‘Palestinians for Dignity’ reject Obama visit as effort to stave off pressure on Israel, placate Palestinian street


(Ed. note: We got this announcement in our inbox today. Previous Palestinians for Dignity statement here)

Occupied Ramallah: Palestinian youth groups of “Palestinians For Dignity” call to reject US President Obama’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territory expected between 20-22 March, and to demonstrate against the possible return to negotiations.

President Obama’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territory comes at a time when our prisoners are waging a hunger strike battle in the face of Israeli government obstinacy, and in the face of US silence towards the slow murder these heroes are being subjected to. Most recently Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat died during interrogation inside the Israeli prison of Megiddo. Moreover, the visit comes in light of the continued international isolation of Israel and the ever-increasing boycott campaigns against it.

On one hand, it is simply naive to presume that U.S. policy toward Israel has changed since Obama took office. A March 2012 report by the U.S. Congress discusses a $3.1 billion in military aid for the year 2013 only, including financing the Iron Dome system, and increasing US bilateral support to Israel to $115 billion since 1949. In addition, the US is committed to maintain Israel’s security at the expense of the lives, land and livelihood of Palestinians; whether by justifying the massacres against Palestinians in Gaza, or through its silence concerning settlement expansion, destructions of homes, forcible transfer and other Israeli policies.

On the other hand, it is hypocritical and disingenuous that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) disregards the role of the Obama administration in blocking its membership request in 2011 at the Security Council, and its vote against the resolution at the General Assembly in 2012. Furthermore, the US Congress has imposed financial sanctions on international institutions recognizing “Palestine”. And to add insult to injury, while the PLO/PA assure Palestinians they consider Jerusalem the Palestinian capital, yet they receive the US President in the Ramallah enclave.

Despite the attempts of the Palestinian “leadership” to ease the atmosphere, with statements about Obama pressuring the Israeli government on the issue of Palestinian political prisoners, or promises of petty US aid, however, the ultimate objectives of the visit are clear.

The visit aims to achieve three goals; first, to relieve the pressure off the Israeli government, which is suffering increased international isolation (albeit with words more than actions). Second, to restrain the frustration of the Palestinian street simmering in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and finally, to prolong the expected lifetime of the PA, which after 20 years is becoming more and more disconnected from its people.

The Palestinian people will not accept to play a role in achieving these interests, and will not succumb to these pressures. What is required of us as Palestinians is to persue a complete boycott of our occupier on all fronts: security, economical, political, cultural and academic, and to rebuild a representative entity for Palestinians everywhere. Not aid in relieving the pressure on the Israeli government by engaging in a futile process, and allowing it to complete its expansionary policies and annexation through uprooting Palestinians from their land and homes.

Accordingly, we call on the masses of the Palestinian people to change this path and demonstrate against receiving he who considers Israel “the closest ally in the region”, and to refuse the return to futile negotiations. We call for entrenching the sacrifices of the martyrs and prisoners  by refusing to surrender and to work with Palestinians everywhere to establish  a strategic program of resistance, where political, economic, military, popular and various other forms of resistance and duties are shared each according to their ability.

We invite you to take to the street on the expected day of the visit between the 20-23 of March, close to the day of Al-Karamah (dignity) battle commemoration, to restore part of our dignity and reject Western hegemony, and Zionist colonialism and internal consent.
Palestinians for Dignity
Note: The exact day of the visit will be confirmed, together with and the time/venue for demonstrating, and details about the activities and accompanying events.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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8 Responses

  1. EChandler
    March 11, 2013, 11:48 am

    Lining the streets and silently turning their backs on President Obama would send a “loud” message and provide great images.

    • sardelapasti
      March 11, 2013, 10:19 pm

      Dignity my eye and foot. Obama and his bosses wouldn’t know dignity if it was served with watercress and noodles. Boo the bastard to death is more like it, or whatever else they may choose. Anything will be bloodily repressed by the PA goons anyway. The main thing is impressing on all the watching world that he is directly responsible for the entire picture of Zionist oppression. Once more, no different than a visit by Johnson to occupied Vietnam.

  2. American
    March 11, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Dear Palestines,

    Please also start demonstrations demanding Abbas take Israel to the ICC.
    ICC,ICC, ICC, ICC……….that is your only chance of getting your land back without a full scale war.

    • Erasmus
      March 11, 2013, 3:03 pm

      re American

      I fully support the suggestion to also demand from the Abbas-PA to proceed with taking those responsible for the e.g. Gaza War and the Occupation to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
      This could well be an effective, non-violent measure for achieving national self-determination of Palestinians.

      While i sympathize with the high degree of frustration in light of no progress whatsoever during two decades + of “negotiations” and the “peace process”, and the logic for a comprehensive strategy of resistance,

      i’d like to warn to also relapse into any type of former military activities as a form of resistance.
      This would certainly be utterly counterproductive and destroy the enormous international credit which the Palestinian non-violent resistance has accrued as of now.
      It would virtually gamble all this CREDIT away.

      • maggielorraine
        March 11, 2013, 8:29 pm

        I don’t really know who you think you are, dictating to Palestinians what form their resistance should take. Palestinians are an oppressed people fighting colonization, and as such can choose their own terms of struggle. Whether your opinions on the efficacy of military resistance and your assessment of the reception of such resistance are indeed correct is completely irrelevant. It is not your struggle. You have no right to lecture anyone.

        I should also add that the fact that the use of military resistance would “destroy the enormous international credit which the Palestinian non-violent resistance has accrued as of now” is a testament to the way in which entrenched racism functions in our society. According to this logic Palestinians have no right to resort to violence, even justified violence in the face of oppression, while the Western world revels in the glory of the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, and so on. White people have every right to resort to arms to protect their homes and rights, but Palestinians don’t. And you are justifying this view by lecturing Palestinians on how they should tailor their struggle to satisfy it, instead of lecturing others on how they should correct their latent (or manifest) racism.

        In summary, it doesn’t matter if your assessment is right. It’s not your place to lecture, and the reality is racist anyway.

      • Inanna
        March 12, 2013, 12:04 am

        Thanks maggielorraine, well said.

      • American
        March 12, 2013, 11:54 am

        “i’d like to warn to also relapse into any type of former military activities as a form of resistance…Erasmus

        I am not fond of war except as a last resort…..but I don’t think the Palestines non violent protest have gotten them very far down the road…or fast enough down the road to halt Israel.
        I’m against the Palestines taking up violence because they don’t have a military that could defeat Israel and chase it out of Palestine.
        “If’ however the Egyptians or Turk militaries decided to join Palestine against Israel and run the Israelis out I’d say fine, go get the m’f******.

  3. Dagon
    March 11, 2013, 8:43 pm

    Yesterday’s wedding story,brings home the twilight zone feeling you get living in Isrsel.When my kids were born in the usa i requested ID numbers from the israel consolate.Got that .No problem.Ten years ago i and one of my daughters traveled to vizit my mother in nazareth.Entering the airport was never a problem for me.But for my 23 year old child,she was questioned all kinds of questions that she starded crying.I tried to interfere.The security prevented me.See she was using her usa and only passport.you should get israeli passport and use it she was informed.Now we want to visit again.She called the consolate,asking to get a passport.She was informed they can’t do it here ,she can get one fast in israel.Now, she can enter the country But without the israeli passport they will not let her leave.There is a method to the madness.One person who want and should get a passport can’t get it ,and another who is not after one ,must get it.Even though,I love it and i still might retire there.

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