Didi Remez has a great post today about the gradually snowballing effect of the weekly anti-occupation demonstration’s in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah district.
- Thousands of demonstrators, Jewish and Palestinian, from a wide range of backgrounds and with diverse political views came out in a show of force to protest injustice. Writing about “Sheikh Jarrah and the birth of a coalition,” Jerry Haber at Magnes Zionist captures the unique stripes of this emerging movement…
Remez’s post and Haber’s are both really worth reading. They seem to indicate that a new, more focused of anti-occupation activists is growing up in Israel– which is highly welcome, given the demoralization, decimation, and general political failure of the older generation of “peace” activists.
Note that difference, between Israelis who struggled for an amorphous form of “peace” with their Palestinians and the new generation that is more focused on ending the injustice of Israel’s nearly 43-year-old military occupation of Palestinian (and Syrian) land.
This reminds me of something I heard the older-generation French-Israeli activist Sylvain Cypel say in Washington a couple of years ago. He recalled that back when he was a social activist in France in the 1950s,
- we were all very concerned about the situation in Algeria, and called for many years for ‘peace between France and Algeria’. But our movement never got any real traction until we switched from calling for ‘peace’ with Algeria to calling clearly for an end to France’s illegal and repressive rule over Algeria. That was when we started to have an effect on the political system inside France.
That advice certainly resonated with me, from my years growing up in an end-of-empire Britain. “Peace” with India, or Kenya, or Botswana, or whatever??? Heck no! What Britain needed to do in those colonial situations was quite evidently Just Get Out.
Same with Israel in the OPTs today. There, a whole industry has grown up around the loosey-goosey theories that thousands of outsiders have about “peacemaking”, “confidence building”, etc etc etc. That can come! I’m not against it for a moment. But what people need to focus on, surely, is the structural issue of military occupation, and how to end it, pronto.
Otherwise this “peace-processing” business can just go on and on and on– as we have seen already!– for decades! (While the colonists continue to enjoy and consolidate their illegal gains.)
… I see from that Wikipedia page that Cypel is supposed to be working for Le Monde in New York these days. I wonder if I could contact him there. Any ideas?