日本イスラーム研究所 Japan Islamic Research Institute


GAZA SCENARIO IS SAME AS WE HAVE CREATED IN NORTH WAZIRISTAN AFTER THE MILTARY OPERATION, WRITES AMERA EHSAN IN HER NEW COLUMN. OUR OVER ONE MILLION COUNTRYMEN HAVE BEEN MADE HOMELESS IN THE SACRED MONTH OF RAMADHAN.
 

"Israel refers to Palestinians as a whole as "terrorists" – it is a blanket and racist term. They do not care whether the rockets hit military bases or civilian areas: anyone who dares stand up to them is slandered as a "terrorist." When Hamas commandos last week very precisely attacked an Israeli military base that was being used to launch assaults on civilians in Gaza, these brave fighters were still slandered as "terrorists.", writes Asa Winstanley

   

 

 

 Palestine's ‘allies’ must stop 

 condemning armed resistance 

By: Asa Winstanley

Published Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Israel refers to Palestinians as a whole as "terrorists" – it is a blanket and racist term. They do not care whether the rockets hit military bases or civilian areas: anyone who dares stand up to them is slandered as a "terrorist." When Hamas commandos last week very precisely attacked an Israeli military base that was being used to launch assaults on civilians in Gaza, these brave fighters were still slandered as "terrorists." 

 

 

Abby Martin, the anchor for the Breaking the Set program on Russian network Russia Today had a short segment about media bias on Palestine last week. Overall it was good. The spot was popular on social networks, with a copy of it being subtitled into Arabic. 

In the segment, she criticized White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for stating that "we support Israel's right to defend itself against these vicious [Palestinian] attacks." She commented, correctly, that "it's important to not frame this as a cycle of violence that's equal. One is the colonizer-oppressor, one is the colonized oppressed."

Unfortunately, she appended a caveat: "I denounce deadly force on both sides" – a wide reaching statement which seems to call for Palestinians to lay down their arms in the face of Israeli aggression and ultra-violence.

The American rapper Lupe Fiasco has been critical of Israel in the past and has spoken out in favor of Palestinian rights, famously waving the Palestinian flag at one of his concerts. But as this latest Israeli aggression rained down on Gaza, he took to Twitter (where he has 1.2 million followers) to condemn "both sides" for what he termed over-reaction, later clarifying that he was referring to "the Hamas rockets" on the Palestinian side.

  Whether people in Europe and America like it or not, there is a widespread Palestinian consensus, in Palestine and in the diaspora, in favor of all forms of resistance against Israel, including armed struggle.Left-wing pundit and columnist Owen Jones responded to the Israeli assault with a fairly popular article criticizing Israel. But he also criticized Palestinians resistance, stating that there is "no defense for Hamas firing rockets into civilian areas" – taking as a given this Israeli propaganda line.

 

Like most other journalists, Jones is ignoring the fact that in their statements, Hamas and other resistance factions regularly declare military targets. As the brilliant Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook often points out, tight Israeli military restrictions on reporting the landing locations of Resistance rockets makes this all hard to verify.

Far too many of those in the West who regard themselves of Palestine's allies speak in similar terms. Activists and critical journalists will make all the right criticisms of Israel, and speak up in support of Palestinian rights. But far too often they balk at the simple fact that Palestinians have a right in international law to used armed struggle against Israel.

Why should this be so hard? 

In objective terms, it is not a controversial position to take. Numerous UN resolutions back up this basic right of occupied peoples in international law, including a General Assembly resolution of November 1974, which "reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples' struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle" (my emphasis).

Even officials of the normally supine Palestinian Authority (PA) will pay lip service to right to resist. This past weekend, the PA's ambassador in London, Manuel Hassassian told the BBC News channel that the rockets of Hamas and other resistance factions are being launched from Gaza in "self defense" and they should not stop until Israeli aggression against Gaza stops. His remarks stood in contrast to Mahmoud Abbas's criticisms of the rockets.

While it's true that Resistance factions are accountable to the laws of war no less than anybody else, it should not be the role of westerners to call for Palestinians to lay down their arms, even as they are being brutally attacked by Israel.

Whether people in Europe and America like it or not, there is a widespread Palestinian consensus, in Palestine and in the diaspora, in favor of all forms of resistance against Israel, including armed struggle. 

 

With an enemy as brutal as Israel gunning for them, one should not expect anything else of the Palestinian people. It is often taken as a given that because Palestinians are out-gunned by Israel that fighting back is "useless" and that the rockets are "puny" or "pathetic." This blinkered viewpoint, however, ignores the basic dynamic of guerrilla warfare, and the facts of recent regional history.

The Palestinian people know very well that South Lebanon was liberated in 2000 only through the forces of armed struggle: at one point, Hezbollah's military force could have been said to be "puny" and hopeless against Israel. But the Resistance ultimately prevailed.

Israel refers to Palestinians as a whole as "terrorists" – it is a blanket and racist term. They do not care whether the rockets hit military bases or civilian areas: anyone who dares stand up to them is slandered as a "terrorist." When Hamas commandos last week very precisely attacked an Israeli military base that was being used to launch assaults on civilians in Gaza, these brave fighters were still slandered as "terrorists." 

There are Palestinian thinkers, writers and leaders who have legitimate questions and criticisms surrounding the efficacy and morality of particular manifestations of armed resistance – but let's leave such questions to them.

Regardless of particular strategic and tactical considerations, the choice of the Palestinians in the struggle against Israel is, and always has been resistance. Nobody is asking white people to take up arms and join the Palestinian factions in Gaza – just respect the right and the choice of the Palestinian people: stop issuing blanket condemnations of armed struggle.

Asa Winstanley is a London-based investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada.