Palestine is still the cradle of the world’s free people. The Palestinians are still the source of inspiration and hope for the Arab people who are oppressed and held captive inside their homelands. Fascist tyrant rulers, appointed by the colonialists before their departure, are still on their thrones. The colonialists watch them closely, to ensure that they remain their agents in the Middle East, and that they deserve their exalted positions.
This means that they must be unjust and humiliate the people to win the approval of their masters. So the people become weak, submissive, compliant, frustrated and burdened with defeatism.
Those who say that they are no match for the rulers and their armies forget that if the determination is there, they have the power to overthrow the strongest tyrants. We saw this during the Arab Spring, when some powerful dictators had to flee. They and their supporters in the West didn’t expect this, even in their worst nightmares.
Hence, it was necessary for the tyrants to work together to re-instil fear into the people. The counter-revolutions succeeded in breaking the people’s will and crushing their dignity.
Nevertheless, the revolutionary flame still burns in the hearts of the free-spirited people who reject slavery and tyranny, and will not accept the status quo. This is evident on social media in the support shown for the Palestinian resistance against the Zionist occupation every time Israel launches a military offensive. “Free, free Palestine!” has become the slogan that compensates for the humiliation heaped upon the people by Arab despots in capitals across the region. We saw in May that the resistance groups have established new rules of engagement with their ability to strike back at the enemy. This has revived hope in the hearts and minds of the Arab people.
Palestine remains the moral compass across the region. For more than 70 years, it has united the Arab masses, not only because of Al-Aqsa Mosque, but also because it is a land that is still under colonial occupation. Arab states are occupied indirectly, of course, but Palestine is an overt occupation.
Yes, some Palestinians fell into the “freedom trap” known as the Oslo Accords and helped to create a “Palestinian Authority”, the only purpose of which is to protect the occupation state of Israel. Its compliant leader is Mahmoud Abbas, for whom security coordination with the brutal occupiers is “sacred”.Nevertheless, the majority of the Palestinian people are with the resistance. This was obvious from the response to the “Sword of Jerusalem” battle in May, when Palestinians across the occupied territories, including those inside the apartheid state, as well as in the diaspora, came together in support of their brothers and sisters in occupied Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. That had the effect of a public referendum on the leadership of the PA, and the leadership was disgraced. The Palestinian territories have not seen such unity since 1938, and it shook the ground beneath the feet of the occupation forces who fear for the future of their usurper state.
Sadly, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) could not take advantage of this because it is stained with the shame of Oslo. It is unable and unwilling to cleanse itself of this impurity and return to its initial purpose and strategy as a national liberation movement leading an armed struggle against the occupation.
The PLO needs serious reform. In the meantime, the Palestinian people have chosen the path of resistance to liberate their land and dropped all pretence of the false “peace process”. This is demonstrated by individual acts of courage, such as the man who struck a blow for the young people of Gaza by killing an Israeli sniper responsible for who knows how many deaths and life-changing injuries. And the spirit and determination of the six prisoners who escaped from high-security Gilboa Prison is an example to the whole region, not just the people of occupied Palestine. That they were able to dig an escape tunnel using a spoon, without being detected by sophisticated security measures was both amazing and inspirational. Even advanced surveillance equipment did not stop them.
It doesn’t matter that four have since been recaptured, no doubt with the help of spies and informers within the Palestinian community. Of course we hoped that this would not happen, but the value of what these six captives achieved through sheer willpower has not been diminished. The message to the world exposed the myths of Zionist invincibility, in much the same way that the resistance rockets from Gaza have put the fabled Iron Dome missile defence system to the test; to Israel’s great embarrassment, it failed.
The faith and self-confidence of the Palestinians have been strengthened. They know that their enemy is not as strong as the world believes; that all the advanced weapons in the world cannot defeat the truth and determination of an oppressed people. Moreover, they know that the occupation will not last forever.
The six escapees dug a tunnel out of their prison. In turn, this has opened up tunnels through the walls of despair and frustration through which the Arab people can now see the light, despite the so-called “Abraham Accords”. It is ironic that we rally to “Free Palestine”, because the evidence suggests that it is the Palestinians who are already free, and it is we who are held captive by the Zionist enemy in our own lands.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.