Palestinian Resistance

May 15, 2019 was the 71st commemoration of Nabka (‘the Catastrophe’ as per Palestinians), when in 1948 hundreds of thousands, some say a quarter of a million,  Palestinians either fled or were forcibly removed from their traditional homelands.  Given that timing, many journalists have been covering the March of Return protests in Gaza, anti-Eurovision’ events, as well as describing the ongoing horrors of life in Gaza and the West Bank.

First: ‘The Enemy is Not Resistance’, Stanley L. Cohen, May 10, 2019, counterpunch.org

“The Islamic Resistance Movement began more than thirty years ago at an historical moment in time which it knew to be fraught with absolute peril for their people. The founders of this national liberation struggle examined the overwhelming military capabilities of Israel, fostered by its global superpower sponsor, the United States. They looked at Israel’s expansionist programs–the Zionist project of illegal settlements erasing their homes and villages, dispossessing mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers–and at the failure of the international community to stop them.  They knew then that within a generation Palestinians would lose it all –their motherland and patrimony and their nation–leaving them homeless captives to the whims of another man’s door.  In that moment, resistance was not a lifestyle choice or a revolutionary pose. It was existential necessity, just as it is now.

Everything Hamas predicted then has come to pass. Here, a generation later, it should take no comfort reminding the world that they were right in their analysis. Israel has grown only stronger and more rapacious, more intransigent and murderous in its deeds.  Its “democracy” did not save it from becoming a racist, apartheid state presiding over a military occupation of millions of Palestinians. Israel’s policy of creating “facts on the ground”– that is, the illegal settlement project – has transitioned from a de facto expulsion and annexation policy into a de jure one, as its prime minister calls for the removal of Palestinians and the annexation of the West Bank, and the American president and congress pre-emptively applaud the crime-to-be. The Golan Heights–sovereign territory of another nation– is now Israel’s by force, cynically annexed, while Syria struggles in the throes of war.  And Jerusalem (al Quds) is ringed by new, fortified suburbs and restricted highways demolishing Palestinian neighborhoods and cutting off their city from them. America now calls Jerusalem Israel’s capital–in direct violation of international law. Since 1967 [the 6-day war], successive U.S. administrations have told Palestinians to trust in their good faith as brokers of a just peace.  This has been a lie, as Hamas anticipated then, America was running cover, a stalling tactic, for the slow-motion destruction of Palestinian national aspirations.  Tragically, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed and maimed and many more imprisoned by Israeli state violence since Hamas began. The international community has done little to stop the monstrous crime unfolding.

Palestinians were right to resist then. The world surely can see that now.  The tragedy of retrospection should, at the very least, accord Palestinians their due: resistance is morally right, history has proven it so.”

Cohen then alludes to ‘Zionist real estate lawyer from New York Jason Greenblatt’s op-ed at the NYTimes’, noting that Greenblatt is in charge of shepherding the “peace process” for the Trump administration as the Special Representative for International Negotiations.

I’ve found a detractor of Greenblatt’s insulting ‘blame the victims’ rubbish at the Times:

Gaza and Hamas: How Jason Greenblatt aims to turn the victim into executioner, Blaming Palestinians while facilitating Israeli crimes is the hallmark of US policy in the region’, Basem Naim, 7 May 2019, middleeasteye.net


We were not surprised by the false picture painted in this article, given that US policies unreservedly adopt the extreme Israeli position. Every measure taken by this administration has aimed to promote the occupation and undermine Palestinian rights.

The Trump administration has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, written off the Palestinian right of return, and recognised Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights. US President Donald Trump’s team has given clear signs of its implicit consent to Israel’s annexation, in whole or in part, of the occupied West Bank.”

“Every time Israel attacks our people, Greenblatt and his leaders express their absolute support for the occupation. In the latest assault, Israel killed 25 Palestinians in Gaza, including babies and women; wounded dozens; and damaged scores of homes and civilian facilities.

Greenblatt, however, has blamed Hamas for firing rockets, maintaining the US position that Israel is entitled to defend itself. In his Times article, Greenblatt misleads readers, taking advantage of the lack of public knowledge about many facts on the ground.

