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Are You in Favor of the Resistance? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Are you in favor of the resistance?

This is the question that Hamas uses as a decisive tool and weapon to obtain legitimacy for all its actions, which have unquestionably brought more destruction to the Palestinian people.

In order to enhance this weapon, Hamas needs auxiliary weapons that it extracts from the arsenal of rightful expressions for the purpose of achieving wrongful intentions, such as: “Is legitimate resistance not truly the right of occupied people?

The Geneva Accords and UN resolutions have underlined this right. It is what every free human believes in and what history — near, far, and modern — attests. Was the resistance against the Americans in Vietnam not legitimate? Was the resistance against the French in Algeria not legitimate? Was the resistance against the British in Egypt not legitimate? Why do you ask us, the Palestinians, to renounce our resistance?”

As you may have noticed, all these questions lead to one compulsory answer, that is: Resistance is legitimate and they have the right to resist. However, once you have agreed that this is the answer to this question, you will have implicitly agreed that resistance will certainly be encountered by counter resistance. Moreover, this resistance, which will bring forth counter resistance, is consistent with Hamas’s destructive abilities, manifested in the primitive missiles that are produced locally in smiths’ workshops. As for counter resistance, it is consistent with Israel’s military abilities. Hence, the net result is this depressing reality we are witnessing on the ground, where the killing of three or four Israelis is met with the death of over 100 Palestinian women, children, and men, including whole families, in addition to destroying their homes and utilities, ruining their livelihood, and driving them farther away from any political solution to the problem of occupation.

Nevertheless, the arsenal of words does not drain away. Revolutionists are always able to find questions that they know perfectly well are impossible to answer, such as: Where is the Arab nation? Where are Arab rulers? Where is the United Nations? Where is the European Union? Why is there this Arab silence? In this way, these people can go on forever, transforming the painful reality into an endless flow of words. In fact, the mistake lies in detaching the word “resistance” from the time in which it emerged and from its nature, which gives it the ability to influence. There are no Americans returning to the United States, no French returning to France, and no British returning to the United Kingdom. There are only Israelis occupying your land and living in an adjacent state. They represent colonialism and have no country to which to return. Rather, they are an example of settlement colonialism, with the legitimacy of which they convinced the world. They will not leave the place.

Therefore, the only legitimate resistance as far as you are concerned is to make sure that you use all the means that make it possible for you to exist in the same place without violence. This is due to logical, realistic, living, and existential reasons, taking into consideration that your enemy is capable of killing and wounding your people, demolishing your buildings and constructions, and erasing your present and future. Legitimacy derives its legitimacy from people’s consent and zeal.

Therefore, the only resistance demonstrated by the Palestinian people — after the use of rifles — was the first intifadah of stone-throwing children. It was a spontaneous resistance by innocent children, who had not been tainted by political calculations. This intifadah forced Israel to do what had been considered as impossible — that is, to sign together with the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] the Oslo Accords, according to which both peoples recognized the need for mutual recognition. Now, it is impossible for the world to accept any violence demonstrated by a Palestinian group under the slogan of resistance, even if this violence is limited to the firing of missiles that pose no real danger to the Israeli existence.

In short, this resistance has failed to obtain legitimacy. It has become clear to everyone that these operations have nothing to do with the liberation of Palestine, albeit they use Palestine as a battlefield and the Palestinians as fuel. They are carried out in accordance with the political calculations of the Tehran-Damascus axis, whose members are incapable of winning even a small piece of their people’s hearts. I still remember the posters that were posted in the streets of my town during World War II and that helped me learn to read. One of them read: Axis defeat is inevitable. It appears that this slogan is valid for all times.

Ali Salem

Ali Salem

Ali Salem is a renowned Egyptian playwright and humorist. He is the author of several books, including Journey into Israel. He is based in Cairo.

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