12 September 2019   The Last Dance: Trump, Putin, Netanyahu and Kim - By: Alon Ben-Meir



5 September 2019   For the US and Iran, war is not an option - By: Alon Ben-Meir



22 August 2019   Area C next battleground in Palestine - By: Daoud Kuttab




14 August 2019   Not Acting On Climate Crisis Is At Our Peril - By: Alon Ben-Meir















5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)

1 April 2019

‘The Essence of Being Palestinian’: What the Great March of Return is Really About

By: Ramzy Baroud
print     send by email

The aims of the Great March of Return protests, which began in Gaza on March 30, 2018 are to put an end to the suffocating Israeli siege and implementing the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes and towns in historic Palestine 70 years earlier.

But there is much more to the March of Return than a few demands, especially bearing in mind the high human cost associated with it.

According to Gaza's Ministry of Health, over 250 people have been killed and 6,500 wounded, including children, medics and journalists.

Aside from the disproportionately covered ‘flaming kites’ and youth symbolically cutting through the metal fences that have besieged them for many years, the March has been largely non-violent. Despite this, Israel has killed and maimed protesters with impunity.

A UN human rights commission of inquiry found last month that Israel may have committed war crimes against protesters, resulting in the killing of 189 Palestinians within the period March 30 and December 31, 2018.

The inquiry found “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at children, medics and journalists, even though they were clearly recognizable as such,” the investigators concluded as reported by BBC online.

Many in the media, however, still do not understand what the Great March of Return really means for Palestinians.

A cynically titled report in the Washington Post attempted to offer an answer. The article, "Gazans have paid in blood for a year of protests. Now many wonder what it was for," selectively quoted wounded Palestinians who, supposedly, feel that their sacrifices were in vain.

Aside from providing the Israeli military with a platform to blame the Hamas Movement for the year-long march, the long report ended with these two quotes:
The March of Return "achieved nothing," according to one injured Palestinian. 

"The only thing I can find is that it made people pay attention," said another.

If the Washington Post paid attention, it would have realized that the mood among Palestinians is neither cynical nor despairing.

The Post should have wondered: if the march 'achieved nothing', why were Gazans still protesting, and the popular and inclusive nature of the March has not been compromised?

“The Right of Return is more than a political position,” said Sabreen al-Najjar, the mother of young Palestinian medic, Razan, who, on June 1, 2018, was fatally shot by the Israeli army while trying to help wounded Palestinian protesters. It is “more than a principle: wrapped up in it, and reflected in literature and art and music, is the essence of what it means to be Palestinian. It is in our blood.”

Indeed, what is the ‘Great March of Return’ but a people attempting to reclaim their role, and be recognized and heard in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine?

What is largely missing from the discussion on Gaza is the collective psychology behind this kind of mobilization, and why it is essential for hundreds of thousands of besieged people to rediscover their power and understand their true position, not as hapless victims, but as agents of change in their society.

The narrow reading, or the misrepresentation of the March of Return, speaks volumes about the overall underestimation of the role of the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and national liberation, extending for a century.

The story of Palestine is the story of the Palestinian people, for they are the victims of oppression and the main channel of resistance, starting with the Nakba – the creation of Israel on the ruins of Palestinian towns and villages in 1948. Had Palestinians not resisted, their story would have concluded then, and they, too, would have disappeared.

Those who admonish Palestinian resistance or, like the Post, fail to understand the underlying value of popular movement and sacrifices, have little understanding of the psychological ramifications of resistance – the sense of collective empowerment and hope which spreads amongst the people. In his introduction to Frantz Fanon’s ‘Wretched of the Earth”, Jean-Paul Sartre describes resistance, as it was passionately vindicated by Fanon, as a process through which “a man is re-creating himself.”

For 70 years, Palestinians have embarked on that journey of the re-creation of the self. They have resisted, and their resistance in all of its forms has molded a sense of collective unity, despite the numerous divisions that were erected amongst the people.

The March of Return is the latest manifestation of the ongoing Palestinian resistance.

It is obvious that elitist interpretations of Palestine have failed – Oslo proved a worthless exercise in empty clichés, aimed at sustaining American political dominance in Palestine as well as in the rest of the Middle East.

But the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993 shattered the relative cohesiveness of the Palestinian discourse, thus weakening and dividing the Palestinian people.

In the Israeli Zionist narrative, Palestinians are depicted as drifting lunatics, an inconvenience that hinders the path of progress – a description that regularly defined the relationship between every western colonial power and the colonized, resisting natives.

Within some Israeli political and academic circles, Palestinians merely ‘existed’ to be ‘cleansed’, to make room for a different, more deserving people. From the Zionist perspective, the ‘existence’ of the natives is meant to be temporary. “We must expel Arabs and take their place,” wrote Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion.

Assigning the roles of dislocated, disinherited and nomadic to the Palestinian people, without consideration for the ethical and political implications of such a perception, has erroneously presented Palestinians as a docile and submissive collective.

Hence, it is imperative that we develop a clearer understanding of the layered meanings behind the Great March of Return. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza did not risk life and limb over the last year simply because they required urgent medicine and food supplies.

Palestinians did so because they understand their centrality in their struggle. Their protests are a collective statement, a cry for justice, an ultimate reclamation of their narrative as a people – still standing, still powerful and still hopeful after 70 years of Nakba, 50 years of military occupation and 12 years of unrelenting siege.

* Ramzy Baroud is an author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London). - ramzybaroud@gmail.com



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code



17 أيلول 2019   المسلسل الصهيوني لتدمير الأقصى وتهويد القدس..! - بقلم: د. عبد الرحيم جاموس

17 أيلول 2019   قراءة اولية في الإنتخابات التونسية - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول



16 أيلول 2019   أهمية الصوت الفلسطيني..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

16 أيلول 2019   مـيـرا..! - بقلم: عيسى قراقع

16 أيلول 2019   الانتخابات الإسرائيلية: حسم القضايا الكبرى..! - بقلم: مصطفى إبراهيم

16 أيلول 2019   هل تتكرر مذبحة صبرا وشاتيلا؟ - بقلم: أحمد الحاج علي

16 أيلول 2019   حماس وإيران: علاقة غير طبيعية..! - بقلم: د. إبراهيم فؤاد عباس

15 أيلول 2019   "ليكود" بدون نتنياهو؟! - بقلم: محمد السهلي

15 أيلول 2019   أوسلو.. له ما له وعليه ما عليه ولكن..! - بقلم: د. عبد الرحيم جاموس


15 أيلول 2019   26 عامًا على اتفاق اوسلو..! - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن



3 أيلول 2019   "بردلة".. انتزاع الحق بسواعد مكبلة..! - بقلم: اتحاد الجان العمل الزراعي





3 تموز 2019   تحذيرات تلوث بحر غزة لم تنفر مصطافيه..! - بقلم: وسام زغبر





27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


14 أيلول 2019   عن ألبوم "خوف الطغاة من الأغنيات"..! - بقلم: رفقة العميا

30 اّب 2019   روائيون ولدوا بعد أوسلو..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم

29 اّب 2019   نحتاج لصحوة فكرية وثورة ثقافية..! - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

29 اّب 2019   الأرض تغلق الغيوم..! - بقلم: حسن العاصي



8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2019- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية