Palestinians Have The Right To Resist Occupation
By Any Means, Even Non Violent Ones
By Agustin Velloso
25 October, 2010
A contribution to Ramzy Baroud's The Violence Debate
As a Western supporter (non Muslim/Arab) of the Palestinian cause, I have
always find it rather difficult to talk (let alone to advocate) about how
best Palestinians can resist occupation, especially when this occupation
is usually extremely violent and genocidal at times.
Ramzy Baroud's self-restrained criticism of Western and some other willing
peace teachers, has prompted me to introduce a different point of view,
which probably is much more common amongst Westerners than the
Palestinians themselves would believe, although the mainstream media, as
it happens with many other issues, have successfully managed to keep under
War in Iraq and Afghanistan are just two outstanding examples. It does not
matter how many Westerners speak out and demonstrate against Western
intervention (read aggression) in those countries. It does not matter that
international law (let alone pure and humble common sense and humanity)
prohibits wars of aggression and occupation. The fact is that Western
presidents and parliaments "democratically" invade and withdraw as they
see fit, "democratically" they are not held accountable in court for these
crimes, and their victims are either dead of left to their own devices,
As Westerners are almost daily fed by the media with news and "analysis"
about Palestinian violence, any social sciences high school student who
hits the street and asks pedestrians if they are against Palestinian
violence, will find that 90% of the interviewees answer yes.
If the question changes to: if you were under a most violent military
occupation, would you defend your family and countrymen with an
appropriate resistance? If interviewing in France or Yugoslavia: would you
consider the anti-Nazi resistance fighters criminals or heroes? In Spain:
were the Spanish guerrillas who fought against Napoleon invading army
national heroes or bandits? Of course do not ask Vietnamese, Algerians or
Lebanese about their own heroes unless you want your homework to fail.
Those who agonise under the occupier know better than any Western
politician, member of a non governmental organisation, visitor to
Palestine, peace lover, and obviously undercover Israeli/US agent in
peace-conversations disguise, how to survive and overcome a criminal
Only Palestinians (as any other victim of a similar aggression) are
entitled to decide how to resist and to get rid of Israel (or any other
The role of the Palestinian supporter and indeed of the human rights and
democracy supporter, is to side with the oppressed and oppose the
Any other position is tantamount to siding with the oppressor against the
oppressed and hence to share some of its responsibility in the crime.
Palestinian supporters should never fall in the Zionist -and its Western
supporters- traps, amongst them what they call the Palestinian "violence".
There is not Palestinian violence after more than 60 years of ethnic
cleansing and the appropriation of Palestinian land, 40 years of military
occupation, almost 20 of peace conversations with the result of thousands
of Palestinians killed, maimed, robbed, imprisoned, while the whole
international community keeps on condoning the aggressor and twisting the
Palestinians' arm to make them accept all that and be prepared to live on
charity until they abandon their cause for good.
What Palestinians do is to defend themselves. What others should do is to
support their right to defend themselves in a way appropriate to the
magnitude of the aggression they are being subjected to for generations
and with no end in sight.
Of course this right applies to any other people under aggression and
occupation in this criminal and cruel international political system of
the XXIst century.
What about international law? Should Palestinians be encouraged to
First of all, it is rather shocking to see that well-known international
ngos, think tanks and other groups are strict about Palestinians complying
with international law, peace conversations regulations, truces and so on
so forth. Of course, they also demand the same to Israel, what else could
they do while dealing in a "balanced" way with a much more powerful side?
It is shocking because not a single UN resolution, international
convention, treaty, covenant, peace process or whatever, has been able to
prevent an Israeli soldier to freely shoot at a Palestinian child,
demolish his/her house, expel his/her family, steal his/her land. during
the last 63 years. I very much doubt that if the advocates of complying
with international law whatever happens were the parents of that child,
they would be so keen of international law.
The problem for the supporter of justice in the Middle East -and indeed in
the world- should not be that the Palestinians could be disregarding it
while defending themselves against the Israeli occupation, but that this
law has proven useless for the victim, or rather lethally detrimental.
Because of this, it is totally unfair to tie the Palestinians with it,
because it is like placing a rope around the neck of the black trying to
escape from a white gang lynching.
It is high time for Westerners to shake up the Zionists propaganda and to
call a spade a spade. There is violence in Palestine and it is Zionist
violence. Palestinians have every right to fight against this violence
with any means appropriate to the aggression they undergo and without
interference from peace (although obviously not justice) lovers.
** I borrowed from my friend Santiago Alba the sentence "the Palestinians
have a right to resist occupation by any means, even non violent ones".
This shows the trap which Westerners have fallen into while dealing with
the Palestinian conflict.