Greenblatt tries to turn the victim into the executioner, partly by listing the effects of the siege imposed on Gaza for more than a decade, from the lack of medicine and electricity, to widespread unemployment and infrastructural collapse. But he fails to point out the real cause behind this human tragedy.

Israel’s war crimes

Greenblatt claims that Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, is behind all of this. He fails to cite the litany of international reports accusing Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza, where two million Palestinians are imprisoned and deprived of their basic rights.

Without any evidence, Greenblatt suggests that Palestinians in the West Bank are living a better life because they gave up on violence. In reality, Palestinians in the West Bank are systematically murdered and uprooted from their land, with legalised humiliation taking place around the clock. The apartheid wall separates families, while colonial settlers destroy Palestinian homes and steal their water.”


Mourners carry the body of 22-year-old Palestinian Emad Nasser, who was killed during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, during his funeral in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on May 4, 2019. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

“Attempts by the Palestinian Authority to reach an internationally acceptable solution – despite the reservations of many Palestinians about the efficacy of those attempts – have been rebuffed by Israel and the Trump administration, as more settlements have sprung up and the rights of Palestinians have been repeatedly trampled, including through the cessation of US financial support for Palestinians.

Israeli apartheid has been legalised through the nation-state law enacted last year, formalising a system of racism against the country’s Arab citizens.

Freedom and independence

Hamas is a Palestinian national liberation movement, democratically and transparently elected by a majority of the Palestinian people in the 2006 election, which was supervised internationally. Hamas believes in the right of our people to freedom, independence, self-determination and return.

We do not adopt violence, but it’s our right to resist by all available means guaranteed by international law for all peoples under occupation. But it seems that Greenblatt’s administration no longer believes in international law, working to bypass it and destroy its institutions.

Hamas did not initiate any of the three wars launched by Israel against Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Israel was the initiator each time. Hamas defended its people with its own limited capabilities, which do not compare to the occupation’s advanced weaponry.

All Palestinian factions, including Hamas, have taken part in the recent peaceful demonstrations near the Gaza fence, demanding the lifting of the siege and implementation of the right of return. In response, Israeli forces have used live ammunition, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands. Many are permanently disabled. No Israelis were killed in the demonstrations.”

“Justice requires respect for the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people for freedom and independence – to let them contribute to well-being and prosperity, not only for themselves, but for peoples throughout the region, and indeed the whole world.”

A closing paragraph from Stanley Cohen:

“Not long ago, Israel sent an assassination-squad surreptitiously into Gaza to kill Palestinian leaders. In the weeks since, it has repeatedly attacked civilian targets and infrastructure. It has been met by Palestinian defensive measures; and Israel responds, predictably, with F-16 attacks and tank shelling throughout Gaza, killing some two dozen including three children and two pregnant women, one who was clutching her 14 month old in her arms as both perished.  More than a hundred and fifty other civilians were wounded over several days of Israeli attacks. Almost a thousand civilian housing units, schools and businesses were damaged or destroyed. This latest assault does not yet have an operational name to sell it to the world–marketing Israel’s “bravery” narrative–but surely they’ll think of something catchy to disguise the carnage.”

A squib from Whitney Webb’s ‘Newly Released FBI Docs Shed Light on Apparent Mossad Foreknowledge of 9/11 Attacks’ mintpressnews.com, May 17, 2019

“When asked, on the day of the 9/11 attacks, how the attacks would affect American-Israeli relations, Benjamin Netanyahu — the current Israeli prime minister — told the New York Times that “It’s very good,” before quickly adding “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” He then predicted, much as Marmari had, that the attacks would “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.”

Quoting Bibi again: “I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction. … They won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way… 80 percent of the Americans support us. It’s absurd.”

Yes, Bibi, absurd is the word, as the US knows how terrorized you’ve been by Iran, Palestinians, and the Houthis in Yemen, which is likely the reason that the US Congress keeps voting to give your nation more money, including a big boost of billions earmarked as military aid.

