Occupier-Occupied, not two equal sides

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karin Khan announced yesterday that arrest warrants for both zionist genocidal war criminals and leaders of the Palestinian resistance. Too many people around the world will be elated to see Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant being brought to justice for their war crimes and crimes against humanity.

But by also issuing arrest warrants for the leaders of Palestinian Resistance, the ICC repeats and reinforces what has already been challenged and eventually clarified in the last seven months: that the Palestinian Resistance should defeat occupation and genocide; that peoples of the world now have a better understanding of settler colonialism and its inextricable ties with western imperialism.

This entanglement between settler colonialism and imperialism has been exposed by non-stop protests worldwide. More recently, the brave and impactful university and college encampments in North America and Europe have made at least one thing clear: the war on Palestine does not consist of two equal sides, occupier-occupied. What has been crystallized in such a short yet historic moment since October 7, 2023 is the difference between these two entities in terms of direction.

Nakba commemoration in the Philippines
Progressive groups in the Philippines held a protest in support of Palestine at the Boy Scout Rotunda in Quezon City last Wednesday, May 15. (Photo by Nuel Bacarra)

When the Palestinian Resistance launched its operation to breach the iron wall— imagine ripping through the double fence barrier almost 20-foot tall and surrounding that apartheid wall that brimmed with razor wire, cameras, and remote-controlled machine guns — they surrounded and surpassed the occupier’s enclave from multiple locations. There were at least 1,500 resistance fighters swarming through in pick-up trucks, on motorcycles, speedboats and paragliders. These were mostly young men who grew up having to face the extreme indignities and difficulties of the occupation. There was no time in their lives that they were not humiliated and forced to witness killings and abuses of the people by the Zionist state of Israel.

Who in the global South will not hear the resonances of this act of resistance to their respective struggles against imperialist aggression and for liberations and peace?

Clearly, the Palestinian Resistance path is a forward movement for Palestine’s national liberation as opposed to then Israel’s backward wager for endless wars and genocide. This cognition of war and resistance is as precious as our shared hope that war, occupation and imperialism will someday be defeated.

Now the ICC wants all that clarity muddled. The ICC should have some sense of fact, history and proportion. To issue warrants of arrest to Palestinian Resistance leaders, Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, alongside warrants to war criminals is an attempt at bringing back confusion, the kind that warms up with zionism and occupation. (https://www.bulatlat.org)

Sarah Raymundo is a full-time faculty at the University of the Philippines-Diliman Center for International Studies. She is engaged in activist work in BAYAN (The New Patriotic Alliance), the International League of Peoples’ Struggles, and Chair of the Philippines-Bolivarian Venezuela Friendship Association. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal for Labor and Society (LANDS) and Interface: Journal of/and for Social Movements.

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