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Standing against colonialism & oppression: Third Intifada or Global Intifada

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam
is the Yemen Unit Director for the Next Century Foundation (London). Formerly a consultant on Yemen for the UNSC, her writings and commentaries have appeared in major outlets, including RT, Al Jazeera, CGTN, Elaph and the BBC.
is the Yemen Unit Director for the Next Century Foundation (London). Formerly a consultant on Yemen for the UNSC, her writings and commentaries have appeared in major outlets, including RT, Al Jazeera, CGTN, Elaph and the BBC.
Standing against colonialism & oppression: Third Intifada or Global Intifada
With Palestinians raging against Israel’s encroachments on their rights, faith and lands, many have seen the premise of a third Intifada. And yet this Palestinian resistance bears the features of a grander, broader movement - one which stands against fascism.

Violence in Israel has reached new dizzying heights, so much so that hateful mobs have turned on their own, soldiers have shot their own nationals over mistaken identity and settlers have targeted a Rabbi for daring to preach tolerance and compassion for all.

Undoubtedly Israel has crossed the Rubicon, this unfathomable line where a people’s paranoia and self-taught rejection of the “other” devolved into hatred of all people. This madness, this negation of Judaism’s teachings of nonviolence and self-sacrifice for the greater good, surely is the product of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fascist and imperialist ideology.

READ MORE: Jewish Israeli shot dead by security guard after being mistaken for terrorist

Surely Israel’s grand display of violence, the bloodshed and human rights violations its officials continue to rationalize and justify under the labels of national security and self-defense, as they stand guarded by Western powers’ veto at the UN Security Council, no longer can reconcile with the faith it claims to represent and embody.

And if today Palestinians are calling for revenge, if today Palestinians and Arabs are calling for the liberation of Palestine - the nation, which was stolen from under them; it is not against Judaism that their anger is directed. Judaism always had a home in the Middle East. Judaism after all is rooted in the Middle East, its prophets are Christianity and Islam’s prophets, and its commandments are Islam and Christianity’s commandments.

Today, under the leadership of PM Netanyahu, Israel is building walls and settlements, segregated and excluded to the tune of hateful policies and calls for a grand repression against Palestinians, all Palestinians. Whether in Gaza, the West Bank or even on Israel’s national ground, it is against all Palestinians that Tel Aviv is directing its wrath. But this time Palestinians are standing on very different ideological and political grounds.

This time Palestine Intifada, this third Intifada clerics have already called for, could rise a regional movement against fascism: the fascism displayed by Israel, the fascism of ISIL, the fascism of America’s neocons, fascism per se.

And if Palestinians are rising a tide ahead of all others, it is mainly because their suffering stretches back decades, and because their oppression has been denied by those powers which sought to offer cover to theo-political radicalism.

READ MORE: Jewish settlement construction in West Bank ruining Middle East peace process

From the shores of Israel to the burning deserts of Saudi Arabia, Western powers have aligned themselves and defended those most violent and reactionary. Why? Because democracy was never the intended ending of any one country’s story - control was always, however, the name of the game.

Speaking in Beirut, Lebanon on the eve of Ashura, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, called on the tens of thousands of people who hung on his every word to remember the long lines of men who died to oppose tyranny and oppression. He urged the crowd: “Are we given a choice in between humiliation and defeat? We are not a people to be humiliated.


There lies the courage of a people - defeat may come and wars maybe lost, but never will the people accept humiliation, for humiliation is rooted in oppression and oppression needs always be resisted. Let’s remember, resistance does not necessarily equate violence.

Maciej Bartkowski and Annyssa Bellal wrote for Open Democracy, “Civil resistance can overtake violent resistance as overtake violent resistance as the global default method for grievance and rights-based struggles in the twenty-first century. At the same time, these positive developments are paralleled by the determination of autocrats and their enforcers to use every means at their disposal, not least violence, to crush civil resisters.

Today as violence seems to have picked, when children are being dragged away from their mothers’ arms for soldiers have lost their humanity in the abyss of hatred and contempt they were taught to believe in, Russia came to offer renewed hope.

And though few still will admit that Russia is indeed riding the moral high ground, stepping in the vacuum America left when its policies betrayed its founding principles; Russia opened a window toward liberation, and Arabs are following its queue.

Moscow came into Syria not to prop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; it came to defeat the fascism of Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL). Already Iraq is looking to Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to its country’s rescue since Washington failed to aid its ally.

Iraq said they wanted Russia to play a bigger role than Americans in fighting ISIS.

By entering the fray, Russia did much more than give Syrians hope; it demonstrated that only through strong alliances can people manifest their hopes of liberation.

Today the region is looking to Russia to act as a hammer against fascism, whatever the names it hide under and whatever the colors it cloaks itself with.

From the shores of Israel to the burning deserts of Arabia, resistance is on the lips of all freedom lovers, all pro-democracy activists and all those who dreamt that one day they will stand in the Sun, unafraid.

And so next time you hear PM Netanyahu accuse Palestinians of “incitement” playing ad nauseam the victim card, remember that it is Israel’s policies, its politicians’ fascist streaks which are guaranteed to provoke yet further Palestinian anger and resistance.

It is colonialism Palestinians are denouncing and fighting against; it is against fascism that the region is rising a grand resistance movement, religious hatred has only ever been the weapon of the oppressors.

As I postulate in my book Arabia’s Rising, the last word will ultimately be the resistance as no people were born to be shackled.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.