Middle East

The Israeli flag march and disappointment

When the Zionist usurpers, i.e. settlers, announced their intention to organise an Israeli flag march in Jerusalem, and the radical right-wing government gave them permission to do so on 29 May, and when the Palestinian resistance threatened and vowed that the consequences would be severe if the march went ahead and that it would respond with force, everyone in the Arab and Islamic world prepared for this provocative event and they demanded that marches be held in all Arab and Islamic countries, raising the Palestinian flag. We knew this has become impossible, given the iron security fist that the Arab regimes exercise against their people, preventing them from taking to the streets for the purpose of demonstrations or protests, especially if they are in solidarity with the Palestinian cause, in addition to the rush of normalisation with the Israeli enemy by the Arab regimes. However, this did not prevent us from expressing our hopes that this would happen and what it should be.

Everyone expected a strong response by the Palestinian resistance, as it promised us and threatened the Zionist enemy, and we are sure that if it made a vow, it would keep it; if it threatened, it would follow through, as is always the case. We remembered the Sword of Jerusalem battle last year and how the resistance did well and the heroics of the Palestinian resistance when they established a joint command centre shared by all the Palestinian factions. It had managed to escalate their attacks, cause great losses for the occupation, and prevented the occupation from achieving its goals, leaving it to retreat, disappointed.

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Unfortunately, such solidarity amongst the resistance factions did not occur in the face of the flag march, shocking and disappointing everyone. They launched an angry campaign against the resistance and the resistance was blamed on social media for not following through on its threat to launch a war from the Gaza Strip and its failure to confront and deter the Israeli flag march.

However, to be fair, we must read the scene in another way. The flag march was limited and controlled in order to pass, without provocation, to the Palestinian side and without achieving its announced goal, which is storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque and violating the sanctity of the Dome of the Rock to establish a sharing of the Mosque’s courtyard, but they were unable to do so. This is considered a retreat by the Israeli enemy and counts as a point for the resistance.

The State of Israel – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

An important matter to note here is that this year’s flag march did not go by unnoticed, unlike previous flag marches that occur every year. Instead, this year’s march was faced with popular resistance in the form of raising Palestinian flags for the first time, unlike what has been happening for the past 55 years.

It is not true that the Israeli march passed without resistance, as is rumoured, because Gaza did not intervene, as it did last year. Rather, the West Bank and Jerusalem turned into a battleground and a popular struggle that continued throughout the day. The Jerusalemites resisted the occupation and its marches, with takbirs and sit-ins in the squares of Al-Aqsa Mosque. We saw on our television screens a Jerusalemite child confronting dozens of soldiers with courage and determination; we saw the elderly raising their canes in the face of the soldiers, women throwing rocks at them and the youth holding their shoes up to the faces of the invaders.

The people of the West Bank clashed with settlers and soldiers and did not give in to the limits of their capabilities and circumstances, especially given the security grip of Abbas’s authority, which also persecutes them. They are suffering from two forms of occupation: the occupation of the Zionists and the occupation of the Oslo Accords-imposed Palestinian Authority, which acts as a security branch of Israel.

READ: Who were the winners and losers of Israel’s Flag March?

This comprehensive popular resistance is more important than the events of the Israeli flag march. The Palestinian people cannot face the occupation by one means only, because this is what the Zionists want.

The fact that the Israeli occupation carried out the flag march quickly and quietly means that it does not require a response of war, as everyone expected. The occupation did not manage to carry out its threat to storm Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Those who think that the atmosphere before the day of the march that provoked statements carrying outright threats by some leaders were only directed at the flag march, are mistaken.

Therefore, 29 May should not be a sad day, nor should the Palestinian and Arab citizens feel disappointed. Rather, it is a day that is added to the record of the enemy’s disappointments, as it backed down from carrying out the threats it made before the march. The Palestinians should consider it a day of victory over the Zionist enemy.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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