Palestinian activists, accompanied by Israeli and international supporters demonstrated today at military checkpoints under the slogan “knocking on Jerusalem’s gates’ in the campaign called ‘Olive Revolution’. This was an attempt to march to Jerusalem to attend the last Friday of Ramadan’s prayer. The peaceful march at Qalandia was blocked by Israeli army heavily armed and we couldn’t walk through. After a while we were attacked. Tear gas and sound bombs were shot at demonstrators, many injures and some arrests.
We were not so many as I expected we will be, maybe few hundreds. I could not stop asking myself: where are the people? At some point, when we were attacked by the Israeli army and then came back to the military checkpoint, it seemed like there are more Israeli and International activists than Palestinian demonstrators.
This support is much appreciated but it raises the question about us, Palestinians. Are we waiting for others to liberate us? As much as International pressure against Israel, including diplomacy and BDS and others are important, we have to know, that no one will liberate us but ourselves. The international pressure will get leverage when there is something happening on the ground. Exactly like what happened with the Arab revolutions. The world remained silent until they realized that the power of people on the ground can’t be ignored.
Palestinians have done so much to achieve their freedom, including two Intifadas. Our existence as Palestinians by itself is a form of resistance, in light of Israeli policy of separation, segregation, ethnic cleansing and transfer. Our resistance takes various shapes, peaceful weekly demonstrations in many villages, culture events, international action and more. I never lose hope when I see how my people survive. Palestinians have resisted 63 years of Israeli dispossession, oppression and occupation, and will continue. Israel has failed.
I believe in our people and their power to stand up for their rights. Actions on the ground should continue, we have to keep knocking not only on the doors of Jerusalem, but on the doors of every Palestinian.
And ‘Olive revolt’ would be a great title for our third popular peaceful uprising, hopefully soon.