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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL n° special - Palestine: Gaza imprisoned, forgotten Gaza (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 1 Sep 2016 12:52:26 +0300

Sarah Katz and Pierre Stambul, activists of the Solidarity French movement with the Palestinian people, return of eighteen days in Gaza. They give us their views on the situation of the enclave and the complexity of the Gazan society. ---- Are there any other place in the world that lives this situation? The answer is no. In Gaza, for 10 years, 2 million people are subject to a ruthless blockade. More than half of the population is young. They and are often highly educated-es (the territory six universities and 100,000 students). Through social networks, they and they know the outside world. Except, no output is possible in this tiny territory (40 km out of 10). For cons, the population has experienced three particularly deadly destruction in six years. In all these bombings, the occupant is hard against the civilian population, but it has methodically destroyed the productive apparatus: factories and workshops powder, electrical and central processing of rendered unusable water, agricultural land and greenhouses smashed by tanks , territory adjacent to the "security barrier" uninhabitable with sustainable population exodus.

The cliché of the people terrorized or terrorist

In the context of an explicit policy of the Israeli occupation to separate sealed Gaza to the West Bank earlier policy to the Hamas takeover of Gaza, it has been classified by the "international community" (Israel, Europe , United States, Egypt ...) as a "terrorist organization". In 18 days of presence in Gaza, we did never felt es unsafe or because of Hamas, nor because of mysterious Salafists nobody talks in Gaza (if they ever existed in an organized way).

The population is collectively punished under the pretext of punishing a party. The latter came to power after elections, admittedly old, but free. It is massively criticized fairly or hated in Gaza, and those who say worse things against him have no restraint to express it openly. This rejection is like one who speaks against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Palestine has no state but it has two rival governments whose priority is more to keep their power rather than to unify the Palestinian people against the occupier. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly shown that it is more concerned about the fall of Hamas rather than the end of the blockade. And Hamas has built around its government a patronage operation and a parallel society whose essential purpose is to preserve power, or to make Gaza the embryo of a future Islamic state. We heard in each camp the worst accusations against each other: Fatah accused to levy exorbitant taxes on fuel needed for the power plant (from which only six to eight hours of electricity a day) and do not pay some officials. And Hamas accused to take advantage of traffic and various taxes, the underground economy, tunnels still active and a clientelistic recruitment of "security forces".

The public and other political parties live very poorly this division and have no fear of expressing it. People also show overwhelming anger against the outside world that participates in the blockade and did nothing to prevent three wars with killings and massive destruction. The "international community" has uncritically accepted that murdered with impunity thousands of civil-es under false pretenses. It accepts that a blockade is extended to information.

In 18 days, we collected a very significant amount of evidence that the international media should have collected if they were there. We can only repeat that Gaza is not a world of terrorists. This is a normal company in a completely abnormal situation (the blockade). It is a politically very diverse, very supportive, very friendly, socially stratified (with its rich and very poor), whose resilience and resilience is attacked every day.

The stereotype of the heroic resistance

Of course, despite all the criticism and divisions, almost all of the population has supported or participated in the armed resistance during the Israeli invasion of 2014. The photos of those who fell in battle are ubiquitous. The remarks against the occupier (and younger are distinguished more Jewish and Israeli) point cruelty and total disregard for the lives and dignity of Palestinians and Palestinian. But it would be totally stupid generalizations with phrases like "the Palestinians believe that ...". On all matters (armed resistance or nonviolent, state / two-states living or not with the Jews, hope in the international community, interpretation of the Koran ...), opinions are very different and are expressed without dissimulation. Overall, we feel a population weary, tired, not far from a break which is not done through family solidarity, civil society which overcomes the lack of a large number of public services and hope that one day it will get better.

A party like the Islamic Jihad (respected for his honesty) still advocates armed resistance until the liberation of Palestine. But what we mostly hear is very different. There is harsh criticism against the rocket launchers or against the release of Hamas who expressed support for the attack in Tel Aviv. Some who have a long history of strong, fighter, exile and / or prisoner we say: "The world is bad. If we are offered, even a rump state, we will be forced to accept. "People who have shared their experience of the Nakba (the ethnic cleansing of 1948 with the crimes of the future army of Israel and cruelties) or that of their parents, also said that the best time of their existence was period in which they could work in Israel, earning money, and move freely. For younger children, the desire to leave at all costs, temporarily or permanently, is very strong. Gazans are found among migrants and migrants who attempt the great crossing.

