Video: Palestinians have the right to resist

On Tuesday I appeared on Al Jazeera English to talk about Israel’s ongoing attacks on Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian resistance to the assault.

I told the network that Israel suffered a strategic defeat when it failed to break Palestinian popular resistance in Jerusalem with its massive raid on the al-Aqsa mosque on Monday morning and in previous days.

Israel was then forced to cancel a provocative march by settler extremists through Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday.

I added that Israel made a strategic miscalculation in thinking it could do as it pleased in Jerusalem while counting on Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza not to respond.

The Al Jazeera host asserted that the decision by the resistance factions in Gaza to respond to Israel’s attacks by firing rockets would “change the narrative” from “Palestinian worshippers being fired upon in a holy Muslim place to Israel has the right to defend itself.”

I answered that it “only changes the narrative if that’s the narrative you choose to adopt” – instead of the correct one that Palestinians are an occupied people who have a right to resistance and self-defense.

I observed that Arab regimes that recently celebrated their marriages to Israel did so over what they thought was the dead body of the Palestinian cause. But events of recent days show that Palestinians will not give up their struggle for their rights.

Israel has vowed to escalate its bombing attacks on Gaza, and as of Wednesday afternoon 28 Palestinians had been killed in massive Israeli bombardments of Gaza, 10 of them children, according to the health ministry in the territory.

More than 150 have been injured.

As Israel’s bombing continued in Gaza on Wednesday, two people in Israel were killed in Ashkelon, a city north of the Gaza-Israel boundary, in a rocket barrage fired by resistance factions.

Watch the video above.

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Palestinians must resist. Occupation is a moral outrage. But what is the best means of resistance? Are there digital whizz-kids in Palestine? Surely. Hacking is better than attacking when you have no army and face slaughter. The Palestinians need to work out ways of hobbling Israel's infrastructure and systems of administration without firing a shot or throwing a stone. There are digitally talented people all over the world willing to help the Palestinian cause. But what we are hearing in the media is, first of all, it's Israel versus Palestinian militants. Why not Zionist crazies against an oppressed people? Then we are heading for all out war. War? War is usually a conflict between States, what we have here is the most powerful army in the ME against a virtually unarmed people: no army, no tanks, no planes. The Palestinians are forbidden to have an army because they are forbidden to have a State. This is not war, it's slaughter. The rockets fired from Gaza, though they can cause destruction and kill, are pitiful by comparison to the forces of the IDF. Then we have no challenge to the Israeli designation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation; a terrorist organisation which won the first free election in the Arab world in January 2006. Remember the response of Israel and the US?: intimidation, violence, brutality. Democracy is not supposed to produce the "wrong" result. And most important, what response from the US? Pathetic. Biden could halt the violence in an hour. He can tell the Israelis to stop, he can tell Hamas to stop, he can guarantee no more settlements as he promised in his election campaign. The US has the dollars and it has the power. When it wants to, it acts fast and with decisiveness. Biden can stop this, but he hangs back because the US had used Israel as its proxy for decades. There are US dollars behind every plane that flies over Gaza, behind every rocket fired. Biden is tested. Will he keep his promise? If not, slaughter.

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