Presentation of the working group Palestine

, by  Imen Habib, Sonia Fayman

The creation of a Palestine work group within Intercoll is an imperative in the sense that what happens in Palestine is central in social movements today and this is for many reasons.

  • It is a survival of settler colonialism, fought in the 20th century through the struggles of national liberation in the French, Portuguese, British etc. empires and at the same time it’s a very modern case of the attempt for the so-called international community to maintain its hold in this region of the world by interposed Israel.
  • Palestine is at the heart of debates which, if not new, take a different turn on from what they were some decades earlier, in a context which is no longer exactly that of anti-colonial struggles or apartheid in South Africa, but whose fundamentals are the same.
  • Movements of solidarity towards Palestine are developing all over the world, with diverse tones and objectives, from twinning with refugee camps, missions and delegations from northern countries, to BDS, the movement to Boycott disinvestment sanctions launched by more than 175 Palestinian Civil Society organisations in 2003 and the active support of political prisoners locked up in Israeli Prisons and who recalled the urgency of their situation by the massive hunger strike in April/May 2017.
  • Long-standing research taken on by Palestinian, Israeli and other historians have uncovered the lies of Zionist propaganda about the reality of the creation of the Israel State and their international support. They are being pursued and deepened by a growing number of universities and independent researchers all over the world.
  • Some voices courageously rise up in Israel to denounce apartheid, to support the boycott (boycott from within) and call on international support to the struggle against injustice to the Palestinians.

Many major issues intermingle with the characterisation of what is happening in Palestine and the perspectives offered to Palestinians: the issue of international rights; the issue of people’s rights; the issue of impunity within the “international community”; the issue of alliances and balance in the Middle-East etc.

The start-up work group already benefits by bringing researchers and activists involved close to Palestinians. It proposes to drive exchanges on the imposed situation in Palestine and Palestinians by the Nakba nearly 70 years ago, between those that base their practice of research and/or activism on the roots and manifestations of this situation. It acts on the construction of international thought on Palestine, for action.

The fields are numerous about the need to deepen and renew the analysis in order to make tools for action out of it. Notable citations: the asymmetry of respective positions in Israel and Palestine, the occupant ability vs the occupied nation, illegality of occupation of territories conquered in 1967 and the Wall built in these territories; the progressive wearing away of the West Bank occupied by illegal colonies and the threatening of total conquest by Israel; the blockade and military attacks stifling the Gaza strip and decimating the population; the discriminatory status of Palestinian citizens of Israel; the internal divisions of the Palestinian resistance; the military, financial, ideological, economic, educational and cultural war machine of Israel; the strengths and weaknesses of western support to Israel.