Only grassroots activism and global solidarity can bring justice to Palestine

Activism
on 27 Comments

Less than a week after Trump’s announcement, predictions that it  will inevitably lead to greater violence appear to be coming true as Israel clamps down on protesters taking to the streets.  By Sunday night, over 800 Palestinians were injured, and four killed, in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, as well as the Gaza Strip, which has come under renewed bombing.  It will likely get worse. Looking beyond the immediate moment, we have every reason to fear the accelerating ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Jerusalem, where Israel is intent on establishing a 70% Jewish majority by 2020 (PDF).  

In the meantime, most analysts agree that Trump has sounded the death-knell of the two-state solution.  Palestinian think-tank Al-Shabaka executive director Nadia Hijab described the announcement as a nuclear bomb.  Lawyer and scholar Noura Erakat went so far as to thank Trump for revealing to the world that the peace process was little more than a fig leaf, and that the emperor is naked. In my own “morning after” thoughts, I compared Trump’s declaration to Lord Arthur Balfour’s, a full century ago. This comparison was meant to reveal the imperial hubris behind the US president’s proclamation.  In December 2017, just as in November 1917, there is only one country, from the river to the sea.  And in December 2017, just as in November 1917, the Palestinian people are playing havoc with imperial designs.  

Yet there has also been a very significant change in the hundred years since Balfour.  That change is in global consciousness, at the grassroots level. Zionism, while still pervasive in some communities, mostly of the powerful elite, is gradually being recognized by the people for the racist supremacist ideology that it is.  And colonialism, while also still very much alive today, is nevertheless rejected by most as an ideology of the past, which belongs in the garbage bin of history, alongside apartheid and slavery.  In a world permanently altered by globalization, postcolonial diasporas, and late-stage capitalism, the lines are being redrawn, along transnational political allegiances.

Particularly in the US, the class divide is growing more pronounced by the day, as “the 99%” realize the extent of their disenfranchisement.  The alliances forming today transcend traditional fault lines.  The American people are rejecting the edicts of their president, from his gutting of environmental protection, to the Muslim ban, to the Jerusalem announcement.  They are joining with Palestinians and their allies globally, to bring pressure on Israel not through the “traditional channels,” not through calls for more United Nations resolutions and even more “negotiations,” but through pressure applied directly, from the people, against the government and its complicit institutions. This is happening at a time when the US government, which no longer hides the fact that it does Israel’s bidding, is trying to criminalize boycotts, in violation of the US constitution, and specifically of the right to free speech as enshrined in the First Amendment.  

At the same time, an ever growing number of American Jews, many of whom had been raised Zionist, are distancing themselves from the country that presumes to speak in their name. They are forming alliances with Muslims, and Arab-Americans, as they denounce the creeping fascism of Trump’s America.   And in Israel, when BDS is illegal, and BDS organizers can be jailed, Israeli dissidents and anarchists recently protested in the streets of Tel Aviv, courageously holding out giant, festively-lit cut-out boards with the three taboo letters:  BDS.   These Israeli activists and organizers are calling for an end to Jewish supremacy, and for equal rights for the Palestinian people.

It is likely President Trump had no clue what his “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” declaration heralded.  His record so far has been one of incompetence, clumsiness, buffoonery.  He may have been aspiring for “the deal of the century,” when all he has done is unwittingly announced the end of a farce.  With the cumbersome “peace process” out of the way, we can focus on the real solution:  grassroots activism and global solidarity.  

Trump’s announcement will no doubt lie alongside the Balfour Declaration, as a haughty proclamation that caused massive injustice, but failed to achieve its imperial design.  Instead, the solution will emerge from the grassroots transnational alliances, from the BDS movement, against what the global elite, from Riyadh to Tel Aviv to Washington DC, attempt to impose.

About Nada Elia

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

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27 Responses

  1. JWalters
    December 12, 2017, 1:19 am

    Recently I had to go through the whole airport security process a couple of times. All these people taking off their belts and shoes! Emptying their pockets into trays. Waiting in line to be scanned. And why? To defend Israel from its long history of criminal acts. Those acts instigated and perpetuate the so-called ‘War on Terror’, from which these security measures are to protect us. I wonder if a lot of people in those airport lines might be interested in reading a blurb on why they are doing this? Something they could easily read while waiting to be inspected?

    • Jon66
      December 12, 2017, 9:03 pm

      JW,
      I haven’t been there, but are you saying that countries like Iran, Malaysia, etc don’t have strict security because they are not allies of Israel? That the only motivations for hijackers of American planes involve Israel?

      Perhaps we need such screenings because there are people who idolize the hijacking of airplanes if the hijackers share their goals.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/04/palestine-paradise-interview/

  2. Ossinev
    December 12, 2017, 7:04 am

    Those who oppose Zionism and its morphing into a weird theocratic Fasscism should be aware of what and who they are up against:

    It is worth noting that this psychotic creature , Bennett , is actually to the right! of the Yahoo and that he , Bennett , and his fellow travellers Regev,Shaked etc are the future of Israel. Scary.

