News outlets are in overdrive, asking the question whether this is the third Intifada we are witnessing in Palestine or something else. Immediately, comparisons with the first or second Intifadas have taken center stage with a heavy focus on fear and the psychological condition of Israeli society, which is again facing “random” acts of Palestinian violence. Commentators have spent time discussing the intense fear experienced by individual Israelis having to face the possibility of a Palestinian knife or the anxiety of being run over by a car. The fear is real, and I would not pretend that isn’t the case for any individual or group, but what was erased and structurally absent from the coverage were the feelings and daily horror Palestinians faced before, during and after this violence-filled period passes. Palestinians are an occupied population for anyone who has missed the news in the past 67 years.
Let’s break it down simply to Israelis and their supporters: You cannot expect to occupy and dehumanize a whole people for over 67 years by dispossessing and expelling a whole population without consequences or response. Have you thought of the response when building and expanding settlements, demolishing homes, cutting trees, stealing water and building walls?
Occupation is the worst form of violence because it is committed against each and every individual, 24/7, year-round. Occupation eats up the insides of each and every Palestinian and acts like an alien that is seeping into the bloodstream and working to destroy the hope and aspirations of the young, the old, the sick and the well.
The third Intifada dates back to the first one back in 1976 when Palestinians understood the meaning of the Zionist colonization effort, and western powers incubated it from the beginning. The treacheries committed against the Palestinian people are legendary and have made careers and diplomatic posts in far and near places. But the people continue to resist and aspire for freedom, dignity and justice, which will come sooner or later no matter the walls or impediments.
You see, Palestinians have the misfortune of knowing the name of every U.S. secretary of state all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson’s administration and up to the current one serving under Barack Obama. All without exception are sent to Palestine to try to work on a “peace process.” However, one must understand that the proposals are intended to bestow upon Israel an “Iron Wall” security structure at the expense of the occupied and dispossessed Palestinians. Whenever one of these otherwise intelligent secretaries of state arrives in the region, it is a sure sign that Palestinians will end up losing something, either directly or indirectly.
Lo and behold, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be arriving in the region soon, and my recommendation for the Palestinians is to immediately head toward the exits. Rest assured that Kerry has no power or leverage to make Israel do anything that Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want them to do. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that Kerry is incapable of persuading Israel to freeze its settlement expansion for just a few months despite the U.S. being the sugar daddy for the spoiled Zionist State. Netanyahu has more influence and power in D.C. than President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, who can’t even count on a solid majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. What will Kerry do when he visits Palestine?
I am sure that Kerry will pressure Abbas to crack down and stop the Palestinian violence. I am sure that he will inform Abbas of his responsibilities and obligations under Oslo and the need to protect the settlers and the occupying power. I am sure that he will share with Abbas some Israeli and American intelligence of conversations by some Palestinian Authority (PA) members, or even Abu Mazen himself, that implicates them for looking the other way during the protests: thus, are to be held responsible by their employer and funders, the U.S. and Israel. I am sure that Abbas and the PA will go through high-level security briefings about the threats and loss of power if this resistance persists. I am sure that Abbas and the PA will be threatened (assuming it is still needed) with a loss of privileges and pending lucrative contracts.
What John Kerry will carry will be the long and torturous American diplomatic stick, and it will be used once again to put the Palestinians back in their place; an occupied population assigned the humiliation of remaining responsible for protecting and defending their occupier, while being tormented daily by its power. Kerry will arrive to rescue Israel once more by preventing any alternatives to the existing framework of the occupier, determining the methods by which the occupied are to be punished for refusing to cooperate in its own erasure. Intifada or not, Israel’s occupation remains intact, and John Kerry is coming to rescue the occupier and blame the occupied for resisting. The sooner the Palestinians understand this reality about American diplomacy, the better it will be for bringing change to Palestine.