Opinion This is why Gazans won't back down

18:10  16 may  2018
18:10  16 may  2018 Source:   cnn.com

Gazans rally near Israel border in blockade-busting campaign

  Gazans rally near Israel border in blockade-busting campaign Gaza activists are burning tires near the sealed border with Israel in a seventh weekly protest aimed at shaking off a decade-old blockade of their territory. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas volleys from the other side of the border fence. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza activists burned tires and threw stones near the sealed border with Israel on Friday in a seventh weekly protest aimed at shaking off a decade-old blockade of their territory.

Gazans continue to protest in the face of violence and death, says Brian Barber, because they are fighting back against dehumanization and marginalization.

I'm the shit— why you think Proof used to call me "Doody"? [Hook: Pink] You can sound the alarm You can call out your guards You can fence in your yard You can hold all the cards But I won ' t back down Oh no, I won ' t back down , oh no.

dpatop - Palestinian protesters use slingshots to hurl stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes along the Israel-Gaza border, on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of the Catastrophe), which marks the displacement that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, in Khan Yunis, Southern Gaza Strip, 14 May 2018. Photo by: Wissam Nassar/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images© Wissam Nassar/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images dpatop - Palestinian protesters use slingshots to hurl stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes along the Israel-Gaza border, on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of the Catastrophe), which marks the displacement that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, in Khan Yunis, Southern Gaza Strip, 14 May 2018. Photo by: Wissam Nassar/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

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Israel's shame — and America's complicity

  Israel's shame — and America's complicity Gruesome violence directed against unarmed protesters is becoming a terrifyingly regular occurrence in Gaza, where another huge storm of protests was just inspired by the Trump administration moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Gazans massed near the borders of their open-air prison, with some attempting to break through the fence. The Israeli military responded by spraying live ammunition into the crowd and bombing several targets in Gaza. Scores of Gazans have been killed, including several children. Thousands have been injured.On the other side, so far no Israelis have been hurt, and not a single rocket has been fired at Israel.

(MORE: Why Third Grade Is So Important: The “Matthew Effect”). Despite its sugary Hallmark quality, Won ’ t Back Down is a serious film about a grim reality — parents and teachers stuck in a system that puts kids last.

He won ’ t back down — against what, he doesn’t specify. The song is “a message of defiance against unnamed forces of difficulty and possibly oppression,” according to one source. This is why it resonates with the church’s calling in an increasingly post-Christian society.

The main takeaway from the "Great March of Return Protest" -- a 45-day event that began just after I left Gaza six weeks ago and Tuesday reached its most important moment -- is that residents of Gaza will continue to protest regardless of the number of casualties they endure.

Why? Intuitively, one would think Gazans would have caved long ago. An answer lies in two core features of Gazan individual and collective psychology, which my colleagues and I have studied empirically and as I have come to observe them personally in now over two decades of regular stays in Gaza: being marginalized and dehumanized.

Any individuals, organizations and governments who are seriously interested in making life better for Gazans or in resolving the hostilities between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel, with its ripple effects throughout the region, must understand why Gazans keep fighting back.

In Gaza Strip protests, the anger has many targets

  In Gaza Strip protests, the anger has many targets As a child, Fahad would fashion kites from wood, plastic and paper to fly with his friends at the beach. It was a rare and joyful respite from the grinding poverty in refugee camps across the Gaza Strip. Now he is applying his kite-building skills toward darker ends: to deliver bundles of flaming rags over Gaza's eastern border in hopes of setting Israeli crops and woodland on fire.It is dangerous work. Since the start of six weeks of protests, Israeli soldiers have killed at least 49 Palestinians and injured thousands more with live ammunition, rubber bullets and shrapnel, Gaza authorities said.

But I won ' t back down , oh, no I won ' t back down , oh, no. Cadillac Sevilles, Coupe De Villes Brain dead rims, yeah, stupid wheels Girl, I'm too for real, lose your tooth and nails Try to fight it, try to deny it. Stupid you will feel, what I do, I do at will Shooting from the hip

From the start, alongside the refusal to worship the Roman emperor as a god and Christians' supererogatory care for the poor, this was what set Christians apart, and goes a long way toward explaining why Pagan writers could scorn Christianity as a religion of "slaves and women."

