[News] Palestinian Popular Resistance Must Be Free of PA Impositions

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 23 11:56:38 EDT 2018


  Palestinian Popular Resistance Must Be Free of PA Impositions

August 23,2018

*By Ramona Wadi*

With the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar still targeted by Israel for 
demolition, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has availed 
himself of the opportunity to call for mobilization in the form of 
popular resistance. This, he maintains, is “the only means of struggle 
towards independence and statehood”, to the exclusion of all other forms 
of anti-colonial struggle. Khan al-Ahmar’s context, however, was 
necessary for Abbas to make his argument.

In other remarks during the 29thmeeting of the Palestinian Central 
Council, he reiterated his authoritarian plans for Gaza and for 
reconciliation to happen on terms that have been imposed by the 
international community upon the Palestinians. If popular resistance is 
implemented according to Abbas’s directives, it will undoubtedly be a 
limited endeavor, fraught with restrictions and transformed into another 
tool for the PA to allow Israel to complete its colonization of the 
whole of Palestine.

Just as Abbas wishes to eliminate all other possibilities of the 
Palestinian leadership, “popular resistance” in PA rhetoric means 
abandoning all other legitimate forms of resistance for one that is 
easier to control in terms of conforming to the authority’s demands. 
Furthermore, endorsement of popular resistance by the PA is being used 
to project purported differences between Gaza and the occupied West 
Bank, despite the fact that Palestinians in Gaza are the embodiment of 
popular resistance as part of the collective struggle for freedom from 
Israel’s occupation.

The PA has often called for popular resistance, only to distance itself 
from the outcome on many occasions while letting Palestinians become 
fodder for Israeli jails. It is clear, therefore, that the Ramallah 
authority utilizes popular resistance to embellish its rhetoric. When 
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank protest against Abbas’s punitive 
measures imposed on the people in Gaza, for example, the PA’s security 
services never hesitate to target peaceful demonstrators with excessive 
violence. A recent protest at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah saw PA 
security officers tearing down the placards of activists asking Abbas to 
lift his sanctions on Gaza.

The PA is trying hard to monopolize Palestinian popular resistance 
through differentiation. If popular resistance is restricted to 
occasional demonstrations against Israeli violations, or if it is 
necessary to promote any PA diplomatic stunts abroad, Abbas and his 
aides do not hesitate to endorse it. If, however, Palestinians utilize 
popular resistance to protest against PA violations, there are no qualms 
about using violence to disperse protestors. Hence, it is clear that in 
the PA’s vision of popular resistance, it is the same individuals who 
determine what popular protest is and how it should be utilized. The 
result is that such protest becomes yet another form of PA control over 
Palestinian resilience and resistance to Israel’s military occupation.

Popular resistance requires no endorsements or exhortations from Abbas. 
The Palestinian concept of liberation is not derived from PA “sacred 
security cooperation” with Israel and the international community. If 
the PA thinks it can manipulate the concept of popular resistance to be 
attributed to their leaders, their political delusion is even greater 
than it seems. This is especially so given that there is no denying that 
the Palestinians have decided to implement popular resistance as part of 
the struggle against all forms of oppression, including the PA’s own 
collaboration with Israel.

/– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this 
article was originally published 
She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com./

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