May 15th, 2019 is the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, the day in which the illegal colonial state of israel declared its ‘independence’, resulting in the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians, left to squander in exile till the current day, where we number nearly 12 million in total. The settlers claim that this is the day when the Jewish people gained their independence. In reality, the only thing the world gained that day is a seventy-one year long shame that has not yet been removed from the conscience of humanity. We begin this day with remembering the thirty-one Palestinians who were martyred in Gaza due to the recent zionist military escalation and continued aggression against the popular resistance of the Great March of Return. Their names are listed below.
This is a critical time in Arab and Palestinian history, as world opinion is quickly shifting to condemn the zionist state for its crimes against the Palestinian people. Trump is yet again threatening the Palestinian nation with his so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, which is yet another attempt to splinter and liquidate the Palestinian cause. The ‘Deal’ entrenches the U.S. endorsement of the zionist settlements in the West Bank and gives the zionist state a blank-check in which to continue what the Nakba started, and in exchange offer the Palestinians a strip of the Egyptian desert in which to construct industrial zones and infrastructure to better facilitate neoliberal domination of the Palestinian economy.
The ‘Deal of the Century’ is an attempt to do what Oslo could not. It is a program that aims to resolve the questions left unanswered by over seventy-one years of pathetically impotent U.S. policy with regards to Palestine. For seventy-one years, the United States has used unprecedented levels of military support, diplomatic blank-checks to the zionist state, designated ‘terrorist’ organization lists and decades of neoliberal state-building exercises in order to crush the Palestinian resistance movement. For all of their billions, for all of their bullets, for all of their subpoenas and assassinations, they have yet to be successful and we can trust that they will never be.
The ‘Deal’ is an attempt to extort the Palestinian resistance into submission for the privilege of eating the crumbs of empire. It requires the resistance movement to handicap themselves by turning in all of the arms with which they defend the people from zionist aggression to the Egyptian government, or else the U.S. will back israel in a future war with the resistance, and will ensure that neither they nor the PLO receive any funds from “any country on earth”. First of all, the U.S. backing israel in wars with the resistance is nothing new. The zionists needed the U.S. to resupply their ‘dwindling’ arsenal after only a few weeks of fighting in 2014, in addition to the billions of dollars every year in military aid. If the U.S. or anyone else honestly believes that the Palestinian people will submit to this ludicrous plan after the world already witnessed the disastrous results of the Oslo surrender is merely deluding themselves.
In short, the ‘Deal of the Century’ is not a deal at all, nor is it exceptional relative to the rest of U.S. policy since the Nakba. It is an attempt to reach the logical conclusions of a settler-colonial project, to emulate the decimation of indigenous resistance on occupied land like here in the U.S., like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is an attempt to destroy the Palestinians, and turn them into nationless ‘Arabs’, to turn the Palestinians into an inconvenient demographic quirk rather than a national movement struggling to retake the land.
While the U.S. and its client states hammer out the details of this modern-day Balfour Declaration, the zionist enemy continues to bombard the people in Gaza to provoke the resistance into an escalation ahead of the Deals public unveiling. Here in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio commemorated the first day of the blessed month of Ramadan, also the day a number of Palestinians were martyred in Gaza, by tweeting disgraceful anti-Palestinian propaganda. He tweeted: “Innocent civilians lie dead in the wake of Hamas’ brutal rocket attacks in Israel. It’s an affront to humanity. This city stands united against this indiscriminate violence and we join the world in mourning the lives lost.” This year we are boycotting the Mayor’s annual iftar once again because we refuse to let him whitewash his support for israeli settler colonialism and genocide through faithwashing, which refers to inter-faith efforts by zionists to whitewash the violence of the apartheid state of israel. From the settlers in Palestine to the police surveilling and criminalizing Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in NYC, de Blasio is aligned with our oppressors and complicit in the violence being carried out against our communities. The public disciplining of Councilman Yeger earlier last month shows that the days of spitting on the Palestinian community with impunity are over in this city. You would be wise to take note Mr. Mayor.
