Saturday, July 16, 2011

Co-Resistance vs. Co-Existence by Maath Musleh (via Maan News Agency)

For decades, many powers worked on portraying the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a problem of co-existence. Millions have been pumped into co-existence projects, projects that have just reinforced relations between the oppressor and the oppressed.

If any had had a little time to read history, they would know that Palestine was actually the land of co-existence for hundreds of years.

It’s the land that hosted the Armenians when they were massacred by the Turks. It’s the land that embraced the Jews who were oppressed in Europe. And the co-resistance that takes place daily here is a clear example that there isn’t any co-existence problem. The real problem is Zionism.

Zionism is not only the enemy of the Palestinians and Arabs, but also, the enemy of the Jews worldwide.

A lot of Jews who were born with Israeli citizenship have realized that Zionism and the Israeli regime is their enemy. It’s our common enemy. Thus, the trend of co-resistance has been evolving for years in Palestine. Jews carrying Israeli citizenship have been part of the popular resistance taking place in Palestine. Co-resistance is a danger to the state of Israel.

Even the mainstream media has been avoiding recognizing those activists as Israelis. The Israeli media refers to them as just “Anarchists”.

Co-resisting with Israeli citizens has been also a sensitive topic in the Palestinian community. A lot of activists fear to fall in the trap of normalization. The basis to this fear is true. The PA and its supporters tried on several occasions to counter Palestinian activists that diverted from the PA’s political path with rumors. They used the fact that Palestinian activists co-operate with their Israeli counterparts to spread distorted rumors of their involvement in normalization work. The involvement of the left Zionists in several demonstrations has added more vagueness to the issue.

We have to be open about the subject now more than ever. We have to set the standards for our co-resistance. Yes we do co-operate with the Jewish citizens of the State of Israel. But the standards of this co-operation are clear. We work together with every Israeli that opposes Zionism and fully recognizes the Palestinian rights, freedom, equality, and the right of the return.

Together with them we co-resist the Israeli occupation and the Zionist enemy. Together we call for the rights of the Palestinians that have been disregarded not only by Israel and western powers, but also by Arab regimes. Some Arab regimes have either prioritized their business interests or just simply lost belief in the possibility of achieving the full Palestinian rights. We still have the belief.

And those rights are indivisible. These are basic human rights. You either believe in it, or you don’t. Freedom, equality, and the right of the return.

As Zionism is also the enemy of the Jews, those Israelis have the right to resist it. Those activists are not only there for solidarity. It’s also their war. The Palestinians who try to portray the co-resistance as normalization have to first go down to the front line and resist. We have nothing to hide. Our work of co-resistance is under the sun. It’s not underground. And we oppose co-operating with the leftist Zionists who take part in demonstrations or call themselves peace activists.

Those left Zionists do not care about the Palestinian rights. They just understood that the occupations' and settlers’ practices will harm their Zionist dream, a dream that disregards the Palestinians from their rights in their homeland.

The State of Israel clearly does not speak for the Jews. Its practices have started a new wave of hatred towards the Jews worldwide. To help end that wave, the anti-Zionist Jews should file a lawsuit against the State of Israel to forbid it from speaking in the name of Jews. A lot of them have said it before, ‘Not in our name’. But this shout should be louder. And legal actions should be taken. The concept of co-resistance will continue to grow larger.

The anti-Zionist Israeli activists are heroes and their courage is admirable. Those activists have been marginalized in their own communities. They went through a lot of trouble. They have been always on the front lines. They have been beaten up, shot at, and arrested. They come week after week knowing that they put their own lives in danger. They do it because they have the belief, the belief in rights and humanity.

They have principles and for that I respect them a lot more than a lot of my people who have given up. Yes we co-operate with those activists. They’re our comrades. And this is co-resistance.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lying there by Amra Amra

Written in January 2009
Lying there. Not knowing what to expect. What was going on? Where was I? The last thing I remember was...Oh yes. There was a siege in my city, my home, my prison; Gaza. That explained the deafening airplanes sounds that were roaring above my head. Why was there so much dust? I couldn't breathe. It was so dark. I'm scared of the dark. Don't tell anyone though. I have to be strong for my younger sisters. You see in Gaza, the electricity is always cut off. So I couldn't be scared. I had to be their role model. Their rock. Their shoulder to cry on. I couldn't show them I was afraid. I had to be strong for them.

What is that on top of me? It's crushing my chest. Am I dreaming? I probably am. Or am I awake? I'm still not sure yet. I have to open my eyes. "Come on you could do it!" my conscience was telling me. I hear my older sister calling my name. "Samar!" she yells. "SAMAR. DENA! JAWAHER! IKRAM! TAHRIR!" Why weren't my siblings answering my older sister? I finally have the strength to open my eyes. Finally, I think to myself. But everything around me is dark. I can't even move. Why am I glued to the floor? Why is the roof on top of me? I don't understand. The last thing I remember was my parents tucking me in for bedtime. Where were they? "Mama, Baba!!!" I yell. No one answers. I can't take it anymore. I could hardly breathe now. It was too hard. It felt like a thousand tons on top of my chest.

I call for my siblings. No one answers. Maybe they were already rescued. I hoped they were. I prayed they were safe and not in this disaster. I try calling. At this point, the concrete above me shakes and rumbles from another missile that was hit next door. It felt like an earthquake. Everything was on top of me now. I feel the rubble crush my body and bones. I feel and taste the blood trickle down my face and other parts of my body. It was too painful. I couldn't move. Even if I wanted to, it was too hard. I would give anything to be anywhere but here. Anywhere. I wanted to escape. I wanted a better life. A life where children were allowed to play with no worries. A place where I wouldn't be scared to sleep and never wake up. A place where bombs were never heard. Was there such a place? Even if there was, I wouldn't know. Because I am child; a child of Gaza.

Things were getting easier now. I couldn't feel pain anymore. My body was feeling lighter. Was I giving up? I wasn't giving up! Don't think I gave up! I was strong for 12 years. 12 years of my life living in Gaza. I was strong! Strong like the men of Gaza; like the women of Gaza; the children of Gaza! Unfortunately, I can't be strong forever. Even though I desperately want to, I can't.

In my last moments I spend here in Gaza; lying here helpless, paralyzed, suffocated by the dust all around me, with my house crumbled on top of me covering me like a monstrous blanket. I lie here thinking. Why? What did I do to deserve this? Am I just one of the numbers of the 313 children who were killed by the aggressive acts of the Israeli occupation forces? Is there anyone listening to hear my cries, my hopes, my rights? No child deserves this to happen to them. No human must endure this. My last cries are for help, even though no one is there to hear me. The helicopters sounds are drowning my last desperate calls for help. Maybe I am going to a better place, I convince myself. A place where I am allowed to live. But I don't want to leave my family, my home, my life. Unfortunately that is not up to me. It is in the hands of my occupiers. THEY are in control of my destiny. It has been cut short as you can see. I was given the chance to live 12 years. 12 short years, although these years were filled with experiences that make life appear black. Pitch black like the days I spent in Gaza with no electricity. Pitch black as it is now, lying here helpless in my final moments.

Dedicated to the Palestinian child who was killed in Gaza December 29, 2008
Dena Bal'ousha 12 years old
May her cries be heard…