About This Episode

In this episode of Rethinking Palestine, host Yara Hawari highlights the best bits of all our episodes in 2022 to give you a round-up of how Palestinian analysts and experts reflected on the most important events in Palestine this year.

Episode Transcript

Yara Hawari 0:00

In our final podcast episode of the year, we have put together some of our favorite soundbites from all the episodes in 2020. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoy putting it all together. We also want to ask you for your support. At Al-Shabaka, we’re working to strengthen the popular movement for Palestinian Liberation with the analytical foundations necessary to dismantle structures of oppression and build a liberated future.

At the heart of our efforts is our policy network. We bring together over 200 Palestinian experts and analysts from around the globe to collectively strategize, debate, and imagine paths toward liberation and self-determination. Our impact is more than just our outputs. We foster community in the face of violent fragmentation, drawing on the ideas and expertise from Palestinians across six continents.

Now, we need your support in raising $30,000 to invest further in our most valuable asset, our 200-plus-member strong policy network. Visit al-shabaka.org/donate today to support this work in this upcoming year. Thank you for listening.

At the beginning of 2022, we saw escalating attempts to seize Palestinian land in the Naqab, particularly in the so-called unrecognized villages. Palestinian bedouins resisted these attempts and were met with violent crackdowns. Riya Al-Sanah, activist from the Naqab and director of Who Profits explained how this resistance was a continuation of the May 2021 uprising.

Riya Al-Sanah 1:40

May 2021 changed the terrain of struggle in Palestine, full stop. We cannot understand, or there is no way of analyzing what has taken place at the moment in the Naqab indistinct from May 2021. That was a moment of breaking the political way of operating on a number of levels. One, the level of collective agency, Palestinian collective agency in resistance to the Israeli state.

And I think it kind of broke that whole notion and narrative of the citizenry, of struggles of Palestinians in Palestine 48 of being distinct from the struggles of the whole Palestinian people. That’s on the one level, but on the other level, I think what it did is that local struggles seized to be understood and seen as only relevant on the local, on that particular local level.

So, for example, what was happening in Sheikh Jarrah of forced displacement was an issue, particularly in Sheikh Jarrah, but for Palestinians across the board, it resembled forced displacement policies across the board and our living, our collective living and struggle against Israeli settler colonialism. And I think that’s also happening at the moment in the Naqab. Although the struggle is local people are coming from across Palestine 48 to participate in struggle and in resistance in Sa’wa itself. But also we saw demonstrations happening across different communities, not in solidarity, but in resistance to what is taking place in the Naqab.

So we saw demonstrations in Nazareth, in Haifa, Yaffa, Um el-Fahem, Kufr Kanna and Lyd as well in protest against Israeli policies of forced displacement and dispossession in the Naqab. And I think being on the ground, there’s a different feeling and I think it’s important to also know there’s a kind of a generational struggle as well that is taking place and it’s very apparent during the demonstrations, it’s very apparent, during the daily demonstrations that we have in front of the courts, in Beer Sheva, where you see a younger, more politicized, a more daring, and a more critical generation facing an older generation that is the kind of the Oslo years generation of the assimilation. The citizenry generation, the generation of the citizenry discourse.

And that is very clear and I think the generation that situates itself as part of the broader Palestinian body and in resistance to Israeli settler colonialism, despite this kind of tag of citizenship is also a marker of something that also emerged in post-May or during May of 2021. So they’re very much connected and there’s a continuation in that.

Yara Hawari 4:54

From the Naqab to Jerusalem, the Israeli regime’s Judaization efforts and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land is indeed relentless. In the summer of 2022, we saw that escalate once again, particularly around the time of the Israeli settler flag march in Jerusalem, which violently proclaims Israeli sovereignty over the city. Jalal Abukhater, a Palestinian Jerusalemite activist explained this latest escalation to us.

Jalal Abukhater 5:19

They wish to proclaim themselves sovereign in Jerusalem. The Israelis are really annoyed and really, really angered. I can see this in their media and how their journalists speak on TV during primetime shows. They really hate the sight of the Palestinian flag at Al Aqsa.

They hate the sight of the Palestinian flag being raised in the heart of Jerusalem. They feel like that touches the issue of sovereignty so hard and they lobby and pressure the government. And there are thousands who do this and they even do polls on Channels 12 and 13 of Israeli society, and everyone is supportive of the measures to suppress Palestinian flags and Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, and they become, Like an angry bull, which is just seeking to take down any Palestinian flag in Jerusalem and this behavior of them wanting to exert forcefully subjugate Palestinians in Jerusalem and claim sovereignty, this behavior is leading to all the trouble we keep witnessing because that’s what they want. They want a pure Israeli Jerusalem. They don’t want any kind of resemblance of Palestinian identity in Jerusalem.

