Why The Non-Armed Palestinian Struggle Is Also “Illegitimate”?
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 21 May 2018
Walid Salem – TRANSCEND Media Service
15 May 2018 – In response to the savage massacre committed by the Israeli Army against the “ Marches of Return and Siege Lifting” of yesterday in Gaza, the White House in Washington DC released a statement blaming Hamas for using violence, and supporting the “ right of Israel to defend itself”. Also Mr. Jason Greenblat the American Envoy to the Middle East “Peace process” wrote an article in the Israeli newspaper “Yisrael Hayoum” accusing Hamas of returning Gaza back to the “Iron Age”.
Till Nine PM yesterday evening, the death toll among Gaza Palestinians participating in the Marches reached the number of 55 (increased to 58 by 1:26 am this morning), in addition to 2410 injured. According to the Ministry of health in Gaza, there are 203 children and 78 women among the injured. 40 of these were in a critical condition and 76 seriously injured. 1204 got injured by live bullet, and 130 by rubber covered metal bullets. Further than that the Ministry of health report includes calculations about the parts of the bodies that were injured, for instance 79 injured in the neck and the head, 76 in their chests and stomachs, 164 in different places of their bodies, and 1055 in the lower parts of their bodies. As such many of the injured will be left with permanent disabilities lifelong.
How come these killings and injuries just in one day are merely practiced in the framework of “Israel right to defend itself”? How come later in the day the USA prevented a UN Security Council Statement approved by the other 14 members condemning the massacre and calling for the formation of an international committee of investigation about them?
Beyond the shock from these positions, three issues should be emphasized (among others that there is no enough space for all to be discussed in a short column like this one):
The first among these is that United States is not any more just a supporter to Israel politically and militarily, but moreover United States is a partner in the Israeli ongoing settler colonial project in the ground. A latest research had shown that 15 percent of colonial settlers in West Bank (Without East Jerusalem) today are Americans. Sara Yael Hirschhorn from Oxford University presented these results showing that there are sixty thousand settlers in West Bank only (without the inclusion of East Jerusalem), who are originally Americans. Therefore President Abbas was fully right to describe the move of the American Embassy yesterday to Jerusalem as “an establishment of an American Settler outpost in Palestine”. This is one.
Secondly, the significant point regarding the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem yesterday, is that it is about dictation of the final status results in the ground in contradiction with Oslo Agreement article five text which stated that Jerusalem as a whole ( East and West) is subject to the final status negotiations. In other words Oslo Agreement included what the late Palestinian leader Faisal Husseini was saying all the time till he passed away in 2001, that the Palestinians property rights in West Jerusalem should be negotiated and agreed upon before any political agreement about the city and on how to share two capitals for two states in it. The Americans violated this article and adopted the Israeli position which again makes the American Embassy in Jerusalem of a colonial type as mentioned above.
Thirdly: The American Administration becoming a partner of the Israeli settler colonial project will share as well the Israeli position of finding no place to the Palestinians within this project. Accordingly the Palestinians should hide and show no presence, expressed by keeping fully silent towards what is imposed and dictated, or they will pay the price by getting to be” removed” forcefully when they oppose. In this sense all kind of Palestinian struggle armed and non- armed become illegal according to this perspective because they make the Palestinian visible while he / she is supposed to be invisible. Adi Ophir wrote once and again that the Palestinian is punished not because he made something wrong, but he/she is punished because he/ She is found in a place where the settler colonial project expect him/ her not to be existing in. Gaza wise this means that the Gazan Palestinians should continued acting in impotent way despite the move of the Embassy, and despite the anniversary of 70 years of the Nakba given also that 66 percent of Gaza residents are refugees according to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics new report released yesterday.
It was James Zughby who wrote yesterday that the Americans consider the Palestinians as” invisible victims” that do not count anything by themselves, but they merely represent a “ problem to Israel” that the latter has to deal with and solve. Accordingly no attention will be made to the plight of the Palestinians since 1948.
Dr. Walid Salem is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He was born in East Jerusalem in 1957 and teaches democracy and human rights at AlQuds University. He is a writer of thirty books and training manuals, and tens of research papers on Democracy, civil society, citizenship, refugees, and Jerusalem. He is also a consultant, evaluator, and trainer for several public and private bodies. Salem trained more than thirty thousand Palestinians on these issues since 1990, and, since 1993, he is the Director of The Centre for Democracy and Community Development, East Jerusalem. He is the Coordinator of Middle East Citizen Assembly as regional network of experts and activists on citizenship issues that include participants from 19 countries from the region since 2004. He has lectured at several international conferences and seminars about democracy, Jerusalem, refugees, and development in Palestine.
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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 May 2018.
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