United States - Throughout my life, I have met many people who are interested and involved in the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. Many of them have very peculiar and unique stories as to why and how they have become interested. That is not the case for me. I never woke one morning and decided to work toward justice in Palestine. I was born with the Palestinian cause.
In 1948 my grandfather was forced from Yafa, Palestine to the West Bank during the largest armed robbery of the 20th century, which lead to the creation of the State of Israel. In the process he lost his home and businesses in Yafa. In 1967, my father and all the members of his immediate and extended family were forced from the West Bank town of Al-Bireh and sought refuge in Amman, Jordan. In the process my family attempted to return to the West Bank twice. They were initially unsuccessful, but with the help of a Bedouin guide were able to return home on the second attempt.
Growing up in the States, I wasn’t aware of what it meant to be Palestinian. To lose your land, home, loved ones, dignity and to be suspect in everything you do by virtue of your own existence. I never had to cross a checkpoint going to school, get shot at on my way to the store or huddle under classroom desks during an aerial bombing. But that’s not to say that I was free from Israeli oppression and infringement on my rights.
Now when I return to Palestine, I am treated as a visitor. I am forced to endure humiliating interrogations and intimidating ‘security’ checks aimed at dissuading me from ever returning to my homeland. Traveling throughout my homeland I am subjected to checkpoints, curfews and random searches by teenagers looking for a reason to deport me. After spending a considerable amount of time in Palestine, I have become numb to the humiliation and indignity. Everything that was previously unusual and unacceptable suddenly became normal. It was not until I returned to the States where I was reminded of my enforceable rights and privileges, and wasn’t immediately deemed a suspect, that I became aware of this numbness. Realizing how easily I became well-adjusted to injustice propelled me into the pursuit of justice for my people.
I, like many in the Palestinian community, are fed up. We are fed up with the occupation, siege of Gaza, denial of refugee rights, the apartheid wall and the overall system of indignity we are forced to endure and cooperate with on a daily basis. We are fed up with the apathy in our community, the collaborationist leadership and the continuous undermining of our cause.
The question then is: What are we going to do about it?
The two decade long failed ‘peace process’ has succeeded in one thing: excluding most Palestinians from the struggle; past, present and future. Our rights have been deemed impractical. We are expected to accept reality as the oppressor presents it. The first thing we need to do is build a successful resistance movement and reject this nonsense by bolstering unity amongst all Palestinians whether they be in refugee camps, Gaza, the West Bank, ’48 or any other part of the world. Our hope is that this blog will serve as a platform to unify the widest spectrum of Palestinians, young and old, from all economic strata around the ideals of justice, liberation and freedom for our people.
Furthermore, we hope to use this blog to be objective, discuss what our capabilities are, how we can mobilize, what tactics are at our disposal and how we can sequence these tactics so as to produce the greatest negative effect on the oppressor.
Power is not a function of money and weapons, and despite what many may incorporate into their subconscious, power comes from the ground up. When we shift our behavior and take a critical and principled approach, which we intend to do in this blog, we are actually shifting the power dynamic. The purpose of this blog is to serve as a platform to discuss the strategic and systematic ways in which we can collectively bring about this power shift and transform the dark and dire situation in Palestine into a just one.
Struggles of the past, like that of apartheid South Africa, have shown us that the fight for justice is not just a struggle with guns, tanks, or fighter jets, but also a struggle of ideas. At Beyond Compromise our commitment to freedom, liberation and justice will inevitably triumph over separation, supremacy and dominance.
Our ideas are our strongest weapons and they must carry us forward. We were not born to be colonized, occupied nor oppressed. Justice and freedom await us, and we belong to them. We may be rejected and dejected, but we won’t be denied.