Combating for Palestine | Palestine
In recent years, Israel has further consolidated its influence in Palestine. The list of Palestinian losses is depressing: the pronounced movement towards the international recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, the official annexation of Palestinian land, the increase in the number of settlers and the development of settlements on Palestinian land, the terrible siege of the Gaza Strip and global participation the siege, the “de-development” of the Palestinian economy, the unrestrained killing and maiming of Palestinians, the suffocation of mobility restrictions, gender-based violence in prisons and checkpoints, the continued destruction of Palestinian homes, the suppression of Palestinian activism and advocacy for Palestinian rights in Western Europe and North America as well as the increasing diplomatic normalcy between Israel and Arab states.
Add to the mix common social issues like patriarchal oppression, interpersonal conflict, crime, socioeconomic inequality, family feuds, and political corruption, combined with a lackluster and largely handcuffed leadership, and you get a picture of how remarkable the Palestinian resistance really is .
The fact that the Palestinians do not give up is exactly what is so historic and inspiring about their resistance. For more than 100 years, the Palestinian people have been fighting and fighting for Palestine, holding on to what they have left of it and holding on to the hope that one day they will regain what they have lost.
The armed resistance is often heeded, but the unarmed Palestinian resistance is far more numerous, diverse and long-standing. Labor strikes, boycotts, legal action, political and community organization, demonstrations, marches, hunger strikes, the keys to destroyed houses being passed on from one generation to the next, the formation of Palestinian societies and cultural groups in exile and refugee camps, lobbying for politicians Die Welt, the construction creative local and sustainable economies and everyday acts of resistance have been shaped throughout the history of the struggle.
Resistance also comes in the form of cultural productions that tell and communicate the suffering of the Palestinians. intellectual and academic studies shedding light on the history and lived realities of the Palestinians; the development of political manifestos and ideologies that pave the way towards freedom and liberation.
It is impossible to count the number of people who have given and continue to give their time, efforts, livelihoods and lives in the struggle for Palestine. The problem is not that these lives are never reported or (re) presented in international discourse. The problem is that the core and underlying nature of Palestinian action is not registered and ignored. They are buried and prevented from being released into mainstream discourse.
The political elites of the Emirates and Bahrains, for example, never register these lives when they announce their so-called peace agreements with Israel. Many Palestinians, as well as ordinary Bahraines and Emiratis, who have no say in the policies pursued by their rulers, have rightly labeled these agreements a betrayal of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause.
Palestine is missing from these “Middle East Peace Agreements” not only because Palestinian officials are excluded from negotiations and agreements, but also, in the real sense, of removing Palestinian countries, rights, freedoms and lives from the geopolitical landscape and political grammar. These deals are meant to represent a new status quo in which it becomes normal to accept that Palestine does not exist and therefore deserves or even deserves its extinction.
We don’t need to imagine how this normalization of deletion would work in the mainstream discourse of the Western European and North American media. It’s been happening for many years. For a recent example, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) scornfully apologized for using the term Palestine on the air just a day after one of its hosts dared utter this apparently forbidden and offensive word.
Hiding behind empty politics filled with fluff and pretentious legalistic language, the CBC claims that Palestine does not exist as a modern state and therefore does not warrant naming. These types of actions and measures, which are active in other settler colonial and neo-colonial countries, are an affront to the millions of people who have dedicated their existence to the struggle for Palestine.
The “problem” of Palestine
One of the mechanisms by which Palestine is erased in the two examples above is the occupation of the Palestine question as a “problem” in the sense of an impairment of the peace and tranquility of the world order, since Palestine does not fit the conventional categories through which the world order is established is made legible.
Hence, in today’s world, the same categories as “laws” of property, statehood, and sovereignty are presented as “natural” categories that arose in the colonial era to expropriate and / or rule indigenous peoples around the world that describes simply how the world is organized “naturally”.
The mainstream discourse does not question how these categories were created and “validated” through brutal colonial violence and state terror. Instead, it is asserted that the categories are justified in their violence because the oppressed do not belong to those categories that they are supposed to suppress and eliminate. And in this world, which was born and developed in and through colonialism, this somehow has a sensual effect.
In The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, WEB DuBois explored what it means to be constantly asked, directly and indirectly, “How does it feel to be a problem?” This question, which continues to be asked of black Americans, reveals nothing about the struggles, aspirations, and lived realities of black life in America. Rather, it says much more about the power structures in which black Americans are constructed as “problems”.
In short, the question never examines the questioner’s own role in portraying black life as a “problem” or in creating the social, economic, cultural, and political conditions that oppress and repress black life.
Similarly, Palestinians are viewed internationally as a “problem”, shifting the burden of becoming unproblematic to the issue that was produced as a “problem” – an impossible task whose sole purpose is to eradicate the issue and to delete was constituted as a “problem”.
For imperial allies, led by the United Kingdom and then the United States, the Israeli settler-colonial state and Arab states, which have largely swiftly joined and served imperial interests, Palestine has always been a “problem” that needs to be resolved. If only those who make Palestine a “problem” had the courage, they would ask the Palestinians what they really want to ask: How does it feel when the world wishes it didn’t have to deal with you? How does it feel to be completely unwanted and unheard? How does it feel to be completely authoritative for others in your being and not being?
These are precisely the rhetorical questions that the ruling elites in the Gulf are asking the Palestinians today. Palestine has seen a fair share of allies who seem to stand with Palestinians only to move on and leave them behind. It is this feeling of being left behind that haunts and seems to follow the Palestinian resistance that I want to underline. In addition to all of the immense erasure difficulties of the settler colonial and imperial powers, which include the CBC and Canada, there is also a more hurtful type of erasure that can take place in the room where Palestinians join hands with others from the “global south” who seek collective liberation.
If I repeat the term Palestine too often in this piece, it is because it needs to be continually, powerfully and loudly affirmed and affirmed. Efforts to eradicate Palestine, of which the CBC and the UAE / Bahrain ruling class constitute only a small part, are not being lost, but are actually gaining momentum. Whether the CBC or the authoritarian rulers of the Emirates and Bahrain are deliberately wiping out Palestine is really irrelevant. What is decisive is the impact of their discourse, their actions and their policies, namely the obliteration of Palestine – a project that has reached an advanced stage.
In this sense, Palestine has so far been a lost cause. It will likely continue to be a loss for the foreseeable future. But make no mistake, Palestine is not a lost cause. As long as injustice continues unabated, the Palestinians will fight for Palestine. And even if freedom remains inaccessible, the Palestinians in Palestine and beyond will at least show the world that the violence of this settler-colonial, neo-colonial and post-colonial world order will never defeat the spirits of those who are crushed by this order.
Yes, in the struggle Palestine will be a nuisance, but in the sense that the powerful are always reminded that they are not the “forces of good”, that the world order is neither order nor fair. In order to register and disengage into mainstream discourse, the essence of Palestinian resistance actions is to recognize that Palestine, if it does not fit into dominant categories, is not due to a deficiency of Palestine, but to its violent and oppressive purpose Categories.
Registering the lives of the Palestinians means recognizing that the creation of a Palestinian state, for example, is not an end in itself, but an effort to join the rest of the world of nations through the category of statehood, but always at least for the innumerable lives that make it up have fought and continue to fight, a means to true liberation and freedom – to a decolonized life.
The views expressed in this article are from the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.