Many years have passed since the keffiyeh Palestine he wore the collars of half the world. Knowing or not of the struggle that the scarf represented, hundreds of people signed up to the fashion of protecting their throat with that piece of black and white cloth. Even further away are the times when the palestinian cause united left-wing movements around the planet. Today, geopolitics does not take into account what happens in that piece of land in perpetual conflict. The media is exhausted to talk about the eternal rivals, to look towards Israel and Palestine.
While the gaze –and the backgrounds– of the international community find new targets, an entire town languishes under the occupation and the blocking. A decade ago, the United Nations predicted that Loop would become a land uninhabitable in 2020. Two years after the predicted horizon, they still barely survive 2.3 million people in the 360 square kilometers that make up the enclave. The Israeli and Egyptian blockade adds up to three decades now. With hardly any electricity, running water, jobs, healthcare, education or housing, Gazans wake up every day just aspiring to survive.
But life prospects run out when the Israeli war machine, one of the most powerful in the world, baits them from the skies. As has happened this weekend. Three days of offensive against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Strip have resulted in the death of 44 people, 15 of whom were children. The territory was still recovering from the latest Israeli offensive. Those deadly 11 days in May took 260 Palestinians with them, including 66 children. The international community has lamented the loss of civilian lives, but not without first stressing its strong commitment with the security of Israel.
Half a century of occupation
Just a few kilometers away, the compatriots of West Bank they share the condemnation of being born Palestinian. Half a century of occupation has worsened thanks to the right-wing drift of Israeli politics of recent years and the growing support of US administrations. The Abraham Accords of 2020 came to deepen the wound caused by the Deals of the Century also raised by Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared kushner. They were the trigger for break with a status quo respected for decades not only by the United States, but also by neighboring countries.
Trump recognized, at the end of 2017, the disputed Jerusalem as the unique and indivisible capital of the state of Israel. After a few months, he moved the american embassy to the holy city, blowing up any chance of a two-state solution. This approach proposes Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. His successor, the Democrat Joe Biden, has maintained this position. In his last visit to the region, moreover, he promised to expand the normalization agreements of the Hebrew State with new Arab countries.
The emergence of the Abraham Accords in 2020 marked the crumbling arab support to the Palestinian cause. United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan normalized their relations with Israel, without conditioning them in practice to the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as had been done historically. The increasingly frequent summits between American, Israeli and Arab leaders are the verification of a new paradigm. In the, Israel is everyone’s friend and the Palestinians suffer the oblivion of those who, not so long ago, wore their keffiyeh.
But the abandonment, in addition, is born among their own leaders. Does 16 years that Palestinian society does not go to the polls to choose its rulers. At 87 springs, Mahmoud Abbas continues to serve as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The elections called for 2021 were postponed. They still do not have a specific date. Meanwhile, new reports reveal the systematic torture on the opponents exercised by the Palestinian authorities. In addition, the authoritarianism growth of PA, together with its high levels of corruption and inefficiency and its alliances with Israeli forces have increased support for Hamas.
In turn, in Israel, they live in an endless electoral cycle. The next November 1st Israeli society will vote for the fifth time in three and a half years. Left-wing options have all but disappeared and moderate right-wingers masquerade as centrists. The common denominator in almost all Israeli political parties is the absence of organized resistance to the Palestinian occupation. are a handful of Israeli civilian groups those who still accompany and defend the Palestinians, swimming against the current of their citizens and their representatives.
The kufiyas they are no longer sold beyond the blurred Palestinian borders. Only those born on Palestinian land or the heirs of palestinian blood they raise their handkerchiefs in defense of their people. to major international isolation, greater union between its people. The greater institutional abandonment, the greater community networks. The Israeli offensive of May 2021 sparked a wave of solidarity and twinning among Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and the diaspora. Hundreds of kufiyas knotted with each other are what sustain this Palestinian awakening.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.