Mohammed Abou Arab – Russell Tribunal 2014 – 24/09
Russell Tribunal 2014 – 24/09
Mohammed Abou Arab – Russell Tribunal 2014 – 24/09
Russell Tribunal 2014 – 24/09
**A Palestinian boy sits inside the ruins of his family house in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City which was destroyed during the 50-day Israeli aggression, on September 24, 2014. (Photo: AFP- Mahmud Hams) Al Akhbar
Firstly: Tomorrow (Sep 28) there’ll be an amazing “pro-resistance solidarity event for Gaza and Palestine” (“this will be an indoor rally type of event which will celebrate the Palestinian Revolution, explore its challenges, and there will be slide shows, music and poetry; organised by the Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform and Invent the Future”), “GAZA AND THE PALESTINIAN REVOLUTION”, in London
…including the following speakers:
– Legendary Palestinian revolutionary, PFLP Polit Buro member and Palestinian National Council representative speaking via live video link
Dr Saeb Sha’ath
– Former head of the Palestine General Delegation to Ireland , author and Palestinian political activist.
– Palestinian in Gaza, political activist and Gaza-wide relief worker, via live video link from Gaza
– President of General Union of Palestinian Students in Britain
– Palestinian singer and musician
“…After more than 2,100 mostly-civilian deaths, tens of thousands injured or displaced and chunks of Gaza buried under rubble, they managed to get Israel to serve up some “concessions.”
Israelis seemed decidedly glum. Only 69 died, but there was no decisive “victory” either, which always rankles with the IDF and makes politicians drop in the polls.
…During the seven weeks of brutal attacks against the densely-populated civilian centers, Israel managed to put the Palestinian issue back on the Arab map, draw unprecedented global censure, and give wings to the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign to undermine Israel’s economy. Israel also managed to unify Palestinian political parties across the board – a minor miracle – and make regional heroes out of the “Palestinian Resistance.” With every lash of Israel’s whip, Palestinians found new determination to break the siege of Gaza and end Israel’s occupation.
That’s all well and good, but here’s what needs to be clear: Palestinians did not achieve their goals either.
…Israel loves ceasefires. It is part of the occupation game. Every so often, Israel flexes its muscles and beats up Gaza. The trigger doesn’t even have to come from Gaza – the place is simply a convenient punching bag and is easily justified by the “Hamas-Terror” language beamed through western media.
The goal is always the same, regardless of what the Israelis publicly claim: To take down Hamas & Company a notch or two; to inflict pain on the population of Gaza in hope that they will turn on their leaders; to cripple Gaza enough to keep Palestinians busy rebuilding lives, but not fighting occupation.
Haidar Eid (in Gaza):
“Our message to the Palestinian negotiators in Cairo (trans. by Nada Elian): The fact that the six crossings [with Israel] and the Rafah crossing [with Egypt] are not permanently open, and the inability of a single person to leave whenever they want, and the shortage of medicine in pharmacies, and the lack of alternatives to Israeli merchandise, and the absence of a safe maritime channel, all this means the blockade is ongoing, no matter how you sanitize it linguistically.”
**excerpts, the whole article is an important read**
“All colonial settler states are based on the violent dispossession of the native peoples – and as a result, their fundamental and overriding aim has always been to keep those native peoples as weak as possible. Israel’s aim for the Palestinians is no different.
Palestinian statehood is clearly an obstacle to this goal; a Palestinian state would strengthen the Palestinians. Genuine sovereignty would end Israel’s current presumed right to steal their land, control their borders, place them under siege, and bomb them at will. That is why Netanyahu’s Likud party platform “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”; that is why Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated for even suggesting some limited self-governance for the Palestinians; and that is why every proposal for Palestinian statehood, however limited and conditional, has been wilfully sabotaged by successive Israeli governments of all hues.
