Palestinians’ Right to Resist
by Stephen Lendman
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “(e)veryone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” No one has the right to deny them.
Resisting lawless occupation is universally recognized. Palestinians may use “all necessary means at their disposal” to do so. More on that below.
Consider daily life. Longstanding militarized occupation is ruthless. It’s criminal. It’s unrelenting. It’s suffocating. It’s vicious. It denies Palestinians fundamental human and civil rights.
Collective punishment is policy. So is economic strangulation. Free expression, assembly and movement are denied.
State terror, closed borders, isolation, land theft, settlement expansions, exploitation, targeted killings, abductions, political imprisonments, roadblocks, checkpoints, separation walls, other barriers, curfews, and never ending fear reflect daily life.
International law is clear and unequivocal. Self-determination is inviolable. It’s universally recognized.
Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:
“All peoples have the right of self-determination.”
“By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
“All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.”
“The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.”
Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights repeats the same language.
General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 (November 1978):
“Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle.”
General Assembly Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX) (November 1974):
“Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle.”
“Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people.”
General Assembly Resolution 2649 (1970):
“Affirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination to restore to themselves that right by any means at their disposal.”
According to Princeton University Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination director Wolfgang Danspeckgruber:
“No other concept is as powerful, visceral, emotional, unruly, or as steep in creating aspirations and hopes for self-determination.”
The 1960 General Assembly decolonization resolution states:
“The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.”
“All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
“Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.”
“All States shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the present Declaration on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.”
General Assembly Resolution 181 called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948.
It asked “all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations.”
It called for the Security Council to be empowered with “the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation.”
In the late 1980s, Francis Boyle drafted Palestine’s declaration of independence.
On November 15, 1988, the Palestine National Council (PNC) adopted his Memorandum of Law. It “proclaimed the existence of the new independent state of Palestine.”
It legally qualifies. Its territory is determinable. Its borders are negotiable. Palestine existed for millennia.
It has a fixed population, a functioning government, and capacity to have normalized relations with other states.
Over 140 nations recognize its legitimacy. Militarized occupation denies it. Resisting it is universally recognized. According to Boyle:
“Palestinians have a perfect right under international law to resist an illegal, colonial, genocidal, criminal, military occupation regime of their lands and of their homes and of their People that goes back to 1948 so long as it is done in a manner consistent with the requirements of international humanitarian law.”
UN Charter Article 51 affirms “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense” against armed attack.
Israel attacks Palestinian civilians repeatedly. Daily examples explain. On Friday, Israel assaulted nonviolent protesters in five West Bank villages.
Bil’in, Nabi Saleh, Kufer Qadum, and Al Ma’ssare were affected. Seven Palestinians were arrested. Dozens were injured.
Four international supporters and three local activists were detained. So were media crews.
Israeli forces used live fire, rubber bullets and tear gas. They did so against nonviolent civilians. Resisters were beaten with rifle butts.
During the week ending October 9, Israel conducted 51 incursions into Palestinian communities. Around three dozen adults were arrested. So were six children.
Seven Palestinians were injured. Hazem al-Syouri was one of many affected. His experience reflects daily life in Palestine.
“I live with my mother and brothers in a 5-story building in the centre of the Old Town in Hebron,” he said.
At around midnight October 3, he awoke to knocks on his front door. Soldiers raided his apartment. They deployed there.
They climbed stairs to “other apartments belonging to (his) mother and brothers.”
They were yelling. They ordered al-Syouri out. They raided the whole building.
His mother, brothers and children were sleeping. They ordered them out. They ransacked the building for hours.
“We heard the sounds of smashing glass and destroying doors. Children were crying all the time.”
“When I tried to talk to the Israeli soldiers to allow me in, a soldier pushed me awayÃ¢â‚¬¦Israeli soldiers ordered women and children to get inside to be personally searched with the metal detector.”
Seventeen month-old Joud was stripped naked. Al-Syouri’s mother fainted. His two brothers were handcuffed.
Soldiers “destroyed the doors and electric appliances, damaged the furniture and closets, mixed the foodstuffs in the kitchen together and took off some of the building bricks on the roof.”
“The damage caused to my brothers’ apartments and mine are above NIS 100,000 (about $25,000). ”
Similar incidents occur daily throughout occupied Palestine. Settlers attack Palestinians freely.
Yesh Din is a volunteer human rights organization. It works on behalf of Palestinian civilians.
They face daily “acts of violence committed by Israeli” settlers. They’re “not isolated incidents.” They reflect “hate and anger.”
They’re “part of a sophisticated, wider strategy designed to assert territorial domination.”
Doing so violates international law. Israel is obligated to ensure security and safety. It instigates state terror instead.
Since 1967, Israeli security forces and settlers destroyed over 800,000 Palestinian olive trees. It’s the equivalent of razing New York’s Central Park 33 times over.
Resisting tyranny is a universal right. Hamas Political Bureau head Khaled Mashal called for doing so.
Palestinians “need to take a clear stance,” he said. “(I)t is essential to keep the resistance strong.”
Liberation depends on it. “All factions must agree on a unified strategy and a unified goal.”
UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian human rights Richard Falk calls resisting occupation “a legally protected right.” It bears repeating. Liberation depends on it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.