democracynow:

UNRWA has reached a breaking point,” says spokesperson Christopher Gunness, speaking to Democracy Now! live from Jerusalem. “Eight of our staff have been killed. Our facilities are overwhelmed. Because of the continued displacement … we may soon find ourselves where there are tens of thousands of people in the streets of Gaza — no food, no water, no shelter, no safety, frankly, after we’ve found that Israeli artillery is capable of hitting our shelters. And we’re saying: enough is enough.

Over the past three weeks, Democracy Now! has aired 40 reports on the crisis in Gaza. Click here to see this archive.

The earth is closing on us, pushing us through the last passage, and

we tear off our limbs to pass through.

The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die

and live again. I wish the earth was our mother

So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our dreams to carry as mirrors.

We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us in the last defense of the soul.

We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll

throw our children Out of the windows of the last space. Our star will hang up in mirrors.

Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds fly after the last sky?

Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will write our names with scarlet steam.

We will cut off the head of the song to be finished by our flesh.

We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.

Mahmoud Darwish, After the Last Sky (via maxineanwaar)

maxineanwaar:

طالب طارق عباس نجل الرئيس الفلسطيني والده بحل السلطة الفلسطينية ووقف المفاوضات وتبني حل الدولة الواحدة، وذلك في مقابلة نادرة مع صحيفة “نيوريوك تايمز”نشرتها امس.

ورفض طارق فكرة تمديد المفاوضات مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وقال ان السلطة الفلسطينية يجب عليها أن تمضي قدماً في المؤسسات الدولية للرد على تماطل الاحتلال.

“انا لا اريد ان ارحم احدا، ولا اكره احدا، او اقتل احدا، انا اريد ان اكون تحت القانون”.

Son of Mahmoud Abbas speaks out, calling for his father to dissolve the Palestinian Authority and work towards a one state solution. Stating that the negotiations have failed to bring a Palestinian state. Instead, we should start fighting for our civil rights! 

I'm legitimately confused. If Israel were committing genocide, wouldn't they have done it already? They definitely have the military power.

Asked by
Anonymous

readyokaygo:

"Done it already"? What do you mean? See, this is the problem. Because most people only have the Holocaust as a frame of reference for genocide, they think if it doesn’t look like the Holocaust then it isn’t a genocide.

Duration, intensity, and number killed does not determine whether something is a genocide. A genocide could take place in a few months, or it could go on for a century. It could involve crude weapons or intricate systems of extermination. Death is not the only measure of genocide, and so long as people are being systematically targeted simply because they are from one racial or ethnic group, can you really put a number on how many people killed is too much?

Destruction and appropriation of culture is a method of genocide. Theft of indigenous water, land, and resources is a method of genocide. Segregation and humiliation is a method of genocide. Concentrating people into densely populated spaces, bombing neighborhoods, flattening power plants, and destroying schools as refugees sleep in them is a method of genocide. Pouring wine down someone’s throat when his religion forbids it while he and his family are stopped at daily checkpoints is a method of genocide. Pouring gas down a boy’s throat and burning him alive is a method of genocide. Funding and producing movies, domestically and abroad, that show one group of people as barbaric, terrorists, homophobic, sexist, uncivilized, backwards, and so on, is a method of genocide.

Israel has been committing genocide against Palestinians for nearly a century. I would argue that they also committed genocide against the Lebanese. The United States committed genocide against the people of Iraq, starting with Clinton. Genocide is being committed against Latin@s in the American South. Genocide is still being committed against Black people, and the prison industrial complex is working hard to continue it. Is it any surprise that police officers from New York to Chicago to LA train in Israel with their finest and best? Is it any surprise that Israel is the largest exporter of drones as the US continues killing children in Pakistan and Yemen? They are one and the same, genocidal settler colonial states from the start.

Genocide is a system of deprivation and destruction that takes on many forms. Anyone that tells you any different is protecting someone, or themselves as they benefit from it.

My grandmother on Gaza’s inspiring resistance and unshakable will: 

My grandmother is 75 years old. She is older than the Zionist settler colonial state of Israel. She was ten years old when Zionist terrorists invaded her village of Deir Yassin, committing a massacre that incited our Nakba (Catastrophe) in 1948. As we listened to 16 year-old Farah Baker in Gaza speak so defiantly and assuredly on TV under the ceaseless barrage of bombs and missiles in the background, she tells me she’s never been more proud of a people in her entire life. 

