A message from Rana Al Nashashibi, Director of the Palestinian Counselling Centre in the West Bank and Gaza writes to Sumud Palestine’s inaugural meeting.
To our friends and colleagues Mohammad, David and Angela, on the occasion of launching the Al Sumud- Palestine.
“The earth, the farmer, and perseverance,
Tell me: how can they be defeated…
These three hypostases
How can they be defeated?”
(‘An al-Sumud) (On Perseverance, Mahmoud Darwish from Olive Trees, 1964)
How can Samer Essawi be defeated when he is on hunger strike for two hundred days, fighting the occupation with his own body? How can Omran Castero, the eleven years-old child from Jerusalem, be defeated as he stands in front of bulldozers demolishing his home and shouts, “this land is ours .. Palestine is ours!”? How can Abu Ala’ in Jayyous and the farmers in Assira, Walaja, and Bili’n be defeated as they fight Israel through their steadfastness to their land, the land of their forefathers? How can the fishermen in Gaza be defeated when they ride the waves against all odds in defiance to feed their children?
Israel as an occupier knows that our mere existence threatens its own. These colonizers who usurp the land and attempt to erase its history are aware that as long as we Palestinians remain, Israel’s apartheid will continue to be exposed. This idea lies at the very heart of Sumud – that existence is resistance. Our refusal to be eliminated and commitment to the land of Palestine has persevered in spite of Israel’s military force over the past 65 years, proving time and time again that the fight for justice can in fact prevail over the might of occupation.
To Mohammed, David, and Angela, we salute and congratulate you on this achievement. With your dedication, we are assured that this movement will continue to grow. We share our greatest respect and sincerest gratitude for each of you who continues to stand in solidarity with our cause and the fight to free Samer, to provide a safe home for Omran, and to protect the farmers in the West Bank and the fisherman in Gaza. Above all, we thank you for your commitment to fighting to end the Israeli occupation and bring justice to Palestinians and to all those oppressed throughout the world.
Our fight will win and justice will prevail.
Your colleagues at the Palestinian Counseling Center in Jerusalem.