On Fridays of the month of Ramadan, the Palestinians once again proved the extent to which they are prepared to endanger themselves, collectively, for the sake of a shared aim they consider sublime: worship at Al Aqsa Mosque in
Most of them did not make it to the prayer site sacred to Islam. But their collective action reminded the world and some Israelis that
The collective daring of the last few Fridays illustrates the characteristic lack evident in the Palestinian struggle for liberation today: a collective defiance of the Israeli policy on restrictions of movement.
The main Israeli control method, and the most effective with respect to the occupier, is the limitation of Palestinian freedom of movement to a minimum: within the occupied territories, between district and district, between town and village, village and its lands, between the Gaza Strip and the
This is not just a system: This is a policy no less destructive than the bombings and the bombardments, and it preceded the current intifada and developed under the aegis of the
But as a collective entity, the Palestinians have not turned the demand for the restoration of freedom of movement into an exalted goal, worthy of shared and organized effort.
The leadership of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority enjoys an Israeli exemption from some of the restrictions of movement imposed on ordinary “mortals.” Most of the political organizations are still addicted to the hollow rhetoric of “the armed struggle.” They do not dare or are no longer able to stop the phenomenon of the armed men that has delivered a mortal blow to the culture of the popular struggle. The Hamas leadership is better at relying on the Koran when it makes its incendiary promises for a distant future in which
During the past two weeks, there has been fresh proof of the importance of collective struggle: The U.S. State Department has complained about the ethnic discrimination
It would not have been obtained had it not been for a stubborn fight being conducted for a few months already by an expanding group of Palestinians and non-Palestinians, among them those who hold various foreign citizenships, whom
During one of her visits to her homeland as a tourist, about 30 years ago, they met, married and established a family in their village. Their requests to
The American complaint has not yet resulted in Enaya Samara being able to return to her home and family. Nor has it deterred Israeli border officials from denying the entry of other people during the past two weeks, among them an American woman of Palestinian origin who has a husband and seven children in Ramallah, two French citizens and a British citizen – who also have family in the
But for the members of the My Right to Entry group, this is yet another reason to persist and continue a general, not just an individual or one-time, struggle. The sanctity of the right to freedom of movement should be recognized no less than the right to religious worship.