Palestinian resistance and Israeli occupation

Gaza Strip/Bansky


Ethnic cleansing, genocide and neocolonialism

People have become accustomed in recent years to sharing news about events that happen in the present time in an explosion of revolt and indignation. This is regardless of whether it is for or against a certain event. There are different feelings, both through perverse, manipulative posts, which take on a radical ideological character; such as those that carry feelings of solidarity and empathy with the struggle of the Palestinian people against the colonization of the Israeli Zionist government; against the occupation of its territory for decades and the massacres that have occurred there in that region of the Middle East since the creation of the Jewish State.

This is the question, of time and history, in an unequal dispute between a people who are denied their State and their territory is taken away, against a strong State, well armed and supported by strategic interests by the greatest war power on the planet, the USA. It is necessary to know this entire historical process from its origins.

At a time of intense political-ideological polarization, analyzing an intensely complex conflict adds to the economic and political pressures of the strong Israeli lobby, across all parts of the world. Naturally, in these conditions, “public opinion”, as always, is being formed by media manipulations, now added to the absurdly (because absolutely contradictory in the logic of this religion) incomprehensible defense of the Israeli government by important segments of the evangelical religion. The same segments that supported the far-right government of former president Jair Bolsonaro.

In a time of post-truth, opinions become polarized, and everyone interested in the topic seeks the information that best characterizes their ideological choices. In this environment, trying to be impartial is absolutely impossible. Even for those looking for an academic perspective, given their status as a professor and specialist in the field. Because the topic involves us, especially those who have historically dedicated themselves to following and condemning the entire process of occupation and colonization, since the years known as the “commercial revolution”, when the bourgeoisie started to look for products, goods, in continents that were previously little explored in this logic that intensified in Europe, and little by little the capitalist system emerged.

This process was consolidated in the XNUMXth century, with the Berlin Conference, when the African continent was divided between European powers, with its people forced to live in nation-states that obeyed border demarcation lines at the whim of imperialist/colonizing interests. .

But it doesn't stop there, because this dispute for colonial control, which strengthened some empires, will lead to a war of global proportions at the beginning of the XNUMXth century. After its end, a new division of world geopolitics was consolidated with the victorious countries, which made up the Triple Entente, remaking the borders or taking control of territories from the defeated countries (Triple Alliance).

Why is this important for understanding the Palestinian issue? Because shortly after the end of the war, the allied countries, to consolidate their position as victors, divided up regions that were under the control of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire, one of the defeated parties, and which dominated vast areas of the Middle East, including this area of ​​centuries-old dispute.

In 1916, British diplomat Colonel Sir Mark Sykes took a colored pencil and drew a crude line across a map of the Middle East. It ran from Haifa on the Mediterranean, in what is now Israel, to Kircuk (now Iraq), in the Northeast. This line became the basis of a secret agreement with his French counterpart, François Georges-Picot, to divide the region into two spheres of influence if the Triple Entente defeated the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. (MARSHALL, Tim. prisoners of geography, P. 147-148).

Thus, the procedure was similar to that which occurred at the Berlin Conference, albeit secretly, but with the same objectives: territorial domains and colonial control, including the definition of borders of the new Nation-States that would emerge. Before the Sykes-Picot agreement (in its broadest sense), there was no State of Syria, no Lebanon, no Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Israel or Palestine.

The result of these “seams” and colonial disputes was the existence in these States of authoritarian governments, bequeathed by the colonizers, in total disregard for the characteristics of a region highly polarized by religion, but strongly attractive to economic interests, due to the enormous reserves of Oil and Gas.

The rulers, almost always subservient to the European or US colonizers, fed on these riches and administered these new territories autocratically, imposing themselves dictatorially over the people. When they began to fail to meet imperial interests, hybrid wars took charge of dethroning them, or eliminating them, in the hypocritical banner of defending democracy.

To understand how harmful this colonization process was, we can compare the situations of Algeria, dominated by France, and Palestine, under British control. Naturally, maintaining the appropriate proportions (not to mention the colonization of African countries).

After the Second World War, when the process of reconstruction of the nations involved in the conflict began more directly, and also when the anti-colonialist and independence struggles began, against the occupation of these territories by foreign powers, radicalizations assumed tragic proportions, but the mark the stronger was the permanent resistance of these people.

These are different situations, of course. France brutally represses the Algerians, in an absurd condition of domination and colonization, with the displacement of hundreds of thousands of French people to that country. The separation in Algiers, capital of Algeria, placed a barrier between two parts of the city, separated, between a European side, sophisticated and more developed, and the Arab side, more made up of cheap and exploited labor, where the original peoples lived. . Tens of thousands of Algerians were massacred, in a long and arduous resistance, until the definitive achievement of independence and the expulsion of French colonizers from Algerian territory. Only recently has France recognized these massacres.