This is a war over sovereignty. Their people are angry over Palestinian flags in Jerusalem. So the Israeli forces in occupied Jerusalem, they want to forcefully proclaim sovereignty. They wanna forcefully send those thugs and hooligans, thousands of them into our streets to become violent and raise the Israeli flag. They want to defend them, protect them. They want to put the flag in our faces, even if that means violence against us, against our homes, against our women and children.

They really, really, really just want to raise the Israeli flag at Al Aqsa, and not just Al Aqsa, it’s a symbolic thing, but they want the Israeli flag to be the identity representing Jerusalem and anything else does not pass with them. That’s why they become like just angry bulls, especially whenever Palestinians proclaim their identity in the city of Jerusalem.

Yara Hawari 7:05

Later in the summer in August, the Israeli regime launched a new assault on Gaza, killing 44 Palestinians, including at least 16 children, as well as damaging vital infrastructure. The attack on Gaza was part of a larger Israeli strategy to quash resistance across Palestine. Indeed, prior to the assault on Gaza, the Israeli regime army have been invading and raiding the Northern West Bank city of Jenin for quite a few months.

One such raid saw the murder of veteran journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli soldiers. Following the so-called ceasefire between the Israeli regime and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, we also saw the Israeli army raid and invade the old city of Nablus in which it killed three Palestinian resistance fighters.

Dr. Ibrahim Freihat, associate professor in International Conflict Resolution at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and Al-Shabaka policy member got to the crux of how all of this forms part of a large Israeli strategy to crush Palestinian armed resistance.

Ibrahim Freihat 8:04

In order to read this strategy, really we have to look at the targets that Israel is attacking by no means as Israel declared that they’re targeting Islamic Jihad, that the target was only Islamic Jihad. Ibrahim al-Nabulsi was an extension of the Gaza bombing. Ibrahim al-Nabulsi was a Fatah leader from Kataeb Shuhada’ Al-Aqsa, Al-Aqsa Brigades and Fatah is the ruling party in Palestine and led by Mahmoud Abbas. It’s the party that’s engaging in negotiations since 1993, since the Oslo Accords. But nevertheless, that did not exempt them from being targeted with the assassinations in Nablus, and not only in Nablus, Yara, but also in Jenin.

So who were fighting in Jenin? It was mainly taking the lead of the Fatah Aqsa Brigade in Jenin camp, and also Islamic Jihad was taking the lead there. So it wasn’t only about the Islamic Jihad, it was about the military wings of the Fatah ruling party in Palestine that were attacked in Jenin, and also later on in Nablus.

This leads us to when we put the puzzle together of trying to figure out what Israel wants. Israel is not targeting a certain group, and we have seen also this in Gaza when they say, Hamas is not part of this, but the target here is the Palestinian resistance. The Palestinian resistance in general, including those military brigades of the ruling party Fatah that are negotiating with Israel.

And another indication of how the target is the resistance, the concept of resistance, and the resistance movement itself. For the first time we are seeing that Israel is declaring in a number of statements, and through a third party as well, when they started bombing Gaza, that Hamas is not targeted or Hamas will not be bombed in Gaza. And here we see the reason that the target is the resistance movement itself, where they’re trying to create a gap between Islamic Jihad and Hamas and Fatah in Gaza while targeting one group, and this actually led to some sort of tension between Islamic Jihad and Hamas on that level because we have seen that Israel is bombing Islamic Jihad and Hamas is not joining the resistance against Israel.

Hamas being led by its own calculations. They’re in the government, they have responsibilities toward the gazans and the governance in general, water security jobs and all of that. And Israel succeeded to a certain extent to alienate Hamas and target only Islamic Jihad, which again, touches on the same exact point that you raised about the target is the resistance, the concept of resistance, and the resistance movement in Palestine.

Yara Hawari 11:11

Mariam Barghouthi, journalist and Al-Shabaka policy member also explained the dynamics of this resistance that the Israeli regime has been so adamantly trying to crush, and how the new generation is shaping it.

