Filed under: Interviews, The State, War
Interview between the Black Rose Anarchist Federation and Fauda, a Palestinian anarchist organization in the West Bank, about the unfolding situation in Palestine.
In this new, even more horrifying phase of the 75 year long occupation of Palestine by Israel, it is important to give a platform to Palestinians struggling against ethnic cleansing.
Black Rose / Rosa Negra (BRRN) reached out to Fauda, a small group centered in the West Bank that identifies itself as a Palestinian anarchist organization, to get their perspective on the current struggle. Fauda is a group that is new to us, and which we don’t have more information about beyond the interview presented here and what can be found in their public channels. Because of our own limited understanding of Fauda’s politics, strategy and activity, publishing this interview cannot be a complete endorsement of them. But we hope that this interview will be a step in creating more connections between revolutionaries in the US and the militant youth in Palestine, and more knowledge and understanding of each other.
Regardless of any similarities or differences in our politics, we believe that we need to be listening to the perspectives of militants on the ground resisting the violence of US-funded ethnic cleansing. We hope that this short interview can be a contribution to strengthening our own work here of undermining imperialism and settler-colonialism.
Other than edits for clarity across translation, the content of this interview is presented unaltered. We want to thank our Palestinian and Arabic-speaking friends for their help with conducting and translating this interview. We also want to extend our gratitude to the representative of Fauda who thoughtfully engaged with our questions during a moment of extreme uncertainty and violence.
1. BRRN: Can you tell us about your group – what are your activities, and what makes Fauda distinct from other Palestinian political groups, like DFLP, PFLP, Hamas, Fatah, etc.?
Our group is known as the “Fauda Movement in Palestine” and consists of young activists and academics from inside and outside Palestine.
Our goal is to bring together all forces with various political and intellectual ideas and trends and focus them on fighting the unjust occupation and racist Zionist thought in Palestine. That’s why we have good relations with some young people from the Jewish faith, some converts, some Muslims, Christians, and others.
The idea is that many Palestinians oppose the racist and unjust acts of the Zionist occupation, but they do not find a single axis around which they can unite. This is why we often see that instead of focusing on fighting racism and the Zionist apartheid regime, they attack each other.
Here we are playing the role of mediation between the various parties to bring together all the possiblities and capabilities of the Palestinians to combat the apartheid regime.
We have carried out various activities, including teaching Palestinian youth how to struggle and the methods of struggle and anarchist thought (the educational unit). Coordinating various vigils and protests, some peaceful and some in the form of a black bloc (the executive unit). Publishing news and everything related to Palestine and the Palestinian people, and what the Israeli army and security systems are doing. The suppression of individual and social freedoms, demolition of Palestinian homes, killing of children, massacres and genocide against the Palestinian people and so on (News Unit). And the dissemination of important information about the history of Palestine, the history of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, and the intellectual differences that the new generation may face from its past, because here we are facing a fierce media war that distorts the facts and turns them in favor of Israel. As you know, Israel has channels that broadcast around the clock in Arabic in order to distort historical facts and spread its false narrative about the past and what is currently happening on the ground (Media Unit).
This is a short overview of the Fauda Movement in Palestine.
2. BRRN: What do you want comrades in the US to know about the situation in Palestine right now?
Regarding this question, I want to tell all our brothers around the world, not just in the United States, to never trust what the global media empire tells you, as we have always seen how it distorts the news and turns it in favor of global colonialism and the Zionist occupation.
Here in Palestine we are suffering. We suffer from being robbed of the minimum requirements of life. I want you to know that there is not a single day – I assure you, literally – there is not a single day that the Israeli army does not arrest a young Palestinian man or woman as she walks in the street.
The Palestinian areas in the West Bank always suffer from electricity and water cuts on an almost daily basis. For years, the Israeli army has been seeking to forcibly displace some Palestinian areas in order to seize them and build new settlements there. In the past, the army was practicing all repressive and violent methods to clear out these areas and displace Palestinians from their land, but recently we see that they are practicing a soft policy for the same previous goals, i.e. forced displacement. This soft policy consists of cutting off electricity and water for a long period, not collecting waste from those areas so that a stench reeks in those areas, launching comprehensive military exercises close to those areas to harm the Palestinian population in that area, and other inhumane actions carried out by the Zionist occupation. This is a very small and simple part of what is happening throughout the year here in Palestine, especially in the West Bank.
Currently, in the midst of this violent war, Israeli security forces have arrested a large number of civilians in the West Bank without any specific charges for fear of the outbreak of confrontations in the West Bank. Imagine that you are sitting at home with your family, and suddenly Israeli soldiers enter, pointing weapons at you and your family, and arrest you without any crime you committed. That’s exactly the situation here. I wish they were just arrests. In many cases, arrests lead to severe torture in prisons and even death as a result of these systematic practices.
