PIEF POST: Disenchanted Palestinians forge the new resistance

PIEF POST: Disenchanted Palestinians forge the new resistance

Young, angry, disenchanted Palestinians construct the recent wave of clashes with Israeli forces. They ignore the potential lessons to be learned from previous uprisings especially Israel’s brutal clampdowns on the people. Simply put: They see little future for a statehood that will come through negotiations. Their guess is that Israel only understands force. Whether that is a miscalculation or not remains to be seen.

The political leadership is in a catch-22 situation. If they crack down on resistance to occupation, they will lose the confidence of the street. At the same time, they want to be seen as seeking to prevent an escalation for fear of losing international sympathy.

Israel cares less about these nuances. They will keep sending thousands more police and soldiers to the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with a mandate to impose the peace. They fail to notice that imposed peace can only turn up the heat and can only fuel more dissent and violence.

Just over a decade ago, Israel chose harsh authoritarian measures to limit daily life in Palestinian territories to try to end attacks on Israelis. Troops sealed off communities, kept back many Palestinians from jobs and schools. Long waits at Israeli checkpoints became common, and in the darkest days, tanks rolled through Palestinian cities and Israeli troops carried out mass arrest sweeps. The generation which experienced all that doesn’t want a repeat. They are hoping against hope that life will get better.

Not so the youth. They want an end to the occupation and in the passage towards that goal a cap on settlement activity towards a return of all stolen land in line with 1967 borders. They have lost trust in the political class and say: "We don't want any leaders here to show us what to do."

They do not want their resistance to be given obsolete names. They do not see it as the ‘Palestine Spring’ because they have seen how the so-called Arab Spring yielded nothing for the people of the nations where it had started. They also see how private U.S. donors fund Israeli settlements by using a network of tax-exempt nonprofits, which funneled more than $220 million (about 850 million shekels) to Jewish communities in the West Bank in 2009-2013 alone. They see how this fund even goes to supporting the families of convicted Jewish terrorists. They are appalled at how a mere 7% of East Jerusalemites receive building permits. They reject Israel’s provisions of an archaic administrative detention law – a legal pretext used by Israel to punish those who oppose the illegal occupation. International Law is in direct opposition to the provisions of Administrative detention. In the current round of violence, Palestinians also reject the reports that all of the stabbings are, actually, carried out by Palestinians. They are often framed for reasons Israelis know. Each of these factors further infuriate the youth who are now in the forefront of the struggle for justice.

All the above issues are covered in the news items which we have appended below.

We urge you to please disseminate the news from this post widely.

Is this Palestine's Arab Spring?

Only 7% of Jerusalem building permits go to Palestinian neighborhoods

Israeli court sentences Palestinian politician/activist to 15 months in jail

Hebron: Another Palestinian killed under stabbing pretext

Ranjan Solomon
Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum
(9 December 2015)