Part 1: Why Fanon? The indispensability of thought and the urgency of action
Palestine is in the throes of revolt. It started with protests and demonstrations at the presence of Israeli “Temple Mount” activists (and their political benefactors) at the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, the symbolic pillar of Palestinian spirituality and national redemption. The unrest then spread to other cities on both sides of the Green Line. From Nazareth to Nablus to Bethlehem, young Palestinians have taken to the streets to hurl stones and Molotov cocktails at an occupation which plunders their future and consigns their bodies to be broken on the wheels of a colonial machine. Individual acts of violence have also injected a sense of terror into the Israeli population, prompting a paranoid state to respond with unbridled brutality from its military, and unabated mob-driven lynching by its civilian population.
Unorganised, sporadic and youth-led, these Palestinian demonstrations and violent attacks do not appear to be tethered to any political party. The rejection of political factions as the incubator of rebellious actions by the “Children of Oslo” is perhaps the final indictment on the political malaise which has characterised Mahmoud Abbas’s tenure as Palestinian president; he has operated hand in glove with the Israelis, to protect a regime which safeguards the interests of his political class.
The Question of Palestine, as Edward Said framed it, has gone through numerous changes since 1948; through the Nakba of 1948 to the Sumud, which characterised the first intifada, to the compromise of Oslo and the current post-second intifada division and status quo. Throughout these phases, various normative discourses and institutions arose, which shifted the nature of the Palestinian national movement. However, the reality of Israeli colonialism has remained the same: violent, intransigent and unaccountable. In order to understand the current events in Palestine properly, it vital to look towards the writings of Martinican psychologist-cum-Algerian revolutionary, Frantz Fanon, whose divisive thoughts have contributed prodigiously to the field of postcolonial studies.
Source: Palestine through the lens of Frantz Fanon ~ Nick Rodrigo, MEMO,
Monday, 19 October 2015.