In this Truce, the Star of David is akin to a Swastika

Rima Najjar
6 min readNov 22, 2023
At the pro-Palestine demonstration in Brussels on Oct 22, 2023: “Gaza, If You Die, I Die.”

Even though the airwaves have long been agog with the voices of the Israeli government, the US and other so-called leaders of the free world about the war on Gaza, the leaders of Hamas and the rest of the Islamic resistance, dubbed “terrorists” in a preemptive Israeli-US propaganda campaign designed to legitimize their extraction by firepower, have managed to get their voices heard.

They’ve done so through a brilliant media campaign that has made a folk hero out of Abu ‘Obaidah, the spokesperson for Martyr Al Qassam’s Islamic Brigades, and put to shame Israel’s undeniably degenerate tactics of killing and maiming thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, displaced families sheltering in UNRWA schools, the wounded and sick in hospitals and news reporters and flattening large swatches of the Gaza Strip.

And just as Netanyahu is resolved to continue the war on Gaza after the announced truce between Hamas and Israel, the Palestinian resistance is resolved to continue its heroic and already legendary fight against Israel.

This war, as well as being a national war of liberation on the Palestinian side and a settler-colonial war aided by Western powers on the Israeli side, is a religious war on both sides. The optics, as commentators love to use the term in analyzing the tragedy, are telling. It is religious Jews in the Israeli cabinet, wearing their kippot and holding up the Star of David that they have managed to turn into something akin to a swastika who have voted against the truce and who are most virulent in their call for ethnic cleansing and genocide.

On Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Mayadeen, Palestinians standing in the rubble over the dead bodies of their children invoke God to deal a blow for justice against Jews. Islamic resistance fighters call out loudly “God is great; praise be to God” with each hit on enemy tanks or soldiers. Hezbollah in southern Lebanon celebrate their martyrs as having fallen “on the road to Jerusalem,” where the desecrated Al Aqsa Mosque lies. “Al Aqsa Flood” is not named so for nothing. In Yemen, a spokesperson explained to Al Mayadeen that Houthi forces feared God’s displeasure if they did not come to the aid of Palestine. Moreover, this cause has unified Shia and Sunni Muslims.

When Blinken first arrived in Israel after Oct 7, he embraced Netanyahu by saying, “I am here as a Jew, not just as US State Secretary.” Jordan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Al Safadi, on the other hand, did not say in any of his statements, “I am speaking here, not just as a Jordanian, but also as a Palestinian.”

I assume Safadi is of Palestinian origin because of his name. “Al Safadi” in Arabic means “from Safad.” Incidentally, Mahmoud Abbas is also from Safad: he was born there. Safad in the Galilee was predominantly Palestinian Arab before 1948. It was emptied from its Palestinian citizens by the Haganah Jewish force (the perpetrator of many massacres during the Nakba) when, according to the language of the Israeli narrative flooding Google, “the Arab population fled,” leaving Safad to its “rightful” owners, the Kabbalists of the mystical branch of Judaism.

More than half of the 6.3 million population of Jordan is of Palestinian origin, the vast majority, except for Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, have Jordanian citizenship. Jordan’s refugee camps are full of Palestinians holding on to the keys of their homes and their right of return to occupied Palestine. Ayman Al Safadi, speaking for the Jordanian government and for King Abdullah, is certainly not about to increase their ranks.

As so many Jewish-American officials have done before him, Blinken flaunts his Jewish supremacist privilege. He and his American family can “return” to Israel any time they please. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, as well as all those in al-shatat, the diaspora, cannot.

What is to happen next? The best way to predict the future is to create it. Israel’s bombing of Gaza is to resume as soon as the truce is over. And so will the Palestinian resistance everywhere and in every form.

When the resistance is the entire body (as represented by Muslim, Christian and every free person of any persuasion holding up the Palestinian flag), you can’t have a “surgical operation,” as the US is now urging Israel to do as opposed to mayhem, without killing the patient.

“Even if you kill all the children, One Moses will survive”

Charlotte Kates, the international coordinator of Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, recently expressed this determination by the resistance by saying: “We refuse to be silenced, we continue to organize, we continue to take to the streets; we refuse to be silenced by political power, by state repression or by corporate complicity, and we stand for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.”

Biden, Blinken and Israel’s war criminals with their “Hannibal Procedure” will discover there isn’t enough anesthesia in the world to put down this body of resistance and perform their “surgical operation.” Let’s hope that the human-interest stories that will now flood the airwaves about the return of Israeli hostages to their families will also highlight the devastation that the Israeli colonial military judiciary and prison system have, for decades, imposed on Palestinian families.

Roni Sarig, a reader of my previous blog post titled, “Israel is a Rogue State,” made the following absurd comment there: “It is your right to have ‘righteous anger.’ But I would hope that you’ve also considered what end your righteous anger serves? Those of us who are pro-Israel but anti-Netanyahu and pro-Palestine but anti-Hamas could be allies with you. But too much righteous anger will get in the way of actually solving the issue — and probably will just lead to more suffering. We can be allies, but not if you’re advocating for the removal/killing of my people.”

“Palestinian and righteously angry” is the tagline of my blog on Medium. Sarig, apparently, wants me to modulate my outrage at what his government is doing to Palestinians and at the monumental suffering the creation of the Jewish entity on Palestinian territory in 1948 by violence and terror continues to engender — all in the guise of forging an alliance on his terms and in accordance with his own feelings. He presents himself as reasonable, and me as someone advocating the removal/killing of “his people,” disregarding the context of war I am discussing, and understanding decolonization to mean “killing Jews.” That Palestinian freedom means genocide for Jews is a ridiculous argument. I think it is also antisemitic, because it implies that Jews can only exist at the cost of others' lives. As Lena Bloch says in a comment on this post, “This assumption is the basis for Jewish fascism. Kahane built his ideology on that and this is what ‘Never again’ that he introduced means: ‘If we kill and abuse, THEY will never dare to kill and abuse US.’”

In the name of “moderation,” Sarig pushes a false Israeli narrative we have heard ad infinitum over the years. As a friend said to me, “Sincere allies know not to center a struggle in their own ‘feelings.’”

No doubt, Sarig, like his government, would also wish to modulate my joy at the release of Palestinian prisoners. Netanyahu’s government has already issued a warning to Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem not to exhibit any signs of joy at their release.

Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.