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Palestinians, it's time to take our fight into the global arena

The non-stop incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel from both the government and media prove the need for a new kind of resistance.

Women weep outside the demolished home of Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qian, who was shot dead by police. The Israeli authorities claim that Qian deliberately ran over a police officer with his car, killing him, while eyewitnesses say that police opened fire on the car before it sped up — a version that appears to be supported by police aerial footage of the incident. Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Women weep outside the demolished home of Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qian, who was shot dead by police. The Israeli authorities claim that Qian deliberately ran over a police officer with his car, killing him, while eyewitnesses say that police opened fire on the car before it sped up — a version that appears to be supported by police aerial footage of the incident. Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

It’s time for a change of direction. If the Israeli radical left and the Palestinian leadership were strategically smarter about opposing the occupation, they would have made into an artform the incitement, slander and vilification that Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan has been orchestrating this past week against Palestinian citizens of Israel, the residents of the Bedouin village of Umm el-Hiran and a Bedouin man, Yaqub Abu al-Qi’an.

As a reminder, Erdan’s mini-campaign began on Wednesday, when Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by hundreds of police officers, arrived in Umm el-Hiran to carry out demolitions so the village can be replaced with a Jewish town.

Police opened fire on the car of Abu al-Qi’an as he was driving slowly into the village, after which his car struck an Israeli police officer, killing him. Abu al-Qi’an was left to bleed to death. Shortly after, police began using pepper spray and shot sponge-tipped bullets at protesters, injuring — among others — Joint List head Ayman Odeh.

Erdan immediately declared the incident involving Abu al-Qi’an a deliberate car-ramming attack, labeling him a terrorist despite no one yet knowing exactly what had happened (video footage and an autopsy report seem to confirm that Abu al-Qi’an was shot before he accelerated). He then called on Israel’s Attorney General to investigate a number of Palestinian Knesset members, among them Odeh, on grounds of incitement to violence and murder.

The attack on Palestinian citizens, led by Netanyahu and his guard dogs, is an opportunity for Palestinians to take off the gloves and do what should have been done in October 2000: formally approach the United Nations, with the support of what remains of the real Israeli left, and request international protection for Arabs.

All the signs point to the fact that the establishment’s attacks on the Arab public in the name of Zionism (Jewish racial supremacy) will not end with the demolition of houses in Qalansuwa and the beginnings of ethnic cleansing in Umm el-Hiran. Netanyahu announced a few weeks ago that a wave of demolitions was about to commence; his warning augurs another of the Zionist establishment’s many prolonged attacks on Palestinian citizens since the occupation of 1948.

Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrate at a mass rally following the demolition of 11 homes in the Arab town of Qalansuwa, central Israel, January 13, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrate at a mass rally following the demolition of 11 homes in the Arab town of Qalansuwa, central Israel, January 13, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Thinking outside the box

As such, the calls from the radical left and part of the Palestinian leadership for Erdan to resign indicate the same local and longstanding resistance to racism and oppression, which has to date been of no benefit.

Our fight for liberation and freedom for everyone between the river and the sea is not exclusively aimed at Netanyahu, Erdan, police chief Roni Alsheikh — who joined Erdan’s slander this week — or any other Zionist figure. Rather, our struggle is against a racist, messianic and colonialist ideology that advocates the expulsion and banishment of the natives (Palestinians among them) so that there will be room for occupiers and settlers (Israelis).

It’s very simple: demanding that Israel’s minister for internal incitement resign is another attempt at opposing a policy of destruction and occupation while trying to maneuver within the confines of Israeli law, which is itself racist and discriminatory.

The goal of Palestinian citizens is not to be law-abiding Israelis. Their struggle is aimed at turning the country in which they live into a democratic state, and for all Palestinians to become free people with equal rights. Israel’s racist laws, designed to maintain Jewish supremacy, are presented to the world under the nonsense banner of “Jewish and democratic” in order to give a more progressive feel to the ethnic cleansing that has been going on from 1948 until today. Working within that system is not the right way, and we’ve had enough opportunities since 1948 to learn as much.

So what should we do instead? It’s very straightforward: drive our stories out into the world, non-stop. To turn Palestinian citizens of Israel, the most invisible within the Jewish-democratic occupation, into citizens who are important and noticed.

