How the Palestinian cause has survived to date

Israel and Arab armies (of a few neighboring countries) have fought several times for Palestine since 1948. Almost every war ended with the defeat of the Arab side due to reasons such as the Arab armies’ ill-preparation for the war and overconfidence, United States-led foreign support for Israel and Israelis’ assumption of every war as a threat to their existence. Eventually, Egypt and Jordan withdrew from defending Palestine by signing treaties with Israel, Iraq was paralyzed by the Gulf War and invasion, and Syria left the scene with civil war, during which it began to fight its own people.

I inquired about the increasing isolation of Palestinians from a Palestinian scholar based in Istanbul, who prefers to remain anonymous, a few years ago. He said, “Yes, some countries left us alone but we now have new supporters such as Iran and Qatar.”

The scholar’s perspective was indeed unignorable because there have consistently been countries supporting Palestine against Israel. While each supporter may have different grounds for embracing the Palestinian cause, the underlying fact remains consistent with what the Palestinian scholar asserted.

In this sense, it will not be surprising to see more countries opposing Israel’s crimes committed against Palestinians. For example, Türkiye has started to support the Palestinian cause more assertively in terms of diplomacy in recent years. Moreover, the ongoing massacre in Gaza is so brutal that it enraged even some non-Muslim countries. What is more, perhaps the majority of governments still side with Israel but the majority of people couldn’t bear the Israeli army’s cruelty, thus they took to the streets to protest against Israel. The surge in public support for the Palestinian cause has been so pronounced that it extends to include American youth, who increasingly express a preference for Palestine over Israel. This shift in sentiment among younger generations indicates a growing awareness and disapproval of the actions taken by the Israeli forces, particularly concerning its treatment of Palestinian civilians.

In addition to Israel’s heartbreaking brutality, social media also plays a pivotal role in providing people with unfiltered access to information. The more individuals witness indiscriminate killings of Gazans, the more they are affected by the terrifying scenes. Influenced by widespread information dissemination and social media, world public opinion appears to be more critical of Israeli policies and more sympathetic toward the plight of the Palestinian people. In a twist of fate, social media, which was first introduced and is still commonly controlled by pro-Israeli entrepreneurs, interestingly became a supporter of the righteous side, illustrating how technology stands with the truth. Hence, the Palestinian side has found support within the virtual realm with world audiences regardless of their nation and religion.

Western support for Israel

It would not be wrong to expect that the U.S.-led Western governments may also give up defending Israel unconditionally. Almost all Western governments stated that Israel had the right to defend itself right after Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7. Yet, when their people saw that what Israel was doing was indiscriminate killing and ethnic cleansing, they put pressure on their governments, so politicians began to call on Israel to care about the lives of civilians. It is almost obvious that unconditional support of Israel may cause a loss of power or a decline in the votes of ruling parties. Therefore, parties will be more careful about supporting Tel Aviv.

According to the Palestinian scholar, another reason for Palestine’s survival against Israel, which has more advanced weapons, including nuclear weapons, is the resistance of Hamas in Gaza. The old Palestinian intellectual argues that it was Hamas’ disobedience and fight against the Israeli army that forced the occupying troops to withdraw from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Hamas also won democratic elections held in 2006 thanks to its obstinate resistance. Although the group was not allowed to rule Palestine, its victory proved that international actors do not mind elections but only if the winners are someone with whom they can work well. Hamas’ ouster also showed that Israel does not want peace, and plans to annex the remnants of Palestinian territory gradually.

As we all have witnessed, despite the Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian government adopting a more peaceful and non-violent policy for permanent peace, the Israeli side continues to confiscate lands in the West Bank for illegal settlements. While the Gaza Strip’s borders did not change until Oct. 7, parcels of the West Bank were occupied inch by inch. Therefore, extending hands to Israel for peace was useless, as the Israeli government was very decisive in realizing a fully “Israelized Palestine” with its strong army equipped with sophisticated weapons.

Whether Hamas’ resistance will bring victory is yet to be known, but it is clear that it does not allow Israel to declare victory, either.

Source: Daily Sabah

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