Some quick, brief thoughts on the ongoing repression and resistance in occupied Palestine:
The consecutive brutal raids on al-Aqsa during Ramadan by the fascist government of Israel shouldn’t been seen as isolated incidents. Nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed so far this year by Israeli forces, including massacres in Jenin and Nablus. Harsher conditions have been imposed on thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. Laws from banning the flying of the Palestinian flag to allowing Israel to strip Palestinian citizens of Israel of citizenship have been passed.
Relatedly, other measures, such as the revocation of the 2005 law removing settlements from the northern West Bank, to the loosening of gun ownership regulations, to the creation of a National Guard specifically designed to target Palestinians and under the control of Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir, all point to a government desiring and planning for conflict and escalation as a means to continue the Zionist settler-colonial project.
Palestinian responses to Israeli aggression – collective or individual – will be welcomed by Israel as providing pretexts and cover for furthering the ethnic cleansing process, be this through building or expanding settlements, legalizing settler outposts, passing draconian anti-Palestinian legislation, expanding the occupation’s control over Palestinian daily life, killing Palestinians with impunity, and more. Knowing they can militarily defeat the Palestinians and can count on the unconditional support of the U.S. and E.U. allows the Israeli government a free hand to do what it pleases throughout historic Palestine.
However, the fact that Israel is seeking confrontation is of course not a reason for Palestinians not to resist, rebel, attack, and defend. And they have been doing just that. Speaking from afar and as a non-Palestinian, what I see as unique and promising about the current phase of resistance is its non-sectarian nature. Fatah, Hamas, and the rest are increasingly irrelevant. The Palestinian Authority is a repressive joke. Instead, we see formations such as the Lion’s Den or the Jenin Brigades emerging – containing members across factional lines who enjoy widespread popular support. We see Palestinian prisoners organizing across factional lines to plan a mass hunger strike during Ramadan. (Called off at the last minute as their demands were met before the strike began.) We see Palestinian citizens of Israel and residents of East Jerusalem mobilizing en masse in response to the attacks on al-Aqsa and raids on their neighborhoods.
The old order that structured and articulated Palestinian resistance is crumbling and something new is emerging. The streets are acting and organizing and leaving the parties and politicians behind. What happens next remains to be seen, but it may be a coalescing of collective organization and resistance more reminiscent of the first intifada than the second, and ultimately something Israel has not seen and is not prepared for despite its yearning for conflict and violence.
Thank you. I somehow feel a hope in these thoughts. And I wonder, is this newest wave of extreme repression analogous to our own experiences outside of Palestine and her territories? Is this then, what we have to do, as well? Organize in new ways, beyond our own constructed factions?
Thanks for your comment, Martha. I’m glad that you found some hope in there. I think it exists, too, despite the present conditions. You raise some very poignant questions that I think are important to mull over. I don’t have any good answers, but I agree that organizing in new ways beyond our (often self-imposed) constraints will be important moving forward.