  3. Kay24
    December 12, 2017, 11:57 am

    The last resort is BDS. The time is NOW for BDS activists to push the nations that do not agree with Trump idiotic decision on Jerusalem, and collectively boycott the occupier. Israel has got away with murder for too long.

    • catalan
      December 12, 2017, 1:03 pm

      “The time is NOW for BDS activists to push the nations that do not agree with Trump idiotic decision on Jerusalem”.
      Fair enough. How do we get to push nations to do stuff though? And which nations do we push? In other words, do Americans push China? Or everyone sticks to their own nation? Are we talking about phone calls?

      • Annie Robbins
        December 12, 2017, 1:43 pm

        https://bdsmovement.net/news/eu-research-collaboration-israeli-police-tatters-after-belgian-university-exit?utm_content=bufferc7d8f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

        December 11, 2017 — The Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium has announced its withdrawal from a controversial EU-funded research cooperation project with the Israeli police and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security. The decision comes as EU Foreign Ministers meet this morning with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is struggling to contain Israel’s growing international isolation as a result of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

        For months, advocates for human rights — Palestinian and European civil society, academics, artists and MEPs — have been questioning the research project for common prisoner interrogation techniques with two Israeli entities that are complicit in the torture of Palestinian prisoners, including children, in violation of international law.

        LAW TRAIN, as the project is known, is financed by the European Union under the framework of Horizon2020, the Union’s research fund.

        we’ve written about Horizon2020 here. lots of money.

        which nations do we push? …. Are we talking about phone calls?

        catalan, one way to do something is to find local groups who are boycotting and already in the bds movement and follow their lead. stuff is happening all over the place. ask them what you can do. you’re in albuquerque, right? the peace center there is involved. get in touch with them. but since you’re always mocking the movement, you might appear as an opposition plant.

  4. Ossinev
    December 12, 2017, 1:26 pm

    @catalan
    “Fair enough. How do we get to push nations to do stuff though? And which nations do we push? In other words, do Americans push China? Or everyone sticks to their own nation? Are we talking about phone calls?”
    Have to agree with you on this one. The most which one can expect from the West and other nations (exc Trumpland) is a continuation of the “not helpful to peace crap” which they have wheeled out every time the Yahoo and Co commit a blatant breach of International (and to an extent supposed Israeli domestic)laws. They will not IMHO depart from their stated position on the issue of Urusalima and the settlements as this would destroy any credibility which they have in the I/P confict.
    No the catalyst(no pun intended) I believe will be the implosion of the farcical PA in the face of their complete lack of credibility in the eyes of the younger generation of Palestinians and hopefully in the very near future a push by these younger Palestinians through peaceful street protests for a single state with equal rights for all between the Jordan and the sea. The Zionists worst nightmare is waiting patiently in the wings – soon to be centre stage.
    The role of us in the civilised West in the meantime should be to support and enhance BDS.

    Tick tick

  5. catalan
    December 12, 2017, 2:06 pm

    “but since you’re always mocking the movement”
    Well in all fairness I mock myself too. Also, eljay says that I will eventually get what is due to me. I already knew I was going to die some day, so I can’t imagine what he is referring to. A premature death in the hands of antisemites? Well, that would spare me senility and physical decline.

    • Mooser
      December 12, 2017, 3:02 pm

      “A premature death… Well, that would spare me senility and physical decline.”

      How would we know?

      • catalan
        December 12, 2017, 4:16 pm

        “How would we know?”
        Mooser, I get the sense that you doubt my intelligence. That makes two of us. That’s why I come here – I am not bright but I like to learn from those with more erudition. I follow the lead of Plato. Knowledge of one’s own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.

      • amigo
        December 12, 2017, 6:01 pm

        “I follow the lead of Plato. Knowledge of one’s own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.”catalan

        Yeah , But.

        Nothing is more dangerous in the world than sincere ignorance and concientious stupidity.

        Not much point in being a Platonian , unless you take his advice fully.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2017, 6:11 pm

        “I follow the lead of Plato. “

        Good. Keep going til you hit the back wall.

      • echinococcus
        December 13, 2017, 1:35 am

        I follow the lead of Plato

        says Catalan.

        Does this mean that Plato recommends to take a totally unconfirmed utterance attributed to a given figure by a well-known collaborator in the absence of any document, corroborating witness or even likelihood, and publish it in a way suggesting 100% that it is an excerpt of said figure’s writings, without mentioning any source?

        Then, continues Plato, when found out and denounced, just ignore the spit on your face, think it must be raining and pretend nothing is happening.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 5:16 pm

        I follow the lead of Plato”

        If you did, I’d be tempted to follow Montressor’s lead.

    • eljay
      December 12, 2017, 3:10 pm

      || catalan: … eljay says that I will eventually get what is due to me. I already knew I was going to die some day, so I can’t imagine what he is referring to. A premature death in the hands of antisemites? Well, that would spare me senility … ||

      Too late.

      • eljay
        December 12, 2017, 6:24 pm

        || catalan: … Also, eljay says that I will eventually get what is due to me … ||

        I said Zionists will get their due. According to your Comment archive: “I am not a Zionist” and “I do not view myself as a Zionist”.