It is often said that the resistance struggle has brought no benefit to the Palestinian people, despite an unceasing amount of settler violence surrounding every aspect of Palestinian life. That the resistance has accomplished nothing could not be farther from the truth. More than seventy-one years of Palestinian resistance has ensured the survival of the Palestinian nation. The Arab countries cannot make that claim, and neither can foreign aid organizations or the rest of the ‘international community’. The Palestinian resistance alone has not only protected the people on a military level, but also has provided a space for the practice of genuine community democracy, the development of indigenous political thought, a proliferation of Palestinian literature, art and music, and spread the news of the Palestinian revolution to every corner on earth. It proves in practice that a resistance movement facing a technologically and politically dominating entity can resist annihilation for decades at a time, something the United States would rather have us forget.
In the late 20th century, there was a state called the Republic of South Vietnam. This state at one point had the fourth-largest army and the third-largest airforce on the planet, received billions of dollars worth of aid from the United States, and was recognized by states like the U.S., France and the United Kingdom. A U.S. official even remarked that the South Vietnamese army was second only to the United States and the IDF in effectiveness. This seemingly impenetrable colonial army dissolved like a soggy stick of rancid butter in the summer sun in less than twenty years. It dissolved because the limits of U.S. and French colonialism had been reached in Vietnam, and the state was fundamentally incompatible with the Vietnamese people’s determination for sovereignty and dignity in their own country. Today, the illegal state of israel may seem impenetrable, and the liberation of Palestine may sometimes feel like a idealistic pipe dream that is confined to rhetoric and wishful thinking. The reality however paints a different picture. If we take the history of the Palestinian revolution and worldwide anti-colonial struggles as a starting point, we know that the clock is ticking on zionism. The Nakba is not an immutable point in history that forever defines the history of Palestine. We cannot know the exact timeline until liberation, but we must do all that is in our capabilities to do to defeat the ‘Deal of the Century’ and ensure that liberation comes within our lifetime. We urge Palestinian and solidarity organizations worldwide to escalate our efforts and coordination in commemoration of the Nakba and in defense of Gaza.
“COLONIALISM IS NOT A THINKING MACHINE, NOR A BODY ENDOWED WITH REASONING FACULTIES. IT IS VIOLENCE IN ITS NATURAL STATE, AND IT WILL ONLY YIELD WHEN CONFRONTED WITH GREATER VIOLENCE.”
Below are the names of the martyrs of Gaza from May 3rd – May 5th
Abdullah Jom’a Abdul-‘Al, 24
Abdul Rahman Abu al-Jedian, 12
Raghda Mohammed Abu al-Jedian, 40
Talal ‘Atiya Abu al-Jedian ,46
Maria Ahmad al-Ghazali, 4 months
Eman Abdullah al-Ghazali, 30
Abdul-Rahman Talal Abu al-Jedian, 12
Ahmad Ramdan al-Ghazali, 31
Abdul-Rahim Mustafa Taha al-Madhoun, 61
Amani al-Madhoun, 33
Eyad Abdullah al-Sharihi, 34
Mohammad Abdul Nabi Abu Armaneh, 30
Mahmoud Samir Abu Armanah, 27
Mousa Hussein Moammar, 24
Ali Ahmad Abdul-Jawad, 51
Hani Hamdan Abu Sha’ar, 37
Fadi Ragheb Badran, 31
Abdullah Abdul Rahim al-Madhoun, 22
Hamed Ahmad al-Khodary, 34
Abdullah Nofal Abu al-‘Ata, 21
Bilal Mohammad al-Banna, 23
Mahmoud Sobhi Issa, 26
Fawzi Abdul-Halim Bawadi, 24
Saba Mahmoud Abu Arar, 1
Falasteen Saleh Abu Arar, 37
Khaled Mohammad Abu Qleiq, 25
Emad Mohammad Nosseir, 22
Ala’ Hasan al-Bobali, 29
Abdullah Ibrahim Abu Mallouh, 33
Ra’ed Khalil Abu Teir, 19
Ramzi Rawhi ‘Abdo, 31
-Within Our Lifetime –