Gaza: The Only Cure for the Occupation is Resistance
By: Ibrahim al-Amin
Published Monday, November 19, 2012
“No resistance, no negotiations.”
That was the Emir of Qatar’s catchphrase during his recent visit to the Gaza Strip. He used it to urge the Palestinians to reconcile. It was as though he was telling them: Your resistance camp isn’t resisting, and your peace camp isn’t negotiating, so why don’t you make up?
The Emir of Qatar didn’t explain why there should be a reconciliation, or over what. Nor did he see why the peace camp isn’t negotiating – because Israel is the party that doesn’t want negotiations or peace. And, who told him that the resistance camp has stopped resisting? Is it because Hamas belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the parent organization’s current priorities do not include resistance? Is that what he meant?
This faulty catchphrase came about immediately after the outbreak of the Arab revolutions. Its aim was to enable the ascendant political forces in Arab countries whose rulers were toppled – such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – to adopt policies in line with these revolutions’ Western and Arab sponsors. They want these new powers confined to domestic issues.
“No resistance, no negotiations” means that Palestinians must act on the assumption that the occupation is there to stay, and that they shouldn’t expect any help just because of the revolutions. One Gulf official facetiously imagined what Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi would be telling Hamas leader Khaled Meshal: “Come off it, man. We can’t even afford to sweep Egypt’s streets. What do you want? Give up. Cease firing and trust the Lord.”
Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour seemed out of place at the Arab ministerial meeting the day before yesterday. He angered those present by using “outmoded” language about boycotts and resistance. The proper, in-vogue language was provided by the foreign minister of Qatar who made a declaration of impotence, telling the Palestinians: We know the limits of our capabilities and resolve, and will never go to war. This was before he made the obligatory reference to his support of the Gaza Strip’s steadfastness.
“No resistance, no negotiations.” This phrase is not only said to justify said impotence, but also to frame the real objective of the Arab revolutions as achieving a change in power. In this line of thinking, the Egyptians’ only problem was that Gamal Mubarak did not perform his religious rituals or grow a beard. A disastrous initial outcome of the mass protests in Egypt has been to usher into power replicas of the country’s previous rulers – albeit with beards. Cronies have been replaced with other cronies, while the economic policies are the same, relations with Israel are unchanged, and the country’s role as mediator between the enemy and the people of occupied Palestine has not changed.
The proponents of “no resistance, no negotiations” are filling a dirty role. They believe the priority is to attend to other opportunities. They say there is no resistance because they have chosen to withdraw from the battle, to disown the resistance, and cave in to the realities of the occupation. To defend their stance, they promote religious divisions and accuse resistance forces of not having liberation as their goal.
But how does the Qatari foreign minister’s assessment that the Arabs are impotent to act over Gaza square with the fact that he and other Gulf states can find the resolve to supply the Syrian opposition with arms and media support?
How can they decide – and do they really expect us to believe – that the Palestinians don’t need similar support and attention?
What is preventing these countries from continuing to back the Syrian opposition and doing the same for Palestinians?
How can people with a record of struggle – especially Palestinians who reside at the courts of Gulf decision makers – justify their ties with the holy alliance of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, the US, and colonial Europe? How can Palestinians active in academic, scientific, media, and diplomatic institutions controlled by the GCC states justify such policies to themselves?
What is happening in Palestine attests to one thing: The occupation endures and continues, and that means resistance endures and continues. The resistance has been hourly demonstrating its capabilities, and its ability to exert more impact on Israel.
The alternative is the option of yielding. There is no need to be oblique about such a stance since, whatever the phrasing, it amounts to the same thing: surrender.
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.