The struggle for freedom in Palestine is hard-fought

Elderly Palestinian man (IMEU) Dec 9 2017

Today is the 30th anniversary of the First Intifada which lasted from December 9th, 1987 to September, 1993. It began in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza when an Israeli army truck drove into a passenger car, killing four Palestinians. Protests spread to the West Bank & became an uprising against the occupation in which women played a leading role. Palestinians were met with overwhelming Israeli military force but for nearly six years the movement employed unarmed tactics like general strikes, protests, boycotting Israeli products, refusing to work in the Israeli settlements, burning of ID cards. In some ways, it marks the birth of BDS although it did not become an international campaign until 2005.

Israel used live ammunition on protesters & even then was condemned for targeting children. At least 30,000 children were medically treated for injuries from beatings by Israeli forces. Ten thousand of the children were estimated to be under 10 years of age. At least 1,409 Palestinians were killed & 120,000 arrested. Thousands sustained injuries, house demolitions, crop destructions, & deportation.

The explosive emergence of Intifada marked a major political shift to collective political resistance against the occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing after a long ebb in the struggle. There are parallels in the Kashmiri struggle against occupation.

This very poignant photo of a Palestinian man in Gaza shows that the long struggle for freedom takes a toll, mostly in grief from loss & fighting alone against overwhelming odds. The BDS campaign has begun a new period where Palestinians no longer stand alone. Honor & build the economic & cultural boycott of Israel. Buy nothing with barcode beginning 729.

(Photo by Dieter Endlicher/AP)

Many media commentators are doing obituaries for the two-state solution. It’s about time for the obits since it was dead in the water from its inception. After this crisis has passed, they’ll resurrect its dead ass again because the delusion of two states as a solution serves so well to deceive & temporizes Palestinian justice. The only possible enduring solution is that proposed by Palestinian activists a long time ago: a democratic, secular state where Palestinians & Jews can live as brothers & sisters.

At least two more Kashmiri Twitter accounts (one using the ironic hash tag #Kexit) were notified by Twitter’s legal department of a formal complaint by the Indian government claiming their posts violate Indian law. The more India tries to shut down the voices of Kashmiris on social media, the more that solidarity activists have to stand in for them until we figure out how to combat censorship on social media.

Standing with Palestinians does not mean standing against Jews. The current provocations over Jerusalem do not justify a free-for-all of anti-Semitic comments–at least on my wall. If you post any aspersions about Jews, they’ll be cut after your 15 seconds of shame. You have to learn what to hate in politics & if it’s other people, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Most likely it means you don’t understand what the struggle against Zionism is all about since progressive Jews have always been a leading part of that struggle. The elaborations of Zionist ideology as racist & supremacist & the struggle of Palestinians against Israeli colonialism come precisely from Palestinian as well as Jewish American & Israeli activists. Both anti-Semitism & Islamophobia are a political syphilis that cannot be accommodated in the politics of social transformation.