DR FIROZ OSMAN
On the last Friday of Ramadan millions throughout the world rise in solidarity with Palestine in commemoration of Quds Day.
Given the brutality of the Zionist regime as it repeatedly storms Al Aqsa and unleashes violence on Muslim worshippers, this year’s Quds Day events, on April 14, are expected to focus on the need to defend Al Aqsa for this sacred masjid is at the heart of Palestinian resistance.
It is essential to deconstruct this cancerous regime called Israel if we are to end the assault on the Palestinians.
The fundamental ideology underpinning Israel is Zionism that was spawned in Europe over a hundred years ago. This ideology is totally different from Judaism.
Zionism is committed to establish in the country of Palestine an exclusive Jewish supremacist state that guarantees a demographic majority of ethnic Jews in Palestine, with the mass expulsion of the Palestinian people from their land.
Israel was created through the rib of terrorism. It has murdered and massacred women and children, demolished and destroyed homes, raped and razed the olive groves, pillaged and plundered resources, ethnically cleansed and expelled Palestinians, all under the pretext of fraudulent and mythical rights to a land of a people living there for thousands of years.
In this month of Ramadan, as has happened before, we have witnessed heroic resistance by unarmed, valiant men, women and youth against the Zionist occupiers.
We have seen Israeli criminal soldiers running across al Aqsa breaking a woman’s arm for going to pray there; firing bone-shattering bullets; pushing and kicking a man on crutches until he falls; beating up a father in front of his son at the mosque; and the abuse and dishonouring of our sisters and mothers.
And we have seen the body of a woman of six children, a widow, who was almost blind, shot dead in cold blood. And they killed a qualified medical doctor who had just returned from Romania. He was protecting a woman who was being beaten up by Israeli soldiers in the Al Aqsa precinct. They pumped him with 20 bullets.
His mother said, as she held his body with tears running down her cheeks, that they waited for seven years for him to get his medical degree. ‘He now has a better degree from Allah (SWT) – a degree of martyrdom and a road to Jannah!
Palestinians have clearly demonstrated that they refuse to accept their enslavement, and choose to resist with incredible courage. They will rather die standing on their feet, resisting the oppressors with honour, than to remain on enslaved on their knees for the rest of their lives.
It requires faith, discipline and fearlessness in our quest for justice and to vanquish the enemy. To compromise on a principle leads to injustice.
Until the emergence of Islamic Jihad and Hamas in 1987, the resistance movements under the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Fatah, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and others against Zionist oppression, were mainly secular. These factions were also rivals belonging to various ideologies and manipulated by the different secular Arab countries.
Just last year a resistance movement known as the Lions’ Den (Areen al-Usud) emerged in the Occupied West Bank in Nablus and al Quds. Their young fighters have gained hero-like status across Palestine.
As expected, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been active in attempts to suppress the resistance. Palestinian and Arab media spoke about generous PA offers of jobs and money for Lions’ Den fighters should they agree to put their weapons down. The PA often lures resistance fighters with a salaries of $6 000 or more, houses and cars.
The Lions’ Den, however, seems to have increased in number, and has already branched out to Jenin, Al-Khalil (Hebron), Balata and elsewhere. For Israel and the PA, the Lions’ Den is an unprecedented problem, the consequences of which threaten to change the political dynamics in the occupied West Bank completely.
The Lions’ Den insignia now appears in every Palestinian neighbourhood throughout the Occupied Territories to become a collective Palestinian experience.
The Zionist Project had a long-term objective of building a greater Israel. Weakening the surrounding Arab countries was an essential step to achieving this objective. Thus, the dismantling of Iraq, incursions into Syria and Lebanon, annihilation of the Palestinian resistance, preparing to attack Iran, Somalia and Syria, then eventually Saudi Arabia and Sudan, all aid that objective of building Eretz Israel.
For us to accept the very concept of the state of Israel means condoning the ethnic cleansing and genocide that Zionist militias and terrorist gangs conducted to drive out Palestinians from their homes and land.
It means condoning the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which began in 1948, and its inexorable colonisation and expansion with ongoing destruction, massacres, bombs and bullets, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
There can never be a state of Israel on the land of Palestine!
Many Muslim countries have abandoned the Palestinians. Some Arab regimes, including Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority who continues his ‘security cooperation’ with the Zionist entity against his own people, are in bed with the usurpers of the land.
‘The old will die and the young will forget’ is a statement attributed to David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, expressing the hope that future generations of Palestinians would eventually relinquish their claims to historical Palestine. He must be turning in his hell-hole.
Not only has the Palestinian youth not forgotten their homes in occupied Palestine, holding up their clenched fists and stones in protests, but have also displayed incredible bravery in resolutely facing Israel’s ruthless military machine. This forecasts Israel’s impending doom.
The Resistance (muqawima) has now dramatically shifted the paradigm of the region. The Quran is held aloft. It is not only stones and knives that Palestinians defend themselves with, but automatic weapons and rockets. The rallying cry of Allah Akbar resonates in the alleys and walls of masjid al Aqsa.
Palestinian resistance has shown the vulnerability of the Israel Occupation/ Defence Force (IDF), shaking the foundation of the Zionist entity.
Israel has suffered a series of military failures and defeats, including the humiliating loss in Lebanon to Hizbullah in 2006. Israel’s failure to subjugate the much smaller Hamas and Islamic Jihad resistance movements in Gaza in 2008/9, 2012, 2014 and 2021 has demoralised the Israelis.
Military analysts opine that if a guerrilla army survives an attack from a state, then it is victorious; and a conventional army that fails to eradicate a resistance movement has suffered defeat.
Committed Muslims know that it is not only sophisticated weapons that determine the outcomes of wars but also the strength of the combatants’ convictions and their willingness to fight until martyrdom or victory.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah, and the Lions’ Den, al Aqsa Brigades and other Palestinian resistance movements in Jenin and other parts of the West Bank and movements in Yemen and Iraq, have united and become stronger despite the prolonged siege by Israel and the betrayal by most Arab regimes. The Palestinians have broken the fear barrier!
The most important and revered institution in Israel is the army. Crack the army’s confidence, and the edifice of Israel crumbles.
Israel is now faced with a situation where thousands of young Jewish men and women choose not to take part in the Israeli army. In fact, only about half of the eligible citizens enlist and many more leave during their service.
The Palestinian population has already been a majority in the land between the river and the sea for a number of years, outstripping the number of Jewish colonists who live in the country.
The level of fear in the Israeli public has risen dramatically. Not only has the intifada taken a heavy toll on the Israeli economy, but also it has shown that despite Israel’s superior military technology, it cannot defeat the Resistance and cannot achieve its strategic objectives.
A new generation of Palestinians have crossed the fear barrier to emerge, stronger than ever, to confront Israel’s injustices and inhumane occupation. And when people are unafraid, they can never be subdued or defeated. This is terrifying the Zionist oppressors.
The tide has turned indeed!
Only when we hear the cry of the Palestinians, bi ruh, bi dam, nafdika ya Aqsa (with our souls and our blood, we will defend you Aqsa) being voiced on every platform, every mimbar, every protest, sincerely and fearlessly, will we realise the liberation of al Aqsa, of Muslims and the oppressed.
Dr Firoz Osman is an Executive Member of the Media Review Network, an advocacy group based in Johannesburg. He is the co-author of Why Israel? Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid – A South African perspective.
Cape Town: Quds Day – International Day of the Oppressed
This article was updated at 16h50 on Wednesday, April 12, to include details of the Durban protest.
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