It is rather unfortunate that we Palestinians do not get to set the dynamics of our own resistance. Under the iron boot of occupation, siege and apartheid the means available to us are beyond limited and are, in fact, nonexistent. What is even more unfortunate is the constant humiliation, fear and never ending suffering my people have to endure under the oppressive and discriminatory hand of Zionism. This dynamic places us Palestinians in a tough position, between a rock and a hard place, if you will. How is it exactly that we resist this oppression? How can we compel our oppressor to grant us our freedom and bring about justice?
Behind this keyboard I am typing with and from the comfort of my apartment, it is easy for me to condemn violent resistance, as many so-called solidarity activists choose to do. When bullets and bombs are not whisking past your head threatening not only your life, but the lives of your loved ones, it is all too tempting to take this politically correct stance and avoid any possible friction with so-called comrades. This understanding is not only insufficient and unbecoming of true solidarity, it is intellectually disingenuous.
The dynamic of our resistance is set by our Zionist oppressor, which as it stands, comes from the position of power. Our resistance is defensive and reactionary. The effect, not the cause. In a situation where we find ourselves entirely helpless and defenseless, violent resistance becomes the only means of raising our voices and procuring any and all leverage we can to demand our rights and bring about justice. When the arrogance of the oppressor is shattered and replaced with insecurity, that is a success of the resistance. The point is to make our oppression risky for the oppressor. Without any risk, the oppressor has no reason to cease it’s oppression and actually begins to benefit from it. And as we’ve seen in Palestine, oppression then becomes the status quo.
It is important to consider the causes and effects of the rocket attacks of the Palestinian resistance. Do these attacks put civilians in danger? Yes. But pushing our thoughts a bit further we land upon the key question: Why are these rockets fired in the first place? The answer lies in the decades long horror story that is aptly referred to as the Nakba, or the Catastrophe. The Nakba is the story of the destruction of the Palestine and the Palestinian people; the ethnic cleansing, massacre, aggression and oppression of an entire people. The Nakba didn’t end in 1948 and Israel’s latest aggression on Gaza is a continuation of its diabolical desire to rid historic Palestine of its indigenous population. When we understand that the rockets are a response to Israeli oppression that didn’t start last Wednesday, but over 6 decades ago, it becomes abundantly clear that Israel is responsible for any danger its citizens face. If these civilians truly want to put an end to the danger the may potentially face, then I extend to them an invitation to join us in our struggle to end oppression for all. Help us bring justice to Palestine and let all human beings live with their dignity intact. Any danger these citizens face is a knee jerk reaction to the oppression and suffering their country not only perpetuates, but thrives off of.
It is entirely unnatural to expect anything but resistance, violent or otherwise, from the oppressed.