And those quotes may also resonate when the Trump/Kushner I/P “Deal of the Century” surfaces after Ramadan which began Monday, May 6, ends Monday, June 3.  I’ll bring coverage on the ‘leaked report’ sometime soon.  Think: abject travesties of injustice in a Newly Branded Wrapper.

For further reading: ‘From inspiration to despair: A year of Gaza’s Great March of Return, as Palestinians dream of returning home, Gaza has become synonymous with war, death and suffering’, Yara Hawari, 30 March 2019, middleesateye.net   A teaser:

“In Frames of War, author Judith Butler explains this by unpacking “grievable life,” arguing that in certain frames, some lives are not considered lost if they are not comprehended as living in the first place. The continuous destruction and violence inflicted on Gaza by the Israeli regime has placed it in such a frame, so much so that loss of life has become normalised.

One year on, the Great March of Return protests have become a manifestation of ultimate despair. The effects of the siege and occupation have left more than half of Palestinians in Gaza living in abject poverty, many with serious mental and physical health conditions.”

Palestine’s legitimate citizenry’, Blake Alcott, May 15, 2019, Palestine’s legitimate citizenrymondoweiss net; a teaser:

“Do all Palestinians have the right to citizenship in whatever state rules historic Palestine? After all, they or their recent ancestors were bonafide citizens of British-Mandate Palestine. Doesn’t the right of return to their homes now in the state of Israel entail the right of re-enfranchisement? Could citizenship now be declared for all Palestinians in a state claiming legitimate sovereignty over all of historic Palestine? Is a state ruling historic Palestine democratically legitimate which refuses them return-as-citizens return?”

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

and the WSJ (it's behind a paywall for me, dagnabbit):

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Lookout's picture

...joining several US states.
“We thought that the fact that this bill was supported by the far right in Germany would dissuade leftists from supporting it. We thought that the call of Jewish Israeli scholars against this bill would also dissuade them,” Hever said. “But we were wrong.”
https://therealnews.com/stories/german-parliament-criminalizes-boycott-d...

As with pipelines you are no longer allowed the right of protest.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

yes, miz lot lizard had told us on another of my threads. an eleventh commandment: 'thou shalt not boycott disrespect israel'.

thanks, lookout, i'll look at your real news link in a bit.

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wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

and thanks: this echoes what i'd said to edg below:

shir hever:

And I’ll explain that through the quote from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Five years ago he said that he actually doesn’t believe that killing the Jews during the Holocaust was Hitler’s idea, was the idea of Adolf Hitler. He said Hitler got that idea from a Palestinian called Haj Amin al-Husseini. And this is, of course, false, and every historian knows that this is not the case, and Hitler called for the extermination of Jews long before he met Haj Amin al-Husseini. But by making that statement, Netanyahu–and he also repeated it. He stood by his statement a second time. Netanyahu was sending a message to Germans.

Instead of feeling guilty about the Holocaust and feeling the need to apologize and to bear responsibility for those crimes which were committed so many years ago, you could actually transfer the guilt to the Palestinians. And that is a dogwhistle message to the right wing in Germany. But apparently the left, parts of the left, have expressed some desire to rid themselves of their guilt over the Holocaust by equating the BDS movement, which is a Palestinian call, with anti-Semitism. Of course, it’s not anti-Semitic. But by doing that they’re saying, oh, we’re fighting anti-Semitism by choosing to support Israel, the state of Israel, rather than by being responsible for the protection of Jewish people.

And the Israeli government has said to Germany very clearly, you have to choose. Either you’re pro-Israel or you’re pro-Jewish. But you can’t be both. And the German parliament has decided today to be pro-Israel and not pro-Jewish.

jeebus, bibi. way to torque up more hate with lies against those you keep caged. but how cogent hever is about the rumpled psychology at play here:

But by doing that they’re saying, oh, we’re fighting anti-Semitism by choosing to support Israel, the state of Israel, rather than by being responsible for the protection of Jewish people.

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Lookout's picture

@wendy davis
Here's a 2 min trailer...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc1NxW5loTk

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

past time, mama. thanks to both you and the superb journalist abby martin. she says it was due out may 19.