I want you to know something else, which is that the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas do not represent us, the Palestinian people, at all. We reject authority and we reject Abbas and all his ministers. I do not know whether you have heard of the security coordination agreement between the Zionist occupation and the Palestinian Authority. Years ago, the Palestinian Authority concluded an agreement under which it would serve the occupying entity in terms of security. That is, all the young Palestinian activists who fight the Zionist occupation in one way or another and the occupation cannot arrest them, the Palestinian Authority pursues them, arrests them, and hands them over to the occupation, and then no one knows the fate of that young man or that girl. These do not represent us, nor any other Palestinian. These are completely rejected in the Palestinian street, but unfortunately they are officially and internationally recognized by the United Nations and supported by the United States of America.
3. BRRN: What has the past week been like for you personally?
The issue is not a matter of a week or two, my brother. We live in a state of oppression and deprivation of individual and social freedoms all year round. Yes, last week there were much more tragedies and painful news than in previous months. We received news of the death of many of our relatives and friends throughout the Palestinian territories. This is very painful. We have many friends in the West Bank and in Gaza. The Palestinian population in Gaza is now living in a very dangerous situation. For more than three or four days, they [the Israeli occupation forces] have cut off electricity and water in the Gaza Strip. When the electricity is cut off, many social services stop, especially hospitals. The bombing continues on the people of Gaza around the clock. Even in the middle of the night they bombard this small area. Israel has completely blockaded this area. People can’t even escape them. The occupation prevents humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza. The occupation forbids food, forbids water, forbids medicine and everything else. Gaza has become a small dungeon, bombed from every side and place. Imagine that a mother sees her young infant injured and bleeding, but there is no hospital providing services due to a power outage. How would you like to describe this mother’s feelings?
My brother, words cannot describe what is happening here. This area has become hell because of the occupation and the presence of Zionism in it.
4. BRRN: What movements in Palestine do you think hold the most hope for the future of Palestinians and why – for example, the Lion’s Den of Nablus, or different workers struggles?
We need youth movements that believe in the possibility of liberation, and that work to build unity with the rest of the movements and trends in Palestine. Experience has proven that one movement alone cannot accomplish a major achievement that leads to the liberation of Palestine. We need to all deal with each other, whether Muslims, Jews, Christians, converts, anarchists, and other ideas that exist in the Palestinian arena. This is what we seek: to bring everyone together under one banner and with one goal, which is to combat Zionism, liberate Palestine, and restore our freedom. Of course, there are many movements in the Palestinian arena, including the Lion’s Den. But the lion’s den is not the only movement. There are many other trends and movements, including labor struggles, striving with all their energy, but due to the strict security conditions and systematic repressive policies practiced by the occupation and also by the traitorous Palestinian Authority, they are not seen in a visible and significant way in public. Because we always need to be careful and cautious. For this reason, I was not able to conduct an audio or video interview with you.
BRRN: In 2021 Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza, and even those who are citizens of Israel, participated in a general strike in reaction to evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah. What role do you see for work stoppages and general strikes in this period?
I think we have passed the stage of general strikes in Israel. Of course, I do not want to deny the importance of strikes and their effectiveness, but the situation here in Palestine and experience has proven that the only solution is struggle and even armed struggle against the apartheid regime.
The occupation does not hesitate to commit any type of crime, injustice, or persecution.
Even if you own a profession or a shop and you go on strike, the result will be that they will steal your shop and give it to another Zionist, or they will fire you from your job, and thus another Zionist will take the job. Easily!
The conditions here are completely different from what is happening to you in the United States, my brother.
6. BRRN: Do you believe that there is any hope of large numbers of working class Israelis ever abandoning zionism – as small numbers of anarchists and socialists have, or do you think that the attachment to settler colonialism is too strong for them to ever overcome?
The Zionists who are here in the Palestinian territories came here on the basis of the ideological principle that this land is their land and that the Jewish people are the chosen people. Of course, everyone who believes in this principle and adopts this ideology cannot easily abandon Zionism, nor recognize the freedom of others and the principle of equality between human beings.
But we make a distinction between Zionism and Judaism. We have Jewish friends who speak Hebrew and believe in the Torah, but they do not believe in Zionism, and they even help us in our activities against the occupying entity. Therefore, yes, we hope that the number of these people will increase and that many of them, especially in the working class, will abandon this racist ideological principle that has no connection to Judaism at all. We welcome them and receive them with open arms, and we can work with them and live together in peace.
7. BRRN: What do you think are the most effective acts of solidarity for liberation in Palestine that comrades in the US can take?
I think the most important thing you can do is media support for the Palestinians. You can explain to the people in the United States the Palestinian issue as it is, not according to the false Israeli narrative. You can publish news and events taking place in Palestine. There are many videos and pictures of the daily crimes of the occupying entity on Palestinian websites. We also publish this news on our Instagram page @fauda_palestine and our Telegram channel @fauda_ps. You can translate this news and deliver the facts to our brothers in the United States. Do not make the official media and American and Israeli channels your only sources from which you receive news and follow events. Follow the Palestinian media as well. The Palestinian media faces a very severe media blackout. Try to break this blackout and reach some of the current facts in the Palestinian arena.