Palestine: From Individual Engaged Intellectual to Popular Struggle.


From Individual Engaged Intellectual to Popular Struggle.


Dedicated to Martyr Basil al-Aa‘raj

Adel Samara

Occupied West Bank

It is a very normal day, 12th March 2017 when the bus across the gate of the little village Beit Ur al-Foqa,  with a Zionist soldier play with his dog, both of them entertains the other enjoying a surplus peaceful and security time.

More than hundred Palestinian Arabs gathered in front of the court building in al-Bireh city in the occupied West Bank protesting against a Palestinian court hearing which took place at March 11th 2017 for the trial Martyr Basil al-Aa’raj despite the fact that he has been assassinated by Zionist army on 6th of March 2017 after an ambush that went on for two hours as his ammunition finished. The court session was for the martyr and his five comrades who are still detained by the forces of the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime (ZAR). This means that all of the accused people are absent. Accordingly, he hearing was re-scheduled for April 30th 2017. The protestors are against the very idea of a court for those militants. But, what provoked the demonstrators more is:

·       The Judge dealt with martyr Basil as a criminal acquiring weapon without permit.

·      The Palestinian Authority (PA) did not consider him as martyr, but as an ordinary person who passed away.

·       And despite Basil’s martyrdom the court did not cancel his case.

Protestors are male and female youths, few old people, lawyers of Basil and his comrades, Muhanad Karaja, Anas Bargourthi and Farid al-Atrash, in addition to media correspondents.

On the other side nearly the same number or more of soldiers, policemen, security members with sticks, helmets and shields stamped PLO & PA, in addition to civilians who were taking pictures for every body. When the soldiers arrested and beat Sheik Khader Adnan the symbol of long hunger strikes in the ZAR jail, those civilians were laughing and saying Oh, good.

The youth started shouting: spies, traitors, down with the PA and security Intelligence coordination with ZAR…etc, the police did not interfere, but when the martyr’s father stood on the roof of a car calling for national unity, the soldiers attacked the protestors harshly including the martyrs’ father.

They failed to break the line of the youths, then  they used pepper spray and sound  bombs, the youths retreated, but moved on again, the same confrontation was repeated two three times, until the police used tear gas.

I remember Chomsky’s two articles in two issues of Against the Current stated that the middle and high ranks of PA’s security forces were trained by experts in the criminal US. The same hatred and open repression has been used against us when the ex president of criminal US imperialism George .W. Busch came to Ramallah 2009, I guess.

The youth, especially Marxist females were very courageous facing repressors. I couldn’t stop smiling. What came to my mind is what a French reactionary wrote against Paris women of Paris Commune: “Those who escaped home work where imitating Gann Dark seriously, they never hesitated to compare themselves with her. In the last few days of the Commune those women who are enthusiastic for fighting, audacious, snippy and withstand more than men behind barricades”.

The same was written about the Bolshevik Revolution “… Those women moved against the officers more courageous than men. They caught their rifles, besieged them and commanded them: direct you bayonet to the ground and join us”.

But here in the West Bank none of the police throw away his stick and joined the demonstrators. They were very loyal and attack the youths harshly.

I remember in Nablus jail 1969 when the Zionist police decided to intrude the jail, one of us started shouting “ Hamdan your blood is Arab”. Hamdan was a Palestinian from the 1948-occupied Palestine. Hamdan throw his stick and left. The aggression failed.

What is astonishing more was, when the police caught any of the youths, other policemen continued beating him! To be arrested is understandable, but, why to be beaten after that! Is it hatred or orders or perhaps both?

The deduced lesson from this fight is that the strategy of Engaged Intellectual works.  I coined the “Engaged Intellectual” term several years ago to develop Lenin’s and Gramscis’ term the revolutionary intellectual. It is a great gift that the martyr Basil grasped and used the term.

In fact, I believe that: Third Intifada, Engaged Intellectual, military individual operations, and the long individual hunger strikes are great contrives by different individuals are mechanisms of a strategy that restores popular struggle.

This demonstration is a direct proof that this strategy is expanding, many intellectuals are engaged, and  engagement is expanding.

Engaged Individuals/Intellectuals and Martyrs of current Palestinian Intifada, Basil, Mua’taz, Ashraqat, and hunger strikers, Bilal, Adnan, Samer…etc were looking and smiling that engagement and anti -normalization is expanding. The irony is that while PA repression also expanded, the Zionist settler/soldier is still playing with his lovely dog.


  • The opinions and views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Kana’an’s Editorial Board.