The role of civil society

Without civil society, Gaza would have collapsed. The company survives on countless small associations that give people a purpose and a reason to live. Here are some examples. Compulsory education does not concern the young. While all are created kindergartens or most successful projects for children of all ages. In the town of Deir al-Balah, central Nawa employs 32 animators to take care of 500 children. All activities are available: playgrounds, library, art ... For the financing, Nawa is an exception: most centers only work with volunteerism.

In hospitals, patients as caregivers, live permanently stress. So the only employee at Shifa Hospital psychologist has called on Facebook. It had 1000 responses, she selected 26 people per contest. They graduate and are es (in psychology), unemployment, and pay for work (transportation, uniforms ...). They provide a public service mission: psychological help. Why do they do it? In solidarity, to gain experience and to be able to APPLY is employed, when there will be one. Because 90% of graduates are unable to find work at the end of their studies. They are found in the help to the poor (there are very poor areas and even Bedouin shantytowns in the Gaza Strip) or who have no generator when there is no electricity.

In this civil society, there are also traditional society. The mukhtars, kinds of justices, are the claims of rural redevelopment on land, water shortage and reconstruction. Visible everywhere, this advance intermittently since the occupant crashes ever arrival of materials (cement, rebar ...), leaving much of the bombed in makeshift shelters (tents, Algeco).

And then there are big associations that manage to receive international aid. Let us mention two, related to the time of their creation to the Palestinian left (PFLP) are PCHR (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights) and UAWC (Union of Agricultural Workers Committees). The first methodically identifies all human rights violations committed by the occupying forces, but also by the two rival governments.

UAWC impulse development based on the rapid reconstruction of what was destroyed, environmentally sustainable innovative cultures, independent productions and development of small cooperatives.

Political parties and religion

We met almost all political parties. Everywhere we presented es (French solidarity movement, BDS, UJFP ...) the reception was very friendly. Many expressed some surprise (Jewish? Atheist?) To remind finally before the occupation, everyone lived together.

The Palestinian left is broken and although she managed to unite, it would remain a minority. The PFLP has particularly suffered repression: murder or life imprisonment for his last two leaders. It has in its ranks of women who participated in the armed struggle and are highly respected today. It remains faithful to the historical position of the PLO: a single state in Palestine where Muslims, Christians, Jews and non-believers have the same rights. He condemned Oslo early on, but his opponents accuse him of having taken advantage: its thousands of exiles were able to return to Palestine and the PFLP MPs. Despite the prestige he enjoys, his influence declined.

We met with the directions of several left parties members of the PLO, pro Oslo and the two-state solution. These are the PPP (Communist Party), IFAD (Palestinian Democratic Union) and the Popular Front of struggle. All are extremely critical against the Hamas government.

Islamic Jihad is a party to share, a supporter of the armed struggle. He explained that international law as Islamic law legitimize the struggle until the liberation of Palestine.

Fatah is not illegal in Gaza, but its activities are monitored. Since the big event of 2012 on the occasion of his birthday, he no longer has the right to organize parades. We got to see two of its officers and leaders. One, sincere, developed the idea of ​​a historical legitimacy. But she did not answer when we raised the issue of corruption, which largely explains the electoral defeat of Fatah in 2006. The other is embodied in our eyes the perfect prototype of the bureaucrat and waffling.

With a little time, we probably would have met the Speaker of Parliament. We were received within the Parliament by two members of Hamas. friendly as they have largely developed their theses: the complicity of the Palestinian Authority and Egypt with the occupier, the fact that Fatah embodies a form of capitulation. It was there, in 2014, an attempt at national unity government. This is probably one reason for the Israeli attack. It seems that strong of his role in the armed resistance, Hamas has increased its demands and the government was expelled from Gaza. When asked about the death penalty, both Hamas MPs swore that she was no longer applied. The next day, three convicted criminals were executed.

Everyone is practicing Muslim in Gaza except Marxists and Christians. This Islam that we see and hear everywhere (we were still in Gaza at the beginning of Ramadan) is also very diverse, and Islam are minimal policy takes place. We have heard many times a point of view which is significantly: "We have always lived with Christians and Jews, is in the Koran. "" The problem is not the Jews, it is the occupation ... "" I prefer that Mecca was destroyed stone by stone rather you kill a man. "Our partners and interlocutors have developed a universalist viewpoint of Islam and we easily found between Muslims and atheists, not only the current passed, but together we had the same indignation and the same rage of justice.

text and photos Sarah Katz and Pierre Stambul

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