This is a rough translation: 

“The people of Gaza honestly biyirfa3oo al raas (they allow us to keep our heads held high) as a people. Had we [in Deir Yassin] known their strength and sumud, we never would have left our homes. Listen to the way she speaks, mashAllah. The children of Gaza are fearless. They don’t fear bombs. They don’t fear death. They fear a life stripped of their karama (human dignity). They stay in their homes and die with sharaf (honor) and 3izza (pride). Those are the true abtal and jabareen (heroes and leaders). The world learns from them. Wallah I feel blessed to have lived long enough to see such a demonstration of heroic resilience and determination. They biyirfa3oo al raas.”

I wholeheartedly echo her sentiments. The world is so proud of the people of Gaza for the enduring resistance, visceral fortitude, steadfastness and unshakable conviction they continue to demonstrate. They really do allow us to hold our heads high, and expose the cowards dangling their heads in shame. 

This gets better every time you listen to it. I needed a good laugh. Yis3id Rabbak, Ali Abunimah

On 30 July 2014, Israel dropped leaflets on Gaza urging Palestinians there to collaborate with its forces and provide information on the resistance. Someone phoned up the number on the flyer (+97233769999) and recorded the conversation.

Obama:
It's time for an unconditional cease-fire in Gaza.

Israel:
Noo, we don't say that. What do we say?

Obama:
Israel has the right to defend itself.

Israel:
Almost there, come on, keep going.

Obama:
We will be sending our allies in Israel more ammunition.

Israel:
There you go! That's our boy!

FYI: to date the Israeli army has called up 86.000 reserve soldiers to participate in the ongoing and expanding assault on Gaza, in addition to its mandatory service, troops. During the 1982 Lebanon war Israel deployed a total of 78.000 soldiers and in 2006 during the second Lebanon war they sent 30.000 soldiers to invade Lebanon…

Matan Cohen

You know what the most disgusting part of all this is? The fact that people actually see innocent, defenseless people being slaughtered – at the market, on the beach, in their homes, hospitals, schools and shelters. They see tiny, frail children drenched in blood and dismembered. They see their tears streaming down their faces and hear them crying in agony, screaming in terror and begging for mercy. 

And they still manage to say, “It’s their fault. They asked for it.” 

It takes a special brand of ignorance and/or sociopathy to see Israel’s ongoing indefensible crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza, and still manage to say, “It’s their fault. They asked for it.” 

So disgustingly insidious. 


rtamerica:

US resupplying Israel with ammunition even after condemning shelling of Gaza school
No sooner than the White House condemned the shelling of a United Nations-operated school in Gaza on Wednesday did news break that the Pentagon will supply the Israeli military with new ammunition to further their campaign on the war-ravaged city.
That afternoon, CNN reported that the United States military will be honoring a request from Israel for assistance in the midst of their weeks-long campaign against militants from Hamas residing in Gaza City.

Ameirka = raas il 7ayya. #bds High-res

rtamerica:

US resupplying Israel with ammunition even after condemning shelling of Gaza school

No sooner than the White House condemned the shelling of a United Nations-operated school in Gaza on Wednesday did news break that the Pentagon will supply the Israeli military with new ammunition to further their campaign on the war-ravaged city.

That afternoon, CNN reported that the United States military will be honoring a request from Israel for assistance in the midst of their weeks-long campaign against militants from Hamas residing in Gaza City.

Ameirka = raas il 7ayya. #bds

(via disciplesofmalcolm)

postracialcomments:

scifi-fantasist:

blacksupervillain:

anarcho-queer:

U.S. Democrats plan to give Israel an addition $225 million for military spending. The same bill also cuts $1 billion of emergency funds meant to deal with the 50,000 undocumented child migrants held in crowded and unsanitary border facilities.
Israel already received $504 million for the joint U.S.-Israel Missle Defense Program for the Fiscal Year of 2014. That is not including the $3.1 Billion the Obama Administration spent on Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel for the Fiscal Year 2014.

