Scholars of social movements, civil disobedience, liberation struggles and revolutions have long known that one of the greatest obstacles to overcoming fear. In order to move the oppressed from inactivity to action, they must break this barrier of fear.
In extreme cases, such as Palestinians living under Israeli colonial colonialism, fear is based on living experiences of torture, imprisonment, domestication and murder, daily humiliation and dehumanization, income loss, livelihood, housing, dignity, freedom and rights.
In the last few days, the people of Palestine across the colonized Palestine have shown their deep and wonderful courage in the face of this fear, not for the first time and not for the last time.
For decades, the Israeli garrison state, as Hamid Dabashi Settler-ial describes the vast system of colonial violence as well as its armed civilians creating and constructing this horrific situation in the daily lives of Palestinians
I had a relatively disadvantaged childhood in Palestine, but still, I know about this fear that you learn, not just by witnessing or violence, but in seemingly non-incidental and ordinary days.
As a child in the early nineties, I attended the Fries School in the old city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem). During the holidays, we armed soldiers would patrol the top of the city walls, looking at us in the same way that self-conscious higher animals looked at a caged animal. And when we dropped out of school and walked the streets of al-Balad al-Kadimah (the old city), we would regularly walk around with guns in the face of armed Israeli civilians, strongly reminding them of their dominance that we should not Should not be shown in the wrong way.
In many of these steps, conversations between children we heard about the methods of torture used by Israelis, beating a friend or relative at the hands of Israeli soldiers, an armed Israeli citizen cursing a Palestinian and spitting, long imprisonment and the suffering of relatives and friends. It’s just a picture of the background – and comparatively more benign than Palestinian values, and of course the situation today seems to be worse than it was then.
Nonetheless, those days and stories have piled on top of each other, including the violent acts and experiences of the events, building and inspiring among Palestinians a state of fear that wherever we go and wherever we go.
That fear barrier entered me from the moment I became aware of the world as a child. And despite its repeated cuts, it never disappears. Even after immigrating to Canada, after enjoying some freedom, holding citizenship for the first time in my life, feeling protected by some state structure (a very misconception of protection), that fear will never leave you. It didn’t take me long to realize that in these Euro-American places I was also afraid to talk about Palestine.
Although Euro-American fears have a different basis. These places are based on living experiences of censoring, dismissing, disciplining, not hiring or promoting, dragging through illegal legal proceedings, defamation, harassment, intimidation and silence.
This fear has become so natural, ubiquitous, that some people in the Euro-American space now seem to really think that they are not actually afraid of this fear!
Let me be very clear first: this fear puts pressure on Israel and is not the main obstacle in the way of states like Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, etc. These states and their political, academic, economic and media organizations are strategically linked to the state of Israel. These states and their entities have been actively participating and running colonial colonization, exploitation, oppression, and colonization of most parts of the world for centuries.
But I want to talk to the people who work in these organizations here who really want to transform them, to make their decisions, but they are always keen to stay away from the question of the liberation of Palestine and the true conflict. From privileged politicians to academics, from journalists to civil society organizers, artists, to show excuses other than fear, it is often propagated why they should not touch Palestine. A key feature of these excuses is the claim that the issue is “complex and controversial”.
Of course, it is quite normal to not know enough about a particular subject, issue or question. There is nothing wrong with wanting to know more before commenting or taking a position. Asking questions is a healthy practice when you don’t know.
But every issue is complex and controversial. How your food ends up on your dining table is complicated. But that doesn’t stop most people from talking about food production, distribution, how they want to shop ethically, and so on. The economics of sports are also controversial. But that doesn’t stop millions of people from spending countless hours talking about players’ salaries, advertising money, and revenue sharing among clubs.
Palestine-Israel is not unique in its complexity or debate. And while most of the issues and issues have been identified as complex and controversial to initiate a deeper penetration into the issue, exploring its many dimensions, the issue of Palestine and Israel has worked rather than ending this “complex and controversial” statement. Conversation. This statement is not the beginning of the search for more knowledge and better education when it comes to Palestine. Rather this statement is the limitation of the learning process. This puts a stop to it. It concludes the conversation by announcing no position on the matter.
When politicians, officials, journalists, academics, etc. announce this statement, their goal is to get the Palestinian question out, to remove it from their desks. Why? In many cases, because they are afraid of the results I described above. Everyone admits and knows this in private conversations but almost never admits it publicly. Therefore, what actually drives this non-position is the fear that most people deny.
“It is complex and controversial”, the positionlessness of the statement is far from neutral. This statement has indeed maintained the status quo in the speeches of the Euro-American public, confirming the issue of continued toxicization of Palestine and Palestinians.
Israeli preachers only benefit from a statement that does not stand up for itself. Because non-positions are always the ultimate secret of reality When you declare that you will not take a position, when you end a controversial and complex reason conversation, you are declaring that the reality of the situation is hopeless and infinitely inevitable. You are announcing that you do not know what position you will take because no one knows the reality of the situation.
The statement thus declares that the reality of Palestine-Israel is unknown, which the Israeli propaganda concludes with complete ease. Only the oppressed and colonial Palestinians and their supporters are trying to inform the world about the reality of colonialism and racism. Only they are making it known.
The Israeli and Zionist propaganda in Euro-America and elsewhere is designed to hide and obscure that reality because it does not serve the Zionist political project. Thus, the declared non-position that obscures the reality and conceals it is in fact a statement in support of Israeli propaganda.
This does not mean that Zionism does not understand its own reality. In fact, in some Zionist conflict zones, a place where, for example, Zionist settlers speak freely, as we saw in a recent viral video, you’ll find an early description of the brutality of that colonial colonial and racist reality: “If I don’t steal from your house , Someone else will steal it “” They know they are stealing, they are there to eradicate and replace the native Palestinians.
Palestinians have broken fears that they will never know or experience the benefits of Euro-America. Living experiences of fear in Palestine are far more violent and coercive than experiences of Euro-American fear. I am not leaving the burden of Euro-American based experience of job precedent, defamation, harassment, etc. These are real fears, and they have profound consequences for their victims, especially Palestinians and other racist individuals, who face the most extreme consequences.
For those who speak up for the rights of Palestine, these consequences are already a reality. And for the event of change, there must be a collective will and action to break the fear barrier and face its consequences collectively. And here’s the good news: As we’ve seen in many other cases, when action is taken collectively, the consequences are neither severe nor lasting.
Time will tell, enough: this imprisonment, occupation, colonization is enough; Enough to avoid problems; This fear is enough. Palestinians continue to break down their fears. If you haven’t done it yet, my dear reader, if you really want to transform the world, you have to do it.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the author and his editorial position on Al Jazeera.