Tag Archives: Palestine Youth Movement

“Politics Pulls at Me” – The Palestinian Youth Movement: Sunaina Maira

bab-al-shams

The establishment of Bab Al Shams, a direct action against Israel’s settlement enterprise. (Photo credit: Issam Rimawi / APA images)

SUNAINA MAIRA writes in muftah.org 

The eruption of resistance villages is an extension of popular struggles in which young Palestinians have been actively involved since March 15, 2011. During Palestine’s so-called Arab Spring, a series of protests organized by youth erupted in Ramallah and in other sites across the West Bank, as well as in Gaza and within the 1948 borders of Israel among the “’48 Palestinians.”

Inspired partly by the Arab revolutions and in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, this new “youth movement” is but one phase in ongoing resistance against Israeli occupation, colonialism, and apartheid. Nevertheless, as the second anniversary of the Palestinian youth movement approaches, it is important to reflect on a phenomenon that largely remains in the shadows of much more dramatic revolts in North Africa, and the more difficult struggle, in a sense, that Palestinian activists have been waging for democracy as well as national liberation.

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Imagining Post-Zionist Futures – Israeli Apartheid and Palestinian Resistance III

This post is the third of a series based on a visit by Nivedita Menon and myself to Palestine in mid-September 2012. The first two are Nakba and Sumoud and Waiting for the Third Intifada.

It was the 18th of September, our third evening in Ramallah. We were at the Ramallah Cultural Palace to listen to Palestinian youth bands perform. The place was teeming with people, mostly young, in their twenties and thirties. The hall was packed, the atmosphere so electric that even if Magid had not been there to explain, there was no  way we could have missed the excitement and the anger that the songs evoked in the  audience. Interestingly, not all the songs were about Zionist oppression and the travails of everyday life in occupied Palestine.  When a song critical of the PA (Palestinian Authority) began, the hall went up in spontaneous applause, endorsing the  sarcastic lyrics directed at PA that has lately been involved in carrying out repression on its own population.

Liberation Graffitti on Wall in Ayda camp, Photos AN/NM
Liberation Graffitti on Wall in Ayda camp, Photos AN/NM

The complexity of the current phase of the movement arises from the fact that now, the new forces of Palestinian liberation are arrayed, not merely against Israeli occupation but also against this entity called PA and the Oslo Accords that put in place the political arrangements that mark the division of territories today. An arrangement that was supposed to be merely an interim one lasting but a few years, until the question of Palestinian statehood could be settled, has become a quasi-permanent one that is seen to threaten the longer-term goal itself.

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