I Resist Palestine: a campaign like never beforeAs Operation Lead was closing early this year, a new organization rose based in Beirut. The intent was to instill pride in the Palestinian resistance. During the hostilities the emphasis had been on victimhood. Pictures of bleeding bodies stacked up at hospitals had an immediate effect on world public opinion. The impression was of an Israeli shooting gallery with Palestinians as ducks on a pond.
After they adjusted to the carnage, various UN aid workers began to speak of crimes against humanity and mass murder. The innocent civilians had nowhere to hide from the furious bombardment. Instead of defending them, the soldiers hid in tunnels. They claimed victory by virtue of surviving the onslaught.
This did not inspire public confidence. After years of posturing and boasting, the militias had retired to the bomb shelters after four days of combat while the women and children dodged bullets to collect food.
These practices were hardly the type to inspire confidence in the Hamas regime. They left it to outside sources to carry the attack to Israel. Outside legal experts took the Israeli authorities to the international courts. Since Gaza is not a country, the complaints had to pass through the Israeli courts that proved unsympathetic to the collection of hearsay and gossip that constituted most of the charges. Another legal weakness occurred when the Palestinians stretched the allegations to war crimes. Claims of genocide involve the intent of the perpetrator. If he failed to take all measures available to him to destroy the Gaza citizenry, what he did was not genocide.
The basic legal problem for Hamas is they initiated the hostilities. If they withdrew four days into the fight, they should have never started it. The aggressor had exposed his civilian population to severe damage without gaining anything for them. Hamas was the war criminal in this case.
What does the new outfit hope to accomplish Like Never Before?
Here is a video from them.
The video is well done and good advertising. For maximum universal effect I would change to "oppose" rather than "resist" whenever it appears. Everyone opposes atrocities, closed zones and travel by permit. High walls and checkpoints are not on anybody's wish list. Occupation and genocide are madness personified. Who wouldn't oppose these cruel measures?
Resistance implies action a big step beyond opposition. Much of that depends on the nature of the regime in power. An efficient regime will define acceptable boundaries for dissent. The choice is up to the dissenter. Shall I tiptoe along the boundary, or do I risk prison or worse by crossing the line? What do I gain from violence? What can I take from the regime through negotiation or stealth?
The vital message to the enemy is he can't achieve anything through violence. The Israelis learned this in 1967. Anybody who urges the Palestinians to resist actively does not have the Palestinian welfare at heart. What are they to do against the fourth military power in the world?
The Palestinians could have had their own country many years ago if they had abandoned their side bets. Only military victory could have returned them to their original homes in Israel or would have led to a one-state solution. Nobody can give anybody their human rights. They are a matter between the people and their elected representatives.
President Obama has asked the Palestinians to disarm and to live side-by-side with the Israelis in peace. This is the best deal anybody in the region is likely to get.