A new hope for Palestinian struggle ?

Israeli Arab deputy Azmi Bishara resigns seat and stays in Cairo. I saw some light of hope in these news.

Israel is a democracy for its Jewish citizens only. If you are an Arab, you just have to shut up and feign that everything is O.K. Azmi Bishara, one of the eleven Arab deputies in the knesset and leader of the Balad party, is a prominent critic of the paradox of the 'Jewish democracy', highlighting the many injustices done to Israeli Arabs by the Jewish state, like the interdiction to marry Arabs from occupied territories and the absence of state investments benefiting Israeli Arabs. Clearly Israeli Arabs do not live under the protection of the state like Jews. After Israel experienced some Katioucha rockets damages from Hezbollah last summer, only Jewish communities were evacuated and compensated while Arab communities who were more exposed than Jewish had to go to court to ask for equal compensation. Bishara was exposing eloquently to the world the lie that is 'democracy' in Israel.

Bishara is 50. He is a Christian from Nazareth, a communist and a Philosophy graduate from Humboldt university, Berlin. Recently he came under a police investigation whose motive was undeclared and under media censorship. Rumours circulated to the effect that Israel was going to accuse him of treason because of two visits he made to Syria, for his advocacy for civil rights for Israeli Arabs, and for his critique of Israel's democracy as a Jewish only democracy. Fearing the worse, Bishara decided recently to stay in Cairo where he was on a visit.

In a recent radio interview he declared: ''We, Arabs, are the true owners of this land. They want to treat us as guests in our own country while asking us to feign that everything is fine. No, things are not going well. We, Palestinians, are the children of this land and we will act like other people fighting occupation. I am more democrat, more liberal and more leftist than any of them.'' He also declared that Hezbollah was not a terrorist organisation but a resistance movement and the example young Palestinians admire and want to follow.

I think Mr. Bishara has done the right thing. Palestinian resistance inside the territories is doomed. Contrary to pre-Oslo when it was the only legitimate resistance, now it is corrupted by the imported Fatah movement who will do whatever possible to defeat Hamas's aspirations to effectively lead the Palestinians. Hamas has compromised on many things under international pressure and lost credibility while loosing progressively political power and any real possibility for strategic choice, the only choice left to them is fight an ugly war or surrender to Fatah and a collaborationnist attitude with Israel, leaving Palestinian people to be exiterminated by Israel. All hopes are now outside occupied territories, within Israeli Arabs capacity to fight for their civil rights in Israel and associate Palestinians in the occupied territories in this fight for civil rights as one people for one land. This is the only possibility left for Palestinian resistance and it is a one Israel fears so much because as long as Palestinians are the Other, terrorists, threat, whatever, Israel can ruthlessly fight and annihilate them. Not if they are part of the state. Not if they are asking peacefully for their civil rights. For this last fight to succeed the strategy must be one of non violence. Non violence does not mean passiveness and absence of action. Non violence means setting goals and sticking to these goals. One of the goals should be for all Palestinian factions to declare the end of armed fighting and military operations against Israel, dissolve the PA (which is a collaborationnist entity), put themselves under effective occupation, renounce Autonomy, and ask Israel to take its responsibilites as an occupier while not recognising the legitimacy of its existence as a normal state. I know that in some pro-Palestinian milieux non-violence is perceived as a surrender (and I agree that Palestinian resistance in the seventies is what put the Palestinian question on the world stage). However, times have changed and public opinions are now more willing to rally civil rights movement than armed resistance. The Palestinian struggle must espouse the values of the times and renounce violence. But it shouldn't renounce violence without some self defining goals. The main self defining goal should be the refusal to recognise the Israeli state. Palestinians should do the contrary of what they are doing now. Now they are fighting Israel with ridiculous means while showing their will, which is not being heard, to negotiate and recognise Israel. They should absolutely do the contrary, they should renounce armed struggle and refuse to recognise the state of Israel, therefore pressing Israel and the international community to face their contradictions.

Every struggle has its specifics and every power has its weakness and Israel's weakness is in its international standing. As long as Israel can turn the Palestinian armed struggle into terrorism the world will not care but when palestinians will turn Israel's argument against Israel by renouncing violence while refusing to recognise the Israeli state unless they have full civil rights, this is where Israel will find itself against the wall and will start to loose support.

I just have one advice for Mr. Bishara. He should leave Egypt and reside in a non Arab country friendly to the Palestinian cause like Norway or Sweden or even Belgium. Arab countries corrupted the Palestinian resistance and taught them how to collaborate with ennemies. Mr. Bishara is an independant mind and there is no fear for him to become corrupted, however, if he does not become corrupted he might be targeted for assassination. The history of the Palestinian resistance sadly points toward these two issues for Palestinian leaders exiled in Arab countries.
Read Ali Abunimah: 'What the persecution of Azmi Bishara means for palestine'


Golaniya said...

Thank you for rapping up the topic, i first felt sad and sort of worried that no one will take Bishara's critical position inside the Knesset. but considering few reading to the issue, it is really a harsh spank at the so called "Israeli democracy".

Sophia said...

I think it is the news item that is the most significative of this week, not Israel's bombings of Gaza, which are routine, and not Palestinian swinging between negotiations and fighting, which are damaging really the resistance and burying hope among Palestinians. Palestinians need a clear direction and this direction and this direction is missing right now.

Since March 29th 2006