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edg's picture

....you didn't title this essay "More 2020 Political Junk". It would have gotten more attention, and this issue certainly deserves more attention from all progressives.

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wendy davis's picture

@edg

it took me reading your comment three times before i'd cottoned on to your meaning, edg. (first time, my crap eyes had read: 'too bad you didn't like the essay 2020 political junk, lol) but it is odd-bodkins to me that so many folks prefer to read about the electoral horse races rather than burning issues on the oppressed and dehumanized, isn't?

i'd been musing about how oppressors always 'justify' their grotesque treatment of their victims by marginalizing them as 'inconsequential humans', lying about them, smearing them with absurd innuendo, as they bring their hammers down upon them. from the nazis to afrikaners, hindu-anti-kashmiris, sunni anti-shiia iranians, tra la la...it's been a tried and true tactic. that is: until it fails. as cohen says: surely the world must be taking note'.

i just checked the jewish voices for peace on twitter, it's mainly about bds and boycott air nb whatever that it. but these about eurovision are fine to see:

thanks for reading and caring, amigo.

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edg's picture

@wendy davis

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wendy davis's picture

@edg

but the timing seemed just right, as i'd said in the OP. i reckon that i can survive the lump/s in my throat as i paste together things like this, partially because we need to bear witness to the atrocities the US and our partners in peace Likud israel perpetrate 'in our names', and what the hell are a few of my tears compared to the ravages these third-class citizens experience daily?

all along i kept trying to remember the most illustrative song michael franti had written after he'd toured gaza, the west bank and israel back in 2006 in order to see the human costs of war. this may not be it, but it's the one that's been haunting my head-space. (i'll save roger waters for the closing song, although i'm not overly-fond of his voice...) ; )

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Eagles92's picture

@wendy davis

so many folks prefer to read about the electoral horse races rather than burning issues on the oppressed and dehumanized

I'm guilty of this myself -- I think so much of it is intentional conditioning -- but I'm so with you that we need, collectively as humans, to focus on the real, pressing issues.

Thanks for your reporting.

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@Eagles92

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wendy davis's picture

@Eagles92

in amerika are quadrennial bread and circuses of duopoly, and do distract the population from the fact that we don't live in a democracy. now focusing more on issues, especially foreign policy ones, can cause us to check out how some of the faves are positioned on some of them. of course, many say one thing, do another, etc., and most proponents of candidate x, y, or z still remain willfully blind when presented evidence to the contrary.

i hadn't wanted to muddy the water in the OP as to bernie sander's reaction during the 2018 march of return protests when he'd tweeted: 'tragic numbers. i think the IDF over-
reacted'.

it seems he's been more direct lately, as in calling bibi a right-wing racist,
but this oped from miko peled from mintpressnews.org on may 2:

'What Strikes Bernie Sanders as “Extremely Unfair” Is a Catastrophe for Millions of Palestinians, There will be hope when politicians like Bernie Sanders will have the courage to call the ethnic cleansing, genocide and apartheid — all crimes that Israel perpetrated and continues to perpetuate to this day — by their real name and not describe them as merely “extremely unfair.” he opens:

"JERUSALEM — “Palestinians are being treated extremely unfairly.” This quote by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) came to mind as I was watching the documentary film 1948: Creation and Catastrophe. The terms “fair” and “unfair,” and even “extremely unfair,” come to mind when children quarrel on the playground, or maybe in a family feud when parents are treating one of the siblings in a way that is “extremely unfair.” Not so when discussing a national catastrophe.

When we view what Zionists have done to Palestine, when we understand the sheer magnitude of what was done to Palestinians, no term short of “catastrophic” seems appropriate. In the documentary itself, wonderfully directed by Andy Trimlett and Ahlam Muhtaseb, Dr. Farid Abdel-Nur of San Diego State University asks:

“Was the establishment of the State of Israel so important, that no matter what price Palestinians had to pay for it, it was worth it? Or was there something fundamentally wrong with a project that can only be realized by displacing hundreds of thousands of people?”

He ends by saying, “If the establishment of the state of Israel was a historic wrong, then the question now arises, how does one redress this wrong.”