Mariam Barghouthi 11:22

What Israel is kind of doing in terms of trying to crack down on Palestinian resistance in all its shapes and forms even to the point of just the imagination of liberation. But in places like Nablus and Jenin, what you witnessed is this constant confrontation, specifically with the Israeli military.

So these are areas that aren’t just purely surrounded by settlers, right? Or settlements. The exposure of the colonial project is through the lens of this brute military force. So what we’re seeing is this continued growth of Palestinian resistance in different forms and manifestations that are in accordance with the current generation, right?

So the generation of today will not fight the same way that generations in the past have fought. But nonetheless, what I’m witnessing, at least in Nablus, is there’s this tendency to also confront and fight back in a very visible way. So people like Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, who didn’t even make it to his 19th birthday, was walking around with the rifle on his back, very proud. And it’s as though he was bearing a responsibility. But it’s also very telling of how, whether you are known publicly or unknown, that you are targeted. So there’s no point in even trying to really go underground.

On the contrary, the point is to showcase that if this colonization continues as it is, then it’ll be met by Palestinian resistance. In the end, who wants to live an undignified life? Especially a younger generation that has been exposed to different realities around the world in light of increased communication with technology development.

Yara Hawari 13:11

Now, it’s not just on the streets that we see the Israeli regime’s oppression of Palestinians. It also extends to curbing the work of Palestinian civil society.

In 2021, the Israeli regime criminalized seven leading Palestinian NGOs, many of whom carry out critical human rights work. In addition to this criminalization, Israeli security forces conducted a raid in August 2022, on the organization’s offices, stealing documents, damaging equipment, and in some cases, sealing the doors shut.

Whilst many in the international community condemned the criminalization and the raid, the condemnation was as usual, limited to strongly worded statements that in some cases even ended up perpetuating the Israeli regime narrative. Milena, lawyer and International advocacy coordinator from Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association explained more.

Milena 14:02

So before this raid, the work of the international community was basically just statements of solidarity. Nine EU member states submitted a statement saying that the Israeli occupation hasn’t yet provided us any substantial evidence regarding the designation or the outlawing, and hence we will not take this designation into accordance or into account.

But then the statement from the nine EU member states in the second paragraph says, sadly, and it’s very unfortunate that it continues like this. It says, should Israel provide us with additional information, we will act accordingly. And why I say it is unfortunate, it’s because the continuation of this sentence entails that we are giving Israel the green light to provide whatever information they need or evidence and why I say this is problematic because Addameer has been working in the Israeli judicial system for the past 30 years.

We have seen students being prosecuted and arrested based on very bogus charges. We have seen children being detained for years under secret files and the use of administrative detention. So we understand that when Israel talks about evidence, they even talk about arresting people and subjecting them to torture and ill-treatment during the interrogation to try to gain whatever testimonies or evidence they can.

I comfortably say about evidence and mention it because we are almost positive that there are no evidence against the organizations. But how the international community keeps on tiptoeing and walking around eggshells around Israel not to try to piss it off or try to go against its laws. It’s completely ridiculous, and it could be taken as a double standard.

I don’t believe anywhere in the world a government can designate six prominent civil society organizations as terrorist organizations without providing any justification at all. And the international community till now is allowed to hear some arguments from the Israeli occupation.

Yara Hawari 16:21

If you are enjoying this podcast, please visit our website, www.al-shabaka.org, where you’ll find more Palestinian policy analysis. And where you can join our mailing list and donate to support our work.

Now, in addition to its attack on Palestinians, the Israeli regime is also constantly working on its image abroad. For example, recently the Israeli regime has been ramping up the idea that it is the champion of environmentalism in the region. This is not necessarily new. The Israeli regime has often used a tactic known as greenwashing to improve its image.

In general, greenwashing is an attempt to use certain environmental initiatives to hide behind the fact that someone is actually causing more damage than it’s doing to help prevent it. The Israeli regime uses greenwashing to cover up the disastrous impact it’s having on the Palestinian environment and landscape.

Inès Abdel Razek, advocacy director at the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy and Al-Shabaka policy member explains this to us in the context of increasing environmental normalization projects happening in Palestine.

Inès Abdel Razek 17:25

This is the hypocrisy of this kind of dialogue or trust-building project, is that it allows Israel to present itself as a good-faith actor as someone who’s ready to make a gesture. When in reality, all of what this international diplomacy and normalization agreement and Abraham Accords do is entrench and facilitate continuing that dispossession.

