With the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza, Palestine, one lesson is extremely clear: Palestinian resistance lives, Palestinian resistance thrives, Palestinian resistance unites, and Palestinian resistance wins. The resistance, in all of its varied and creative forms, is deeply rooted in the Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine, a legitimate resistance fighting colonialism, occupation, settler colonialism: Zionist racism, backed by the full weight of U.S. imperialism and its allies in Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. The Palestinian resistance, with the armed struggle at its heart, is not only the core of the Palestinian liberation movement, but the front line of the defense of humanity against imperialism and colonial domination.
While the Israeli war machine, armed and funded by the United States and the arms sales of Europe, Canada and elsewhere, was humiliated by the Palestinian resistance, the ceasefire does not end the ongoing Nakba of the Palestinian people, the project of Zionist settler colonialism for more than 73 years. Palestinians are continuing to resist land confiscation, home demolitions, siege, mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings, the denial of the right to return: the entire colonial project in Palestine, on the road to return and liberation, from the river to the sea. At this moment, it is more critical than ever to support Palestinian steadfastness, resistance and revolutionary struggle with global solidarity and action.
The Palestinian resistance in Gaza entered this battle, demonstrating clearly the unity of the Palestinian people and their resistance, whether in Haifa, in Jerusalem, in Ramallah or in Gaza. The heroic struggle of Palestinians in Jerusalem to defend their homes and land, especially in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, and the defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque, from rampaging hordes of colonial settler gangs backed by Israeli military and police force, mobilized the Palestinian people as a whole, inside and outside Palestine.
The strength of the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine ’48, retaining their identity, their cause and their vision of liberation, driving out the occupation forces from their communities, defending their people from fascist bands marauding alongside colonial police, underlined that fundamental unity. In the West Bank, villages, cities and refugee camps rose up to demand collective liberation for Palestine.
And everywhere in the world, from the refugee camps surrounding Palestine, throughout the Arab region, and globally, millions have already filled the streets in support of the Palestinian people and their resistance.
The ceasefire does not bring this struggle to a conclusion. On the contrary, this moment heralds a new phase of struggle in which even greater engagement and organizing is perhaps more critical than ever, as the Palestinian resistance has changed the rules of engagement. The vision to guide that organizing is clear: return and liberation, justice for all of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
The Israeli war machine has not hesitated to carry out massacres against the Palestinian people. In the past 11 days, at least 259 Palestinians’ and Arabs’ lives have been taken, particularly those of civilians, including 65 children and, indeed, entire families, in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, occupied Palestine ’48 and on the borders with Lebanon. In Gaza, banks, media buildings, chemical and plastics factories, public buildings, streets and fundamental civilian infrastructure were subjected to systematic aerial bombings in which entire families were targeted alongside the Palestinian economy. At this moment, it is critical to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Gaza, first and foremost, by breaking the siege on Gaza permanently.
Every one of those martyrs’ lives is a precious story cut short by the violence of colonialism. Every martyr had a name, a life, a family, a job, dreams and visions of the future and memories of the past, all stolen by Israeli bombs and missiles, many of them paid for by U.S. taxpayers. So far in this uprising throughout Palestine, hundreds upon hundreds of Palestinians have been detained by Israeli occupation forces, alongside 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners, the imprisoned leadership of the Palestinian revolution.
There are urgent tasks for the solidarity movement today: first and foremost, to keep up, escalate and build the struggle, make our organizing stronger and deeper, and build greater connections of solidarity with liberation movements around the world.
Our vision for solidarity must center and support Palestinian resistance by all means, including armed struggle alongside cultural resistance, political organizing, mass struggle, strikes, boycotts and popular action. The right for Palestinians to defend themselves and liberate themselves from colonialism, occupation and apartheid is fundamental. Palestinian resistance is not “terrorist.” It is a fundamental right. This means that we must fight to put an end to the “terror” designations criminalizing Palestinian resistance and liberation movements. The greatest strength of our solidarity is to provide support and space for the Palestinian resistance to thrive and achieve victory, by cutting off the flow of arms, money and political support to the Zionist colonial project.
This also means building the boycott movement, isolating Israel on an international level and pushing international governments and the United Nations to impose meaningful sanctions on Israel, from an arms embargo to cutting off the over $3.8 billion in U.S. aid Israel receives every year, to putting an end to the favorable trade deals in Canada, the European Union and elsewhere that reward the exploitation of indigenous Palestinian land and labor. Every person can play a role in boycotting Israel and the corporations that profit from death, destruction and colonialism in occupied Palestine, on an individual level and even more powerfully on a collective level. The boycott extends beyond a consumer campaign to academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions.
It is also clear more than ever that the Palestinian resistance has effectively put an end to the U.S-sponsored “normalization” projects trumpeted by complicit Arab regimes. From Yemen to Algeria, Tunis to Baghdad, Nouakchott through Rabat, the Arab masses have taken to the streets with Palestine. The Palestinian resistance and ongoing uprising throughout occupied Palestine has also indicated the failure of imperialism to crush resistance, self-determination and liberation struggle throughout the region, despite sanctions, invasions and devastating wars. Palestine has redirected the compass of the region towards confrontation with Zionism, imperialism, and the reactionary forces that enabled them, and inspires all around the world who struggle to bring imperialism to an end.
Imperialism has continued to function hand in hand with its strategic partner, Israel. This extends not only to the public declarations of support for Israeli war crimes by U.S. and European officials and the ongoing flow of money and weapons, but to the targeting and repression of Palestinians and Arabs in exile and diaspora.
In Copenhagen, Paris and Berlin, massive police brutality targeted demonstrations of thousands marching for Palestine. Protests in multiple European countries were banned, demonstrators beaten and organizers smeared in media and political campaigns aiming to criminalize Palestinian organizing. As Palestinians throughout Palestine celebrated the resistance in the early morning of 21 May, 20 Palestinian youth were attacked and detained by the New York police department for protesting for Palestine.
Throughout the years of the Madrid-Oslo path of the “peace process,” Palestinians in exile and diaspora were forcibly sidelined and excluded from official political leadership. Today, diaspora Palestinians are reclaiming their role, voice and power in the struggle for return and liberation.
Within the heart of empire, despite the violence and criminalization meted out to demonstrators by police, the massive turnouts in support of Palestine made clear that the mythology of Zionist settler colonialism is increasingly exposed, and that politicians looking for public support may find that unbridled support for Israel is no longer a path to political success. As movements for Black liberation, Indigenous sovereignty and anti-imperialist struggle grow, the Palestinian movement is building upon decades of joint struggle to put forward an alternative vision for the world.
The mythology of the “peace process,” of apartheid and colonialism as a “solution,” of the mirage of a Palestinian Authority under Israeli, U.S. and European domination lies exposed, discredited and lifeless. Instead, the Palestinian resistance is a national, Arab and international beacon of hope and life.
The Palestinian people, whether inside prison bars, in exile in the refugee camps, or fighting for freedom anywhere in Palestine, from the river to the sea, present a vision for the future that is clear: one Palestine, liberated, from the river to the sea. Free of Zionism, free of imperialism, free of settler colonialism. At this critical moment, it is time to act, organize, protest, build and resist together to make that vision a reality.
“We win together, and we win only together.” – Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, imprisoned Arab fighter for Palestine, from French jails after 36 years of imprisonment. Palestine lives, the intifada continues, the struggle intensifies and Palestine will win! Long live Palestinian resistance! Long live international solidarity!