The Palestinian people’s integrity derives exactly from the strength of their position vis-a-vis the actual political state of things. Within this context, it becomes crucially important to listen to critical South African warnings which provide important lessons for Palestine from South Africa. The current unrest and popular dissatisfaction across South Africa are warnings for all of us here in Palestine that unprincipled compromises on the socioeconomic rights of historically disenfranchised communities should never be part of our liberation agenda.
In fact, the leadership of the Palestinian national movement, like the ANC leadership, has already betrayed its own principles. We have reached a time where we can argue that Israel has intellectually and morally lost the battle. We, Palestinians, like Black South Africans before us, have proven to be the ones at the forefront of the fight for universal justice. However, by the end of the second decade and the beginning of the third one of the millennium, a spirit of dictatorship and tyranny has pervaded the soul of Palestinian nationalism as defined and controlled by the Right.
It takes only a look at its failures to see that Palestinian nationalism, as defined by the Right in cahoots with the Stalinist Left, is coming to an end. And I am saying this from a deep sense of commitment to the Palestinian cause, but also from a self-critical viewpoint. The achievements of Palestinian nationalism have been made and now is the winter of its decline, its promises of liberation and return undelivered.
Palestine today is more divided than ever between the overwhelming majority who are abused by the “peace industry” and the very few who are its beneficiaries.
Palestine today is more divided than ever between the overwhelming majority who are abused by the “peace industry” and the very few who are its beneficiaries.
The Palestinian Right has managed to fragment the Palestinian frame of collective identity by reducing the Palestinian people to only those who live in the 1967 occupied territories – Palestinian refugees (the source of the Palestinian cause) are ignored, as are those who live as third-class citizens of apartheid Israel. Palestinian nationalism seems to have taken a vacation from critical resistance! Critical activists and intellectuals, therefore, have to deal with the historical burden of correcting the capitulating thrust of Oslo pseudo-intellectual life.
To add insult to injury – and further fragmenting the already fragmented components of the Palestinian people – Palestine’s class character (disguised in a nationalist discourse) has lately revealed itself in a resentment toward the Palestinians of Gaza who are perceived as either Hamas supporters and members, or unwanted dissident voices, and who therefore constitute a serious threat to the so-called “National project.” Palestine today is more divided than ever between the overwhelming majority who are abused by the “peace industry” and the very few who are its beneficiaries.
But as Antonio Gramsci says: “the crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born: in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” And one of these symptoms is the vociferous call for alternative programs, including the call for the establishment of a secular-democratic state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – a call to move away from Bantustanization and separatism.
Many, including some of those who were at the forefront of the fight for a Palestinian State on the 1967 borders, have come to the realization that the racist two-state solution has always been used to justify further Palestinian capitulation. Throughout history, Palestine has always had a multicultural character; that can only be restored in one Democratic state that represents the collective will of all its people: Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others. Again, and learning from the mistakes of South Africa, that should not be at the expense of the basic socio-economic rights of all those disenfranchised, especially refugees living in miserable camps across the region and in the diaspora. Auther: Haidar Eid
Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.Source:https://mondoweiss.net/2021/07/the-limits-of-palestinian-nationalism-in-the-fight-against-apartheid/?fbclid=IwAR25maY9MMPnJp_2w_nO3ZCV7g_jl5zm21NGCj4u9ddSh6-A8w-oe1TQrBo
Eric RegulyEuropean bureau chief, globeandmail.com
Palestinian protesters chant slogans as they gather in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on June 26, 2021, during a demonstration against the death of human rights activist Nizar Banat while in the custody of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces earlier in the week. - Thousands of mourners attended on June 25 the funeral of the 43-year-old Banat, a day after he died in custody following his violent arrest by Palestinian security forces, which sparked outrage in the occupied West Bank. He was known for social media videos denouncing alleged corruption within the PA.
Nabil El-Kurd is no political hothead or social media expert. He’s an elderly, retired Palestinian. But he knows that the Palestinian protest movement in the Levant has fundamentally changed in the past year, especially in the past few months, and he is thrilled by what he sees. “All of the youth of Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank – I am so proud of them,” he said in an interview in mid-June in front of his house in Sheikh Jarrah, the predominantly Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem experiencing an influx of Jewish settlers. “What they are doing we haven’t seen in 70 years.” Mr. El-Kurd, 77, has a front-row seat to the new dynamic, which some political observers have called a broad-based “youth uprising” or “blossoming” – one with the potential to turn into another Arab Spring, they say. He is the father of Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd, the 23-year-old twins who have emerged as protest leaders and social media phenomena among Palestinians – not just in Jerusalem but across the occupied and blockaded territories and among the diaspora. Muna, a journalist, has 1.6 million Instagram followers; Mohammed, a poet, has 760,000, as well as 222,000 on Twitter.
