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About the Peaceful Popular Resistance
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
August 16, 2017

The peaceful popular resistance is an integrated struggling strategy, which one of its requirements is to stop the security coordination, boycott the Israeli economy and internationalize the national cause and rights.

The ramifications of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Intifadas, and the victory which has been achieved by the Palestinian popular will, have provoked some people to make a debate, which is partially fabricated, to compare between the two methods of struggle: "the peaceful popular resistance" and "the armed resistance". It was clear that the purpose of this debate, is to underestimate things, to reach to a conclusion that does not only call for the adoption of first method, as a permanent and unchanging strategy, but also condemns the armed resistance and calls for its rejection, on the grounds that it proved its failure, in return for the outstanding success which was achieved by the popular steadfastness in the uprising of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa.

In this context, it is clear that pushing the debate to the fabricated result was only to confirm the effectiveness of strategy that President Abbas had called for, including the forced linkage between the "peaceful popular resistance" as a permanent, stable and strategic option, and between the joining of negotiating process, under the US patronage as a single strategy to reach to a solution with the Israeli side.

Therefore, we believe that this conclusion, which tries to link between the resistance of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and the negotiating strategy of official leadership, is full of fraud, also there is a great deal of humiliation against the heroes and martyrs of uprising, and against of those who suffered in the street till they achieved the victory.

In addition, in this conclusion there is an attempt to distort the concept of "peaceful popular resistance" and to simplify it to the maximum, and a try to create an artificial contradiction between the various methods of struggle, that are considered as rights for the Palestinian people, by the Charter of Human Rights, the principles of international law, and the resolutions of the international legitimacy. It is also an attempt to falsify the rich history of struggle of Palestinian people, to falsify the current political reality and to justify the policy of making concessions on the pretext of peaceful struggle.

The starting point assumes that all methods of struggle are legitimate and that the Palestinian people has the right to resort to them. It also assumes that this diversity of methods, is not subjected to the mood of individuals, and is not subjected to random review and selection, but it is subjected to political strategies and tactics dictated by the circumstances, facts, necessities of struggle and the wise leadership, including the popular national sense, which often outperform the wisdom of leadership, that can draw up the necessary fighting options and its methods to serve the national interest and the struggle of Palestinian people for its legitimate national rights.

Therefore, there is no conflict at all between the peaceful resistance and other forms of struggle, including the armed action against the Israeli occupation soldiers and gangs of settlers. The imbalance occurs when some try to dedicate the first formula as a permanent formula, and vice versa, including that almost fading tone that "sanctifies" the armed action, and despises the other methods.

But in the same context, we assume that the call for peaceful popular resistance has its public and political requirements, whether at the popular movement level or at the level of official leadership and Palestinian Authority. In short, there are necessary requirements to turn the "peaceful popular resistance" into a struggling strategy, and not just an alternative call for armed action.

If the required is to mobilize the street exactly as resistance (which we believe that it is sufficiently mobilized), at the same time, it is necessary to instill confidence in the street, that its struggles, sacrifices and resistance to the occupation forces and settlement projects will not be wasted. Also, they will not be wasted on the futile negotiations table, which serves only the project of occupation and its objectives in laying its roots deeper, and expanding its settlement projects. Therefore, we believe that closing this page of futile negotiations is a first and fundamental condition for the peaceful resistance to be established and not to be wasted on the table of concessions.

Many are hesitant to go down to the street, for their realization that their attitude in countering the occupation, is contrary with the political direction of Palestinian negotiator, and because the negotiations will not achieve the goal of going down to the street. Therefore, the question of certainty of the usefulness of the policy which is adopted by the official leadership, occupies a central position in this area.

We also assume that one of the conditions for peaceful popular resistance to move forward, is that the security cooperation between the PA and occupation to be ceased. As when the Palestinian street is told that the security coordination is sacred, this means the commitment of PA to ensure the security and protection of the occupation and settlers. As long as the security cooperation, as it is known, is targeting the Palestinian activists, this means that it is the PA itself, as a substitute for occupation, which aborts the popular disobedience, impedes its establishment and confronts it.

Perhaps the statements of leaders of the security services in the PA, headed by Majid Faraj, the head of PA's intelligence service, which meets with the praises of occupation officers for its role and sincere cooperation with the occupation, are all clear signs that reveal the contradiction and fabrication in the positions of PA and its policy.

On the one hand, it calls for a popular resistance against the occupation; at the same time it colludes with the occupation authorities to weaken the popular movement, by its failed negotiating strategy, and its sanctification for the security cooperation with the occupation. Every citizen has the right to ask: How can the struggle in the street withstand against occupation and settlement while the officers of PA are sitting with the occupation officers in one operating room and within the framework of a single security plan whose purpose is to secure the security interests of occupation and settlers?

At the same time, how can the call for peaceful popular resistance, aimed at expelling the occupation and the settlement succeed, while the PA is establishing an economy that is dependent on the Israeli economy, to the extent of integration? At the same time, bureaucratic groups and business owners are making gains and profits from this dependency. How can the call for the street to sacrifice in the face of occupation and settlement affect while there are groups of Palestinian society are that have economic interests that serve the interests of occupation and its economy?

Thus, the resistance whether it is peaceful, or not, it supposed to be comprehensive, at the street and in the field, against the occupation and settlement, and in politics by folding the page of negotiations and by following a national policy based on stopping the security cooperation, boycotting the Israeli economy, internationalizing the national cause and demanding the international protection for the people and land and delegitimizing the occupation, as well as, supporting the movement of boycotting Israel everywhere, and heading to the international forums, including the International Criminal Court, to prosecute Israeli war criminals, and the Security Council for getting the active membership in the United Nations for the Palestinian state.

The first intifada was undoubtedly a peaceful popular resistance whose weapon was the stone, and gained the international public opinion, and it progressed on the road to independence, including the Declaration of Independence in the Nineteenth National council, as the irreversible goal of uprising.

Nevertheless, the official leadership has turned over on this uprising, and it bargained it with the Oslo Accords, which are still forming a burden on the Palestinian people, in addition to the occupation and settlement, which also form an obstacle before achieving independence and opening the horizon for the return of refugees.

In the Central Council (5/3/2015) it was decided to provide the political conditions for launching a comprehensive popular resistance, including the cessation of security coordination, the boycott of Israeli economy and the internationalization of the Palestinian national cause and rights. However, the official leadership is the one which obstructs the provision of conditions for launching, sponsoring, and protecting the resistance, by its insisting on security cooperation and on depending on the Israeli economy and sticking to the option of negotiations with their inferior conditions and absurd mechanisms.

They talk about the peaceful resistance, and the experience of people of India, headed by Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi had an integrated political strategy.

Gandhi did not have security and intelligence services that cooperate with the British occupation.

Gandhi did not have economic interests with the British occupation, but he called for a comprehensive boycott for this economy to harm Britain.

The distortion of the Palestinian experience and the falsification of its history must be stopped!

There is no need, at the same time, to distort and falsify Gandhi's history.

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Manal Mansour
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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