Tuesday, January 6, 2009

FPA Statement 11 on the Massacre in Gaza

Gaza's Future in the Context of its Heroic History

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As we prepare this eleventh FPA statement, the devastating images of murdered children and entire families are piercing the hearts of every person with conscience. Today, at least 42 Palestinians were murdered together and 45 were injured as they were collectively shelled in the UNRWA school of Al-Fakhoura in the dense refugee camp of Jabalya. Hundreds had taken refuge together from the fascistic Zionist bombardment in that UN-run school. The numbers of killed and injured are sure to rise as more dismembered bodies are removed from under the destroyed school.

And to the satisfaction of Bush, Arab despots, and of course, Zionist leaders, yet another entire family was slaughtered outright today. The father, mother, children and grandchildren, a total of 13, were murdered wholesale as they too were huddled in their home. They join many other families killed in the past few days in this sadistic spree of Zionist murders. Lest there are doubts remaining, the butchery is live on television for the despots of the world to savor and for all others to be outraged in fury.

Today alone, at least 82 Palestinians were butchered, making the total thus far at least 660 murdered Palestinians and more than 2,950 injured. The majority are children and families seeking refuge. Images of Deir Yasin, Sabra and Shatila, and the fully erased 417 Palestinian villages and towns, race to the present day as we witness yet another display of colonial Zionist savagery.

The FPA continues to renew its call to sustain a widespread popular protest, and to heed a call for a National Emergency Plan of Action issued by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, MAS Freedom, the Free Palestine Alliance, the National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda. We call on our community to join the National March on Washington on January 10, as we have an obligation to send a loud and clear message of condemnation and outrage to the Bush administration and to the incoming silent president, Barak Obama, who has arrived to Washington awaiting his inauguration.

For details and to find out about a protest near you, please go here.
For all previous FPA statements, go here.
To know more about the FPA, go here.

As the Egyptian regime continues to hamper any humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, and as Arab despots, western powers, and the US continue to wrestle in the UN and everywhere with a more palatable way to allow the massacre while saving some face, it is critical for all of us to take a step back and review the political possibilities of the near and long term future.

Here is the setting of Gaza: The Gaza Strip is disjointed from the West Bank, bordered to the west by the Mediterranean Sea, from the north, south and east by Palestinian areas colonized by Zionists in 1948. It has only one connection away from Israel's control; it is the Rafah Egyptian connection at the very tip of Palestine to the south. That means Gaza is locked within the 360 square kilometers. The Gaza Strip has a population of 1.5 millions. The majority are refugees. Al-Qita' (or the Strip) is impoverished, with little access to significant industry, agriculture, and commercial centers. With the imposition of the blockade, Al-Qita' quickly transformed to a tinder box.

Given the wretched poverty and dispossession of the area, the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip have displayed heroic abilities to organize, rebel, and forge a change. In fact, when the Zionist army conquered the remaining portions of Palestine in 1967, it especially targeted the various Gaza refugee camps for displacement. This displacement included the complete destruction of thousands of homes and the transport of families to various areas with the goal of securing a "governable" and "controllable" Gaza. Those were the days of a protracted and entrenched leftist rebellions lead by the likes of Guevara Gaza in Jabalya, Beach Camp, and other Gaza areas. You can look forward to details on some of these events in upcoming FPA statements.

At that time, the Zionist forces sought to create an alternative to the resistance by propping up Palestinian oligarchy and allies of the Hashemite regime to act as functionaries. Aided by Arab regimes and Zionists, these functionaries attempted to build a power structure that could control the daily lives of the Palestinians, from travel documents to becoming day laborers at Israeli factories. It was not long after that the dawn of every morning would witness thousands of young and old Palestinians forced by poverty to be lined up as cheap wage labor to build the very Israeli economy used for their suppression. This was primarily enabled by the oppressive structure created by imposed functionaries.

The fact that leftist and Pan-Arab (Qawmi) culture of resistance evolved strongly in the Gaza Strip was not accidental either. During the period between 1948 and 1967, when the West Bank was controlled by the Hashemite Monarch, the Gaza Strip was administered by Egypt. Lead by the incomparable Gamal Abdel-Nasser, the Egyptian administration facilitated the development of a powerful Pan-Arab Palestinian culture, despite periodic political disagreements with various Palestinian political forces. Pan-Arabism and a strong feeling of pride in being Palestinian Arabs prevailed from elementary school children to the older generation. This developed into a unique awareness of the meaning of resistance and evolved to produce one of the most glorious periods of the Palestinian movement during the Gaza guerilla warfare of the late 60s to mid 70s.

It was in Jabalya Camp that the Intifada of 1987 erupted. And it is in the Gaza Strip where Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, was born. Factors leading to the emergence of Hamas will be detailed by the FPA in future statements, but they are similar on the socio-economic front to the ones that produced the emergence of the left and Pan-Arabists earlier. They differ, however, in terms of the international, regional, and local balance of power. A summary is forthcoming in future statements.

With this significant political and socio-economic history, the Gaza Strip emerges as non-governable by any colonists, regardless of the level of suppression and violence imposed. Hence, the FPA believes that regardless of the outcome of this assault in terms of destruction and death, the only possible result in the long run is that Gaza will continue to be an anchor for Palestinian and Arab liberation. Here is why?

The socio-economic conditions that have produced the culture of resistance will likely remain, producing a more acute and developed form as a result of the viciousness of the recent assault. Hence, the possibility that Gaza will soon be sanitized from its soul is wishful thinking and will not happen, even if the combination of the various political forces are weakened, including Islamists, Pan-Arabists, and leftists.

Even if one assumes that the Zionists and their allies are able to enter the Gaza Strip, who then will implement administrative control? The conditions as they stand today render impossible the ability of Abbas to govern Gaza. The Israelis will never remain as they will sustain heavy casualty, and are likely to run. The Egyptian regime wants to stay as far from Gaza and the Palestinian movement as possible. Internationals would require a local administrative control. How then will Israel be able to administer a non-governable population that refuses to be colonized? The answer is simple. It can't. It is for that reason that we believe that no matter what occurs, the political end result will undoubtedly be in favor of the Palestinian people and their option of resistance.

However, this condition will likely have a more dire implication for the US-Zionist-Arab regime axis. It will further weaken their grip on the region, especially with the recent Israeli defeat in Lebanon in 2006, and the inability of the US to sustain an occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Palestinian functionaries will have to reconsider their roles and positions, as they have already, and the likes of Dahlan will be dealt a blow. In fact, this assault has placed the PA in a position where it could no longer behave as it once did.

Essentially, as the violence of the colonists escalates, causing that much more suffering for the colonized, the political formulation of those in power will be taken to its ebb. Often, as has been the case throughout history, the colonists will eventually be forced to accept defeat and the will of the people for freedom and liberation will prevail. Such will be the case in the Gaza Strip despite all the suffering of today.

The Struggle Continues.

The Free Palestine Alliance
January 6, 2009

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