To Exist is to Resist
As I returned form Norway, I had to come to grips with more bad news from back home.
It appears Israeli and American attempts to cause an internal revolt against the Palestinian government has so far been unsuccessful, so they've gone ahead with the second, seasonal "operation" against Gaza (since "Summer Rain" brought no relief, they've decided to try to provide some shade through "Autumn Clouds").
In Norway, one of the panel's I was invited to speak on was titled "creative resistance in Palestine". We discussed the various, alternative forms that resistance has taken in Palestine from the traditional armed resistance.
In the West Bank village of Biliin, that resistance takes the form of weekly, creative, nonviolent protests against the Wall that is swallowing the villagers lands and livlihoods. On the internet, that form can also take blogging. In Gaza, where any resistance is met with much more brutal responses, and where we fight against an enemy we see only by way of F-16s, gunships, tanks, and distant snipers, creative resistance becomes much more difficult.
But last week in besieged Bait Hanun, the women showed there is another way-and they paid for it with their lives.
After the death toll rose to nearly 20 in one day, they went to the defense of the men holed up in the local mosque, with no arms, risking their lives under the direct fire of Israeli armoured vehicles.
Two died, 16 were injured. See video here and gripping BBC video report here (you can see the women running defencless, and the army firing at them, and two of them falling down).
The hail of fire did not deter them-they continued to march, over and beyond the barriers erected by the Israeli Army, directly in front of past the tanks. Hail to people power-and specifically, women power. See my Aunt's blog for more details about the ongoing Beit Hanun siege.
At times like these, I am reminded of the powerful slogan I saw in a picture of the Wall in the West Bank that says: "To Exist is to Resist".
To me, it really captures how it is like to be in Gaza in such times, or to be Palestinian-simply being able to keep your wits about you, and survive under such conditions, is in and of itself a form of resistance.