Rana Nazzal Hamadeh is a “Palestinian-Canadian activist, artist, and facilitator. She is immersed in community organizing both at home in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and on Algonquin Anishnaabeg land in Canada.”
On June 9, 2018 Rana Nazzal tweeted:
Listening to media rhetoric on #Gaza is painful, but there’s an important lesson in there. Israel cries “Hamas” to justify any amount of violence against Palestinian life, and the media follows suite.
The mention of “Hamas” has become so loaded that we spend so much time trying to prove that: no, the #greatreturnmarch is not a front for Hamas, and: no, this murdered teenager was not a Hamas operative
We actually treat “Hamas” like a bad word. It’s taboo. We don’t want it to come up at our events. We steer away from it in interviews.
We walk right into the discursive trap they created where Hamas = guilty and deserving of violence
Hamas is a political party with an armed resistance wing. Palestine is under illegal military occupation, siege, & subject to an apartheid system with the goal of ethnically cleansing us from our historic land. We have the right to resist & Hamas maintains that right.
Even if we don’t support Hamas’s social or political policies, even if we as individuals believe in the power of unarmed resistance, we can’t deny the right to armed resistance. We can’t shy away from talking about Hamas because Israel says that “Hamas = Terrorist”
When we do, we allow israel to continue to claim “Hamas-affiliation” as an excuse for every form of genocidal violence that they’ve rained down on Gaza.
This discourse is so dangerous. For us in the West Bank, we’re painfully aware that if we had a DEMOCRATIC election tomorrow, Hamas could very well win. And israel could very well use that as an excuse to rain missiles on us.
We have to uproot & disrupt the discourse. There can be no excuse for israeli violence on Palestinian life. Because stones and knives and rockets and Hamas are responses to colonization & ethnic cleansing, they are not attacks.
We can’t be afraid to talk about stone throwing or Hamas. Their resistance is legitimate. If we shy away from this conversation, those things become a powerful weapon for the zionist media when it needs to justify the horrific violence of israeli apartheid.
Also, remember that as of the start of this year, 470 Palestinians had been put in israeli prison for “incitement on social media”. We risk everything just to speak, and we’ll keep risking it because its worth it. But on the outside you need to speak up too.
The PA has brought my point home. When thousands of Palestinians marched Sunday, shaming the PA for its complicity in israeli sanctions on Gaza, the PA released this banner blaming Hamas for *all of the problems*
On November 20, 2012 Rana Nazzal posted on her blog “Chants for protesting in English and Arabic.” Here are some of the chants:
(Originally in English)
From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea – Palestine will be free!
Israel is a racist/terrorist/apartheid/fascist state!
[Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Adolf] Hitler are the same – The only difference is the name!
(Originally in Arabic)
We will sacrifice our blood and soul for you Palestine
Israel is the mother of terrorism
O martyr sleep and rest, we will complete the struggle
O warrior, one more time, kidnap a soldier and release the prisoners
O warrior, O dear, bomb [and] blow [the City of] Tel Aviv