Now that the political manoeuvres of one and the other have passed, about Jerusalem, let us talk about a simple gesture of a young girl. As in the fatal era of the colonial war against the Algerian people, some French soldiers invaded a house, all heavily armed, without authorization and behaving as arrogant invaders, humiliating the inhabitants of the abode. Previously, they had killed young children, a bullet in the head as witnessed by one of the inhabitants of the burst-in house. By analogy, this story is that of Ahed Tamimi: or the immense solitude of new generations of ancient peoples.
But this young person did not hurl a bomb at the colonial Spadassins, nor fired on them a gust of submachine gun, nor employed a knife. She contented herself with… slapping the most arrogant of them. This person is a young girl, she is sixteen, she is Palestinian, and called Ahed Tamimi.
The latest is that an Israeli military court has extended the detention of Ahed filmed last month slapping soldiers outside her family home, pushing, kicking and slapping the soldiers, who fended off the blows without retaliating. On Monday, the Israeli military court extended her detention for two days.
The psychological effect of this gesture on part of Israeli (and global) opinion was immense. It demystified machismo: a woman slapping a man. It showed an unknown aspect of dignity: a colonized teenager slapping an adult colonizer. It manifested an original form of courage: a civilian only uses its bare hand against the cheek of an armed soldier.
Reaction of the Israeli authority?… Like that of the French colonialists. The young resistant to colonial occupation was thrown into prison, where she is still there.
However, as in France of the colonial era, in colonial Israel, there are fair and honest citizens. Thus, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published the letter of Ahed Tamimi’s own father. It reads like this:
“My daughter is just 16 years old. In another world, in your world, her life would be completely different. In our world, Ahed is a representative of a new generation of our people, young fighters for Freedom. This generation must lead its struggle on two fronts. On the one hand, they have the duty, of course, to continue the challenge and fight against Israeli colonialism in which they were born, until the day of its collapse. On the other hand, they must face, standing against all winds, the degradation of a stagnant policy, and to this degeneration that has spread among us.
They must become the living artery that will revive our revolution, and that would take it out of the death driven by a culture of passivity inherent to decades of political inactivity.
Ahed is one of those many young women who, in the coming years, will lead resistance to Israeli domination. She is not interested in the limelight currently pointing at her because of her arrest, but by a real change. She is not the product of one of the old parties or movements, and in its actions, she sends a message: to survive, we must frankly face our weakness and overcome our fears.
In this situation, our greatest duty, to me and to my generation, is to support her; by controlling ourselves and not trying to alter this increasingly prevailing new culture by imprisoning representatives of this new generation as well as get rid of the old ideologies in which we grew up. » (1)
In the recent history of all colonized peoples, has there been a people whose struggle is so manipulated by the petty interests of each other? They are none and if any these are as the father of this young resistant explains awkwardly perhaps, just as much as by the indigenous representatives of that land. Did it exist, is there a people so isolated, enjoying only a few actions of solidarity? A people for whom even the United Nations resolutions are not respected, let alone applied about their right of an independent territory? An ancient people reduced to surviving in a Bantustan, without provoking the protests that the Bantustans of the apartheid regime in South Africa had aroused?
In Algeria, some have criticized the Palestinians for their lack of solidarity with the victims of state repression during the various legitimate citizens ‘ revolts, both in Algiers and in the Kabylie region.
Question: In the situation that was and remains for its People could and can it Publicly express its solidarity with the Algerian victims of the indigenous arbitrariness?… Notice please, I have written “The people” and not its “leaders”?… Therefore, is it just and reasonable to deny this colonized people the international solidarity that it lacks so cruelly?
Should it be clarified that this solidarity does not need to be expressed in the name of a religion, a “race”, an “ethnic group”, but simply in the name of the right of peoples to freely dispose of self-determination, to live free and independent on their own territory, according to the resolutions of the United Nation?
Given that in Algeria like elsewhere, most people praise democracy in Israel and, among these people, some deny even the right of the Palestinian people to its territory, per the low United Nations resolutions applications, here is some information.
Speaking of democracy, let us talk about an independent Israeli extra-parliamentary organization, i.e.: The Gush Shalom that holds that:
- Democracy made in Israel.”
- The only democracy in the Middle East
- No Separation between religion and state.
- Non-Jews are discriminated against in various regions.
- Religious laws dictate the lifestyle of non-religious Israeli citizens.
- Still today, 50 years after independence, Israel has no constitution.
- 30% of the civilian population under Israeli control has no civil rights, not even human rights.
- Parts of the education system are controlled by the Secret Service.
- 80% of Israel’s resources belong to 10% of its citizens.
- More than 1,000 persons are detained in administrative detention without a stated reason, and without time limit.
- Israel is the only country that has a law that allows interrogators to use torture.
- All the channels of the mass media are in the hands of a handful of families.
- In Israel the Government has the right to close a newspaper.
- To non-Jews are forbidden to buy land that belongs to the State.
- Let’s stop this situation!
- A different situation is possible!
- It is up to us to create a free, secular, Democratic State of Israel, a state that will offer equal rights to all its citizens and peaceful relations with all its neighbours, a state where we shall be proud to live.”(2)
Let us see the nature of the action of the Israeli army against the Palestinians that as for a minority of French soldiers from the era of colonialism in Algeria, Israel also, has an organization of Israeli officers and dissident soldiers. These say:
«We officers and combat soldiers in reserve of the Israeli Defence Forces, which were raised on the principles of Zionism, self-sacrifice and gift to the people of Israel and the State of Israel, who have always served in the front line and who were the first to perform our mission to protect the State of Israel and to strengthen it.
- We, officers and combat soldiers who served the state of Israel for long weeks every year, despite the high cost of our personal lives, have been in service in the occupied territories and we have received orders and directives which had nothing to do with the security of our country, and which had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people.
- We, whose eyes saw the bloody balance of this occupation of the two sides,
- We, who have felt how the orders given to us in the occupied territories destroy all the values on which ourselves were brought up,
- We, who now understand that the price of occupation is the loss of character of the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] and the corruption of all Israeli society,
- We, who know that the territories are not part of Israel, and that all the colonies are doomed to evacuate,
- We hereby declare that We will not continue to fight this war of the colonies.
- We will not continue to fight beyond the borders of 1967 to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate a whole people.
- We hereby declare that we will continue to serve the IDF in any mission serving the defence of Israel.
- The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose-and we will not take any part. “(3)
Officers and soldiers who have complied with this decision are confronted with and might face prison and other retaliatory things.
So, in Algeria and elsewhere, can we not manifest, depending on the possibility of Each, for the indispensable solidarity of the Palestinian people? And this without any infamous opportunism, and whatever the motive and form?
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(2) of the Israeli website http://www.gush-shalom.org/ , visited in 2007. See my essay “War, Why?” Peace, how? Elements of discussion for people of goodwill “, freely accessible here: http://www.kadour-naimi.com/f_sociologie_ecrits.html
(2) “Letter of Fighters”, personal translation of the original English in http://www.seruv.org.il/english/combatants_letter.asp, see January 10, 2018. Bold words are the author’s.