Palestinians see ‘unprecedented’ unity, solidarity as fighting rages

Jordanians protest against Israeli attacks on Palestinians
Jordanians protest against Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Rabieh, Amman on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Photo: Amir Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The ongoing protests in Palestine have caught the attention of international media and sparked solidarity protests across the world. After years of unrest and episodes of violence, the scale and breadth of the current protests have triggered cautious hope for some experts. اضافة اعلان

According to Senator Mohammad Momany, former minister of information and chairman of the National Guidance Committee at the Senate, the specific nature of the aggression in Palestine, particularly the use of violence at holy sites, has made this episode more influential and more capable of uniting both Palestinians and their supporters than those in the past.

Momany pointed to the violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. “That triggered a great deal of sympathy all around the world.” Momany also described the “creative and smart” methods used by protesters at the mosque: “They used the proper language, they used some sort of peaceful disobedience, they argued their case well. So they drew a great deal of sympathy also with the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and that also is something new. We’re talking about families being uprooted by the (occupation forces) from their homes.”

“It’s a clear violation of the Israeli forces’ commitment as an occupier,” he said. “They did not respect the rights or the freedom of religion, the rights of Palestinians to worship. They used force to attack that in a way. So it’s a violation of their religious rights, and it’s an essential part of their human rights.”

The analyst emphasized the attack on religious sites as key to understanding the wave of protests. “We’re talking about the last 10 days of Ramadan, where religious feelings are at their peak,” he said. “People, when they saw worshippers in the mosque being attacked, they fully support them.” He added that people inside and outside the Arab world feel “that the whole behavior of the Israeli government continues to be provocative behavior rather than peaceful behavior.”

Momany highlighted the “cross-national” sympathy between “Palestinians and Jordanians and Arabs.” “It’s a humanitarian, national reason that drew across national sympathies with the Palestinians,” he said, explaining that the situation has drawn sympathies from both Palestinians living in the diaspora, Arabs around the world, and non-Arabs who sympathize purely on “a human rights basis.”

“Politically I think the significance of what happened is that it’s a reminder to the Israeli community, to the Israeli leadership, that this conflict will continue to go up and down until we find a final solution,” Momany added. “The status quo is not sustainable. It’s apartheid in practice, and violence will keep going back and forth until we find a just solution.”

The much-anticipated Palestinian elections represented an opportunity to unite Palestinians. Earlier this month, Jordan News spoke with politicians and experts who expressed their optimism about the potential for the elections to strengthen decision-making in Palestine and thus contribute to the establishment of a Palestinian state. The disappointing postponing of the elections, announced in late April, have been countered with an unexpected source of unity: the escalating protests centered in East Jerusalem.

“The form of unity is unprecedented,” said Murad Adayleh, secretary general of the Islamic Action Front, in an interview with Jordan News. “There is no doubt that the Palestinian resistance accomplished something great as it acted against aggression in Jerusalem, Al Aqsa Mosque, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.”

“The Palestinian unity is unprecedented since 1948; political differences were put aside and everyone rallied around the same cause,” Adayleh said. “We are also witnessing a state of unity between Palestinians living in the territories and those living abroad and today we see that those living abroad have not forgotten their cause. Today we saw that most major capitals around the world are witnessing demonstrations and protests in support of Palestine and Palestinian people rights.”

The protests have also united Jordanians. From Maan in the south to Irbid in the north, there are “very genuine feelings of solidarity” in Jordan for Palestinians, according to Jamil Nemri, secretary general of Social Democratic Party and former lawmaker. “Usually we have some internal tensions among Jordanians and Palestinians, or Jordanians from Palestinian origins about the internal issues, the rights of the citizens from Jordan of Palestinian origins. This contrasts with the occupation. Now, we find that the uprising in Palestine became a new and important factor in the unification of the people here.”

“People feel that we are together in this struggle,” Nemri said.

“Inside Israel itself, among the Palestinians there, we see a new uprising. We see a new unity among Palestinians in all the territories, the 1948 territories and the” territories in the West Bank and Gaza. The project or the idea of the extreme right in Israel is going to fall. They cannot ignore anymore the rights of the Palestinians to liberate themselves, to add their state. And the occupation cannot last forever.”

“I think it will change in some way the public opinion,” the politician added. “Now they see that there is no way to ignore the Palestinians’ rights. And I think there will be a kind of shifting in the Israeli public opinion.”

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