Al Aqsa Flood

by Mazin Qumsiyeh, published on Popular Resistance, October 8, 2023

I received dozens of messages inquiring about my thoughts on what is going on now in Palestine and how we are doing and what is going to happen. I also did some TV & Radio interviews. It is really very simple: we have 15 million native Palestinians, 8 million of us are refugees or displaced people (2/3rd of Gaza’s 2.2 million are refugees). Israel cannot be allowed to get away with stealing lands and resources and setting up a racist apartheid regime. Even besieged, starving, blockaded people in Gaza manage to break through their prison walls. Miraculously they managed to defeat the supposedly most sophisticated intelligence and military force in the world. They took the battle deep behind delusional Israeli walls. The Israeli government refused to exchange prisoners before (4 held by Hamas) and now will have to contend with at least 150 Israeli POWs including high ranking military officers. This colossal failure (intelligence, military, political, public relations) was surprising only in terms of its timing. I have predicted this for decades. As before, Israel will not be able to get to the guerilla fighters so they will exert revenge from civilian population which only adds more people willing to join resistance factions.

I have always explained (including in my book “Sharing the Land of Canaan” published 20 years ago) that Zionism is coming to an end one way or another. That end can take one of two forms: a lose-lose scenario involving extreme violence that leaves little for any remaining future generations. Or a semi-decent end to apartheid and dismantlement of the racist apartheid regime that was established in 1948 and become a state of all its residents (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bahai, atheists etc). That secular democratic post-Zionist discourse is coming and we have groups working on it including our One Democratic State Campaign and it is only a matter of pushing for it to arrive with least violence.

Palestinian ambulance targeted by Israel

The Israeli public will slowly wake up (or at least we hope) to understand that peace will only come by recognizing the elephant in the room: the injustice to the Palestinian people by the Zionist project. What good is having nuclear, biological, chemical weapons? What good is it to  “exert revenge” (in the words of its leaders) by cutting off electricity, food, and medicine to millions of imprisoned Palestinians in Gaza (and soon the West Bank/Eastern Palestine)? What good is it to bomb crowded cities and refugee camps with US supplied F-16s and F-35s bearing a “Star of David“? (so far hundreds of Palestinians were killed just in the past 24 hours, most of them civilians). What good is it that Israeli and subservient western “leaders” (under the pressure of strong Zionist lobbies) give billions and shield Israel from International law and then offer issue statements blaming the victims and calling Palestinians who resist terrorists? How is it even remotely logical to say Israel has a right to defend itself when even international law says colonizers do not have such right but the victims of oppression do have a right to resist? Is calling resistance by natives “terrorism” endlessly producing pacification of natives?  What is your “final solution” to us- the millions of Palestinians whose lands, properties and even holy sites are taken from us by invaders? Do you really want to commit a full genocide or drive the rest of us out or keep us in the ghettos/concentration camps? I say Palestinians will not go away into the sunset and that it is about time we insist on peace which means justice.  Will more of the Israeli public understand the level of corruption and lies they have been told. Living in a bubble that is bursting: here is small sign it maybe happening.

Just about everyone knows that the areas near Gaza are Palestinian and that their settlement by colonialists is theft. Most of Gaza population are refugees who come from these places that have been renamed to things like “Sderot” (built on the depopulated Palestinian village of Najd) and settled by Jewish colonial settlers within eyesight of the original owners of the land who were pushed at the point of the gun to become refugees and denied their internationally recognized right to return to their homes and lands.  But even if one considers the “Gaza envelope” an area of “Israel” (it is not even by UN partition resolution), Israel has since 1967 occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan contrary to UN resolutions and international law and refuses to allow Palestinians self-determination. The apartheid Israeli regime has elected to intensify its colonization activities (violence, crimes against humanity, war crimes) everywhere (e.g. in the Negev by destroying remaining Bedouin communities, In Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank). Palestinians have been demanding international protection. We Palestinians have been publicly telling the Zionist regime to end its onslaught on the Palestinian holy sites and the Palestinian people. Instead the ultra right fascist government of apartheid Israel continued to proceed as a colonial power. Killing people, destroying homes, closing the Ibrahim mosque, breaking into Al-Aqsa mosque, settlers spitting on Christians, etc. They have not listened and chose the path of increased violence.

The Zionist hasbara considers all Palestinian resistance (armed or non-armed) as terrorism. They even consider our mere presence on our land as a threat since they want the land and they do not want the people who live there. Now 92% of historic Palestine is off-limits to Palestinians by Israeli apartheid laws. The remaining 8% continues to shrink and is fragmented into ghettos/concentration areas. See my book on “Popular Resistance In Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment” . Once Ben Gurion stated “the [Palestinian] old will die and the young will forget” and  an Israeli general once quipped “one we have settled the land, all the “Arabs” will be able to do is run around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” The events since Saturday morning show just how foolish they are. The events also reveal how foolish are the dictatorial regimes and the regimes of governments in the West who cajole, normalize, and support Israeli colonialism, exceptionalism and racism. The game is up and the cards are exposed.

Finally, I say Palestinians and all people of conscience are with our people in Gaza as they face the wrath of the racist apartheid regime. May the recent events dubbed “Al-Aqsa flood” result in a flood of truth, justice, and humanity (long overdue in Palestine). That is the only way to end the violence (colonizers and resistance).

Other statements on Gaza events can be found here.

*Featured Image: Palestinians climb atop a burning Israeli tank near the Gaza-Israel boundary fence, 7 October.  APA images


Mazin  Qumsiyeh  is a Palestinian scientist and author,  founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University where he teaches.

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