They use social media to broadcast examples of the “Jewish colonialism” they say is making their lives miserable and robbing them of a secure future. The El-Kurd home is under an eviction order, with Jewish settlers claiming historic rights to parts of Sheikh Jarrah, as they are doing in nearby Silwan, another largely Palestinian area near the Old City of Jerusalem. The accounts of Palestinians fighting to keep their homes have gone global. Both twins were arrested by Israeli police on June 6 for allegedly participating in a riot, triggering international media coverage. They were released hours later, short-circuiting a potential new round of mass demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, the West Bank and Gaza.
“The new unity among Palestinians shows that the protest movement is not just young men throwing stones,” said Gwyn Lewis, the director in the West Bank of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). “It’s a solidarity movement, and lots of young people are involved. They are channeling that energy into a political process that is echoing across the world.” But young Palestinians are united not just in their resistance to the occupation and the expansion of Jewish settlements – which are illegal under international law – but their rejection of the Palestinian leadership as well. They say that Mahmoud Abbas – the 85-year-old President of the Palestinian National Authority (known as the PA) and chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization – the institutions around him and his cronies are sclerotic, inattentive to their political needs and undemocratic. Apparently fearing that he and his Fatah party would lose the first presidential and legislative elections in 15 years, Mr. Abbas simply postponed them and declined to set new dates (officially, he justified the postponement by citing Israel’s silence when asked to allow the elections to be held in occupied East Jerusalem).
Young Palestinians say the old men who run the show are obsessed with their own livelihoods, not those of younger generations looking for a new path and a relationship with the Israelis who control many aspects of their lives. “The Palestinian resistance is not just against Israel, it’s against the Palestinian power structures,” said Fadi Quran, 33, a Palestinian community organizer and campaign director at Avaaz, the global online activist network. Their anger towards the PA intensified on Thursday, when Nizar Banat, an outspoken critic of the PA, died after he was arrested in his home by Palestinian security forces. Mr. Banat’s family said he was severely beaten before being taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Palestinians’ fight is not so much devoted to pursuing a one-state or two-state solution – concepts that obsess their parents and grandparents – but equality, justice and liberty regardless of the future status of a sovereign Palestinian homeland – or lack thereof. “We don’t care what it looks like as long as we are free,” Mr. Quran said. Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel (where 21 per cent of the citizens are Arabs, with representation in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament) displayed almost no unity in recent decades. The three populations were physically separated, and a power struggle in 2006 and 2007 between Fatah and Hamas, the political and military power in Gaza that Israel, the United States and Canada consider a terror organization, led to a rupture between the two groups that has yet to heal.
While the leaders of Fatah and Hamas continued to squabble, young Palestinians throughout the region began to come together. Some were drawn to Hamas, which broadened its appeal by depicting itself as the protector of Jerusalem. It fired volleys of rockets into Israel on May 10, when clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians on the Temple Mount turned explosive. The ensuing 11-day war killed 263 Palestinians, mostly in Gaza, and 13 people in Israel. The war further unified the Palestinians, though they were already finding common cause by protesting the accelerated eviction attempts in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
“The Gaza war was a grand awakening for us,” said Salem Barahmeh, the executive director in Ramallah, the West Bank’s commercial centre, of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy and leader of the Generation for Democratic Renewal, a movement that aims to teach democratic values and principles to disenfranchised Palestinian youth by holding virtual elections. “Something clicked. We saw that we are one people united by the segregation imposed upon us by the Israelis.”
Young Palestinians say their new sense of unity is partly motivated by the realization that the PA cannot protect them or give them a voice (the PA declined a request for an interview). Palestinians who are well into their 30s have never had the opportunity to cast a ballot. The lack of elections, the age restrictions – a candidate must be no younger than 28 to join an electoral list – and the cost of running in an election in a generally poor society has led many young Palestinians to seek a different route to political power. That route seems to centre on promoting unity among Palestinians no matter where they live, combined with a robust protest movement propelled by savvy social media campaigns. The El-Kurd twins in Sheikh Jarrah appear to have refined this formula. An early May video in which Muna demanded that a settler leave her family’s property went viral and helped trigger mass anti-eviction demonstrations. “You are stealing my house,” Muna told the settler, to which he replied, “If I go, you don’t go back … If I don’t steal it; someone else is going to steal it.”