And the environmental impacts are also extremely serious and there have been over decades. The agriculture sector of Palestine has shrunk. Farmers have stopped doing agriculture because it was so costly, because of the lack of water, because of the lack of access to land.

So Palestinians have been denied food sovereignty and food security. We’re looking also at the denial of infrastructure. Especially the PA for years has been asking to build infrastructures like solid waste management, wastewater management, and renewable energy that has constantly been denied by Israel because it’s located in areas that they wanna keep under their control and are annexing.

So this obviously had tremendous environmental impacts. Why? Because then Palestinians resort to other sources of energies like fuel. This is particularly dire in Gaza under siege where Israel has bombed the only power plant. And Gaza relies on fuel that is extremely polluting and it’s harmful for people’s health.

But yet, again, the World Bank and USAID will be promoting projects of building solar panels in Gaza or treating some of the wastewater along the beach and then say that this is a wonderful corporation. So these are just some of the concrete impacts that we see that, again, maintain Palestinians under the full control of Israel and their interest and will. And it also has I think a long-term impact on people’s health and for the climate’s impact.

Yara Hawari 19:36

Greenwashing isn’t the only way the Israeli regime tries to improve its image. Sportswashing is another tactic. Abdullah Al-Arian, Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University in Qatar. An editor of the recent book, Football in the Middle East, explained more.

Abdullah Al-Arian 19:52

There are several elements to this question. One of which I think is interesting is people who’ve been looking more recently at the question of sportswashing, this has become kind of a recent buzzword. The idea that states are using their footballing interest or their sports interest as a means of deflecting attention from their most abusive policies.

So I think, from what I can tell at least, it seems like sportswashing is actually kind of short-changing the conversation a bit. Because if we’re talking purely about the idea of using sports as a deflection or distraction, I don’t think that actually quite captures what many of these states are doing, Saudi Arabia included.

But also when we look at, for instance, what Israel has done through sport is that it’s not just using it to deflect attention away from ethnic cleansing, apartheid, or occupation. I think what the Israeli state has explicitly tried to do is use it to end its own isolation and use its participation even to further specific political goals.

And so one of the examples is when Israel planned to play the Argentinian National Football team in the lead-up to the 2018 World Cup. And so this was supposed to be a warm-up, friendly match for Argentina. It was scheduled to be played, I believe in Haifa or somewhere else. And then at the last minute and again, this was just weeks after the Trump administration had moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem thereby kind of cementing the US acceptance of Israel’s illegal annexation of the city.

And so the Israeli Football Association moved the match to Jerusalem to be played there almost as a means of yet again, affirming its sovereignty over the city. And due to a massive pressure campaign, from activists, from within Argentina, from within Spain, where of course Argentina star Leo Messi plays, and from around the Arab region, and even from within Palestine.

Eventually, the Argentinian national team pulled out of playing in that match. And in fact, the same thing happened once again this year in 2022. Another friendly match was canceled as a result of Israel’s actions toward Palestinians. So I think it’s crucial to see the extent to which this isn’t simply about deflecting the actions, but in fact, the sport has been used quite aggressively, in fact, as a means of cementing certain claims.

The same can be said for instance, about Puma, the sportswear company that, of course, has been sponsoring clubs in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. And of course, there’s a massive boycott campaign of Puma because this only serves to legitimize the illegal annexation and appropriation of Palestinian land.

And so I think the BDS movement in this regard has kind of found a way to position itself at least as a means of trying to kind of shine a light on some of these abusive practices rather than allow the state to deflect attention or even worse yet to affirm its sovereignty over territorial claims or to shrug off any human rights abuses through the kind of normalization that comes with playing against outside opponents or even bringing in kind of a major sportswear brand like Puma into the settlements.

Yara Hawari 22:58

Of course, all of these attacks on Palestinians and the Israeli regime’s efforts to rebrand itself must be understood in their larger context of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid. At the beginning of February 2022, Amnesty International published a report condemning the Israeli regime for committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and beyond.

Building on decades of Palestinian research and lived experiences, the Amnesty Report explained in intricate detail how Palestinians are resisting a singular system of domination that operates varying mechanisms and levels of control depending on where Palestinians live.

The report was welcomed by the human rights community, both at home in Palestine and abroad. Yet there were also significant critiques from Palestinians, mainly that the report fell short in certain areas, and particularly in its analysis of settler-colonialism. Saleh Hijazi, former head of office in Jerusalem for Amnesty International and Al-Shabaka policy member addressed this critique.

