Waking up to the news of activist Nizar Banat’s murder at the hands of the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians all over Palestine are in the streets, protesting his death, their assembled bodies a message of rage and a promise that there will be a price for Nizar Banat’s assassination. The P.A. is understood by Palestinians as an arm of the Israeli occupation. They understand that dismantling the power of their oppressor means abolishing the P.A. Today, Palestinians in Ramallah protested in the streets, demanding with their voices and bodies, justice. One of their chants, caught on camera by Mariam, was especially touching and reflective of where the Palestinian masses are at mentally. The chant went, “Refuse! And your people will protect you.” When I read this and heard it, I immediately started crying. The caption with the video reads, “Palestinians to armed Palestinian forces that teargassed and beat them. June 24th 2021.” What does it mean to offer protection to the one that abuses you? It means a couple things. It means the vantage point from which Palestinians look is toward a future of complete freedom. It means they can parse out long term from short goals. To hate the Palestinian soldier in front of them would only be a distraction to the freedom that lies behind that hate. They're saying to the solider “stop, you will not stop us, so why don’t you expedite the end of your own suffering, lay down your weapon that you wield against your own people and stand with us. We know there will be consequences, but we will stand between you and those consequences because we’re taking things into our own hands now.” The centering of love in Palestinian resistance is always such a revelation to me, it is always so deep and rich and ancestral and powerful, and not going anywhere.

Another moment that had this same affect on me was watching Suhbi’s story about martyrs in Palestine. There was footage of a group of young women surrounding and clapping and chanting verses of support to the mother of the deceased. One of the things they said was, “I wish it was my mother missing me, not you” which is to say, if I could I would switch places with your dead child, so you wouldn’t have to be in this extreme pain. What is evident to me is the understanding that the pain of occupation and dispossession should not be carried alone. That even the forces that want to kill, and torture and exile us are an opportunity for us to strength our bonds, to reinforce the lengths we will go to stand by one another, the generosity of spirit, the absence of individualism, the embrace of what it means to face something together. These two examples floored me, reminded me that the Palestinians are so strong in spirit, that they fully understand the assignment, and that they are not only willing, but have the capacity and the conviction to do so.