They must first understand, however, that in many ways, there is nothing actually new about this spate of protests. It's true that the US Embassy's opening in Jerusalem has inflamed tensions, but this protest was not geared around that. Moreover, Palestinians have been protesting regularly for over 70 years now.

Further, the Israeli military often responds to any contest from Palestinians with overwhelming and disproportionate force, by a stated policy called the "Dahiya doctrine." According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 55 Palestinians in Gaza were killed and over 2,000 were injured on Monday. That brought the total casualties over the six weeks of protest to 97 Gazans killed and over 12,000 injured. The first report of any Israeli casualty over the weeks was the minor wounding of one soldier on Monday.

Tuesday morning, The Washington Post published new figures of 61 killed and over 2,700 injured Monday. The Post cited Gaza Health Ministry figures to report a total death count of at least 110 Gazans.

‘I Hope Each Bullet Was Justified.’ Israelis Reflect on Death in Gaza.

  ‘I Hope Each Bullet Was Justified.’ Israelis Reflect on Death in Gaza. A day after their soldiers killed 60 mostly unarmed Palestinians in Gaza, Israelis were defiant, defensive or blasé.NAHAL OZ, Israel — Daniel Rahamim, 63, had four Palestinians from nearby Gaza at his wedding in 1983. He remembers sunbathing on Gaza’s beaches, and drinking tea at a friend’s antique shop there.

“ Won ’ t Back Down ” was reportedly inspired by a California law that allows parent-teacher takeovers of failing schools under certain circumstances. Again, that sounds like a fascinating premise, albeit one that’s highly likely to go in unforeseen “Animal Farm” directions.

"I Won ' t Back Down " was his way of reclaiming his life and getting past the torment - he said that writing and recording Maybe that's why the solo sounds like one of George's. There's not a bad song on "Full Moon Fever", but this is my favorite because George did play and sing backups on the album.

Tuesday the protests culminated in acknowledgment of the Nakba (catastrophe), how Palestinians refer to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians at the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The casualty counts will likely rise.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government and military (along with the United States government) immediately scapegoated Hamas, which governs in Gaza and does not recognize Israel's existence, as the terroristic instigator of such contests. This reaction obscures the lived reality of many Palestinians by effectively diverting domestic and international attention away from being able to understand their motives for protesting, which predate and go beyond the concerns of any one political faction. If people looked closely, they might see that the "Great March of Return" has long been a grassroots movement that Hamas (and other political factions) have come to support with the intent of keeping the protests as nonviolent as possible.

And yet Palestinians -- Gazans, in this case -- continue to resist, even when facing this lethal treatment on top of the dire water, electricity and medical conditions and travel restrictions they face.

Israel Has the Right and Obligation to Defend Its Border with Deadly Force

  Israel Has the Right and Obligation to Defend Its Border with Deadly Force Would you let people who want to kill you into your home?One of the enduring mysteries of modern political discourse is the way in which smart people — who are not remotely anti-Semitic — impose curious, unworkable double standards on the nation of Israel. Let’s take, for example, the response of many on the left to the so-called Great Return March, an effort by thousands of Gazans to storm the Israeli border.

" Why isn' t he texting me back ? I seriously don' t understand it." "What did I do wrong?" "What the heck is happening to my life? Ugh. This is so frustrating." Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions and driven yourself crazy, while being s…

I won ' t back down as in, I won ' t start smoking again (which I haven't done since by the way) Maybe that's why the solo sounds like one of George's. There's not a bad song on "Full Moon Fever", but this is my favorite because George did play and sing backups on the album.Jude - Thomasville, Ga.

From my earliest interviews in the late 1990s of first intifada youth -- the adults present at the current Gaza protests, and the parents of the youth who are there -- to last month in Gaza when a late teen told me that Gazans can handle the awful water, electricity and health situation, the theme of dehumanization has been deep-seated and constant. "The real effect of the occupation and siege is to make us feel 'subhuman,'" he said.

