29 August 2016: When Keeping Unity is the Core of the Struggle
Few days ago, an important conference took place in Hebron and should have deserved to be more in the spotlight due to its important message. This conference was organized by the association “Patriots to end the split and restore the National Unity” and its purpose was to send a strong message of unity to revitalize the Palestinian activism and to support the formation of new popular committees. This call is addressed to all Palestinians regardless of their location, their political affiliation, gender or age.
It is important to notice that the “Patriots to end the split and restore the National Unity” does not consider itself as a new party and more importantly it is not a substitute for any institution or representative body for the Palestinians. This group is apolitical and considers itself a Palestinian national movement, which works for a solely goal: ending the split and restoring national unity.
This conference was a highly important due to the current political climate and timing. Indeed, the division between Hamas and Fatah is still waiting to be resolved and in the following October the municipal election will take place across the West Bank. However, this political division is not impossible to overcome. Therefore, it is important to point out the real division and who is implanting it. The Palestinian people suffer from divisions, which are manufactured by the Occupier for more than several decades. The divisions are not only political one, there are physical barriers, which impede Palestinian people to have a normal life. Indeed, the apartheid Wall, the check points, the permits are barriers, which prevent Palestinians to travel freely through the territory and to meet or to gather for exchanging ideas and opinions to establish an efficient collaboration on the field.
The current facility with which the IDF is able to arrest men, women and children and put them under administrative arrest have a terrible impact on the Palestinian society. It separates and torns apart thousands and thousands of families as well as undermines any civil popular movement to overthrown the occupation. Thus, the danger of division among Palestinian people has affected the progress of national projects on the economic, social and democratic levels”.
The paradox is the occupation that divides and suppresses any major civic harmony of the people is also what’s gathering Palestinian people together and gives a common reason to unify. Thus, this conference and its high attendance demonstrate that the people are resolute to fight for their future, which involves the creation of institutions and their components for the construction of a political system, which will be able to understand the need of people and fight for their rights.
The conference has proven that despite the barriers entrenching the people to move freely and the division in political factions, there is much hope for the future. Most of the speakers pledge for more grassroots movement and demands more activities on the ground, which will help to foster the unity. The new generation needs to learn from the previous one and understand their activism strategies, methods and values to built their own movement on these strong foundations.
Unity for Palestinian people on the political scene is a key components for two reason: the first is to restore the working and healthy democratic institutions which who represent the will of the people, of all Palestinians. Secondly, only unity will provide the needed political, economical and social resources to end the Occupation, which has been attempted since its inception to divide Palestine and its people.