When the Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was unable to attend an Arab summit held in Cairo at the time to support the Palestinians. Because Israel did not allow his plane to take off from Ramallah, which he had taken as the “temporary” capital of a Palestinian state, he may have thought that its establishment was near.
That day, Arafat was forced to deliver a speech via video conference technology, in which he held back his tears, as he felt that he had come to the West Bank to be imprisoned, and not to establish for the Palestinians a national government that would take care of their affairs and seize towns one by one in order to achieve the desired Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Four years after this incident, Arafat realized, as he breathed his last, that the Israelis had deceived him. The great momentum created by the first intifada of 1987 – which was known as the “Intifada of Stones” – for the Palestinian cause, the Oslo Accords did not succeed in translating it into something equivalent to the great momentum of the Intifada. Thimar, after Tel Aviv successively emptied it of its content, through arduous negotiation, became a boring and tedious type of management of chronic impasse, rather than a means of finding a solution to the problem and the Palestinian issue.
“Give and take”
When Mahmoud Abbas, “Abu Mazen,” came to succeed Arafat, he found himself shackled by many things, with the loss of the late leader’s charisma and historical symbolism, which had given the Palestinians some excuse for him and some reliance on him. Through the texts of a series of agreements, understandings and protocols – most of which is a harsh and oppressive Israeli de facto authority – the “Palestinian National Authority” has turned into something like a policeman working for the occupation, whether it wants to or not.
Thus, Oslo turned from an opportunity in the hands of the Palestinians – as their leadership envisioned it, according to the “take and demand” demand – into a trap into which the entire Palestinian cause fell, when the ability to be angry was removed from the veins of many of its leaders, after they turned from fighters into managers, and some of them became men. money and business.
Israel did not give the “authority” created by Oslo a chance to move from a “nominal” state to an “actual” state that would make the entire Palestinian people convinced that the path to achieving their rights is wide and paved, and that they can proceed without having to take up arms. Rather, they only have to He acquires negotiation skills, and leans when necessary on everything that came out from under the armpit of international auspices based on the shoulders of the largest global powers.
This situation, of course, did not lead to all Palestinians becoming cold-blooded, surrendering, or declaring their exhaustion at the end of a long marathon, as their mukhtars did. The Palestinian public sphere was relentlessly crowded with new incoming youth who, years ago, were children of stones, and they realized that stones would make… A great symbolic sight in the face of the tank, but it does not stop it from shooting at bodies, homes, and farms when the Israeli soldier wants to, at any time, and he knows that he is safe from punishment.
During the Stone Uprising – which is considered one of the highest forms of civil and symbolic resistance in the history of humanity – the big question was born: Where is the force capable of changing the equation? At that time, the Palestine Liberation Organization had continued to move from squares to tables, and from trenches to hotels, which consumed a large part of its symbolism, majesty, prestige, and even legitimacy, in the eyes of many Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, the diaspora, and the diaspora, as “the only legitimate representative of the people.” “Palestinian.”
The incomplete authorities and limited powers have not comforted those who believe in the necessity of liberating Palestine from “the river to the sea,” or even those who are convinced of the two-state solution and want the Palestinian state to have full sovereignty over the land that the Palestinians had on June 4, 1967. As for those who are convinced, That the historical process will take everyone at the end of the conflict to a single multi-religious and multi-ethnic state, they see the establishment of a formal authority in Ramallah delaying the achievement of this goal.
With the succession of coercive Israeli practices, ranging from imprisoning Palestinians to committing wars of extermination against them, through seizing land and homes and restricting livelihood, the feeling remained that the only path that the Palestinian people should take is resistance, in all its forms: armed, civil, and even with resourcefulness and patience.
This feeling began to grow with the deliberate failure of the Palestinian Authority, or even the demolition of its status, and the consolidation of an image of it in the minds of Palestinian youth as a formal, subordinate, commanded authority, placed by Israel over the heads of the Palestinians to monitor them and control their rhythm according to what Tel Aviv wants. The matter even reached the point of accusing it of being a collaborator. In addition – of course – to corruption and slackness.
Most of the new generation that joined this authority – whether in diplomacy, politics, or in administrative aspects – was not far from this vision, as everyone became convinced over time that Israel was not serious about the Palestinians having an independent administration. This has especially appeared since the negotiations launched by Oslo reached the final stage regarding the status of the city of Jerusalem, water, and sovereignty. But they were not able to rebel against the prevailing situation, especially since their personal interests were linked to this formal authority.
The role of the national liberation movement
In parallel, the trend convinced of the necessity of returning to bearing arms gained intense momentum, and this began to be translated on the field through “national liberation movements” with different ideologies, with varying capabilities and public presence, and among the Palestinians there were those who believed in slogans such as “Freedom has a price” and “What is taken by force.” “It can only be recovered by force.”
Whenever you spoke to any of these people about peaceful struggle or returning to negotiation, he told you without ambiguity: Israel will never give us anything unless it is forced. There are those who laugh heartily if they hear your conversation, and then ask you in confidence: How can someone who believes that there is a promise to him of a state extending from the Nile to the Euphrates give the Palestinians their rights to land, wealth, and sovereignty?
These people have in mind three things that will enable them to restore the role of the “national liberation movement” that pursues armed struggle: The first: is building symbolic, moral and material personal capabilities, including weapon possession and training. The second: is to bet on the wisdom of history created by the struggle of other occupied peoples until they gained their independence. The third: is the ability to recruit those who want to return from betting on an oppressed authority to raising the banner of liberation, and showing a willingness to make great and precious sacrifices in order to achieve this noble goal.
During the recent crisis, we saw some intelligent people in Israel itself talking about how obstructing the establishment of a real, internationally recognized authority in the West Bank and Gaza made the Palestinian people lose confidence that the path that emerged above the negotiating tables, or even under them, would lead to something tangible. .
If this is the case in the eyes of these people, what about the Palestinians who suffered from successive disappointments when they placed a large part of their bets in a basket of authority, which they believed would grow, take root, and become empowered with the passing of days, and utilize the legitimacy it gained internationally, in leading the resistance, in all its forms, in order to Obtaining the digested rights, then they see them atrophying and crumbling, and a large part of their effort is on them and not for them.
The Israeli war on the Gaza Strip is one of the culminations of the results that resulted from the occupation’s insult to the Palestinian Authority, and the exposure of the fact that Israel evaded giving up, even a small part, the rights of the Palestinians. Therefore, those who are willing have no choice but to return to bearing arms, along with Along with many forms of peaceful civil resistance.