Osama al Sharif*
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians celebrate the 58th anniversary of the birth of Fatah, Palestine’s oldest and most popular nationalist liberation movement, two days after the oath of Israel’s most extreme, ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious government. celebrated Fatah Day was even celebrated by Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza, in addition to refugee camps in the West Bank and Lebanon. If anything, the celebration emphasized the fact that nearly six decades later, the grassroots movement remains popular and respected by Palestinians in both the occupied territories and the diaspora.
But Palestinian resistance to colonization is much older, with its roots dating back to the early 1930s, when historic Palestine was under British mandate and tens of thousands of European Jews began arriving as settlers. trace. Meanwhile, Israel will celebrate its 75th anniversary as a nation in May, and much glitz and ceremonies are expected.
Aside from the commemoration of the anniversary and the symbolism that comes with it, Palestine’s 100-year struggle for national identity, liberation, independence and self-determination is as fresh today as it was after World War I. And as Israel approaches its 75th anniversary, the reality is it faces the same fundamental challenges it has faced throughout its tumultuous history.
The last century has seen collusion between the British Empire and the international Zionist movement, collusion between the United States and the West, land grabs, attempts to erase Palestinian history and identity, ethnic cleansing, the destruction of entire villages, and the destruction of civilians. Summary killings, blatant war crimes, deportations, massacres, imprisonment of thousands. But all of this failed to deliver what the founding fathers of Israel wanted—something future generations of Palestinians would eventually forget.
Decades later, Israel and the Palestinian people are bound by one unbreakable bond, the occupier on one side and the occupied on the other. Whatever Israel did to free itself from this bondage, ironically, it found itself sinking deeper into the quagmire of occupation.
So now it’s making a last-minute attempt to free itself through an ultra-nationalist, ultra-religious and openly racist government. In addition to derailing plans, he vowed to make settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights a top priority for his government. Geopolitical constraints don’t help him do much about the former, but his motley coalition partners are discouraging him from stepping up the construction of illegal settlements in ways never seen before. I can’t wait.
Responding to last week’s UN General Assembly vote asking the International Court of Justice to issue an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, Netanyahu defiantly said Jews should be seen as occupiers of their territory. You can not. own homeland. In doing so, he hopes to completely dissolve Palestinian identity and sever the historical ties between Palestinians and their ancestral lands.
Despite the hypocrisy of the West voting against the UNGA motion, the vote itself and the court’s response only embolden Palestinian self-determination and claim to the state.
Aside from the political divisions dividing the Palestinian national movement, the rise of far-right forces in Israel and their expansionist agenda could serve the Palestinian cause in the long run. Yes, the next few days and weeks will see an unprecedented escalation against the Palestinian people. extrajudicial killings and demolition of homes, expansion of illegal settlements, desecration of religious sites, ethnic cleansing, and at least the official annexation of Area C. The extreme right’s attempts to change the genetic make-up of Israeli society are likely to deepen and implode the divide between Israeli society and the political body.
At 75, one wonders whether Israel is seen as a young, forward-looking nation, or an senile, introverted, paranoid nation. Despite reforming laws on the Law of Return to try to limit Jewish immigration, the ultra-Orthodox Haredim, set to make up up to 16% of Israel’s population by 2030, will be forced into the Netanyahu coalition. belongs to , lifestyles, standards of living, education, women and more.
Meanwhile, ultranationalists want to put restrictions on non-Jewish citizens of Israel, Palestinians make up over 20%, while Jews make up only 47% of the population between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. not occupied. Demographics are the most significant threat to Israel’s ability to achieve its goal of an all-Jewish state.
Ultimately, two national identities with their nuances and complexities collide. This is her one of those wars Israel cannot win with guns and artillery. Meanwhile, a widespread conflagration in the occupied territory seems inevitable. Unintentionally, the most far-right government in Israeli history is changing the trajectory of the Palestinian cause in ways unimaginable in the last few decades.
• Osama Al-Sharif is an Amman-based journalist and political commentator. Twitter: @plato010