I might give the impression that I am choosing an option that presupposes the existence of others, but the fact is that we have no other options at all. Realizing the cruel expansionist plans of the Israeli government and its goals to tighten its ugly intolerable hegemony over the destiny of our people leaves us no choice but to continue our struggle. The choice between living submissively under the bondage of a cruel oppressor deprived of simple human and national rights, or living freely under our own government is not a choice at all. To stop the intifada means to Sharon and the Israeli leadership that we accept their humiliating dictates, which would render us sub-humans acquiescing to subsist at the heels of the cruel oppressor. I have no question in my mind that such demand for continuation would unfortunately result in more bloodshed and further loss of valuable lives among our Palestinian people, but can anyone unveil, through history, episodes of the struggling masses to achieve independence against oppressors without paying such a high price? It’s pertinent to note that the road to liberation is not lined with roses, especially when we remember the huge sacrifices offered through revolutions such as that of the blacks to get rid of apartheid in South Africa, Vietnam against the U.S. and the million martyrs Algerian revolution against the French occupier. Again, the important question is not only whether such a struggle could lead to total independence, as much as can such a struggle represent a normal reaction to the miserable status quo? When we reject ugly and humiliating practices in life, we simply fight to get rid of them, as the other alternative is to accept living under intolerable sub-human conditions. The message to the oppressor is very clear: that we reject his hegemony and he could never live in peace if we are deprived of the same and on an equal footing.
In his article, “An Interim Balance Sheet: Who won?” on 16 June 2001, Uri Avnery of the Gush Shalom movement analyses the supposed aims of the two sides in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian war of attrition. The article was spread through the Internet. One of the papers that published it (in translation) was the Palestinian daily, Hayat al-Jadida.
In the 23 June 2001 issue of Ma’ariv, a right-wing institute calling itself “Palestinian Media Watch”éwhich specializes in collecting tendentious quotesélaunched an attack on Uri Avnery for “inciting the Palestinians to continue the intifada.” The settler pirate radio station Arutz-7 elaborated on the theme and reported that a complaint to the police was lodged against Avnery for “incitement to murder”.
Mr Avnery was able to unveil the unpublished facts of the effects of the intifada on the Israeli government, which were not made known to the outside world or to the Israeli public. On the public opinion level, Israel cannot maintain its image anymore as the underdog fighting against international “terrorism”, nor can it sell to the world the image of the settler pioneer venturing into malaria-infested areas to make the desert bloom. The daily picture of IDF soldiers armed to the teeth and facing a stone-thrower or an average civilian does not help the Israeli image. Even the Israeli public is not kept aware of what’s going on aside from the normal clichés of fighting “terrorist” targets to bring security to the public. The main thrust of the intifada has been to frustrate Israeli plans to expand the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, and despite all the Israeli reports to the contrary, the intifada has succeeded tremendously, not only in halting the expansion of the settlements, but has besieged these colonialists by the Palestinian struggle movement.
As Avnery pointed out in his article, with all the fanatic settler slogans shown in front of the cameras to continue their settlements notwithstanding, settlers are sending their children for an unlimited time to stay with relatives in Israel proper, while a high percentage of the settlers themselves have moved quietly behind the “green” line. All normal roads leading to the settlements were totally abandoned while hundreds of millions are spent on creating new roads that can avoid the Palestinian snipers. All industrial projects that were budgeted to start in the settlements have come to a complete halt and investors are filing all kinds of legal suits to retrieve their investments. Palestinian suicide bomb attacks inside Israel have practically halted Israeli tourism, costing the economy hundreds of millions of dollars, while stopping the Israelis from entering malls, sport events, beaches or any crowded place.
If we cannot have a normal independent and peaceful life in our homeland, then why should we allow the Israelis to do so? They have to realize that without the actuation of our rights, they should not be allowed to lead a normal life. If peaceful negotiations should ever take place in the future, the Israelis have to realize that the failure of such negotiations would lead to severe devastation of their normal lives, which would ultimately lead to the realization that peace for the Israelis alone cannot be achieved without full restitution of Palestinian rights. The intifada should not only continue but it should also be developed to mature and become a real armed struggle until our national and human rights are completely acquired.