The slaughter in Gaza brings in to sharp relief the painful contradictions of these last few years. On the one hand, the Arab revolution transformed the Arab world, and raised the hopes of millions that a new Middle East was possible. On the other, the old regimes for the most part are still in place, bloody new conflicts divide those who once joined hands and Israel, once again, is acting with murderous impunity against the Palestinians while the Arab world watches on.
There are two possible conclusions to be drawn.
One is that a Middle East free of class division, oppression, imperialism, Zionism and sectarianism is impossible. That is the conclusion that the Saudi and Egyptian and Syrian rulers, and ISIS as well, want us to draw. There is no hope, so pick one of us – it’s the best you are going to get.
The second possible conclusion is that the Arab revolution has not succeeded because it has not gone far enough.
It was not enough to bring down individual dictators – the whole system of class rule that they expressed had to be brought down. It was not enough to take to the streets or take to arms – the social power of the masses without whose weight the wheels that grind out the profits of the Arab billionaires would not turn needed to be decisively brought to bear.
It was not enough to rally against imperialist intrigue – the revolution needed to drive the imperialists and their myriad agents from every corner of Arab society. It was not enough to disorganise the old order – it was necessary to create the organisations which could be the vehicle for the new. It was not enough to declare “down with the old ideologies” – the revolution had to articulate its own vision of a new world, a new ideology that put meat on the bones of its great slogans: “democracy, freedom, social justice”.
There is of course, no easy answer as to how these simple notions can be given meaning in flesh and blood. But against despair, they are a start.
And whatever is to come, there are two things that are certain. One, the crisis of poverty and inequality and injustice that brought forth the Arab revolution has not been resolved and will not go away.
Two, however terrible the defeats suffered by revolutionaries across the Middle East these past years, the flame of resistance has not been extinguished. There is no greater example of that in this hour than the Palestinians, whose resistance from the streets of Gaza to the West Bank and the Arab towns of Israel is reviving belief in the intifada.
The historic bearers of Arab suffering, but also the historic spark of Arab resistance, were passed over during the Arab spring. Perhaps now, as reaction storms across the Arab world, the Palestinians can rise from the rubble and the devastation of Shujaia to give the Arab revolution new life.
48,000 PALESTINIANS IN RAMALLAH NOW MARCHING TO JERUSALEM!
The only flag waving is the Palestinian flag. Every party, every group, all of them raising only the Palestinian flag and chanting old Palestinian revolutionary songs.
We have not seen this big an action since the second intifada.
Gaza will never stand alone.
today’s news: capitalism marches on at the expense of many.
Israel became especially useful when the U.S. came under popular human rights pressure in the 1970s to stop supporting death squads and dictatorships in Latin America. The U.S. began to use Israel as a surrogate to continue its support. Chomsky documents how Israel established close relations with the neo-Nazi and military regimes of Argentina and Chile. Israel also supported genocidal attacks on the indigenous population of Guatemala, and sent arms to El Salvador and Honduras to support the contras."
The 48,000 march on Qalandia is a culmination of the efforts of all Palestinian parties and political groups in Ramallah and its neighboring villages.
We grouped up in front of the Am’ari refugee camp, and from the start it was obvious that this was massive. To be totally honest, we most likely did not reach 48,000 but it was massive.
The main goal of this march was an act of solidarity with Gaza, and to remind the occupation that we are one people. To remind the occupation soldiers that they will never be safe. We were supposed to break through the Qalandia checkpoint and march on Jerusalem. There is also a second point which makes the demonstrations tonight extra important.
I’m sure some of you are aware, that for us, tonight is Laylat Al Qadr, one of the holiest nights of the year for Muslims. It is also tradition that you should pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. So what did the only democracy in the middle east do? It closed down Al-Aqsa, and prevented most people from praying there.
There is usually around 500,000 worshipers in Al-Aqsa at Laylat Al Qadr, tonight, due to Israel, there is only 20,000.
The march itself was a sight to behold, you have people from every political group all walking together and chanting old Palestinian revolutionary songs. It was a point that nobody should bring any flags other than the Palestinian flag. There were so many, it was a sea of red, green, white and black. Everyone was swelling with pride as we poured towards Qalandia, around 6 KM away from where we began.
We ran into trouble very soon. I’m sure if any of you saw the Qalandia checkpoint, you’d know that it is a massive concrete fortress.
Before we even fully arrived at Qalandia, ambulances were already being heard. Israeli soldiers were shooting very very heavily in our direction. There was an abnormally high amount of hits in the waist and above. The first Martyr of the night, Mohammad al-Araj was shot in the head with live ammunition. They are shooting to kill and maim.
There are literally hundreds of injuries, a huge amount of them in critical condition. You will not believe the amount of ambulances buzzing by. You will not believe the amount of blood, the amount of gas, the amount of smoke. The Israelis were spraying bullets everywhere. There was nowhere for anybody to go.
We were unarmed. I repeat, nobody was armed. There was no threat at all to the soldiers. Unless having rocks thrown at their concrete towers and bunkers is what you’d consider “armed” resistance.
The clashes will continue unto dawn. Not only at Qalandia, brutal clashes have broken out everywhere. Especially Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus and Tulkarem. All of Palestine is rattling the chains of its shackles.
We are a people under military occupation. It’s our right, and our duty to resist. Gaza will never stand alone.