No chance for that; the Palestinians were defeated 5 decades ago by any military definition. However, their struggle for freedom and independence will defeat Israel politically: Palestine’s military defeat is Israel’s political defeat:
A public opinion survey conducted by an independent research institute shows that more than 80% of Palestinians support a popular struggle of civil disobedience, not a military struggle, to achieve freedom and independence.
The survey used questionnaires that indicate while the Palestinians favor peaceful methods to resolve their disputes with Israel; they will continue to resist occupation. That resistance is regarded as a legitimate struggle to restore their freedom as defined by the United Nations constitution.
The vast majority of Palestinians who responded to the survey see non-violent struggle as the proper method for ending occupation and earning their freedom and independence. The result of this inquiry supports ideas and positions we already wrote about in an article published by the Middle East under the heading:”where are our mistakes”,). The article criticized the use of weapons and suicide bombings by Palestinians. An aggressive response to Israeli provocation only allows Sharon and his government to respond with great force, and portrays Israel as the victim of terror. While the reality is that, the entire Palestinian people are victim to the Israeli’s state terror.
The inquiry results supported the position of the party believes that a return to peaceful demonstrations and civil disobedience along with a boycott of Israeli goods will stop Sharon and his government from continuing to commit war crimes against Palestinians. A return to peaceful resistance will help change the opinion of the international community and expose the criminal conduct of Israel.
And it is worth mentioning that the factions and organizations which committed strategic mistakes, that is the use of violence, are currently committing political mistakes. Instead of reason, vision and a general agreement to halt operations against Israeli civilians to allow the Palestinian National Authority to enter into an agreement with Israel, The continuation of violence has permitted Sharon to carry out assassinations and destroy homes of those engaged in the violence. Continued violent resistance only allows Israel to use measures that are more punitive to be against the Palestinians.
We must halt of these operations, without hesitation, but with the implementation of non-violent resistance immediately. We must make the world understand that we truly believe in political negotiation as the way to bring peace to Palestine and Israel. We must stop aggressive action against the settlements. We accomplish nothing by attacking the settlers. It is hopeless to fire mortars at the settlements that do no damage and worse, provide another excuse for the Israeli government to attack the Palestinian people.
The wisdom and determination for continuing the struggle and earning freedom and independence requires a clear vision for the future. We must show the world community that the truth that Israel occupies our land by military force and we are resisting that occupation. The method for resolution is the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State on the land occupied by Israel since 1967 including East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians are feeling deeply anxious about what has happened and what is going on in Palestine and the Middle East; The Palestinians are frustrated and desperate. They do not know what the future will hold for them. They see the United States as wholly sup portative of Israel. In addition, they witness the preparation for war against Iraq by the United States. The Palestinians believe they are left alone and prey for the Zionist war machine, and for war crimes committed against them daily.
Palestinian cities, villages and camps are regions are occupied by force. They are compelled to try to live under a military curfew by occupation forces. They are allowed only a few hours to shop, visit a doctor, or see their families. They are never sure that they will not be injured or killed by Israeli soldiers.
The world does not seem to care about the Palestinians. And the world pays no attention to our pleas for help.
Sharon’s government met with the American Deputy Secretary of State Minister of American Starfield. During his visit of fifteen Palestinian civilians, half of them were children. All within the forty-eight hours by Starfield spent in Israel. He made no comment regarding these crimes. No body expects the United States to make a move to help the Palestinians. Sharon has managed to gain complete support from the United /states by supporting their coming war with Iraq. Israel is the only state that supports an attack on Iraq and urges the U.S. to do so before the end of this year. Sharon is exploiting this situation and buys the silence of the American Administration on the crimes of the occupation forces by his cooperation. And he buys U.S. pressures on Europe, the United Nations, and Russia for ignoring Tenet’s & Mitchell’s paper regarding the establishment of an independent Palestinian State.
Sharon and his advisors, military officers, and security officials, see that the continued attacks on Palestinians and prohibiting of rebuilding of what was destroyed, is the best solution for breaking down Palestinian moral and ambitions. Not only this, they see that this will lead to the collapse of the Palestinian government. Sharon declared without hesitation that he would not allow the legislative council to meet to show confidence in the new government. The reason is that he does not wish for the legislative council to form a government headed by president Yasser Arafat.
Not less important for Sharon’s position, is that he has declared support for the racist position declared by General Yalon, the Chief of the General Staff. Yelon described the Palestinian people as cancer that must be abolished before it spreads. It is deeply said that a Jew mindful of their history can become a racist. Israel’s constitution specifically prohibits racism.
Any subjective look on the Middle East map clearly shows that the instability, turbulence and terror have one source and it is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
The current Israeli leaders are executing destructive plans in the absence of stability in the Middle East and hope to change the geopolitical map for their racial expansionist ambitions.
Sharon has informed his senior officers and advisors that he is going to wage the last battle against the Palestinians. In Sharon’s mind, there is nothing but the last battle with the Palestinians and the abolishment of Palestinian government. He wants to create conditions in which the vision of president Bush for the establishment of a Palestinian State is inapplicable. Defeating Palestiniansé that is Sharon and Yalon’s goal, the goal of the racial government in Israel and the general staffs governing Israel under Sharon, that controls the future of Israel and the region. They believe they will use the military machine of Israel to dominate the Middle East.
Palestinians do not go into battle for victory, or defeat, they are revolting against, poverty and unfairness. They refuse to allow the confiscation of their lands and allow Israeli’s to build settlements on it. They want to regain their humanity and rights as humans and want to enjoy (as the rest of nations) in their independence, democracy and the right of their children (as the rest of the world) in life, love and peace.
Does Sharon or Yalon thinks that the present situation in the West Bank and Gaza strip (after Israel had militarily reoccupied and enforced closures and curfew by military force) is a situation inspiring a victory for Palestinians. It is a defeat of the military aggressive brutal and colonizing power on an unarmed people and on his land occupied since 1967.
Therefore, we say to the racists (politicians and militants) governing Israel: There is no chance for defeating the Palestinian people. They were defeated militarily five decades ago. But they are determined to win their freedom.
No matter what Sharon and Yalon are willing to add to their Israeli war machine, there will be no military advantage of more than what had been achieved. There is no Palestinian war machine to be destroyed; there are no more Palestinian lands to be occupied. There is a nation and a people that demand freedom and independence. A nation, and a people that cannot be stopped by the Israeli war machine.
Sharon and Yalon are dragging the Israelis to a catastrophe, because this catastrophe both are planning to achieve in the Middle East will be a catastrophe for the region.
Palestinians have nothing more to lose. Now they have a historical chance to break the locks inflicted by the Israeli occupation, they have a chance to earn freedom and independence.
Those days have gone! Where the crimes and massacres committed by unjust occupation powers can be allowed against whole nations. The problem with Sharon and Yalon is that they should read their own history.
Bassam Abu-Sharif is a special advisor to Yasser Arafat.