      • catalan
        December 13, 2017, 11:07 am

        I said Zionists will get their due. Eljay
        You said that Zionists will get their due and all the other Jews will suffer too. So either way I am screwed. However, you didn’t specify what the due is – death, property confiscation or what. You also didn’t specify who will be giving the due. The American state will seek out Jews to kill because of sympathy for the Palestinians? Or will terrorists be chasing Jews? But if it’s terrorists will there be enough to kill all the Jews? And then, who will be sorting out Zionists vs Non Zionists. And what if some Zionists are not Jews? So many questions…I think that until you clarify it’s really nothing specific. One thing I find highly unlikely is an immense outpouring of support for the Palestinians among Americans, combined with a constitutional amendment to seek and punish Zionists (as defined perhaps by special tribunals?)

      • eljay
        December 13, 2017, 12:17 pm

        || catalan: I said Zionists will get their due. Eljay
        You said that Zionists will get their due and all the other Jews will suffer too. … ||

        I did say Zionists will get their due. I did not say “all the other Jews will suffer too”.

        || … So either way I am screwed. … ||

        Maybe, maybe not. But look at you go: You wasted no time chasing victimhood. Very impressive.

        || … However, you didn’t specify what the due is … ||

        That’s right, I didn’t specify it because – as I already indicated – I have no idea what it is.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 12:43 pm

        “You said…/…special tribunals?)

        A lung un leber oyf der noz, already. What happened to:

        As a former member of this cult”“ “catalan”

        What you worry? “catalan”, the worst that can happen in the US is a process we might call “a social reappraisal”. Nothing to it.

      • catalan
        December 13, 2017, 12:51 pm

        “But look at you go: You wasted no time chasing victimhood. ”
        Victimhood? I can’t stop laughing. I own a thriving business and have a terrific job with benefits. I live in one of the richest countries in the world, in a beautiful state. You are the one threatening “blowback” and “repercussions” and all that stuff. I am just so surprised that you worry about me so much. And you did say that when the “blowback” comes, both Zionist and non-Zionist Jews will be affected. Either way, no victimhood here. But for the record – I am not a Zionist. I think that all these movements and ideologies are, for lack of a better word, crap. Or a scam. Ultimately, each of us is on our own.

      • eljay
        December 13, 2017, 1:56 pm

        || catalan: … Victimhood? I can’t stop laughing. I own a thriving business and have a terrific job with benefits. I live in one of the richest countries in the world, in a beautiful state. … ||

        And yet you wrote “So either way I am screwed.” Maybe you haven’t dodged senility (that might explain the uncontrollable laughter), or maybe you just wanted to make it all about you…again.

        || … I am just so surprised that you worry about me so much. … ||

        I’m not worried about you at all. Man, you sure do have a hell of an ego.

        || … But for the record – I am not a Zionist. … ||

        If you say so…and you already have.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 13, 2017, 2:25 pm

        catalan:

        ” I can’t stop laughing. I own a thriving business and have a terrific job with benefits. I live in one of the richest countries in the world, in a beautiful state..”

        You keep writing stuff like this, but you still often sound very negative. Shouldn’t you be happy and thankfull??

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 2:38 pm

        It never fails. From allrightnik

        I own a thriving business and have a terrific job with benefits.”

        to Alt-rightnik:

        “Ultimately, each of us is on our own.”

        Now we know what makes “catalan” run. But is he comfortable?

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 5:22 pm

        ” But for the record – I am not a Zionist”

        Glad you followed my advice to check up on the US-Israel extradition agreements.

  6. catalan
    December 13, 2017, 4:53 pm

    “you keep writing stuff like this, but you still often sound very negative. Shouldn’t you be happy and thankful??” kaisa
    I am thankful, but not sure I am “happy”. The more money I have, the poorer I feel. The more knowledge I acquire, the more ignorant I feel. At best, I probably have about forty more years (and that’s very optimistic). Yet, the knowledge I want to acquire, and the money I want to earn will probably take four hundred years. That makes me sad, that I will probably die ignorant. Also, just the mass delusion of humankind makes me sad.
    Mooser said if I am comfortable, but no, I am not. Cows are comfortable. Tigers are not comfortable. Neither are gazelles, the ones that live anyway. I don’t want to be a cow.

    • Mooser
      December 14, 2017, 12:53 am

      “Mooser said if I am comfortable, but no, I am not.”

      Comfortable? Feh, you make a living.

      .” I don’t want to be a cow.”

      “catalan”, you are pretty much a bum steer.

  7. inbound39
    December 15, 2017, 1:12 am

    I agree BDS needs to up the pressure on Israel and today I listened to a couple of Upfront interviews on Al Jazeera where the Quartet was mentioned. Personally I feel it needs expanding to a Quintet comprising of UK, France,Russia, China and US. This composition would balance out and likely nullify US bias toward Israel. If it sticks to UN Resolutions it is solvable. And heavy sanctions on Israel if it balks or rejects the outcome just like South Africa got.Israel needs to be held to its compliance and abidance to international Law and its initial agreement to 181.

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