“When a human being is given two choices, either surrender or fight, there is no choice between fighting and humiliation. The culture of the Resistance and the choice of the Resistance grew among the Palestinian people because they have no other option. They tried [with] the negotiations and they waited long enough for the regional and international situations to change. In relation to Egypt, a golden opportunity presented itself for Gaza and the whole Palestinian cause but it was soon lost. For the people living in Gaza, what choices do they have? Either resist or surrender to Israeli conditions or throw themselves in the sea or immigrate and join the refugee camps. I think after all these experiences, the Palestinians have no choice but the one they have chosen today. There is no choice here, in the sense that if a human being cares about his dignity, survival and existence, he resorts to this choice.
…Gaza’s problem is that it is caught between a problem of confidence with Israel on one hand – a fundamental and substantial problem – and between two axes on the other, the Qatari-Turkish axis and the Egyptian-Saudi-Emirati axis.
… First of all, Israel is an illegitimate entity and it is a threat to the region. It is a constant threat to the whole region. … All the strife, sensitivities, disputes and struggles should not eradicate the culture that says Israel is a cancer, an absolute evil and a danger to the peoples and governments of this region and to their dignity and holy sites. Therefore, the ultimate goal should be to remove it.”
“The Gaza health ministry has confirmed the deaths of at least 1,951 Palestinians in the besieged strip since Israel began its relentless assault on July 8. Among those killed, at least 467 were aged 18 or younger.
So i live in a very small community, two neighbouring towns with a combined population under 30,000, many of whose families have lived here for generations. Not very diverse, and many are not very politically aware.
This morning a friend of mine, a teacher in my town, and i went to a park in the neighbouring town where every Saturday there is a farmer’s market.
We brought my Palestinian flag, a couple of enlarged photos i’d prepared, and engaged with passersby on Gaza and Syria.
Small number of people who stopped to talk, but it was a positive experience in that they were well-informed (on Gaza, Syria I’m working on it), and agreed to my suggestion that we form a small solidarity group and grow it, bring these issues to our community. Great conversation and some great ideas for the future.
Because I know so many of the people in that very small Strip, through my cumulative about 3 years there, I can’t stop myself from scouring the latest death toll updates to see if any of the families, farmers, medics, resistance I knew are among the martyred.
At the same time, I worry about new friends in Syria who–while Syria seems to have mysteriously fallen from the corporate media–still suffer from the terrorism of armed groups which shoot their mortars (filled with hundreds of jagged metal pieces, glass) on residential areas, on schools. Yesterday, a friend in Damascus updated me on the latest attacks, 9 shells on the city, which killed three civilians and injured (remember the jagged bits of metal and glass…) at least 20 [Sana reports on the mortars in Damascus and throughout Syria yesterday]. The same friend days earlier sent photos of minor damage to his home, not on ground level. Although like Palestinians, Syrians are taking this in stride, they are nonetheless, like Palestinians, living under terrorism.
Then there are the random, deadly car-bombings every now and then. And of course the presence of the despicable ISIS and their ilk, still be-heading Syrians who don’t live up to their fabricated version of religion, flogging others, be-handing others…This is all still going on, even though the corporate media does not deign to highlight these crimes.
I am grateful that more and more the reality of the Gaza genocide is getting told truthfully, with elements of truth even in some of the corporate media.
But, while there is supposedly a 72 hour ceasefire in place, without intending to be a sour pessimist, I have to say I’m waiting for the Zionists to violate it as they always do (see: Israeli Ceasefire Violations in Gaza and World Silence and Israel, not Hamas, is the serial truce-breaker, for examples, as well as my own experiences post 2009 massacre and 10 minutes into the ceasefire after the Nov 2012 massacre, as well as repeated violations in the days after, against farmers and against fishers).
“Israel says it’s pummelling Gaza, killing civilians, and destroying civilian infrastructure to destroy tunnels the Palestinian resistance could use to kill or kidnap civilians. But how many times has the Palestinian resistance emerged from tunnels to kidnap or kill civilians? None. And how many Israeli civilians were killed by rocket fire in the year and half before Operation Protective Edge? Zero.
The use of violence by the Palestinian resistance against Israel is legitimate.