By Hamid Reza Ahmadian

Quds Day would perhaps develop into a new Intifada: analyst

May 8, 2021 - 14:5

TEHRAN - A British political analyst, Robert Inlakesh, believes that Quds Day is important as it can mobilize the people in the occupied territories.

"This year's Quds Day will be especially important, due to recent events in Jerusalem, which has led to a mass mobilization across the occupied territories and could perhaps develop into a new Intifada, an Intifada that would have again come from al-Quds," Inlakesh tells the Tehran Times.
Tens of Palestinians were arrested this week after a protest against the planned eviction of families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was suppressed by Israeli police.
Twenty people were injured in the crackdown on the demonstration against the evictions, with the AlQastal media group releasing a video showing one man with a bloodied face being taken away by police.
Dozens of Palestinians are facing imminent dispossession from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in what they say is a move to force them out and replace it entirely with a Jewish settlement.
The Jerusalem District Court ruled at least six families must vacate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday, despite living there for generations.

Meanwhile, Quds Day may "amplify the Palestinian cause and for a show of solidarity to reach those suffering as a result of Israel's policies." Inlakesh predicts.
Following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you assess Palestine's position and importance in Western countries, for instance, in the UK?

A: There are three aspects, I believe, to this question of the importance and position of Palestine in the West. The first is in Palestine's popular support from the various populations composing 'the public' residing in Western countries and their impact through grassroots actions. The public support for Palestinian Human Rights has the limited ability to apply pressure on governments and corporations to change their policies towards Israel, so when the Palestinian cause is strong, this can translate to real-time pressure being applied upon Israel for their policies implemented against the Palestinian people. The second aspect is the positions of Western governments, which support Israel over the Palestinian people and their cause; Palestine only becomes a factor when Palestinian resistance provides a problem for Israel that they are then forced to address as part of the International Community. The third is in the historic crime committed by Western Nations in their legitimization of Israel's crimes and their handing over of the land of Palestine to the Zionist movement because the West were the ones to have manufactured Israel and are the ones whom to a large extent sustain it, they feel obligated to intervene in the situation and hence the question of Palestine is one they are forced to face.

Q: What is the impact of Quds day on immortalizing Palestine's cause?

A: The Palestinian cause for national liberation was built off of national and unifying symbols, days, anthems, and acts of self-expression. What eventually became Yasser Arafat's PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) along with the ANM (Arab Nationalist Movement) of George Habbash, both focused on building the strength of Palestinian identity and struggle, placing a great enthusiasm on it as a way of spreading the cause and giving the Palestinian people a greater sense of pride in themselves following the Nakba - ethnic cleansing of 800,000 people from Palestine - from 1947-9 and the ensuing barbarism the Palestinians suffered at the hands of Zionist forces. The importance of Quds Day is for not only the Palestinians, a day which works to mark the importance of the struggle for Palestine and the liberation of Jerusalem, but also works to spread this message amongst the cause's supporters around the world.

Such days as Quds day are important markers that work to amplify the Palestinian cause and for a show of solidarity to reach those suffering as a result of Israel's policies. This year's Quds Day will be especially important, due to recent events in Jerusalem, which has led to a mass mobilization across the occupied territories and could perhaps develop into a new Intifada, an Intifada that would have again come from al-Quds.

Q: How do you see Arab states' role in defending Palestine?

A: The Arab State's role in defending the Palestinian people began in the wake of the conflict with the Israeli regime and even prior to its inception, as the Arab world was occupied and then divided up by their former colonial powers France and Britain, Israel was seen as very much part of this European supremacist vision for the region. In the 1950's, 60's and even into the 70's, the relevance of Arab nationalism to carrying the torch for the Palestinian cause was vital and made the issue of Palestine a prominent one in world politics. Following the Oslo Accords, signed by the PLO, which turned the Palestinian resistance group into an outright collaborator with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, which was to partially command control of Palestinians inside of the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, eventually led to the isolation of the cause. After the Second Intifada ended in 2005, with Yasser Arafat's death and the elections that saw Hamas elected democratically to power in Gaza, in 2006, the cause had become divided and largely isolated.
Unfortunately, the reactionary Arab regimes, as they were once described as, have almost all bowed to the commands of their U.S. superiors in the region, whilst those Arab States which sought to resist and stick with the Palestinian people have suffered immensely just like the Palestinians. Despite an attempt to shift focus away from Palestine, as a result of Western intervention, making the Arab cause for freedom a number of divided, factional, tribal, and sectarian religious conflicts, the Palestinian people still command the support of their Arab brothers and sisters throughout the region at large, irrespective of what state leaders have to say. The problem now is with that popular support translating into State policy, which will take a revival of the Palestinian cause to win over.

Q: Do you think that the Abraham Accord was a successful measure taken by Trump? Could Israel create legitimacy among Arabs via such Accords?

The Arab people do not support Israel, even from within those regimes which have normalized or which seek to normalize, their populations sympathize with the Palestinian plight, and the overwhelming majority not only does not accept Israel's crimes but reject its legitimacy as a State entity according to all authoritative polling. The recent normalization deals between Israel and countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco are largely symbolic. The only significant deal struck was with the UAE, which was the only regime to have willingly normalized without pressured into doing so and will go ahead with significant deals that could work to re-shape Middle East (West Asia) trade. 

These were not "peace deals"; however, all the regimes, with the exception of Sudan - which is now under the thumb of the UAE opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood previously - had maintained secret relationships with Israel for years, some allegedly as long as 40 years ago had been meeting with the Israelis.
The biggest aspect of these normalization accords was there the revelation of a dead "peace process" in that the Palestinian Authority no longer had the bargaining chip of Arab countries normalizing with Israel in order to reach a two-state solution. The single biggest bargaining chip the Palestinian Authority ever had was the incentive for Israel to gain legitimacy and trade ties throughout the Middle East (West Asia). These accords signaled that only a popular resistance from the Palestinians, both non-violent and armed, could bring about concessions from Israel and pave the way to peace.

Q: Why do some pundits compare Israel with Apartheid in South Africa?

A: The comparison is valid; however, it does differ in some ways. Prominent South African leaders who fought against Afrikaaner imposed Apartheid have even said the situation in Palestine is worse, but the direct comparison to South Africa, whilst useful to demonstrate to the world the severity of the situation in Palestine, is not the argument being made legally. Through the Apartheid Convention and various definitions created of what constitutes Apartheid, it is now becoming the internationally excepted definition of what Palestinians face at the hands of Israel. The top international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has just released a report which concludes Israel is operating an Apartheid System in all the territories it controls, whilst Israel's top human rights organization, B'Tselem, also concluded recently that Israel is an Apartheid Regime in all the land between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River.

Soon I suspect the United Nations Human Rights Council may even adopt a report concluding as such, so long as the HRW report stands, this will make the fact of Apartheid in Israel/Palestine undeniable internationally, but even without this, it's already now a well-accepted fact.

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