...and then stories, artwork, etc. peled was born in jerusalem.

good grief; there was snow on the mountain east of us about 200 feet higher than we are, nearly in our backyard in SW colorado, and now it's snowing. i think we've only tried not keeping a fire in the stove all spring...and that dinnae work out so well. weird weather. ; )

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wendy davis's picture

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

quite telling (and tragic) 'we are not numbers', eh?

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wendy davis's picture

it's gotta be closing time for me due to epic home lie obligations have laid me low. i'll respond tomorrow, but as to egd's "and this issue certainly deserves more attention from all progressives' i've been working that over while takin' care of RL bidness, and will comment on that with a more rested mind and heart.

tonight's closing song will be one of roger water's songs to gaza; there's another, but i hadn't had the time to go back an listen to it. g'night, and wouldn't the world spin differently if we could all respect one another, instead of compete with each other? g' night, and may you all dream well if you sleep, and if not, at least dream instructively.

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until death. I'm guessing many of them even got passed down to succeeding generations.

If you have enough power (and the big bucks it takes to have sufficient power, you can give away other people's homeland, as well as the tax dollars of other nations, and pretend it's for peace Middle East, home of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

X has been horrifically mistreated. I know the fix: Let's you and him become homeless, so s/he can have a home.

I don't know any older songs from Palestine, per se, but I think this man may be the Frank Sinatra(ish) equivalent in the Middle East. I don't mean that he sounds like Sinatra. Rather, I mean that he, like Sinatra, may still be considered a classic artist, even though he was born in 1901 (to Sinatra's 1915). Unlike Sinatra, he was also a composer.

While I was in the hospital last year, a Lebanese fellow patient of about forty-five years of age invited me aome other patients to the lounge to listen to some of his CDs. (He was Egyptian.) FYI, in the Middle East, how long a singer can draw out a note/lyric is admired.) Anyway, it's something outside our usual rock/blues/country offerings.

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wendy davis's picture

@HenryAWallace

the keys to hand down, but a hella lot of houses have been bulldozed into kindling, no? but this short part of a much longer documentary series says what your wiki on the balfour declaration indicates:

the nabka didn't begin in 1948:

cool on the orchestra and abdul wahab, and how strange those sounds are to my western ears!
different scales, different rhythms... thank you. dunno which song he'd sung to win the gaza alt-eurovision prize, but i'll try to bring at least a recent one by jehad shedada.

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@wendy davis

anything that Israel or Israelis later elected to do to those homes. Therefore the use of "but" in the following sentence made me wonder:

some may have kept the keys to hand down, but a hella lot of houses have been bulldozed into kindling, no?

As far as when the nakba per se began, reasonable people could differ; and I defer to the Palestinians. However, the Balfour Declaration is certainly relevant to a discussion of the issue.

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wendy davis's picture

@HenryAWallace

and should have asked 'i wonder how many of those keys belonged to houses that were bulldozed instead?'.

i've just collected so many images of bulldozed houses in my mind over the past fifteen years or more. it may not be so by now, but at one time it was militant hassids were were the most destructive.

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@wendy davis

As my earlier post said, Middle Easterners seem impressed with the drawing out of a note or lyric, even if it sounds to me like someone moaning about a stomach ache.

During the video, I noticed applause interrupting the song when Abdul Wahab drew out a note. I also noticed that the drawing out of a note is often followed by an instrumental flourish. I think this clever move serves two purposes: the singer gets a chance to refill his lungs and the applause doesn't "step on" the next lyric. It's the musical equivalent of writing a piece of silent stage business or a throw away line after a line that the writer thinks might get a laugh or more than a smattering of applause.

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wendy davis's picture

twitter account:

and from a scrumptious child of gaza: ; )

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wendy davis's picture

on twitter:

"there is no doubt as to what they mean to do if they cross the border fence."

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wendy davis's picture

but as joss would have it, after i'd shut down last night, pbs was playing the final episode of les miserables, in which inspector javert finally realized that jean valjean was a far more moral man than he was. zo...javert launched himself off a bridge and into the river stix.

from the gaza alt-eurovision winner, jehad shahada:

g' night.

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