I am writing this piece after returning from one of the marches today at the Eastern fence of the Gaza concentration camp where six young men have been brutally shot dead and more than 112 injured by Israeli snipers. Sources from the Palestinian Ministry of Health are telling me that the number is expected to rise.
Zionism originated as a racist colonial movement, with the agenda to ethnically cleanse the land of Palestine of its indigenous population, in order to set up an exclusively Jewish State at the expense of the Palestinian people. History has proven that if unchecked, this agenda also allows Zionism to pose a dangerous threat beyond Palestine’s borders to the rest of the Arab world. The Zionist terror against us includes the continuation of ethnic cleansing and racism in the land of Palestine, sentencing surviving Palestinians to a life in exile in different parts of the world.
Our present focus on a constructive program for Palestinian liberation is based first and foremost on our insistence on the right of return to our national homeland, primarily as a natural right, and secondly as a right enforced by international law. For this reason, it is not surprising that Palestinian nationalism is being carried on the shoulders of the sons of the refugee camps, those who have taught themselves through their experience of the reality of being refugees, that they must insist upon recognising and rejecting this reality. They are the sons and daughters of those who will return, not those who are refugees.
Therefore, it is not surprising that our fellow Palestinians who remained within the 1948 borders, have lifted up their banners to insist that they are there to stay, clinging to the right of return. Nothing can obstruct this vision of a people determined on life, despite the short sightedness of the USA and complicit EU.
The demand for the right of return has been and will always be the focal point of Palestinian self-determination, with the wishes of the whole of the Palestinian people, having justice and democracy on their side in facing Zionism, as a purely exclusivist ideology. We must ask uncomfortable questions; how did things become so distorted, in this historical confrontation faced by the Palestinian people? In the South African context, the equation was clear. It is mind-boggling! In fact, it is so absurd that we continue to be burdened by this kind of questions about ourselves.
We see that the answer lies within the Palestinian concessions, which reached their culmination in the 1993 Oslo Accords. The Oslo Declaration showed the capitulation of the essence of freedom and self-determination for Palestinian liberation, and allowed the page of ‘terrorism’ to be attached in fabrication. The negotiation for the right of return was merged into a discussion of the institutions of self-government, which would be called a ‘state’. This complicity involved the deception of a ‘two state solution’ as a cover to settle the issue of Palestinian nationalism and the rights of the Palestinian people.
All this indicates that there is a need to absolutely refuse the fate drawn for us by the Israeli and American right-wing governments. There is also an urgent need to work politically to offer an alternative to this reality, instead of searching for alternatives which not only have proved to be delusional, but threaten our very existence.
The final judgment is approaching. Either exist, or be wiped out from history. Therefore, it is the moment of truth, either be steadfast during this certainly delusional settlement, the settlement of a state, a Bantustan, with partial authority over the Palestinian people, or the delusion of a settlement under Israeli citizenship, regardless of the right of return. We, marchers at the Eastern fence of the Gaza Ghetto beg to differ! We want the full menu of rights, or nothing!