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The evolution of Palestinian resistance

There is a popular graphic doing the rounds on Arab social media these days; it shows the evolution of weapons used by the Palestinian Resistance, from rocks and pebbles all the way to missiles and drones. This captures the story of the evolution of resistance methods against Israeli occupation.

The myth of the ‘Arabs versus Jews’ narrative

The transformation of Zionism as a political ideology to Zionism as a religious ideology begins, in part, with Theodor Herzl’s "infatuation with British imperialism," as noted by literary scholar and cultural historian Eitan Bar-Yosef in his book A Villa In The Jungle: Herzl, Zionist Culture, And The Great African Adventure. “Herzl’s phrase – a ‘miniature England in reverse’ – preserves the imperfect colonial mimicry that stood at the heart of Herzl’s Zionist project, and which was exposed so his decision to align himself with the British Empire.” Herzl would form the Zionist Organization (now The World Zionist Congress) in 1897 and promote the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, while continuing to identify with British colonialism and those who facilitated colonialism – the colonialists themselves. While Herzl, in his book The Jewish State, published in 1895, argued that the ‘Jewish question’ was not social or religious but political, the historical account of the rise of religious Zionism shows that it began to take hold not long before the passing of Herzl in 1904.

The new Arab home as a political tool

The setting was casual, and our table at the reopening of a leftist bar in Beirut was a miniature scene from a contemporary Arab home that seems to be developing. On my left was a Syrian-Palestinian émigré who is trying to reconstruct the void in her self-respect after being forced to leave her home, Damascus, through writing and hands-on activism. On my right was another that seems to just be staring into the void in space. In front of me was a Palestinian-Jordanian artist whose art is a constant discussion of the possibility/impossibility of building without a land. Her fiancé’s sister who sat next to her is a brilliant Tarab singer in her twenties, whose Tarab bothers the young man on her right, a thirty-something-year-old Syrian man who fled from Syria after being in prison for three years. He thinks techno music is more suitable for our violent, rapid times. As the DJ plays Oum Kolthoum, we all cheer to a voice that remains our common denominator and unanimously disagree with the fleeting techno theory.

Characteristics of Israeli propaganda in the West

Ever since the advent of the Zionist movement, Zionists paid little respect for the truth. This was not accidental, the very Zionist idea was based on a collection of lies: that Palestine was not inhabited, that the Palestinians would not mind giving their homeland away, that the Palestinians don’t exist, or that the Palestinians could easily seek repatriation in any other place under the sun. And Israel often relied on the perpetuation of public ignorance in Western countries about the Middle East in order to facilitate the promotion and circulation of its propaganda. This may explain why the public in all European countries are (by varying degrees) more sympathetic to Palestinians than to Israelis, while in the US the public supports Israel by a ratio of 5 to 1 at least. The Zionist lobby in the US consistently opposes and sabotages the establishment of Middle East centers on US college campuses, and when such centers are established they are compelled to succumb to ridiculous Zionist standards by which the population of Israel (some 6 million or so) is equated in terms of coverage and academic scope with the 1.6 billion Muslims, and where the teaching of Hebrew (spoken by some 6 million or so Israelis) is regarded as important as the Arabic language (spoken by some 350 million). Courses on the Arab world have to be “balanced” with courses teaching the state of Israel, and the teaching of the Arab-Israeli conflict should be avoided altogether (it has never been taught in most major departments of political science in key American universities, like Stanford or Yale or the University of California, San Diego until recent years and only on a visiting basis).

Substituting the Arab world’s international placenta with internal arteries

The idea of the “international” has become a parody of its own self. This is not a recently unearthed fact; just one that comes to my attention every time we wait for verdicts of the international community, apply our massacres to international courts or when international solidarity becomes applause-worthy. A tens-of-thousands-of-people protest in London in support of the Palestinian cause is hailed as something significant. It is so because that means that the general public is somehow against war. It is shameful that this is considered significant. It is disgraceful that we don’t expect human solidarity from the general public, international or otherwise, as something natural.

Western standards of Palestinian resistance

Yet again another Israeli assault on an Arab country exposes the biases and racism of Western governments, media, and human rights organizations. Human rights organizations, particularly Human Rights Watch, have become the most culpable because they now serve as a media/propaganda arm of the Israeli terrorist army. We know how those things work, as soon as a Western NGO with a Middle East scope is formed, pro-Israeli groups (openly and not conspiratorially) rush in with their funds to control the agenda of the organization. Internal memos that I had revealed on my blog before show that the director of Human Rights Watch was mightily concerned about not offending pro-Israel sources of funding. Thus, think tanks, media groups, and human rights organization fall under the spell of pro-Israeli agendas and money.

Unsettling the Israeli settlers

In order to confront the tangled web of colonization and begin the indispensable process of decolonization there must first be an acknowledgement of the historical coloniality of power which existed behind the creation of Israel and which continues to exist today so as to advance the state of Israel – those with positions of privilege, who progress the development of the occupation and the colonial-settler state itself must be disturbed. It is not enough to flirt with matchsticks beneath passports. Nor is it enough to cry “not in my name!”. The colonial mentality must be deconstructed. The Israeli settlers must be unsettled.

A conversation with a musician building Beirut

I’m hesitant to shave my beard at home. The electricity isn’t sticking to its usual rationing schedule, and we’re having sudden cuts throughout the day. This means I may be coerced into a fashion statement of asymmetrical facial grooming that I am not interested in.

What do Palestinians need to do to get Western media sympathy?

Basically we have learnt that for the Palestinians to attain Western media and human rights legitimacy and sympathy, they need to emulate Israeli tactics and methods according to those rules:

US show "Tyrant"'s novel plot to vilify Arabs

Our earliest intimate interaction with the foreign characters in Tyrant comes in the form of an aggressive sexual assault where we quickly learn that Bassam’s older brother Jamal is a sexual predator and philanderer in a scene featuring the first close encounter with an Arab woman. She is brutalized while her husband and small children wait outside, clearly able to hear the sounds.

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