I watched with anticipation Dr. Ismail Haniyeh’s speech yesterday. The truth is that, with the intensity of events I did not focus much, I thought I will be also listening to a speech by Khaled Meshaal as well. And I expected that Mashaal’s speech would come from Qatar, given his stay there. While I was watching Haniyeh’s important speech, and I was praising his eloquency and his sophistication, I asked myself why did the speech come from Qatar?
Before starting, I want to stress that I have no problem with Qatar, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, or Bahrain. The scene of normalization and the preparations for the region, certainly including us, is painful. But for some time now, I no longer place my hope on leaders of Arab countries, nor do I, of course, put it on the Palestinian leadership. “The carpenter’s door is dislodged,” as the proverb says. We cannot blame the world, near or far, when we lack the parameters of politics and real support as a leader for our cause and our people.
On the other hand, it is impossible to ignore how much aid most of these countries provide to the Palestinian leadership so that the people can bear … even through drops of the aid the leadership receives.
Israel will destroy, and they will restore. But will they restore life to those who lost it? Will they bring back the memories that were destroyed in all this bombing? Will they bring a smile back to a child who has just been orphaned? A mother, a father who just bereaved his children?
We are witnessing with our own eyes how everything is compromised, how division is taking place by leaders in the name of a homeland and at the expense of our blood, our children, and our lives.
I did not know, and I am to blame here for my ignorance. Nevertheless, I sought an excuse for my ignorant soul, for things around are like pouring water from every direction; we hardly know its source. It seems that I did not follow much of the internal affairs of Hamas, and therefore I did not know that Dr. Ismail Haniyeh had not resided in Gaza for quite some time, and therefore he is a resident of Qatar. Some say that the position of director of the party’s political bureau necessitated his presence in Qatar.
The truth is, this matter does not concern me either, as he is free to live wherever he desires. However, while I watched all the recent political manouvres of Hamas with admiration (caution), every time they score a better target into the court of the Fatah political opponent. We cannot help but see matters in terms of the electoral race that did not take place, but is still in progress. Hamas strikes every time even better.
They know how to seize the right opportunities, how to stir collective sentiments, and how to turn the balance of power in their interest. This is art, cunning and sophistication for sure.
Here again, the matter exceeds what our eyes perceive from a daily life. Our struggle in facing Corona, spotting corruption, complaining of compliance. We observe events, and we analyze them, not further than ournoses.
I am still that citizen that does not differentiate between one party and another except by what it achieves for the people on the ground, or by what it robs from the citizen on the ground. But yet, I changed since the last elections – the loner- 15 years ago elections, as much as I have changed after the many wars in Gaza, and after observing the situation on the ground and seeing the suffering of the people. And just as Hamas changed into another ruling party that practices and applies methods of authority that do not differ from the other ruling party in the other part of the homeland. The bargains, the attempts of divisions, and alliances in the midst of the postponed electoral battle confirmed that the homeland has become for its rulers in its two parts a mere self-entitlement to divide what remains of a homeland for partisan, individual and private accounts.
Words, analysis, and scrutiny is silent when a human becomes an object of bargaining.
A true leader does not sacrifice people in exchange for political settlements.
What happened in Jerusalem certainly changed the equation and completely upended it. Alliances, in the form that was attempted to pass are no longer possible.
Whoever looks back for a while remembers that we were in a gutter.
We were in a state of despair and certainty, that it was over. That the cause had been settled, and that the strength is to those who have power and money, until the young men and women of Jerusalem came out to turn the balance and say their first and last word.
I am not saying that I am overly optimistic, nor do I say that my expectations are hanging on the branches of hope. No sensible person who knows and comprehend our lives here can not but be certain that we always master the beginnings, and give them after that to the leaders to spoil. Our history has been like this since the first revolutions and uprisings, since Al-Buraq Revolution, the 1936 uprising, the Division Resolution, the Nakba, the 1956and 67, 73 wars and 1978, the First Intifada, the Al-Aqsa Intifada, 2009, 2012, 2014, and the uprising of the Gates of Al Aqsa, until now.
A people who makes sacrifices and leaders who rally on them and turn them into interests at the expense of the people and their sacrifices.
I admit that with the times I have changed into a modest optimist.