Fuck this

no money for water in detroit
no money for public schools
no money for student loan debt relief
no money for healthcare 
no money for crumbling infrastructure
no money for economic investment in inner cities and indian country
no money 
no money 
no money 
no money

People need to get angry now

“You know it’s funny, when it rains it poursthey got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor.” ― Tupac 
 Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)  High-res

postracialcomments:

scifi-fantasist:

blacksupervillain:

anarcho-queer:

U.S. Democrats plan to give Israel an addition $225 million for military spending. The same bill also cuts $1 billion of emergency funds meant to deal with the 50,000 undocumented child migrants held in crowded and unsanitary border facilities.

Israel already received $504 million for the joint U.S.-Israel Missle Defense Program for the Fiscal Year of 2014. That is not including the $3.1 Billion the Obama Administration spent on Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel for the Fiscal Year 2014.

Fuck this

no money for water in detroit

no money for public schools

no money for student loan debt relief

no money for healthcare 

no money for crumbling infrastructure

no money for economic investment in inner cities and indian country

no money 

no money 

no money 

no money

People need to get angry now

“You know it’s funny, when it rains it pours
they got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor.” 
― Tupac 

 Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) 

(via tracesofasoul)

america-wakiewakie:

Instead of asking where is Palestinian Gandhi let us stand with Palestinian Resistance | AmericaWakieWakie
“The war neither began with us nor is it going to end with our lives.”
— Bhagat Singh
On April 13, 1919, in violation of a British colonial ban on meetings or gatherings, peaceful protestors assembled in Punjab, India to object to the recent killing of nearly 30 Indians in a previous protest. Unprovoked and without warning, colonial forces arrived and opened fire on tens of thousands of unarmed, defenseless Indians, mostly Sikhs, indiscriminately killing 379 men, women, and children. An estimated 1,200 were wounded.
The onslaught known today as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, or the Amritsar massacre to Punjabi natives, is said to have lasted 20 minutes. Yet, despite its brevity, for the move to action it spurred throughout colonial India it remains a seminal event in the fight for Indian independence. One man, 12 year old Bhagat Singh, was especially moved. The massacre planted in Singh’s young mind a longing for the freedom of his people that would propel him forward by any means necessary.
Eventually he would be hung by British colonial authorities for his propensity to fight brutal occupation with every method employed against the Indian people. In the wake of his death, for the majority of the world who does not know or care about the necessity of armed struggle, he has been forgotten. His story, and those like his, has been put on the back-burner while men like Gandhi have been memorialized as the embodiment of what oppressed peoples should do when faced with a conscienceless occupier. 
Such is not far from the expectation of Palestinians in the wake of decades of Israeli apartheid and occupation: In one form or another the question has been asked, “Where is Palestinian Gandhi?”
Though, even if ridiculously, it could be speculated as to where Palestinian Gandhi might be — a thought to be revisited later — we ought to ask why anybody would pose this question at all. The reality is asking this question is a sinister method of delegitimizing Palestinian armed resistance and self-defense. It is a tactical ploy to remove the focus from the violence Israel continues to perpetrate against Palestinians in order to place the impetus for peace solely on those suffering most. It is, in its purest form, victim blaming. And it has been incredibly effective.
Gandhi: A Myth to Which We May Not Want to Aspire
“In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience.”
— Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)
Nonviolence played a significant role in Indian independence, absolutely; but the premise that under the tutelage of Gandhi it was the premier force driving the nation toward liberation is a cherry-picked version of history. It downplays into nothingness the fact that the post-WWII crown could no longer maintain the brute force and financial obligation needed to run a global empire. Indigenous American scholar Ward Churchill in Pacifism as Pathology dismantled the myth that nonviolence effectively acted alone or in a vacuum unto itself:
“…Gandhian success must be viewed in the context of a general decline in British power brought about by two world wars within a thirty-year period. Prior to the decimation of British troop strength and the virtual bankruptcy of the Imperial treasury during World War II, Gandhi’s movement showed little likelihood of forcing England’s abandonment of India. Without the global violence that destroyed the Empire’s ability to forcibly control territories (and passive populations), India might have continued indefinitely in the pattern of minority rule marking the majority of South Africa’s modern history, the first locale in which the Gandhian recipe for liberation struck the reef of reality. Hence, while the Mahatma and his followers were able to remain “pure,” their victory was contingent upon others physically gutting their opponents for them.”
At best Gandhi worship ignores — at worst it erases — the revolutionary actions of people like Bhagat Singh and others who galvanized the resistance movement in colonial India. It removes the context of fear created by armed struggle, a reversal of the fear that underpinned British control of a country where Brits were enormously outnumbered. George Orwell, the famous author of 1984, as a former officer in the Indian police noted:
“Gandhi has been regarded for twenty years by the Government of India as one of its right-hand men… It was always admitted in the most cynical way that Gandhi made it easier for the British to rule India, because his influence was always against taking any action that would make any difference. The reason why Gandhi when in prison is always treated with such lenience, and small concessions sometimes made when he has prolonged one of his fasts to a dangerous extent, is that the British officials are in terror that he may die and be replaced by someone who believes less in “soul force” and more in bombs.”
The material and philosophical reality of nonviolence is one of insufficient means dictating for itself an impossible end. The sectarian nature by which many proponents of Gandhian doctrine preclude or lambaste the use of armed resistance only helps doom a people’s fight for liberation because it effectively counteracts any positive gain they together might achieve. A truly encompassing liberatory praxis must recognize the use of armed resistance as a legitimate and necessary method of achieving liberation. The dismantling of the Gandhi myth is therefore of primary importance in attaining such a praxis.