Saleh Hijazi 23:57

Apartheid and settler colonialism are intrinsically linked. This is a crime that was codified in law coming out from a certain context, South Africa, which is a settler colonial context.

First, there was the understanding of it as a political structure, a system of domination by one racial group over another. That was then made a crime with a convention in 1973, and then later on in the Rome statute in 2002. Amnesty is a human rights organization and its primary framework of work and analysis is international human rights law.

And so this is perhaps a limit, but this is the organization’s mandate and therefore it looks at duty bearers. Those who have the responsibility to ensure the respect for human rights, the fulfillment of obligations under international law, and does its work according to that.

And therefore, amnesty does recognize, and that is in the report, the validity of settler colonial analysis and the complementarity between the settler colonial analysis and apartheid, it just limits itself to then its mandate of work under international human rights law. The two things are not opposed, and from my perspective, it’s another piece of the puzzle. It’s not the whole picture. What Amnesty’s doing, I mean.

And therefore there’s a role of others, primarily us Palestinians then, to be able to use this to develop the bigger picture and be able to communicate it to wider audiences and be able to use it as a platform for action that would see the dismantling of a system of oppression and domination and the settler colony.

Yara Hawari 25:45

At Al-Shabaka, we believe in the importance of carving out blueprints for our liberated futures, and much of the work that we do seeks to provide a space for Palestinians to do just that.

Part of the work involves a critical reflection of Palestinian society and institutions, as well as imagining alternatives. This is something that Yara Asi, assistant professor at the University of Central Florida and former US visiting fellow for Al-Shabaka, has done with the Palestinian health and education sectors in the West Bank and Gaza, which have been neglected by the Palestinian Authority and the donor community for decades.

Indeed, the security sector consumes more of the Palestinian Authority’s budget than the education, health, and agricultural sectors combined, and yet both health and education are fundamental human needs and rights and a population that has access to better health and education services is more able and better poised to develop a movement for liberation.

Yara discussed what a decolonized plan for health and education sectors that would free Palestinians of donor-imposed conditions and restrictions could look like.

Yara Asi 26:46

Decolonization is about disrupting power, about identifying and removing forms of supremacy, about in many cases like Palestine, literally dismantling colonial structures and legacies.

So as you can imagine, this is a large and decentralized project. There’s no leader for this. This is, at this point really, a bunch of academics and practitioners having conversations among themselves about what this could look like. Some even hesitate to call it a project or a movement.

The problem with these ideas as discussed today, is that they still largely stem from the global north about the global south, and many of these discussions exclude the very people they claim to want to support and liberate.

You see this, especially in this humanitarian aid model that’s imposed on Palestinians, well, we’re just trying to help you. We’re helping you. How could that be bad? Right? So Palestine is unfortunately a perfect microcosm of this. Palestinians are rarely seen as the best arbiters of what Palestinians want or need.

They’re rarely even trusted as witnesses of their own experiences. They’re constantly questioned. They’re seen as biased. They’re seen as perhaps even in some circles, uncivilized and un-understanding of the realities of the world, so to speak.

So decolonization in this sense involves centering Palestinians and Palestinian voices. Embracing indigenous health. So, the health system in Palestine and in many health systems that were created by donors essentially were built to resemble the health systems that the donors themselves had. These kinds of very neoliberal, very capitalist, very individualistic models of health.

And decolonization would involve almost a radical transformation of a health system that serves its population and not the entities that have paid for it for decades. It is Palestinians shaping their own narrative, identifying their own needs and going forth to pursue them without needing the permission or approval of external actors. So it’s not a short-term project, but then again, none of this is.

Yara Hawari 28:58

Reimagining various sectors in Palestine also necessitates us to grapple with larger political questions.

In the aftermath of the Palestinian local elections, which culminated in March 2022, Fadi Quran, Al-Shabaka policy member and Avaaz campaign director shared with us his honest and sobering reflections on where Palestinian politics are now and what has to happen to take us on a radically different path.

Fadi Quran 29:23

I think Palestinian Society at large is moving towards that big picture, particularly the younger generation who are more hopeful, are moving towards that big picture. We want Palestine liberated. We want all Palestinians liberated no matter where they are, and we’re willing to sacrifice and find ways to engage to achieve that goal.

The challenge with that subgroup goes back to the point you mentioned, Yara. There’s still no clear body because the PLO is basically weak and broken down, the political parties are dilapidated. There’s no movement that those individuals feel they can be a part of to achieve that larger goal, although, in their hearts, psychologically that’s what they want.

