The undeniable Palestinian right to resist occupation

Noam Sheizaf writes: Following the killing of Mustafa Tamimi in his village Nabi Saleh, Spokesperson for the IDF presented pictures of a slingshot Tamimi had on him when he was brought to the hospital. This was to be the indicting evidence that the protester was taking part in hostile action against the army – i.e. throwing stones – and therefore responsible for his own death.

Only in the context of the occupation can throwing stones at a bullet-proof army jeep be seen as an offense deserving the death penalty, carried out on the spot (clearly, the soldiers weren’t acting in self-defense). Furthermore, as recent attacks by settlers on soldiers – including a brick thrown from close range on the IDF regional commander – demonstrated, the army’s treatment of Jews is very different (to be clear, I don’t call for shooting Jewish stone-throwers either). But there is a larger issue here, concerning the whole notion of “legitimate” resistance to the occupation.

Facts and context are important: Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza more than 44 years ago. Since then, the Palestinians have been under military occupation, which denies their basic human and civil rights. The Palestinians can’t vote. They are tried in military court, where the conviction rate is astonishing. They don’t enjoy due process. Their property rights are limited, and their lands – including private lands – are regularly seized by Israel. All this is well-known and well-documented.

As far as Israel is concerned, this situation can go on forever. Israel is not attempting to leave the West Bank – it actually strengthens its hold on the territory – and it doesn’t plan to give the Palestinians equal rights within the state of Israel.

The Palestinians therefore have a moral right to resist the occupation. It’s as simple as that.

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4 thoughts on “The undeniable Palestinian right to resist occupation

  1. rosemerry

    Human rights of anyone not “chosen” do not matter. It seems to me that the “settlers” are getting bolder and more influential, the US Congress is getting more craven in bowing down to this lawless nation, and if people do not stir themselves to learn more of the truth and act upon it eg BDS, influencing politicians in Europe, speaking to others, the situation will be untenable.
    Bravo to the brave and patient Palestinian people, but they need encouragement and moral support.

  2. delia ruhe

    In international law, Palestinians definitely do have the right to resist illegal occupation. And so far as I know, that law is silent on the question of the modes of resistance. To my mind, the only thing wrong with the choices of suicide bombing and rocket fire is the negative PR. Peaceful protest earns them more verbal support from the so-called “international community,” but so far it has cost more Palestinian lives than suicide bombing ever did and earned them nothing of real substance.

    But never fear: Israel and the U.S., clutched in a fatal embrace, appear to be going down for a third time. Soon enough, we will see their power submerged beneath the waves of global opinion.

  3. Frigga Karl

    to present a slingshot on the cover of a bed is so ridiculous and never any soldier, heavely armed, has been injured by slingshot stones. If a Palestinian would kill in the same way an israeli soldier, there would be such a violent collective punishment for the Palestinian People which would leave tens of victimes on the ground and hundreds of injured including children and womes, as we have witnessed all the time. Once again there is no balance in violence. The violence and the terrorist attacks are ONLY on the side of the occupation army! Even guns would justify selfdefense to fight against this murderous army! But the Palestinian people are all Ghandis! And they are killed every day! Israel has to be isolated completely from the international community.

  4. Dieter Heymann

    The “slingshot” accusation reminds me of a popular joke of the 30’s. Location: a home in Germany at breakfast. Present: husband who reads the newspaper and wife who brews coffee.
    He: Did you see the headline in the Voelkische Beobachter (Nazi Daily Newspaper)?
    She: No, what does it say?
    He: Jewish rowboat rams German battleship.

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