Israeli policemen stand guard as bulldozers demolish houses in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm el-Hiran, in the Negev desert, January 18, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Israeli policemen stand guard as bulldozers demolish houses in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm el-Hiran, in the Negev desert, January 18, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

We Palestinians have all the proof and justification we need to turn to the international media, to aid organizations around the world, to the European Union and to the UN. Home demolitions, the murder of Abu al-Qi’an, the ceaseless incitement from Israel’s leadership against Arab citizens of their country and legally-enshrined discrimination: all are proof of an apartheid regime in Israel, both theoretically and practically.

Indeed, past experience teaches us that what begins in Israeli media often continues in the international press — and we’re not far from the day when the prime minister will tell the foreign media that most Palestinian citizens of his country are “terrorist ISIS supporters.” We would do well to take preventative steps — we’ve already seen them do it with Hamas and Palestinians in the West Bank.

Another way to resist

When Arabs’ houses are demolished — amid live fire against the homeowners — in order to make space for Jews, it’s clear that we need to find another way to resist.

When members of the Zionist Union, a so-called center-left party, speak about “mass arson” and call for a soldier who carried out a war crime to be pardoned, and when most of the self-proclaimed chosen people are also in favor of clemency, we need to find another way to resist.

When the Hebrew-language media joins in with every wave of incitement without asking questions, while at the same time automatically using the word “terrorist” for every Palestinian who has dared to oppose the occupation or who has simply tried to escape from those who have come to demolish his home, we need to find another way to resist.

When the government, the opposition and the media orchestrate non-stop racist campaigns to delegitimize Palestinian citizens of Israel, we have to understand: we need to find another way to resist. Demonstrations and convoys of cars blocking the entrance to Jerusalem are nice on a local level, but we’re past that point.

The time has come to take our fight from the local arena into the global one.

This post was originally published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here. Translated by Natasha Roth.

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    COMMENTS

    1. R5

      Calling Jews foreigners where they were born and proudly asserting your own blood and soil nativism isn’t exactly the best way to win over the West. But desperation breeds irrational thinking so can’t been too surprised. Best we can hope for is that Arab Israelis ignore your delusions for their own sake.

      Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        Could you please quote the part where Rami calls Jews foreigners, I can’t find it, and it would be unfair to think that you just invented it to distract from the real issues in the article, wouldn’t it ?

        Reply to Comment
    2. carmen

      Excellent article, on every point. First, Erdan has to go. He is basically yelling ‘terrorist’ every time a palestinian breathes. The trigger-happy iof/police are responsible for the accident as they shot Abu al-Qi’an and he lost control of his car. Then, in the apparently new order for treating wounded palestinians (terrorists per Erdan and GoI), is to let them slowly bleed to death or execute witness, pull an azaria, whatever the term is they use amongst themselves, but make sure the wounded palestinian becomes a dead palestinian. The deaths at Umm el Hiran were avoidable, every one of them. So what’s an ethnocentric religious supremacist state to do? Investigate and incite against it’s fellow MKs and all palestinians, of course.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      Rami Younis gets it exactly right. Not a false note in the article. He accurately sums up where things are and where they need to go.

      Reply to Comment
    4. i_like_ike52

      As a Palestinian Jew (i.e. as an Israeli Jews who lives in the territory the Arabs refer to as Palestine) I should point out that the Palestinian issue has long ago been brought to the attention of the world. After all, the UN spends most of its time worrying about the Palestinians. You just had a unanimous condemnation of Israel passed by the Security Council with the indirect support of the US. Thus, I don’t know how much more can by done in that direction.
      In regard to the situation “on the ground” around the world, however, there is little interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even including the Arab world. Sure, Israel is despised by most of the Arab and larger Muslim world, but this isn’t because of any particular policy Israel is carrying out regarding the Palestinians, but rather from its very existence. Thus, publicizing Israeli Arab complaints won’t really make any difference. Most of the world views the Arab-Israeli conflict as just another of the numerous unresolved problems in the world and they are largely indifferent to them. A good is example is the fratricidal slaughter going on in Syria, with hundreds of thousands of dead and millions of uprooted refugees. We don’t see any public outrage about it. Nobel Peace Prize Winner Obama is proud of the fact that he didn’t intervene and is letting it go on and on. The Palestinians themselves are indifferent to the massacre of their brotehr Palestinians living in the Syrian Yarmouk refugee camp. Thus, we see that the problems of the Beduin in unrecognized villages in the Negev is certainly not going to draw the attention of most people around the world.]

