The Spark

al aqsa

Maybe it’s a quirk in my character that in times of calamity I always look for the silver lining. It doesn’t often appear, but in this darkest hour of despair, when nothing seemed possible and the collapse of hope was profound, I found it. The spark.

I found it growing in the refugee camps of my home town of Jenin, in Tulkarim, in Jericho, Beit Ummer, Hebron, in Nablus and even Jerusalem.  Brave, angry, determined young men, who were born into despair, whose only experience of life has been under the boot of the Israeli occupation and repression, have had enough. Their so-called leaders, the shameful Palestinian Authority and the equally damaged Hamas are being ignored. They call themselves The Lions’ Den and these defiant young lions are taking matters into their own hands. They are fighting back against all odds.

Yes, many will die. Even their brothers and sisters, the smallest and the oldest will not be safe. Many will suffer the savage brutality of Israeli ‘justice’ and Israeli prisons. Their homes will be demolished, their families will be humiliated, their whole village could suffer collective punishment.  But others will go on and they are making a difference. “We are alive,” they’re saying, “ We are human beings,” and Palestine, almost broken, almost on her knees is responding. Cry Freedom! It’s time.

Palestinian mothers, who cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes, but who continue to pledge their children to the cause, have been vilified for embracing death.  Believe me, if we could see life, touch it, believe it might someday be ours, we would embrace it with all our hearts. But when the mighty American war machine continues to back every Israeli move, and pay billions of dollars for the privilege, what chance have we got unless we free ourselves from the fear of death?

As I am writing these words, Mr Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, was paying homage, as usual,  to AIPAC in Washington when he pledged his country’s unwavering support for the security and supremacy of Israel.  He then went on, as usual, to try to flog the long deceased ‘Two-State Solution’.  Why does Mr Blinken continue to ignore the facts on the ground in Palestine, and instead acknowledge the reality of Israeli expansionism that leaves no room for any Palestinian State in any shape or form to take place? Are Mr Blinken, and his government, unaware that the current Prime Minister of Israel, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, has said on many occasions that there will never be a sovereign Palestinian State while he is Prime Minister? Most recently according to  the New York Times translation of an interview posted to website NRG in April, 2019.

‘When the reporter asked if that meant he would not establish a Palestinian state were he to win re-election, Netanyahu replied, “Correct.”

Do they know, or don’t they? The obvious answer is, “yes, of course,” but they choose to ignore it.

After fifty-six years of a brutal, Apartheid system in Palestine and thirty years of futile, so-called ‘peace processes’, what other options are left for those young, desperate Palestinians to take, other than to carry a gun?

Today is Friday and the various groupings of the Young Lions have called on every able-bodied Palestinian to converge on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to defend it against continued Israeli encroachment and attacks.

I’m holding my breath.

Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.


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