Raya Ziadeh, a feminist political activist who lives in Ramallah, said the social media-fuelled protest movement of the young is, in her view, already producing results and generating international sympathy. She believes it helped limit the Hamas-Israel war to 11 days – the highly destructive 2014 war lasted seven weeks – and postponed both the court-ordered evictions and a march through East Jerusalem by Israeli ultranationalists (a scaled-down march went ahead on June 15, and the court proceedings are to resume shortly).
“For the first time, we can see that we have political power,” she said. “The Palestinians started to lose hope that the Palestinian government would protect them. The alternative for us is to become more powerful than the [Palestinian] government itself. I think something very important is happening. We can change what is happening on the ground.”Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-fervent-new-palestinian-youth-rebellion-is-aimed-at-both-israel-and/?utm_source=Palestine+Updates&utm_campaign=9586e20537-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_22_2018_18_52_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_002b0f7bf9-9586e20537-30376749
Tel Aviv /PNN/
In a damning indictment of Israel’s genocidal policies in the occupied West Bank, two former Israeli envoys have termed the regime’s occupation as “apartheid,” drawing parallels with pre-1994 South Africa where racial segregation was legalized.
In an article published in a South African news website, former ambassadors Ilan Baruch and Alon Liel said the situation between Palestine and the Israeli regime was one of “inherent inequality.”
“For over half a century, Israel has ruled over the occupied Palestinian territories with a two-tiered legal system, in which, within the same tract of land in the West Bank, Israeli settlers live under Israeli civil law while Palestinians live under military law,” they wrote in a joint Op-Ed.
The former ambassadors said the Israeli regime has “worked to change both the geography and the demography” of the West Bank through the construction of illegal settlements.
“This has happened alongside the expropriation and takeover of massive amounts of Palestinian land, including Palestinian home evictions and demolitions. That is, settlements are built and expanded at the expense of Palestinian communities, which are forced onto smaller and smaller tracts of land,” they noted in the scathing article.
Referring to the then-minister of military affairs of the Israeli regime, Ariel Sharon, to South Africa in the early 1980s, when Sharon had “expressed great interest” in South Africa’s Bantustan project, the duo write that the map of West Bank “leaves little doubt regarding where Sharon received his inspiration.”
Pointing to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the duo emphasized that the regime in Tel Aviv was inspired by South Africa’s Bantustan project, which was a product of racial and class discrimination propounded by the white with contempt against the black.
“The West Bank today consists of 165 ‘enclaves’ – that is, Palestinian communities encircled by territory taken over by the settlement enterprise.”
The Bantustans of South Africa under the apartheid regime and the map of the occupied Palestinian territories today, they emphasized, are based on the same idea of “concentrating the ‘undesirable’ population in as small an area as possible, in a series of non-contiguous enclaves.”
“By gradually driving these populations from their land and concentrating them into dense and fractured pockets, both South Africa then and Israel today worked to thwart political autonomy and true democracy,” wrote the former envoys.
‘Wake up, world’
Baruch and Liel argued that their time in post-apartheid South Africa had led them to learn firsthand about the “reality of apartheid and the horrors it inflicted,” calling on the world to stand up for Palestine as they did against apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s.
“It is time for the world to recognize that what we saw in South Africa decades ago is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories too,” they wrote.
“It is time for the world to take decisive diplomatic action in our case as well and work towards building a future of equality, dignity, and security for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” they hastened to add.
They also warn that the Israeli occupation was not temporary and that the Israeli regime had “no political will to end it.”
Liel, the Israeli regime’s envoy to South Africa during the transition from apartheid from 1992 to 1994, also served as the director-general of the regime’s foreign ministry between 2000 and 2001.
Baruch served as the ambassador to South Africa from 2005 to 2008. He also served as an envoy to Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.
The damning article comes amidst the unfolding political drama in Israel with opposition political figures clubbing together to oust the sitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu has been under fire at home after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas inflicted a crushing defeat on the regime during the recent 11-day war on the besieged Gaza Strip.http://english.pnn.ps/2021/06/09/former-israeli-envoys-term-regimes-occupation-of-west-bank-as-apartheid/?utm_source=Palestine%20Updates&utm_campaign=bd28df75d5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_22_2018_18_52_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_002b0f7bf9-bd28df75d5-30376749&fbclid=IwAR1C3mYh-Dh2jw0ZwjE8bnhvgaB5wAXZvnFWexz5SZ7kCW31APQtQxu8CGs