      BTW-Regarding Younis’ complaint that Zionism supposedly stands for “racial supremacy”, I suggest he turn to his brother in the Palestinian authority and have them delete the clauses in their Palestinian constitution which defines the Palestinian people as an inseparable part of the “Arab nation” and which makes Islam the state religion, both of which lead to discrimination against non-Arabs and non-Muslims.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Younis did not “complain that Zionism supposedly stands for racial supremacy.” He wrote something distinctively different and much more radical than you grasp:

        “Our fight for liberation and freedom for everyone between the river and the sea is not exclusively aimed at Netanyahu, Erdan, police chief Roni Alsheikh — who joined Erdan’s slander this week — or any other Zionist figure. Rather, our struggle is against a racist, messianic and colonialist ideology that advocates the expulsion and banishment of the natives (Palestinians among them) so that there will be room for occupiers and settlers (Israelis).
        It’s very simple: demanding that Israel’s minister for internal incitement resign is another attempt at opposing a policy of destruction and occupation while trying to maneuver within the confines of Israeli law, which is itself racist and discriminatory.
        The goal of Palestinian citizens is not to be law-abiding Israelis. Their struggle is aimed at turning the country in which they live into a democratic state, and for all Palestinians to become free people with equal rights. Israel’s racist laws, designed to maintain Jewish supremacy, are presented to the world under the nonsense banner of “Jewish and democratic” in order to give a more progressive feel to the ethnic cleansing that has been going on from 1948 until today. Working within that system is not the right way, and we’ve had enough opportunities since 1948 to learn as much.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        BTW- Nonsense–it’s not that there is no outrage over Syria. You’re not paying attention. What there is, is Russian (and Chinese) obfuscation and obstruction about doing something, and also a lack of clarity about who are the good guys and the bad guys on the ground in this complex civil war and how you intervene intelligently and effectively and not make matters worse (as the US under less intelligent presidents did, disastrously). In stark contrast, there is plenty of clarity about who the good guys and bad guys are in regards to the Israeli occupation. And plenty of clarity about what to do about it. The API, Clinton parameters, etc., etc., etc. Everyone actually knows the parameters of a fair and workable solution. It’s been paid enormous attention. But Israel continues obstruct this and to get a special pass from the US and Europe, for complex historical reasons Israel shamelessly exploits. The Europeans give Israel a pass they give nobody else:
        http://972mag.com/the-worlds-blatant-double-standard-in-israels-favor

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Beyond all that, it seems to me that yours is the mentality of gangsters. “What can we get away with while people aren’t looking and while powerless people are unprotected?” And you’re therefore smugly betting on the world not caring about the Palestinians but don’t understand that the same world increasingly will not care so much about the Israelis. Time is not on your side in this sense. Israel in the scheme of things is increasingly just not that important:

        Increasingly, Supporting Israel No Longer Serves America’s Interests
        Obama’s UN abstention was only the most recent manifestation of ongoing strategic changes that Trump too won’t want or be able to reverse.
        Brent Sasley  Jan 07, 2017 
        read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.763443

        All the same, it is interesting how the same gangsters who crow that “no one cares about the Palestinians” grow apoplectic on the subject of NGOs assisting the Palestinians.

        Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        I_Like-Etc former Ben Israel
        Of course you’re not a Palestinian Jew, you’re an American squatter who came to the Middle East as an adult.

        Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          How can a nation that never existed gain equal rights?
          Can a Unicorn get equal rights?
          Yes, he can.
          But, first he needs to exist in the 1st place.
          Otherwise, its all hypothetical nonsense.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The short answer, Lewis, is you are historically incorrect, insensitive, and irrelevant. The longer answer is here:
            http://peacenow.org/page.php?name=they-say-we-say#PalsExist

            But the problem for you, Lewis, is that Rami Younis is way beyond you, has left you in the dust muttering about unicorns. And he’s beyond Peace Now. He’s saying that the whole Peace Now type struggle to find a formula for a historic compromise that will grant both peoples self-determination with international recognition in the context of a two state solution is dead, and the Israelis killed it. He’s talking about a peaceful, public “fight for liberation and freedom for everyone between the river and the sea…” as the only true and possible solution to the reality on the ground. You see, Peace Now arose to fight people like you. Rami is saying both you and Peace Now (despite the good fight it fought) have become simply irrelevant and that Israel did this to itself. In this sense, the whole battle you think you are waging doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not a unicorn, it’s a saber-toothed tiger. So you’re back there in the dust muttering to yourself about unicorns and he’s miles ahead in clear daylight. And he’s not looking back and is no longer interested in what you think about it. Or in suiting up for some irrelevant battle that no longer exists.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            I just love it when someone like Benny accuses an Israeli by saying to him: “you are insensitive”.

