Budour Hassan, a Palestinian writer and project coordinator for the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, took part in a collective interview by Amy Goodman from DEMOCRACY NOW video news on December 7, 2017.
She is part of the new generation of Palestinian activists who under the influence of Oslo Accords failure, two Intifadas and the Arab Revolutions are addressing the need for new strategies for the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
We post her two answers below. For the full interview please go to: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/7/after_trump_makes_jerusalem_capital_of
AMY GOODMAN: Your response in East Jerusalem, as you were listening to President Trump yesterday? And what is the response in the community?
BUDOUR HASSAN: Obviously, it was very frustrating to hear that coming from Trump, but it was not surprising, because U.S. complicity with the Israeli occupation is not new. It’s something that has spanned over generations. And for Palestinians, it’s something that is expected, because a nation like the United States, that has been built on colonization, it’s only natural for them to support another colonizer state in Israel.
We obviously—while we are outraged, we know the reason for our outrage is not just Trump’s declaration. Our reason for our outrage is that it was under President Obama that the U.S. pledged $38 billion of taxpayer—U.S. taxpayers’ money to support Israel militarily. So this is why we are outraged. We are outraged because the Palestinian Authority continued to sell people the promise of negotiations and peace, and the result is that all these talks about peace and negotiations and the peace process, that has been going on for more than two decades, has only led us to this. And this is why people are protesting, because it’s important to know that the young people, women and men, who are taking to the streets to tell President Trump and to tell the Palestinian Authority and to tell everyone that Jerusalem is and has always been and will always be Palestinian. But they are clear that their outrage is not simply about Trump. It’s about an entire system that has denied Palestinians their rights.
And this declaration, to be honest, many of us are a bit relieved that we are finally seeing the true face of the so-called U.S.-Israel shared values. Trump—if anything, Trump is a personification of what many U.S. presidents have always tried to conceal or deny. He is saying it clear. He is not lying or cloaking his promise—his promises to Israel by fancy words about peace and negotiations. And this is why now our battle is much more clearer.
We know that this is a battle to reclaim our—to liberate our country, and also to dissolve the PA, because we believe—and many protesters have said that today and will continue to say that—that if the Palestinian Authority is actually right or true in its indignation about what Trump has done, it must be dissolved, first and foremost, and it must declare that the Oslo Accords are null. And it also must strip Israel of its recognition. Only when the Palestinian Authority does that, we can talk about the possibility of rebuilding a national movement. But meanwhile, we cannot take the anger of the PA seriously, while it continues to recognize Israel and the legitimacy of the Israeli state.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to ask Budour Hassan, who is standing right now in East Jerusalem: What are the plans? The announcement of three days of rage tomorrow, the Friday day of prayer, what the plans are there? President Trump talking about hiring the architects and the contractors to begin the process of building the embassy in Jerusalem. What’s going to happen over these next few days, that you know of, Budour?
BUDOUR HASSAN: I’ll tell you something. In July, when Israel introduced metal detectors outside Al-Aqsa Mosque, people, without waiting for leaders, without waiting for anyone—neither religious nor political leaders, it was young women and men, religious, secular, Muslim, Christian, atheist, some people who never prayed in their lives before—took to the streets and camped outside Al-Aqsa Mosque. And after two weeks of popular rebellion, that was leaderless and that was grassroots, they managed to topple the metal detectors, and they managed to, probably for the first time, defeat an Israeli plan in Jerusalem. And actually, it was them who imposed their decision on the Israeli administration.
And I believe that people in Palestine say, of course, the days of rage are important, and we expect that tomorrow there will be protests, but we also know that this is a long struggle. I mean, people will—some people will probably forget, but people in Jerusalem have been suffering from colonization and from repression, especially extreme repression for the last two years. And this is why they are perfectly aware that this is—this battle is not two days or three days or a few demonstrations here and there. It is a battle for Palestinians in Jerusalem, especially with mass residency revocations by Israel, with mass arrests, as well, home demolitions and demographic engineering that Israel tries to operate in occupied Jerusalem. People are aware that this is a very long battle that is going to need them to stand together and that is going to need them to resist Israel’s attempts to Judaize and expand its control over Jerusalem.
So, there are—I mean, I am sure that there will be protests today and tomorrow. In Damascus Gate, for example, there has been—there have been protests, and there have been confrontations in Ramallah, as well. And tomorrow, because it’s Friday and because it’s usually a very iconic day, after prayers, people, young women and men, will protest. But I think it’s a very long battle for Palestinians. And a friend said that it’s not in the White House where the identity, the Palestinian identity, of Jerusalem is denied; it’s in the streets of Jerusalem that people will continue to reinforce and stress the Palestinian identity of this city.