I look at my children and wish they had the wisdom that befell me now.
However … we cannot change the course of a person’s own growth and awareness. Everyone wants to live his own experience.
Nonetheless, these experiences should not be at the expense of life itself.
A phrase I repeat tirelessly, and I do not know if my children comprehend. But I do not stop repeating it.
“The most important thing we have to fight for is our life. It is all we have. This is our line of defense. The homeland needs us alive, not dead. It needs us strong and healthy, not weak or injured. It needs us free people, not prisoners. They want us dead, weak, disabled, injured, detained, defeated. “
Don’t tell me that suffering always creates strength …
Before the difficult journey of strength: we are crushed, broken, and thrown into pieces millions of times before we become these mighty ones. How many of us are crushed, stomped, broken, torn down and thrown, unable to stand again and move forward.
During what is going on in Jerusalem, as every mother, I was afraid for my children, and I gave in, and tried to gradually surrender to the glow of youth, their eagerness and their belief in what they are doing.
I look at dozens of theseyoungsters, hundreds, and I say to myself: We are fine. We’ll be fine as long as suchyouthful pulse is still alive.
We want them to be healthy and strong, to be free … to be free and set us free.
I admitand acknowledge again, yes I fear.
Yes, I do not want to see a tear drop of oppression falling from the eyes of any of my children, and I do not want for them to be scratched by the barrel of a rifle or the splash of a soldier,
and I do not want anything wrong to happen to them, and I want them alive, free and not bound detainees.
Let the world call me me a coward, lacking patriotism, but my homeland will be incomplete without my children. This is how I see homelands fulfilled.. with all of us.
We need to learn the culture of life, not the culture of death.
They want us dead.
This is the real challenge tooccupation: to be free, strong, alive.
This is the scene that Palestinian young men and women reflect every day from Jerusalem to Haifa. From Hebron to Jenin. From Galilee to Beersheba.
And in Gaza, Resistance revived our inner pride and our strength. Resilience and resistance are two sides of the same coin: freedom.
What the Resistance presented in its response to the Israeli coerciveness against the defenseless citizens of Jerusalem over the course of a month says it all. They supported the people of this lost city that is landmarked with cuffed freedom by each breath that is intervened with occupation.
There is life in resistance … No compromise on this.
Resistance is a Right.
Resistance is our true strength.
Freedom does not come with wishful thinking. And what happened with the response of Gaza to Jerusalem confirms one thing: Unity is power. Our unity is our true and only power.
They won when they divided us, split us, and shared us.
Certainly, our horror in Jerusalem at a sound bomb cannot be compared to the nomadic devastation, explosion and mass murder that is happening in Gaza.
I follow what is going on, I talk to friends and I am ashamed of myself when I hear the opposite side of the conversation, “It’s all tolerable… for the same of Jerusalem.”
They offer their lives, their loved ones, their properties, their savings, and the exhaustion of years in order for Jerusalem to be well.
But the pain and the loss are great. Greater than what we see, hear and follow.
Already a catastrophic glee.
Destruction, body parts, injuries, death surrounding from all sides, thunderous bombardment devastating from all directions without mercy or clemency …. all of this has translations that outweigh the pain of reflections in images. People who lose their loved ones, their lives, their possessions, their memories.
For every photo\ image that touches our consciousness, there are tens of human stories, perhaps hundreds of stories whose owners have grieved, their lives have been shattered and their dreams have become nightmares, and the explosions buzz in their ears relentlessly.
Mothers, children, fathers, grandparents, friends, colleagues …. Anxiety, terror, panic, anticipation and fear of a devastating death coming.
People write their last wills in the form of a Facebook post. These people have a life they also dreamed, and aspired to live.
Gaza is not the desecration to anyone’s demonstration of power.
Gaza is comprised of people who dream of a decent life.
Gaza is encompassed of people who wish to live.
Life is a Right for the people of Gaza as well.
Life is a Right for the people of Gaza … as much as we have a Right to it, humanity has a Right to life.
Stop the killing and injustice in Gaza.
The people of Gaza are not numbers.
Gaza’s homes, buildings and shops are not stones to be rebuilt.
The people of Gaza are human beings who deserve to live with pride and dignity.