But what about Gandhi the man himself, his political doctrines aside? Recently feminist writer and activist Arundhati Roy shared her own criticisms of the late nonviolent leader, saying:
“The story of Gandhi that we have been told, is a lie. It is time to unveil a few truths, about a person whose doctrine of nonviolence was based on the acceptance of a most brutal social hierarchy ever known, the caste system. Gandhi believed that a scavenger should always remain a scavenger. Do we really need to name our universities after him?”
There are, of course, more critical views of Gandhi’s personal habits — his methods for testing his resolve for celibacy for instance — but at the core of his legacy lies an irrational, one-sided lore of a man whose message and methods were inadequate, however helpful,  and whose moral character was as flawed as anyone else’s. The real reason Gandhi is lauded while revolutionaries like Singh are diminished has more to do with what we do not know and why we are not taught it than with what we think we know.
In other words, if we were taught the truth that armed resistance does bring about significant change, we might be inclined to try it.
Reclaiming Resistance from Israel’s Tactical Propaganda
“Respect existence, or expect resistance.”
— CrimethInc.
Knowing the pitfalls of Gandhi’s character/nonviolence, that in reality his methods could only be successful when buttressed with armed resistance and the bankrupting of Britain’s military and financial prowess, why would anybody ask “Where is Palestinian Gandhi?” Well, it’s pretty simple really: If people buy into the idea that there ought to be a Palestinian Gandhi to do what the myth of Gandhi dictates, then if no Palestinian is successfully doing it the rest of the world can continue to blame Palestinians for Israeli initiated violence instead of holding Israel accountable.
More importantly, if Palestinians deviate from the doctrine of nonviolence and endorse armed resistance, Israel can portray itself as victimized, or at least only retaliating in an “equally” matched conflict. This is tactical propaganda. If looked for, it is openly visible in the current struggle for Palestinian liberation.
Mainstream media has constantly berated fighters in Gaza for using armed resistance in the face of overwhelming occupation. A principle mechanism of this berating has been the method of blaming-both-sides equally, regardless of the lopsided causalities of Israel’s current and past military offensives. Hamas, an entity ironically helped to prominence by Mossad as a counterweight to the PLO, has been dubbed the central objector to proposed ceasefires by Israel, Egypt, and humanitarian agencies despite the fact that Israel has far more frequently been the provocateur. After Hamas does reject any ceasefire terms, the question of Palestinian Gandhi is mouthed ad nauseam.
But there can be no great peace negotiator when every ceasefire calls for the continuation of Palestinian oppression. Such proposals are not negotiations — they are the demands of a wolf clothed in the rhetoric of the sheep to elicit international sympathy. Palestinians know this, and by majority they have claimed acceptance of such a ceasefire would be a condition of living death.
In the film Rang de Basanti,a historical fiction of Bhagat Singh and his comrades’ revolutionary actions, a group of young friends retrace and relive the struggle for Indian independence. In the course of their reenactment they discover the corruption of their own government through the death of a loved one and come to understand Singh’s motivations for armed struggle. When they attempt to nonviolently challenge the corruption that led to their friend’s death, they are met with brutal repression, another of them having been beaten into a coma.
They assassinate the Defense Minister of the Indian government, the man responsible, in response. As the Indian government attributes the assassination to terrorists, effectively martyring a corrupt official, in their last act the group seizes a radio station to finally tell the truth about the corruption they acted against. They, like Singh, willingly die for the people they love.
Whether or not their actions were warranted they did something far too many have not: They realized that in order for nonviolence to work, those trying to kill you have to care about you.
Israel’s Zionist government does not care about Palestinians. The so-called terrorism Israel says it is fighting, in reality, is the armed resistance created by the terrorism it commits. If Israel were really concerned with the alleged “terrorism” of Hamas, its most prudent action would be to immediately cease participating in the terrorizing of Palestinians. Such is the nature of cyclical violence, but by no means is it equivalent when one party has the 6th most powerful military in the world and the backing of United States military power while the other has rocks and homemade rockets. 
But this is at the core of asking “Where is Palestinian Gandhi,” to delegitimize Gazan resistance by decoupling the material reality of occupation from the right to self-defense. Jeff Sluka captured it well in National Liberation Movements in Global Context:
“The condemnation of liberation movements for resorting to… armed struggle is almost invariably superficial, hypocritical, judgmental, and unfair and tends strongly to represent another example of the generalized phenomenon of “blaming the victim.” The violence of the situation, the per-existing oppression suffered by those who eventually strike back, is conveniently ignored. The violence of the oppressed is a form of defensive counter-violence to the violence of conquest and oppression. In no armed national liberation movement I know of in history has this not been the case.”
After decades of war on Palestinians, Israel has threaded through itself a clearly defined and widely endorsed, yet often unarticulated, acceptance of violent oppression. It is a fully rationalized phenomenon for its government, with full confidence of Israeli Zionists and their sympathizers abroad, to carry out odious acts of state-sanctioned terrorism against Palestinians. Yet when those murdered, so clearly revealed in the scope of recent events, grow weary enough to fight against occupation, their resistance is totally fetishized, their humanity dehumanized. 
As in the lived and cinematic experience of Singh’s life, getting past the Gandhi myth is essential to understanding the material reality of what is happening on the ground in Gaza today. This understanding must lay bare the conditions of occupation, colonization, and apartheid. When we fully grasp this we ought to remember a people’s natural right to armed resistance. Blaming Palestinians for fighting oppression from a racist, Zionist government is outright victim-blaming. It makes us tools of oppression.
If we really must ask “Where is Palestinian Gandhi,” we should realize they likely are buried under the rubble of an Israeli missile.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons)
High-res

