"Land of divine messages revealed to humanity, Palestine is the home country of the Palestinian Arab people. They have grown, developed and expanded there. Their national and human existence was asserted there in an uninterrupted and unaltered organic relationship between the people, their land and their history."
This excerpt expresses the concept of Palestine by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish in the opening of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, with Jerusalem as the capital, and proclaimed in Algiers by Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), on 15 November, 1988.
Before 1948 when the "State of Israel" was founded, Palestine had already populated the minds, hearts and existence of millions of people for over 6,000 years, when the first Canaanite inhabitants arrived, members of Semitic tribes from the Arabian Peninsula, fleeing a severe drought that plagued the region. They settled near the Mediterranean Sea in the territory that today forms Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and occupied Palestine.
With its 27,000 square kilometres, Palestine is a territory that, from an economic, political, religious and military point of view, has a strategic location. It is located on the border of Africa and Asia and is very close to Europe. Palestine owns a vast coastline bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, with access to the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the rest of the world.
Its capital, Jerusalem, was founded around 3,000 BC by the Jebusites, a Canaanite subgroup, in one of the best locations in Palestine – a plateau in the Judean mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. Leaders of the three monotheistic religions – Jews, Christians and Muslims – have all ruled the Holy City at one time or another. Jews ruled the city for just 72 years, in the biblical times of Solomon and his son David.
Christians dominated Jerusalem for nearly 400 years between the fourth and seventh centuries, and again in the twentieth century. By then, British troops captured the capital after the agreement that disconnected Palestine from the Turkish-Ottoman Empire, which started to administer Palestine for a mandate granted by the League of Nations from 1922 to 1948.
Muslims (Arabs and Turks) ruled the city for 12 centuries – from 638 to 1917 uninterruptedly – except for the period when the city was the capital of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, under the rule of Roman Emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus, from 73 to 138 AD.
During its long existence, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least two times, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured another 44 times. The various United Nations Resolutions and international laws do not recognise the sovereignty of the "State of Israel" in the occupation of any part of Jerusalem. It remains the historical and millenary capital of Palestine.
Its religious, historical and civilisational status is fundamental to Arabs, Muslims and Christians, and the world at large. The holy places for Muslims and Christians belong exclusively to the Palestinian people, despite many Zionists tampering with textbooks to insist on the legend that they are holy places to Judaism.
Historical facts abundantly demonstrate that the aggressor has been Israel, which carried out attacks against Gaza and Hamas forces in 2008/2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and May 2021. Israel does so to legitimise the occupation, illegally expand the territory of the so-called "Jewish state" and destroy the infrastructure of Gaza, creating chaos as a means to weaken the Palestinian resistance, the right of Palestinians to their sovereign state and the return of refugees expelled since 1948.
However, when researching the issue involving Israel and the Palestinians, a huge amount of information is offered highlighting myths suggesting that the conflict is religious, and that Israel seeks only to ensure the right to defend its existence as "the only democracy in the Middle East".
This anti-Palestinian narrative is part of Italian revolutionary Antônio Gramsci's definition of "press as a political party". This is a notion in which media companies belonging to certain political, ideological and economic groups interfere in the dissemination of facts without any neutrality, determining what, how, where and when public opinion should or should not know, in this case, about Palestine.
The Palestinian resistance forces and the international solidarity movement are against Israel as a colonial state occupying Palestine and subjecting its people to the horrors of war, colonisation and displacement, not because it is a "Jewish state". The conflict with Israel is fundamentally political, and the Palestinians are fighting for freedom and self-determination.
The information delivered by the hegemonic media silences the acts of Israeli aggression while highlighting the reaction of Palestinians and their resistance organisations, implying that Palestinians are the aggressors and that Israel is just defending itself. From those narratives, people are induced to see the conflict not as it is, but as the Zionist forces that own and sponsor the mainstream media, Facebook and Instagram, want it to be seen.
Amidst this complex internal and external chessboard of struggle, one thing is certain: the Palestinian people will not give a truce to Israel, which will not enjoy peace while holding Palestinians hostage to its racist military regime of Jewish supremacy.
As long as this oppression persists, the Palestinian people have no choice but to resist aggression, joining all Palestinian national political forces and the international solidarity movement in a joint action to end the Zionist colonial occupation of Palestine.
Semites are the native peoples of the north of the Arabian Peninsula. The three great monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – have not only Jewish, but Semitic roots.
The League of Nations was founded on 28 April, 1919, in Versailles, Paris, by the victorious powers of the First World War to negotiate a peace agreement. It was supported by the United Nations (UN), founded on 24 October, 1945.
TENÓRIO, Sayid Marcos. Palestina: do mito da terra prometido à terra da resistência. 1st ed. São Paulo: Anita Garibaldi, IBRASPAL, 2019, P. 208.
GRAMSCI, Antonio. Cadernos do cárcere. Org. by Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Marco Aurélio Nogueira and Luiz Sérgio Henriques. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilisation, 2000, V. 2, P. 218.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.