And so they end up being sidelined from the day-to-day politics. And I think this is for Palestinians listening, I think this the question we need to answer is how do we revive the Palestinian Liberation Movement and create spaces for all the young people and all the Palestinian people who want a better future to reengage in politics? And I think Palestinian National Council elections or some form of reform to the PLO, taking the PLO away from Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies is an important step on that path.

Yara Hawari 30:39

In these imaginings of the future, looking to internationalist struggles and global experiences is of vital importance. 2022 saw a massive shift towards leftist and progressive governance and politics in Latin America, a region that has had a significant role in the Palestinian struggle throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Hussein Sameh, a researcher on foreign policy between Latin America and the Israeli regime, explains how such a shift provides fertile ground for grassroots mobilization and shared struggles.

Hussein Sameh 31:09

It’s important for us as Palestinians to tap into or to support indigenous struggles in Latin America, to support decolonial organizing, anti-racist organizing, abolitionist organizing, and feminist and queer organizing.

And I think in many ways what’s exciting about what’s happening in Latin America has probably less to do with Palestine and more to do with the success of organizing and protests in building power.

So, Boric in Chile came into power off the back of, maybe not consistent, but 10 years of protests on the street. The election of Gustavo Pedro in Colombia comes off the back of indigenous and mass movements in the last year or so. And I think that also speaks to the potential of Palestinians and diaspora to build connections and to build struggle with Latin Americans.

So during the uprising or the Unity Intifada last year, this coincided with these mass uprisings that we saw in Colombia. We saw on the streets of many places in North America and in Europe, Palestinians and Colombians protesting and marching together and making connections between their struggles and the support of the US in both projects and the militarization or their military connections in both countries.

So I think there is a lot to build up from. As I said before, we currently have, or we will have in Latin America potentially center or left-wing governments in Cuba, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and these could provide opportunities at a policy level, but we are still stifled by our leadership and how far these governments can go.

I can’t remember who said it, but they can’t be more Palestinian than the Palestinians. So it does hopefully provide an opportunity for grassroots movements in favor of Palestine to find space to advance a more radical and progressive agenda than what’s currently being offered by our leadership.

Yara Hawari 33:08

In the final clip of this episode, Aline Batarseh, board member of Al-Shabaka and Visualizing Palestine Executive Director, discusses important lessons from both the Unity Intifada and the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, and how unity is the key to defying the Israeli regime.

Aline Batarseh 33:26

It’s not easy, but I feel like for me it’s a source of inspiration and I have to remind myself of it all the time. Because we have to imagine that a different world is possible and we have to work towards it.

And I think just to answer the question, Yara around what do we learn moving forward from the Unity Intifada and for me, the biggest, most important lesson is that unity is possible despite Israel’s fragmentation, despite everything that Israel is doing to make sure that we do not unite that it is united.

And of course despite the Palestinian Authority’s complicity as well in making sure that the status quo remains the same. So you’ve talked about this a lot, Yara in your analysis as well, last year during the Unity Intifada, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, basically worked around organizing the general strike and because they’re such a huge part of the Israeli workforce, it really impacted the economy.

I feel like there’s just so much that we can do to build on it, it just needs persistence and patience and this is why our work together I think is very important. We have to have sort of the patience for it to make it happen. And I feel like it’s not an overstatement to say that because it does take time and it does take the ability to take our imagination to a different place and to think of a better future, that is a future of freedom for everyone.

And I think we also saw this so clearly during the funeral for our beloved Shireen on May 13th. Despite all of the Israeli restrictions, the military checkpoints they set up to prevent mourners from joining the funeral, from attacking Palestinian mourners carrying Shireen’s coffin, to arresting mourners that were carrying the Palestinian flag.

Palestinians are still united in love and in pain, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jerusalem this Palestinian, it was such a beautiful moment, even though of course it was full of sorrow. But we see what we can do when we really unite and get together and that we can defy Israel’s fragmentation and it’s in no way easy. But I do think that this persistence is very important. This faith in ourselves is really important.

Yara Hawari 35:49

Thank you for listening to our end-of-year podcast. All of us at Al-Shabaka would like to wish you a happy new year filled with hope, light, and continued struggle.

Thank you for listening to Rethinking Palestine. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review. For more policy analysis and to donate to support our work, please visit our website, www.al-shabaka.org. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization whose mission is to convene a multidisciplinary, global network of Palestinian analysts to...
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