america-wakiewakie:

Instead of asking where is Palestinian Gandhi let us stand with Palestinian Resistance | AmericaWakieWakie

“The war neither began with us nor is it going to end with our lives.”

— Bhagat Singh

On April 13, 1919, in violation of a British colonial ban on meetings or gatherings, peaceful protestors assembled in Punjab, India to object to the recent killing of nearly 30 Indians in a previous protest. Unprovoked and without warning, colonial forces arrived and opened fire on tens of thousands of unarmed, defenseless Indians, mostly Sikhs, indiscriminately killing 379 men, women, and children. An estimated 1,200 were wounded.

The onslaught known today as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, or the Amritsar massacre to Punjabi natives, is said to have lasted 20 minutes. Yet, despite its brevity, for the move to action it spurred throughout colonial India it remains a seminal event in the fight for Indian independence. One man, 12 year old Bhagat Singh, was especially moved. The massacre planted in Singh’s young mind a longing for the freedom of his people that would propel him forward by any means necessary.

Eventually he would be hung by British colonial authorities for his propensity to fight brutal occupation with every method employed against the Indian people. In the wake of his death, for the majority of the world who does not know or care about the necessity of armed struggle, he has been forgotten. His story, and those like his, has been put on the back-burner while men like Gandhi have been memorialized as the embodiment of what oppressed peoples should do when faced with a conscienceless occupier. 

Such is not far from the expectation of Palestinians in the wake of decades of Israeli apartheid and occupation: In one form or another the question has been asked, “Where is Palestinian Gandhi?”

