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Palestinian history has to be urgently retold

16 110 2124
17.02.2018

The 1993 Oslo Accord is a critical juncture that shattered the cohesiveness of Palestinian discourse and weakened and divided the Palestinian people. However, it is not too late to remedy this through decisive and concentrated efforts that overcome the challenge of a Palestinian political viewpoint beholden to self-seeking political aspirations and competing factions.

In the absence of a Palestinian leadership populated by the Palestinian people themselves, intellectuals must safeguard and present the Palestinian story to the world with authenticity and balance. The clarity and integrity of the Palestinian story has been damaged and divided by Palestinian Authority (PA) tactics which remove Palestinian refugees' right of return from their political platform.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, of the Fatah party, has actually stated that he has no interest in going back to Safad, the Palestinian town from which his family was expelled in 1948!

Such an attitude is expected from the so-called moderate Palestinian leadership, whose language and political outlook is still bound by the limits of Washington's long espoused "peace process"; however, this kind of political pragmatism has ravaged the Palestinian narrative, distancing it from the on-going struggle of the Palestinian people.

Palestine is not a story of factions - they are but a by-product of a tumultuous and multifaceted history of colonialism and resistance, foreign political and ideological influences, and the fierce competition of various social movements.

Of course, it would be remiss to blame the misrepresentation of Palestine solely on Palestinian leadership – it is also the result of a domineering Zionist narrative that seeks to erase reality.

Essentially, the story of Palestine is the story of the Palestinian people, for they are the victims of oppression and the main channel of resistance, starting with the creation of Israel on the ruins of Palestinian villages in 1948. If Palestinians hadn't resisted, their story would have concluded right then and there, and they too would have disappeared.

Those who admonish Palestinian resistance, armed or otherwise, have little understanding of the psychological ramifications of resistance, such as a sense of collective empowerment and hope amongst the people. In his introduction to Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth", Jean-Paul Sartre describes violent resistance as a process through which "a man is re-creating himself".

And for 70 years, Palestinians have embarked on this journey of the recreation of the "self".........

© Al Jazeera