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Season of Arab attacks on Gaza

Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes on the blockaded Gaza strip, on 5 May 2019 [Mohammad Asad - Middle East Monitor]
Destroyed homes are seen after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza on 5 May 2019 [Mohammad Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The occupation’s attack on Gaza over the weekend is not new. Aggression, violence and killing is expected from the occupation due to its racist and bloody nature. It is a nature that Palestinians understand since they are the ones who have been suffering the consequences of the occupation for decades now. It is also understood by Arabs who have maintained their Arabism and by people who have retained their humanity.

It is also not surprising that there are Arab groups that have never supported Palestine and that they dream of waking up one day to find that Palestine and its people have disappeared, under the pretext that the Palestinian cause has been standing in the way of developing their nations. It is a pretext used by the weak who failed in achieving development or good governance for their own reasons and not because of Palestine, its cause or its people.

But what’s new is that we can now hear the voice of these groups loud and clear after they had been shy to speak of their real position on Palestine in the past. They are now finding the political conditions for them to express their hostility towards the general Arab popular position which is supportive of Palestine and its cause. Their voices become even louder during the times of the occupation’s aggression against Gaza.

Some of these voices appeared shyly during the aggression of 2008/2009 on Gaza, and then they escalated with each new aggression. They reached a peak two years ago for several reasons including the success of counter-revolutions in eradicating the progress made by Arab popular revolutions, the decline of popular influence in Arab politics and increased repression by the regimes, which gave room for voices consistent with the official regime, and in return blocked the public’s voices expressing the conscience of the Arab nation.

READ: Political and military readings of the Israel attack on Gaza

During the season of “Arab” attacks – and we put the word Arab in parenthesis because these voices do not represent the majority of the Arab peoples – the one accused of responsibility for Zionist wars and attacks are Palestinians themselves, and to refrain from accusing the Palestinians blatantly, these groups are using an encrypted code through accusing “resistance groups” of responsibility for the war and the scourge suffered by the Palestinian people in Gaza.

This rhetoric aims to put the Palestinians and the resistance groups at two opposite ends, as if resistance groups are aliens coming from outer space and as if the great Palestinian people have been abducted by these aliens. It is a logic that does not understand that these people have struggled against the occupation for decades before the establishment of any resistance group. It is also a logic that does not understand that the occupation is the one and only side responsible for the aggression and for all that is suffered by Palestinians in Gaza and other places where Palestinians are present whether at home or in the diaspora.

Pregnant mother and 14-month-old daughter were killed by an Israeli air strike on Gaza - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Pregnant mother and 14-month-old daughter were killed by an Israeli air strike on Gaza – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The discourse of separating the Palestinian people from the resistance is entirely consistent with the Zionist logic, which justifies its aggression against civilians and safe houses as targeting fighters who “kidnap the Palestinians’ decision”. The occupation continues to direct propaganda aimed at showing the Palestinian resistance as if it is isolated from the people and their suffering.

If we put this Zionised “Arab” discourse to trial at the court of political history and logic, we will find that it is a failing discourse both logically and morally, for the following reasons:

First: Those who accuse the resistance of responsibility for the war in the Gaza Strip say that the Strip has been liberated, and that the resistance is the one that is standing in the way of benefitting from this freedom because of its friction and provocation of the occupation army. They ignore the fact that Gaza Strip, although liberated from the military presence on its territory, is still occupied since the occupation still controls its skies, sea and borders, and prevents Palestinians from having a seaport or an airport. The occupation is primarily responsible for the siege of the Gaza Strip and the killing of its people, not the resistance, which is trying to at least improve the conditions of this siege.

READ: 13 schools were damaged in Israel’s offensive on Gaza

Second, those reiterating this argument forget that Gaza is part of Palestine, and that the exit of the occupation from the Strip does not mean the end of the conflict as long as the rest of the Palestinian land is occupied and that the natural relationship between the occupied people and the occupying state is resistance.

In any place or time, the occupation is the one responsible for the suffering of the occupied people and not resistance groups which try to liberate their people. With this sense, the French occupation of Algeria, for example, was the one responsible for the hundreds of thousands of victims and martyrs that fell and not the resistance that defended the right of the millions to live in freedom in their homeland. The same logic applies to Palestinians and to any people under occupation.

Thirdly, even under today’s logic and not the comprehensive historical logic, these growing voices in the “season of attacks on Gaza” ignore that most of the wars of aggression on Gaza were initiated by the occupation which carried out assassinations, shelling or violation of the truce with the Palestinian factions.

READ: Poor living conditions in Gaza fuelling violence, says Israel’s military

What’s left to say is that these voices, which try to benefit from the official atmosphere prevailing in the region now, collide with the majority of the Arab peoples, because an overwhelming majority of these peoples – even if their voices are softer now – believe in the Palestinian cause. Even though the progress of counter-revolution has silenced such voices, the Arab peoples in the end are the ones that will prevail, and they will know who stands on their side and who are the ones reiterating using fluent Arabic, a Zionist discourse.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 6 May 2019

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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