Though, even if ridiculously, it could be speculated as to where Palestinian Gandhi might be — a thought to be revisited later — we ought to ask why anybody would pose this question at all. The reality is asking this question is a sinister method of delegitimizing Palestinian armed resistance and self-defense. It is a tactical ploy to remove the focus from the violence Israel continues to perpetrate against Palestinians in order to place the impetus for peace solely on those suffering most. It is, in its purest form, victim blaming. And it has been incredibly effective.

Gandhi: A Myth to Which We May Not Want to Aspire

“In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience.”

— Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)

Nonviolence played a significant role in Indian independence, absolutely; but the premise that under the tutelage of Gandhi it was the premier force driving the nation toward liberation is a cherry-picked version of history. It downplays into nothingness the fact that the post-WWII crown could no longer maintain the brute force and financial obligation needed to run a global empire. Indigenous American scholar Ward Churchill in Pacifism as Pathology dismantled the myth that nonviolence effectively acted alone or in a vacuum unto itself:

“…Gandhian success must be viewed in the context of a general decline in British power brought about by two world wars within a thirty-year period. Prior to the decimation of British troop strength and the virtual bankruptcy of the Imperial treasury during World War II, Gandhi’s movement showed little likelihood of forcing England’s abandonment of India. Without the global violence that destroyed the Empire’s ability to forcibly control territories (and passive populations), India might have continued indefinitely in the pattern of minority rule marking the majority of South Africa’s modern history, the first locale in which the Gandhian recipe for liberation struck the reef of reality. Hence, while the Mahatma and his followers were able to remain “pure,” their victory was contingent upon others physically gutting their opponents for them.”

At best Gandhi worship ignores — at worst it erases — the revolutionary actions of people like Bhagat Singh and others who galvanized the resistance movement in colonial India. It removes the context of fear created by armed struggle, a reversal of the fear that underpinned British control of a country where Brits were enormously outnumbered. George Orwell, the famous author of 1984, as a former officer in the Indian police noted:

“Gandhi has been regarded for twenty years by the Government of India as one of its right-hand men… It was always admitted in the most cynical way that Gandhi made it easier for the British to rule India, because his influence was always against taking any action that would make any difference. The reason why Gandhi when in prison is always treated with such lenience, and small concessions sometimes made when he has prolonged one of his fasts to a dangerous extent, is that the British officials are in terror that he may die and be replaced by someone who believes less in “soul force” and more in bombs.”

The material and philosophical reality of nonviolence is one of insufficient means dictating for itself an impossible end. The sectarian nature by which many proponents of Gandhian doctrine preclude or lambaste the use of armed resistance only helps doom a people’s fight for liberation because it effectively counteracts any positive gain they together might achieve. A truly encompassing liberatory praxis must recognize the use of armed resistance as a legitimate and necessary method of achieving liberation. The dismantling of the Gandhi myth is therefore of primary importance in attaining such a praxis.

But what about Gandhi the man himself, his political doctrines aside? Recently feminist writer and activist Arundhati Roy shared her own criticisms of the late nonviolent leader, saying:

“The story of Gandhi that we have been told, is a lie. It is time to unveil a few truths, about a person whose doctrine of nonviolence was based on the acceptance of a most brutal social hierarchy ever known, the caste system. Gandhi believed that a scavenger should always remain a scavenger. Do we really need to name our universities after him?”

There are, of course, more critical views of Gandhi’s personal habits — his methods for testing his resolve for celibacy for instance — but at the core of his legacy lies an irrational, one-sided lore of a man whose message and methods were inadequate, however helpful,  and whose moral character was as flawed as anyone else’s. The real reason Gandhi is lauded while revolutionaries like Singh are diminished has more to do with what we do not know and why we are not taught it than with what we think we know.

In other words, if we were taught the truth that armed resistance does bring about significant change, we might be inclined to try it.

Reclaiming Resistance from Israel’s Tactical Propaganda

“Respect existence, or expect resistance.”

— CrimethInc.

Knowing the pitfalls of Gandhi’s character/nonviolence, that in reality his methods could only be successful when buttressed with armed resistance and the bankrupting of Britain’s military and financial prowess, why would anybody ask “Where is Palestinian Gandhi?” Well, it’s pretty simple really: If people buy into the idea that there ought to be a Palestinian Gandhi to do what the myth of Gandhi dictates, then if no Palestinian is successfully doing it the rest of the world can continue to blame Palestinians for Israeli initiated violence instead of holding Israel accountable.

