Palestine: liberation comes from resisting imperialism
A valuable interview between Rania Khalek and Ali Abunimah of The Electronic Intifada. At 34 minutes, Abunimah talks about how the right to self-defence is acknowledged for Western countries, so why not Palestinians? Of course, citizens and officials do have the right to resist.
At 46 minutes, Khalek introduces the issue of contradictions among Arab supporters of Palestinians. Khalek ventures that many Lebanese say that they support Palestine, yet they despise Palestine’s most significant backers in Iran, Hezbollah and the Resistance front. Abunimah characterizes this sentiment, where it exists, as a legacy of sectarian colonialism. It is not as present in Jordan, where ordinary people do not seek reasons to oppose Palestinian co-operation with other countries.
Palestinians have a right to take support from whomever will give it to them, and it is certain countries that have stepped up to the plate.
Abunimah also talks about the intense U.S. effort a few years ago to foment sectarianism in the ‘Middle East’ in order to maintain its hegemony and divide the resistance.
If we want Palestine to win, we need to understand that it is not an island. Khalek and Abunimah talk about how there is a stream of liberalism that is ‘pro-Palestine,’ but anti-Resistance. Many liberals want to see Palestinians as helpless victims, a charity case, and they discourage militancy.
Abunimah argues that the success of Palestinian resistance depends on integration into the regional struggle to remove U.S. imperialism.
U.S.-sponsored sectarianism fading
Khalek also introduces the idea of a “post-Arab-spring” Middle East, in which fracture points among the resistance may be fading, despite the massive U.S. effort to foster sectarianism.
Abunimah explains that the U.S. sought to escalate sectarianism between Sunni and Shi’a after the defeat of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 elevated Hezbollah to the status of a pan-Arab resistance movement. The U.S. also sought to weaken resistance to its own occupation of Iraq:
“I remember … people pushing this line. Saying, you know, that the real fracture in the region is not between Israel and Arabs, it’s between Sunni and Shi’a.
And so it was a propaganda effort particularly aimed at Hezbollah, to turn Hezbollah from what was widely seen as a pan-Arab resistance movement, and to turn it into, in the eyes of people, into a foreign, Iranian, sectarian, religious movement.
And that propaganda was very intense, and of course it lingers, thriving in Lebanon among certain segments. But I think, across the region, it has largely faded.”
Khalek and Abunimah argue that the intense U.S.-sponsored sectarianism that fractured the resistance along certain points has faded, and that these fracture points no longer provide the basis for such helplessness and confusion against foreign domination.
Transcript of relevant sections (Microsoft Word):