            What sanctimony. How sanctimonious can Benny get?

            Hey Benny? Have you been reading your own posts lately? Can you be “accused” of being sensitive when you talk about Israel or even Jews? Read your own posts before you accuse others of being insensitive. Ok, Benny-leh?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Are you kidding? “Insensitive” was pulling my punches. Lewis is callous as all hell. A judeofascist. Openly contemptuous of other human beings. Based on race. And a valuing of ideology and land above human beings. You have scant sense of reality. That you would rebuke me for, of all things, calling Lewis of Afula “insensitive” is a measure of how much you want to shift the playing field here to some purified, flower-filled Zionist Field of Dreams that did not and does not exist.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            And you are a sensitive new age guy are you Benny-leh? Have you read your own posts? No? Then I’ll tell you how you come across:

            You come across as a Jew hating lying one eyed bigot who acts as if Israel (the Jewish State) is the devil incarnate which feeds on the carcasses of innocent virtuous Arab victims who who wouldn’t even hurt a fly and who are only defending themselves from the giant Jewish state which has Arab blood dripping from it’s claws.

            That’s how YOU come across Benny-leh. Go on, just read your own posts. Goebbels would be proud of you!!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​The very idea that Lewis’ gross lack of basic human decency and sensitivity amounts to a mere failure to be a “sensitive new age guy” is itself racist and offensive and a belittlement of the Palestinians.

            What a sad post. You discredit yourself. What appalling rhetoric. Shame on you for using such false and hateful terms. An admission of desperation. It just amazes me, even though it shouldn’t by now. This is real hysterical herr sturmer settler speak you are stooping to here. If calling Lewis of Afula insensitive is “sanctimonious” and what “Goebbels would be proud of” then these same terms of yours apply to Peace Now. (Go to the link provided.)

            Oh wait, you called Peace Now and the Israeli Civil Administration official who gave Peace Now data on the theft of private Palestinian land “Vichy” type traitors. So why should I be surprised you’d stoop as low as you have here?

            I can’t be responsible for your paranoia, your hate, your excitability, but all of this aside, just note in the calmest, simplest terms possible what you are saying. You are saying that calling an Israeli, no matter what things he says, “insensitive,” is sanctimonious. Since when did Israelis earn an unlimited right to be insensitive? It’s almost as if in Israel sensitivity to others is a trivial value, to be coarsely sneered at. Right here on this page you have a member of your far right sneering that the Palestinians don’t exist. As you know, he crudely derides them as “fake,” “p-people,” etc, says they should be “repatriated.” Is not this person the real Goebbels type here? (His feliow traveller Moshe Feiglin is even more direct, openly expressed his admiration for that regime.) It was “sanctimonious” to call this person insensitive? Really? Gustav you do not grasp reality and you inadvertently reveal a disturbing ethos.

            But all of this heated offensive rhetoric of yours distracts from the point made on this page that (in my opinion) Rami is saying both Lewis and Peace Now (unfortunately despite the good fight it fought) have now at long last become irrelevant (that is, to the degree that Peace Now now pursues a two state solution) and that Israel did this to itself and Rami, a calm, rational realist, is only moving on to the only authentic and possible solution to the reality on the ground. I am not speaking for Rami, I am only giving my opinion about what I think he is saying.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Yes, Benny, I stand by what I said about you. Read my previous post again. Given all your drivel in which you demonise an entire people, us Israeli Jews, coming from someone like you, it is highly hypocritical to talk about sensitivity and preaching about it to others.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Demonise an entire people.” What rubbish. I’m quoting Israeli Jews favorably all the time. Some demonizing.
            That in terms of quality and character you would equate me with this Lewis from Afula character tells us all we need to know about your intellectual and moral standards. If you’ll excuse Lewis of Afula you’ll excuse anything and your heart is not in the right place. I’m done. Any further back and forth here just distracts from Rami Younis’ essay and points made.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            I don’t equate you with anyone, Benny-leh. You are in a class of your own.

            I am just telling you what is obvious. Because you are preaching to others while all you do is demonise an entire nation, us. And that’s not all. But we will leave it at that.

            You don’t believe me? Read your own posts. You don’t wanna? Never mind… others read your posts and they will make “a judgement call”, unquote, know what I mean? LOL 😄

            Reply to Comment