More importantly, if Palestinians deviate from the doctrine of nonviolence and endorse armed resistance, Israel can portray itself as victimized, or at least only retaliating in an “equally” matched conflict. This is tactical propaganda. If looked for, it is openly visible in the current struggle for Palestinian liberation.

Mainstream media has constantly berated fighters in Gaza for using armed resistance in the face of overwhelming occupation. A principle mechanism of this berating has been the method of blaming-both-sides equally, regardless of the lopsided causalities of Israel’s current and past military offensives. Hamas, an entity ironically helped to prominence by Mossad as a counterweight to the PLO, has been dubbed the central objector to proposed ceasefires by Israel, Egypt, and humanitarian agencies despite the fact that Israel has far more frequently been the provocateur. After Hamas does reject any ceasefire terms, the question of Palestinian Gandhi is mouthed ad nauseam.

But there can be no great peace negotiator when every ceasefire calls for the continuation of Palestinian oppression. Such proposals are not negotiations — they are the demands of a wolf clothed in the rhetoric of the sheep to elicit international sympathy. Palestinians know this, and by majority they have claimed acceptance of such a ceasefire would be a condition of living death.

In the film Rang de Basanti,a historical fiction of Bhagat Singh and his comrades’ revolutionary actions, a group of young friends retrace and relive the struggle for Indian independence. In the course of their reenactment they discover the corruption of their own government through the death of a loved one and come to understand Singh’s motivations for armed struggle. When they attempt to nonviolently challenge the corruption that led to their friend’s death, they are met with brutal repression, another of them having been beaten into a coma.

They assassinate the Defense Minister of the Indian government, the man responsible, in response. As the Indian government attributes the assassination to terrorists, effectively martyring a corrupt official, in their last act the group seizes a radio station to finally tell the truth about the corruption they acted against. They, like Singh, willingly die for the people they love.

Whether or not their actions were warranted they did something far too many have not: They realized that in order for nonviolence to work, those trying to kill you have to care about you.

Israel’s Zionist government does not care about Palestinians. The so-called terrorism Israel says it is fighting, in reality, is the armed resistance created by the terrorism it commits. If Israel were really concerned with the alleged “terrorism” of Hamas, its most prudent action would be to immediately cease participating in the terrorizing of Palestinians. Such is the nature of cyclical violence, but by no means is it equivalent when one party has the 6th most powerful military in the world and the backing of United States military power while the other has rocks and homemade rockets. 

But this is at the core of asking “Where is Palestinian Gandhi,” to delegitimize Gazan resistance by decoupling the material reality of occupation from the right to self-defense. Jeff Sluka captured it well in National Liberation Movements in Global Context:

“The condemnation of liberation movements for resorting to… armed struggle is almost invariably superficial, hypocritical, judgmental, and unfair and tends strongly to represent another example of the generalized phenomenon of “blaming the victim.” The violence of the situation, the per-existing oppression suffered by those who eventually strike back, is conveniently ignored. The violence of the oppressed is a form of defensive counter-violence to the violence of conquest and oppression. In no armed national liberation movement I know of in history has this not been the case.”

After decades of war on Palestinians, Israel has threaded through itself a clearly defined and widely endorsed, yet often unarticulated, acceptance of violent oppression. It is a fully rationalized phenomenon for its government, with full confidence of Israeli Zionists and their sympathizers abroad, to carry out odious acts of state-sanctioned terrorism against Palestinians. Yet when those murdered, so clearly revealed in the scope of recent events, grow weary enough to fight against occupation, their resistance is totally fetishized, their humanity dehumanized. 

As in the lived and cinematic experience of Singh’s life, getting past the Gandhi myth is essential to understanding the material reality of what is happening on the ground in Gaza today. This understanding must lay bare the conditions of occupation, colonization, and apartheid. When we fully grasp this we ought to remember a people’s natural right to armed resistance. Blaming Palestinians for fighting oppression from a racist, Zionist government is outright victim-blaming. It makes us tools of oppression.

If we really must ask “Where is Palestinian Gandhi,” we should realize they likely are buried under the rubble of an Israeli missile.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons)