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2021 may be gone, but its crises are still with us 

Palestinian artist Muhammed Tutah, who lost his leg during an Israeli attack on 2008, draws 2022 on the sands of the beach ahead of the new year in Gaza City, Gaza on 28 December 2021 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian artist Muhammed Tutah, who lost his leg during an Israeli attack on 2008, draws 2022 on the sands of the beach ahead of the new year in Gaza City, Gaza on 28 December 2021 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The year 2021 may be gone, but its crises are still with us, and many of them affect the Arab world and were inherited from previous years. The year's heavy legacy has been passed on to 2022. The crises it contains will continue to grow until they explode.

I try not to be a pessimist, but that's the reality that many Arabs overlooked when they celebrated the New Year. They are preoccupied with the prophecies of fraudulent seers and the modern pharaoh's magicians who appeared on television on New Year's Eve to intoxicate the people with illusions and lies. With hopes that their wishes will come true, the people lie on their comfortable couches waiting for a miracle to descend from above. They are content with asking God to relieve them of grief in this world, without asking themselves what they have done to pull the nation out of the quagmire of oppression and repression, and return it to the path of knowledge and forward thinking for the benefit of humanity. They offered nothing but humiliation, while their rulers offer nothing but shame and disgrace.

A nation with a great heritage unlike no other in history is now standing still. It has surrendered to injustice and tyranny as if it were inevitable, watching passively as fellow Muslims are massacred around the world by people backed by Muslim rulers. They did not bat an eyelid. They claim to be weak, and have no strength to tackle the tyrants of the world, although they possess many resources and capabilities across a huge swathe of the earth's surface.

This nation greets its enemies with open arms, content to declare that "God is sufficient for us, and He is the best Guardian" without understanding its meaning. God is not the Guardian of the weak who accept and bask in disgrace willingly. He is the Guardian of those who may be weak but have dignity and honour, and who work to raise the flag of the nation high, even if they are few. Only then does God intervene and help them: "Many a time has a smaller group overcome a bigger group by Allah's command," we are told.

Yet again, in 2021 we saw examples of such a small group in Jerusalem and in Gaza. We saw how a small group of defenceless Jerusalemite Palestinians defended Al-Aqsa Mosque and put their lives on the line for the sake of God.

2021 in Palestine: A new generation has finally risen

We also saw the Palestinian resistance groups with their limited capabilities — hardly comparable with Israel's military strength — but the strength of those fighting for God and their land, Palestine. They defeated the Israelis despite their power, technology, money and incomparable international support. The myth of the Israel Defence Forces being invincible was crushed by the missile deterrence equation imposed by the resistance. The enemy army failed to resolve the battle quickly, as it claimed it would, and entered an attrition stage, unable to carry out its ground invasion threat. It may have deployed its tanks on the nominal border of Gaza, but it did not achieve any of its goals.

The Palestinian resistance fought an epic battle against Israel. Palestinians at home and abroad, regardless of their sects, religions and political affiliations, united and rallied behind the resistance factions in a way that Palestine has never witnessed before, even during the 1936 uprising.

If there was a candle lit in the dark tunnel of the past pandemic year, then it is the candle that was lit from Jerusalem and Gaza. Nevertheless, the Sword of Jerusalem battle and the massive popular uprising that accompanied it in all of the occupied Palestinian territories, including those occupied in 1948, as well as across the diaspora, was not used properly to remove the head of the Security Coordination Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and his Oslo-backing men; even after the people had their say and chose the resistance path to liberate Palestine. It was a very public referendum before the entire world.

Nor was the Palestinian house put in order to demonstrate the unity and cohesion between the factions witnessed during the uprising, and thus prove that the rift occurred post-Oslo. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and the Palestinian status quo was resumed, with the PA continuing its "sacred" security coordination with the occupation state. This confounded predictions that change must be an inevitable result of events last May.

Before the curtain fell on 2021, we saw the collaborator Mahmoud Abbas meet with Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz at a time when hundreds of Palestinians were being arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the apartheid state. This was also when Palestinian villages were (and still are) being subject to daily attacks at the hands of illegal Israeli settlers. Abbas does not see how the Palestinian farmers are being driven off their land; he does not hear the cries of the women and children as their homes and crops are destroyed by settlers.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Sochi, Russia on 23 November 2021 [MIA Rossiya Segodnya/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Sochi, Russia on 23 November 2021 [MIA Rossiya Segodnya/Anadolu Agency]

Abbas promised Gantz that he would not allow violence or weapons to be used against the settlers. He also promised to continue this approach as long as he remains on his throne, which is stained with the blood of the Palestinians. According to Israel's Walla, Gantz replied that the Palestinian security services must work harder against the resistance movements in the West Bank.

READ: Palestinians wounded in Israel's crackdown on weekly West Bank protests

Kan Radio added that Gantz thanked Abbas for having Palestinian security officers save two Israeli settlers from being killed after they wandered into Ramallah in early December. The Israeli minister gave Abbas a bottle of olive oil as a gift for his great service to the security of the occupation state; a gift stolen from the land of Palestine.

Abbas refused to start the New Year without giving a gift to his Zionist friends in return, so he ordered his security agencies to launch a massive campaign of arrests in Jenin on behalf of their colleagues in the occupation security agencies. The Israeli security agencies now more or less have a branch office in Ramallah.

The Palestinian issue is a perfect illustration of what I said at the beginning of this article about 2021's crises continuing into 2022 and beyond. It is an issue more than 70 years old which has been passed from generation to generation, year after year. We don't know for certain when it will happen, but we do know that the Palestinians will be victorious sooner or later, and will liberate all of occupied Palestine from the river to the sea.

No matter how long it lasts, colonialism crumbles in the end. No matter how much injustice grows, spreads and dominates, the fate of those who are unjust is ruin. That will be as true in Israel and the rest of occupied Palestine as it has been everywhere else.

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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