To understand the sense of being dehumanized, a 2011 study I conducted with colleagues of several hundred middle-aged Gazans showed that, at the hands of Israeli forces, over the course of their lives: 80% have had their homes raided (which, according to the nearly 2,000 Palestinians my colleagues and I have interviewed over the years, typically occur in the early morning hours with squadrons of soldiers crashing down their doors and often very harshly treating family members); over 70% have witnessed someone close to them being humiliated; and over 60% have themselves been verbally abused. Our research, which shows similar findings for other Palestinian territories, also reveals that many have experienced all these events multiple times. (Given the numerous major points of conflict since 2011, the incidence of these would have only increased.) A quarter of men have been imprisoned at least once, with its incumbent severe treatment.

Hamas says most slain Gaza protesters were its members

  Hamas says most slain Gaza protesters were its members Hamas said most of the protesters killed this week by Israeli fire along the border with the Gaza Strip were members of the militant group, an admission that deepens the starkly different narratives on both sides over the deaths. Israel, which has faced blistering international criticism over its response, is likely to latch on to the remarks to bolster its claims that Hamas has used the weekly border protests as cover to stage attacks. But with the images of rifle-toting Israeli snipers facing off against seemingly unarmed protesters beamed around the world, the remarks by Hamas may do little to convince Israel's detractors, including the Palestinians.

The film, Won ' t Back Down , is a work of fiction but claims to be based on real life events and tells the story of a teacher and a parent in a 'failing' school who join forces to 'save their school.' Walden Media also funded Waiting for Superman

And while Won ’ t Back Down purportedly supports such a goal, the stereotypes it promotes-- and the agenda it hides-- could threaten that effort if people don’t understand the reality beneath the Hollywood gloss.

Behind this sense of dehumanization is a related, prevailing sense of being marginalized.

During the three days of my first stay in Gaza in 1995, I was captivated by one feature of Gazans' "personality." Beyond the stereotype-refuting humility and respectfulness, there was a deep sense of being ostracized. Even then, Gazans were aware of how they were viewed by most of the world, leading them -- young and old, male and female -- to repeatedly voice gratitude that I thought to come to their "little Gaza," while simultaneously petitioning me repeatedly to consider returning someday.

In an hourlong discussion with a junior college classroom, I was asked the same pair of questions, verbatim, six times: "Do you like Gaza?" "Would you come again?" As if they could not be sated by my positive answers to both questions.

One high school boy pleaded that when I go home I tell Americans that "We are not all terrorists."

The steady cascade of ruinous economic and political developments since then -- whether sourced in actions and policy from Israel, Egypt or Palestinian interfactional divisions within Gaza -- have only increased this sense of marginalization, with Gaza now completely set off from the West Bank and Jerusalem.

So, how to reconcile these deep-seated, deadening states of mind with the tenacity Gazans display to keep resisting?

A core Palestinian concept is sumud (steadfastness), or the determination to keep their land and build their country. It goes some distance in explaining Gazan's persistence and long-suffering, but not necessarily the intense, active resistance in the face of extreme risk, injury and death as is playing out in Gaza now.

It is better explained by what the forces that marginalize and dehumanize specifically target: identity and dignity. We've learned that all forms of adversity experienced by the dominated don't have the same impact. Gazans and all Palestinians can handle much, obviously. But it is the assault on their worthiness -- as human beings -- that inspires such defiance, as if there is a sacred boundary of humanity that cannot be crossed without instinctive rebellion.

That instinct will not be killed away.

This op-ed has been updated to reflect that the author's research findings apply to multiple Palestinian territories, not only in Gaza.

Israel's Gaza response 'disproportionate' .
The UN rights chief sharply attacks Israel for killing Palestinians "caged in a toxic slum".Zeid Raad Al Hussein told a meeting in Geneva that Gazans were effectively "caged in a toxic slum" and Gaza's occupation by Israel had to end.

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