It is dangerous to view the ongoing attacks as a mere “conflict”. History would teach us that the ongoing brutal crimes against the Palestinian people are because of the illegal occupation of their lands, ethnic cleansing of their people, and annexation of their territories by Israel state forces.
By MENCHANI TILENDO
As the whole world witnesses the recent attacks and hostilities happening in Palestine right now, it is also high time to really understand the history of the struggle of its people. Beyond Western imperialist media’s framing of what seems to be a “clash” or “conflict” between Palestine and Israel, the Palestinian people’s fight for their life is deeply rooted in their right to land and identity. It is dangerous to view the ongoing attacks as a mere “conflict”. History would teach us that the ongoing brutal crimes against the Palestinian people are because of the illegal occupation of their lands, ethnic cleansing of their people, and annexation of their territories by Israel state forces.
The Palestinian resistance is a historical one. It has come a long way from the Palestinian people’s core struggle for their right to their homeland and self-determination. The enforcement of settler colonialism in Palestine has existed since the French invasion of the Arab world in 1799, followed by the British colonial rule in the 19th century, which imposed the creation of a Jewish state on Palestinian land. The British Zionist movement has orchestrated the declaration of Palestine as the “national home of the Jewish people,” allowing the Jews to have their own army, evicting Palestinians from their homes.
Resistance in the face of illegal occupation
This Palestinians’ dispossession of their own lands has sparked unrest and greater resistance from the whole Arab region. The creation of the state of Israel supported by Zionist settler-colonialism led to another gruesome phase in Palestine’s history on May 15, 1948 called the “Nakba Day,” which means “day of catastrophe”. It was a genocide that has resulted in the near-total destruction and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, with over 600 towns and villages destroyed by raids, and 800,000 Palestinians forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands.
Seventy-three years since the Nakba, Israel has continued to impose its apartheid regime through repressive systems, systematic targeting and destruction of the Palestinian communities, lives, and livelihood. All of this has contributed to the strengthening of the people’s resistance. It sparked two historical Intifada (Arabic term which means “shaking off”) uprisings in the West Bank and Gaza strip. This is why there is no second-guessing that when it comes to the illegal occupation of their rightful lands, any Palestinian would fight and resist by all means.
More than the pertinent religious factors that played a role in the so-called “Palestine-Israel conflict,” the core issue that gave rise to the radical roots of the Palestinian struggle is mainly economic. This remains the main driving force of the Israeli annexation of the West Bank, which has been the lifeblood of Palestine. Since the 1967 Middle East war, the West Bank has been occupied by Israel as it has unilaterally proclaimed its sovereignty over the territory. Despite it being illegal under international law and strong international condemnation, the Israel annexation has created more and more Palestinian refugees who have been rightful owners of their territories.
Right of return
With the long history and ongoing illegal occupation of the Palestinian lands, the Palestinian people have strengthened their struggle for their right of return. Despite the UN Resolution 194 that called for the returning of Palestinian refugees to their homeland, Israel denies their existence because of their ideology that no people were ever in that place called Palestine. The world looked at Palestinians as a bunch of refugees, not as people who were driven out by force. They have always had the historical and legal right to their lands, but the apartheid Israeli regime has time and again denied them of that right.
Shared oppression, globalized resistance
The Intifada uprisings are enough proof that the Palestinian people will never ever raise the white banner. As fascist regimes continue to reveal themselves as the real terrorists they themselves have claimed to abhor, the Palestinian narrative will undoubtedly gain stronger international support.