Hatem Abudayyeh speaks on the lessons of Gaza, tasks of U.S. solidarity movement
Minneapolis, MN – More than 50 people gathered here, Oct. 12 to hear an important talk by Hatem Abudayyeh, a National Coordinating Committee member of the U.S. Palestinian Communities Network (USPCN). Abudayyeh spoke about the lessons of the recent Israeli war on Gaza and the road ahead for the U.S. anti war and Palestine solidarity movement.
Abudayyeh told the crowd, “Israel lost the war both militarily and politically. Israel is the fifth largest military in the world and it still could not defeat or disarm the Palestinian resistance. When it came down to hand to hand fighting in Gaza they [the Israeli military] lost that too. They were not able to get all the tunnels – which was one of their publicly stated objectives. There were leaks from Israeli military officials that they were unaware of the training the resistance had. There's a dynamic here that's different which we haven't seen since 1982, a Palestinian resistance that can hold its own and had some victories.”
Speaking of the growing unity in the Palestinian movement for national liberation, Abudayyeh said, “There was a unified resistance in Palestine. That was a really important step. Palestine is not Hamas. Hamas is the strongest force in the resistance but they did not fight Israel alone. There was also unity amongst Palestinian civil society – within the 1948 borders [Israel] and within the West Bank too.”
In talking about the movement to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) Israel, Abudayyeh highlighted the work done by the Chicago AWC in coalition with the USPCN to make war profiteers like Boeing suffer, and the work in coalition with the Longshoremen's union in California to prevent the docking of Israeli ships.
Abudayyeh also stressed the importance of defending veteran Palestinian leader Rasmea Odeh who is facing trumped up immigration charges as a result of her political activism, stating, “Rasmea's case is not just an immigration case. She's come under attack because she represents the Palestinian aspirations for a right to return.”
The event was organized by the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee.