Point-blank: A voice in the wilderness

Mohamed Salmawy
Tuesday 20 Feb 2024


My attention was recently caught by an opinion piece in the Haaretz that described the Palestinian people as the greatest defenders of their homeland. At last, the newspaper spoke a truth the West does not want to hear. The Palestinian people’s 75 year long struggle for freedom and statehood is an inspiration and an appeal to the human conscience. The newspaper enumerated what the war against the Palestinians in Gaza is costing Israel: $912 million a day on aircraft sorties, Patriot missiles, fuel for machinery, and ammunition of all sorts. Then there is the disruption of commerce, the slump in the stock market, the interruption in the operations of most businesses and construction, the total paralysis of agriculture, complete paralysis in all areas of agriculture, poultry dying in poultry farms, the disruption of some airports and train lines, the cost of feeding people in shelters. This is not to mention the homes, shops, cars, and factories damaged or destroyed by the resistance’s missiles. 

The article then has the courage to admit, “we are suffering the consequences of a war that we began. We set it ablaze decades ago, but we do not control its course and we will not be the ones to end it. In any case, the end will not be to our liking.”  The author speaks of the revolution that erupted against Israel in Arab towns and cities after the Israelis had become convinced that the Palestinians had lost their Palestinian identity. This bodes ill for Israel and proves how wrong the politicians were in their calculations. It also shows that Palestinians are the real owners of the land. “Who else but the owners would defend themselves, their children and their property with such ferocity, pride and defiance?” asks the author, who professes to be Jew. They doubted that none of their Jewish compatriots in Israel could show the same degree of rootedness in the land and concluded: fully equipped national armies were unable to do what a relative handful of Palestinian resistance fighters did in a few days. Palestine is resurrected and one day she will be riding her horse into Tel Aviv. 

It is refreshing to hear an honest voice, but sadly it is a voice in the wilderness. The Haaretz, itself, represents only a fraction of the public opinion in the occupying power whose officials have described the occupied people as human animals.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 22 February, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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