The Algerians' struggle took two forms. From the political organization around the Algerian Liberation Front with peaceful resistance, but also as a reaction to the practice of mass murders and torture by the French, the use of an armed wing of that organization, using various tactics, including terrorist actions through the explosion of bombs in places frequented by Europeans. In 1962, the Algerians achieved their independence, putting an end to French colonial rule, and the decline of this empire. But no French ruler was ever convicted of the massacre of the Algerian people for all the years of colonial rule.

The other part of the Sykes-Picot agreement, which corresponds to the British Empire's rule over the Middle East, ended differently. Absolutely weakened after the Second World War, the British decided to withdraw from that region, but for strategic reasons the interest in keeping the region under control remained, as a way of preventing possible influence from the Soviet Union.

The solution was to put into operation an alternative that had been attempted for some time, the occupation of a territory, considered sacred by three of the largest religions, with the creation of a state that could shelter the Jewish people. In this way, it served the strategic interests of the USA and Great Britain and the secular objectives of Jews spread across different parts of the world, especially after the attempted genocide they suffered as a result of Hitler's rise and the creation of the Third Reich, elevating anti-Semitism to the condition of ethnic cleansing policy.

It turns out that the return of the Jews to that region took place in a process of occupation of territories already controlled by the Palestinians, and in an area of ​​strong religious dispute. A problem that accentuates a situation of geopolitical dispute, due to the fact that this is the center considered sacred by the followers of these three religions.

In the midst of political conflicts, in 1947 the UN approved the resolution that created the State of Israel and delimited its borders, which would never be respected, with the Zionist governments expanding territorial control immediately after a war with Arab countries.

Then, shortly after the Proclamation of Independence, on May 15 (1948), the armies of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria invaded Palestine and attacked the newborn State of Israel. The so-called War of Independence ended with the victory of Israel, which signed an armistice in 1949, after appropriating 78% of the territory and 100% of the waters of Palestine, incorporating another 20%, that is, another 2500 square miles to 5600 square miles granted by 1947 UN Partition. (BANDEIRA, LA Moniz. The Second Cold War, P. 469).

This was the first of many clashes involving countries bordering the new State, as well as the intensification of Palestinian resistance. Always victorious, Israel, with the support of the USA, Great Britain and other NATO member countries, imposed itself as a regional colonial power, expanding the occupation of Palestinian lands, including in territories later defined by the UN itself as belonging to Palestinian domains, recognized as State in 2012, through a resolution (67/19), which recognizes Palestine as a “non-member observer state”.

Palestinian resistance has always been very strong, alternating with military actions or popular revolts (Intifadas) against the Israeli occupation, supported by Arab countries and groups, or non-Arab countries, but with a Muslim majority, throughout the Middle East and North Africa. . The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) played a prominent role in this process, until it culminated in the death of Yasser Arafat, suspected of poisoning. (MIRHAN, 2022, p. 286).

When I started this text with reference to Algeria, it is because after these victories obtained in conflicts with neighboring countries, Israel gradually expanded territorial domains beyond those defined in the UN resolution when it was created. The ongoing colonization project is very similar to France's strategy for occupying Algeria.

The current conflict, which explodes after a surprising operation by Hamas, with a violent action that killed hundreds of soldiers and civilians, kidnapping more than two hundred Israelis (including soldiers, women and elderly people), has in Israel's offensive the brutality that always characterized these reactions, and appears to follow a previously established script that consolidates the occupation of the Gaza Strip, with evident ethnic cleansing, aiming to expel the Palestinians from that narrow piece of densely populated territory.

The indiscriminate bombing of the civilian population, with the murder of thousands of children and women, demonstrates, at the same time, that there is an interest that can be characterized as genocidal, in eliminating this majority part of the population, in order to prevent future young people, or Those who will be born from women's wombs will become insurgents and militants in groups resisting the Israeli occupation.

But Gaza is not the only disputed Palestinian territory in the region. The West Bank, defined as part of the State of Palestine, has been gradually occupied by Israeli settlers for decades. There are around 400 Jews living in the West Bank. The term “settlement” suggests small camps, perhaps located on high, windswept hills. However, although many started this way, some have transformed into real cities, with no shortage of city halls, supermarkets and schools. The roads that connect them to each other and to Israel make it difficult for Palestinians to move around the West Bank or hold large swaths of continuous territory.

Today, there are also more than 200 Jews living in East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed in 1967 but which Palestinians claim as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Jews tend to think of East Jerusalem and the West Bank as separate entities; In Palestinian minds this division does not exist. (MARSHALL, Tim. The Age of Walls: Why we live in a divided world, p.106)

So, what we have in that region is fair resistance from a people who have been losing their territory for decades, in a process of clearly neocolonial occupation, through all types of pressure, oppression and terror, practiced against a population that systematically suffers terrorist pressure. of the State of Israel. Having this small territory of Gaza completely surrounded all these years, subjecting itself to all types of control, in what was already known as an open-air prison, a true ghetto. In the South, the border is closed with strong restrictions on crossings through Israel and Egypt.

In the North, a wall that separates the borders with Israel. On the Mediterranean coast, all control is also Israeli, including fishing activities. On the other, longer border, which stretches from North to South, is Israeli territory, which for more than 30 kilometers separates Gaza from the West Bank, the other piece of Palestinian territory.

