Mondoweiss / October 9, 2023
Palestinians cannot rely on the international community, we need civil society to act. The way forward for our struggle is resistance on the ground supported by international solidarity through Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.
As apartheid began its onslaught on Gaza, stories of atrocities are emerging that confirm the inhuman barbarism of the attack so far. More than 40 percent of those who have been killed are children and women. The figures I have here, which are tentative from the Ministry of Health, say that the number of dead as of now is 436, including 91 children and more than 2,250 wounded. And that isn’t to say that the rest of the dead are freedom fighters or members of the militant organizations. They are ordinary men, young and old.
But the warnings and the messages Netanyahu and the rest of the fascist gang have been sending are clear. “Gazans should leave NOW!” said an insane Netanyahu on the first day of the attack, having received the green light from “sleepy Joe” who decided to wake up that day only in order to reiterate his total support for Israel’s “right” to get revenge of 2.4 million residents of besieged Gaza. Now, as I am writing this piece, they are targeting apartments and towers. They’re wiping out entire families. 8 families, with 54 members, have so far been wiped out, the last of which is the Abu Helals from Rafah. Bodies of 14 members of the same family are still under the rubble.
So, the message is very clear for us. It’s civilians that they’re after because they can’t face our fighters. It was the same thing in 2021, 2014, 2021, and 2009. That is why we cannot count on the international community any longer. The UN Security Council and the international community in general reflect the balance of power, and that balance of power is still in favor of the U.S. and Israel. And reactionary Arab regimes are busy normalizing with apartheid Israel at the expense of Palestinian basic rights.
American imperialism cannot be separated from Israel and Zionism. The war conducted against us now is part and parcel of the American plans for the Middle East, one with “normal” ties between the Arabs and apartheid Israel. Palestinians have to accept their status as “house slaves” who should accept the bread crumbs thrown to them by the generous white masters of fascist Israel.
It is time for civil society organizations to translate their words of support into action. Because of the imbalance of power between Palestinians and Israel, we think that is the only way forward. The way forward for us and for our struggle is resistance on the ground supported by international solidarity through Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. We need an international intervention–and that international intervention cannot come from official bodies.
This is exactly what happened after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, when 69 Blacks were killed by the white racist regime of apartheid South Africa. This massacre gave rise to the BDS campaign against apartheid South Africa, which ultimately led to the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 and his election as the first Black president of multicultural, multiracial, secular, democratic South Africa as we know it now.
Gaza could be the spark that could initiate a different “new Middle East” than what the United States, Israel, and reactionary Arab regimes are planning for us.
Gaza could be the spark that could initiate a different “new Middle East” than what the United States, Israel, and reactionary Arab regimes are planning for us. Not a “new Middle East” characterized by American and Israeli hegemony. What we are witnessing now is the birth pangs of a new Palestine characterized by the beginning of the end of Zionist hegemony.
In order to reach that stage, we need all freedom-loving people to support the call that civil society organizations of Palestine issued in 2005, asking people internationally to support them by boycotting, divesting, and imposing sanctions on Israel. This is an ethical responsibility of every single person who believes in freedom for all. It is their responsibility to make sure that the horror inflicted on Gaza never happens again.
It happened previously in the Second World War to the Jewish people. It happened to Black Africans in South Africa, and freedom-loving people said “Never Again.” But we are allowing it now in Palestine.
BDS is the responsibility not only of civil society organizations but of every single individual. This is what you can do.
This is why we say now that BDS is the responsibility not only of civil society organizations but of every single individual. This is what you can do. You can boycott Israeli goods, sports, and cultural products. You can ask your representative to demand sanctions. And only then will Israel start to reconsider what it has been doing to the Palestinians of Gaza.
Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza’s al-Aqsa University