence to disperse protestors supporting the resistance. It is as if the PA is competing with Israel to see which is more violent and harmful against Palestinians.
The PA closed off streets and squares in order to prevent larger numbers of people from joining the protests. In shameful scenes in Hebron, PA security officers beat people and dragged them away.
It is ironic that this coincided with the terrorist settler Baruch Marzel’s attack on Palestinians near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city, damaging the goods being sold near the mosque. If this “coincidence” indicates anything at all, it is that the PA and Israelis are working together.
It is disgraceful for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the violence between the protestors and occupation forces and to send the Israelis a message reassuring them that the infamous (he calls it “sacred”) security coordination will continue despite events in the West Bank. This has prompted Israeli generals and commentators to warn that without PA support, Israel’s ability to contain resistance operations in the West Bank would be “limited”.
Since Oslo, there has been a Zio-American scheme to create more Palestinian individuals like Abbas and his pro-Oslo cronies. When they found that this was impossible in Gaza, the cradle of the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, they feared that the spirit of resistance would spread to the West Bank, which has a history of rebelling against tyranny.
Israel has thus sought to separate the West Bank from Gaza ever since the Second Intifada. The only way to extinguish this uprising was to besiege the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, in his compound in Ramallah. I say leader rather than President, because he was a leader to all of the Palestinians, whether we agreed with him or not. He did not conspire against his people, hand over resistance fighters to the occupation, or reveal their whereabouts to be killed, unlike his successor.
Despite all of this, the spirit of resistance has not died in the West Bank, but has become stronger than ever. It has stunned the occupation authorities to see that a new post-Oslo generation is not what they had hoped for. The youth are following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents.
The most recent young person who has sacrificed himself for the sake of Palestine is the Fedayi Ashraf Naalwa. I used the term “fedayi” — resistance fighter; guerrilla — because I want to revive its use after it was killed and buried in the pages of the surrender treaties. Naalwa was 23 years old and from Tulkarem. He managed to exhaust all of the occupation’s intelligence agencies during a 67-day manhunt, including dozens of Israeli raids across the occupied West Bank, before he was martyred during an exchange of fire with a large group of occupation soldiers last Thursday. He lived a hero and died a hero in the way that he prayed for.
The Fedayi Saleh Bargouti, 30, opened fire on Israeli settlers from a speeding car near the illegal Ofra settlement north of Ramallah. His operation restored the status of the rifle, which may be better than bombs in hitting the desired targets. This operation occurred hours after Israel announced the opening of the Jaba’ roundabout project to reinforce surveillance imposed by the occupation by rebuilding the infrastructure linking major settlements, provide security to the settlers, and redeploy Israeli soldiers and surveillance cameras. This proved yet again that Palestinian resistance is above any surveillance system and will not surrender to it. It also confirms to the settlers that they will not be safe as long as they continue to steal land that is not theirs.
The third of the new Fedayeen, Majd Mteir, was 25 years old and from Qalandiya refugee camp, north of Jerusalem. He attacked and stabbed two police officers and was killed after Israeli security forces chased, cornered and shot him. Troops deployed across the Old City closed its gates and prevented worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Thus, we witnessed three martyrs from the West Bank in a single day after carrying out different resistance operations. If nothing else, they stretched Israeli security resources, broke the deterrent fear factor of the occupation army and bruised its military arrogance.
These three martyrs sacrificed their blood to start a new era of “the chase” in Palestine; they have been rare since the second intifada. What’s more, hours after they were martyred, the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank retaliated by killing three soldiers and wounding some others in the settlement bloc near Ofer.
These consecutive Fedayeen operations confirm that the embers of the resistance in the West Bank still have the ability to burn the occupation; they were only waiting until they grew stronger.
This brings me to an article written by Israeli writer Ari Shavit, in which he writes that Israel is taking its last breath: “Perhaps everything is lost. Perhaps we’ve passed the point of no return. Perhaps it is no longer possible to end the occupation and stop the settlements and attain peace. Perhaps it is no longer possible to rehabilitate Zionism and save democracy and divide the land.
“But if this is so there is no longer any point in living in this country. And there’s no longer any point in writing for Haaretz. There’s no longer any point in reading Haaretz, either. We must do what Rogel Alpher suggested two years ago – leave the country. Go away. If Israeliness and Jewishness are not vital components in our identity, and if we have a foreign passport not only in the technical sense but in the spiritual one – that’s it. We must say goodbye to our friends, pack our bags and move to San Francisco or Berlin.”
Another Israeli writer, Gideon Levy, also wrote that Israelis are facing one of the most difficult nations in history and the only solution is to recognise their rights and end the occupation. Levy has acknowledged the truth that most, if not all, of his fellow Israelis are aware of but choose to ignore.
When, though, will the Arab Zionists realise this and understand that the Palestinian people will not surrender or give in? When will they realise that Israel is at its weakest point since its illegitimate birth in 1948 and that it is on a fast track to its inevitable demise?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.