Tuesday, July 15

Time for a third and final Intifada

The crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians, and the denial of their inalienable right to self-determination, cannot end without an Intifada of transformation that includes Israeli citizens 

Ahmad Moussa

Operation Protective Edge reflects yet another attempt by the state of Israel to portray itself to its citizens, and the world, as a victim that is defending or protecting itself from an existential threat. Tensions have risen since the breakdown of the so-called negotiation process as well as the discovery of the bodies of three missing teenage settlers. The UN general assembly bureau committee released a statement reminding Israel that it held full responsibility with respect to the three settler youths.
Israel has taken advantage of these events, as an excuse to continue the oppression and collective punishment of the Palestinians, Hamas and the overall Gaza Strip. This is Israel's response to the recent formation of a unity government between Fatah and Hamas after the failure of the latest rounds of negotiations. That being said, it is critical for the world to understand the situation in Israel-Palestine from the following context.
Israel is a state that is violating international law with impunity. Palestinians’ right to self-determination has been compromised through the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, also known as al Nakba, since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 via the legally and politically problematic UN partition plan of 1947. This ethnic cleansing policy and framework continues today through bureaucratic and military processes, as the world watches with respect to both the settlement expansion in the West Bank and the current military campaign and continuous blockade in the Gaza Strip. UN security council and general assembly resolutions, as well as advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice, have attempted to address Israel’s gross violations of international law which Israel is yet to comply to.
Israel is a nuclear state that refuses to declare its nuclear arsenal to the international community. It has one of the strongest armies in the world, with the biggest fleet of F-16 fighter jets outside of the United States, and is the highest recipient of US lethal aid. It is involved in a US$7.5bn arms trade, and is also one of the primary manufacturers of death and surveillance technology in the world.
When you have a state that operates in this lawless manner, with the help of every American taxpayer, who is really under an existential threat and what is Operation Protective Edge protecting other than impunity and a campaign of annihilation?
It is time for a third Intifada, as it is important to understand how this narrative of “fear” and “threat” stems from xenophobia, the basis of Zionism and Zionist ideology. It is precisely what a third Intifada must address: a mass global civil society campaign that exposes the hypocrisy and contradiction of Zionism which is embedded within the state apparatus of Israel as the core ideology of its regime, including its annihilationist essence, reflected in the realities on the ground.
The Palestinians have had two Intifadas, of which the full effectiveness of both were compromised. The first Intifada created the Palestinian Authority, a co-opted leadership representation that works in the overall interests of Israel, whereby it diffuses and distracts the Palestinians from demanding the restoration of their rights and the prevention of their annihilation. It is a divergence tactic of keeping the oppression of the Palestinians prolonged through baseless negotiations that have kept the situation as is for the Palestinians, while the expansionism and annexation of Palestinian lands by Israel continues.
The second Intifada was against the continuous occupation and annihilation tactics, especially those of spiritual sites, as demonstrated by Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Al Aqsa mosque, including statements he made at the time of the visit; which is why it is also known as Al Aqsa Intifada. The second Intifada also resulted in a return to the negotiation tables and, of course, expansionism and annexation of spiritual sites and lands continued.
A new vision
The Palestinians need to demand an end to useless leadership, and resurface with new leadership complete with a contemporary vision and platform; one that truly and adequately represents the interests and rights of the Palestinians. Moreover, American taxpayers need to demand control and transparency of where their hard-earned money is flowing, along with the freedom from the illusion of knowledge on this issue - the illusion of which must be realised as the main premise of the third and final Intifada - the Intifada of transformation. An uprising that includes Israeli citizens themselves against the ideological regime that has been governing them since 1948; one that starts with a mass awakening and realisation as the key to transformation.
It is about critical thinking and true education that involves the de-racialisation of the “other”. Racialisation is the basis of Zionism and, most importantly, it is also the basis of annihilation. The signs are already showing - with the residents of Sderot watching annihilation like spectators at a theatre or cinema, as well as Israeli teens,who will become the next generation of soldiers tweeting the annihilation of Palestinians, or the disturbing graffiti and vandalism inside holy sites of both Palestinian Muslims and Christians that advocate for the ethnic cleansing or death of Palestinians, some of which prompted the Pope’s recent visit to the region. If these signs are not enough, especially for the international community and its Responsibility to Protect doctrine, which is never applied in this context , history will repeat itself and the world will be forced to say “never again” when it is already too late. 
Ahmad Moussa is a visiting professor at the University of Duhok, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. He is a  scholar of Indigenous and Middle Eastern issues. He is also a human rights activist with a Master of Arts in International Law and Human Rights. Moussa is currently involved in research for a Doctoral Degree in War Studies. 


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