The Gaza Strip is actually an enclave in Israeli territory. Despite being governed by Hamas, which won the election in 2006 running against Fatah or Al-Fatah, which governs the West Bank, practically everything that enters or leaves its borders is controlled by Israel. Which invariably comes into conflict with Hamas, increases the number of Palestinians murdered and imprisoned and retreats. Hence the reference to a prison. No one leaves there without authorization from Israel, which controls water, electricity and even blocks humanitarian aid, which is also monitored.

Although an Islamic organization, originating from a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, with a strong presence in Egypt, and with a military wing, operating since 1987, Hamas was anointed by the Palestinian population in the electoral process. Because the territory it governs is oppressed by the State of Israel, which imposes restrictions on freedom and mobility on its people, its resistance is legitimized, including support in several constitutional letters from different countries, as well as in discussions in the international legal field, considering Resistance to all types of repression and oppressive yoke to which a people is subjected is legitimate. Both internally, in opposition to dictatorial governments, and in the fight against a foreign ruler, who controls by force and colonizes or enslaves other peoples.

It turns out that, incomparably weaker compared to the military power of the Israeli state, the armed wing of Hamas uses terrorist actions as a strategy, submitting violent attacks that cause the death of Israeli civilians, in a radicalization that aims to attract the wrath of the Jewish state to make visible the Palestinian problem. But this comes at the cost of tragedies that also victimize thousands of Palestinians, mainly women, the elderly and children.

This time, strangely enough, the Hamas attack on Israeli territory was not captured by that country's intelligence. Very strange, given that the Mossad is one of the most effective intelligence services among the rest of the main European countries. Knowing now that there was already an Israeli plan ready to occupy Gaza, this leads to the search for explanations as to whether this “failure” would not have been intentional, in order to justify the terrorist barbarity of that State, as a response to Hamas terrorist attacks.

The solution has already been presented in several resolutions, denied by several Israeli governments, which do not comply with what is established by the UN, regarding the need for the constitution of two States, at this point a very compromised thesis. On the other hand, Hamas, as a parastate organization, does not necessarily submit to UN resolutions.

By not imposing by its forces, as required by law, the resolution that created the two states, the UN weakened itself, and through the unrestricted support of the USA for the Zionist governments of Israel, it rendered dead letters everything regarding the barbarities that are committed in this dispute, which will undoubtedly culminate in making Israel a pariah state, outside of any deliberation by international organizations. Something that I had already been doing.

War crimes are ignored, the Criminal Court succumbs to the strategic objectives of the European-American bloc and hypocrisy controls the decisions of an organization completely demoralized in its objectives. Putin was convicted in The Hague accused of removing children from areas that were being bombed; In the case of the Israeli attack on Gaza, we have more than 5.000 dead children and an almost equal number of women, including pregnant women, and no charges against those murdered by this Court.

In the absence of possibilities for agreements that guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people, and considering that this struggle goes beyond territorial issues and involves strategic interests in the dispute over oil and gas, and, with an ever-present gravity, the religious issue, one can consider the hypothesis of a serious regional extension of this conflict, which, given the conditions in which the world lives, will certainly lead to a third world war.

Until then, the world that ends is Palestine. Subjected for decades to cowardly attacks, the elimination of young people both through military execution and imprisonment and the consequent withdrawal of their freedom and rights. Whether in an Israeli prison or in what the Gaza Strip has treacherously transformed into, in a process of expulsion, ethnic elimination and, undeniably, genocide of a people. As has happened to other peoples throughout history, including the attempt to eliminate the Jews during Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. In what Zionism now repeats, in a tragedy represented by the farce of claiming the right to defense, when it is the State of Israel itself that is always colonizing, attacking, oppressing and destroying Palestinian lives.

Finally, an observation about the shameful coverage of traditional media, major free-to-air and cable channels. News about the war between Russia and Ukraine comes to us with information from the Ukrainian side, which had its territory invaded. In the much more disproportionate war between Israel and Palestine, the news is given by the invader's side. And, shamelessly, when reporters say something about destruction in Gaza they say that “the information cannot be independently verified”.

But these same networks expose images taken by Israeli soldiers, or by journalists who accompany the troops with authorization, whose images are selected and subjected to censorship to be shared. For this media sold to Israeli lobbies, the oppressor and colonizer is the one who deserves credibility. And, hypocritically, this is how humanity walks.

*Romualdo Pessoa Campos Filho He is a full professor at the Institute of Socio-Environmental Studies at the Federal University of Goiás (UFG).


BANDEIRA, Luiz Alberto Muniz. The Second Cold War. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 2013.

BRAUDEL, F. Grammar of Civilizations. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1989.

MARSHALL, Tim. Prisoners of Geography. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2018.

MARSHALL, Tim. The Age of Walls. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2021.

MIRHAN, Lejeune. Current affairs in the anti-imperialist struggle. Campinas-SP: Aparte, 2022.

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