Editor’s Note: The following submission is a personal account of one revolutionary’s visit to the West Bank in Occupied Palestine. Although the article mainly refers to the period before the present war on Gaza, it offers a valuable first-hand perspective of the Palestinian situation for revolutionaries in the US to consider as we continue to build support for the Palestinian national liberation struggle within the largest imperialist sponsor of the zionist project.
I became an activist while an undergraduate college student. I have been a part of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel movement for almost ten years and I have been arrested for my activism in the US in solidarity with the Palestinian people. While I like to think that I have been quite passionate, I have to admit that I only had limited knowledge of the conflict. In the summer of 2023, I came to Palestine to investigate the situation in the West Bank myself and to find ways to deepen my own activism in solidarity with the Palestinian cause back home in the United States. My time in Palestine came as Palestinian resistance groups in the West Bank were mobilizing in defense of their communities and was on the eve of the breakout of a new offensive by Palestinian resistance groups against the State of Israel, and an extreme escalation of genocidal colonial war on the people of the Gaza Strip.
I initially felt called to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine due to my own experience of being an afro-indigenous person from the United States; from the shared histories of racial apartheid and colonization. Since my own beginnings, I now believe that all progressive people must take a stand against apartheid and exploitation. It is my observation that while the international solidarity movement is passionate and dedicated, it is often very unclear on the overall history and nature of important aspects of the struggle in Palestine. There is little understanding of the class composition of Palestinian society, including its various classes’ relation to the state of Israel or the Palestinian Authority. It is my hope to provide a degree of clarity on these topics so that the solidarity movement can itself become more politically clear and stronger overall. The conclusions that I draw in this article are not definitive and I welcome all criticism on the ideas put forward in this text. I also hope to put forward some thoughts about how this conflict could develop over time and to stimulate deeper discussion within the Palestine Solidarity movement abroad. While I saw quite a bit, I have no intention of writing an expansive report of Palestinian society or even a thorough overview of the conflict. In particular, as my time was immediately before the outbreak of the current war, much of what is written below is rapidly becoming dated. Instead, I hope to share some of the key lessons that I encountered with my own eyes and hopefully, this text can help people better understand Palestinian society and the larger National Liberation struggle of the Palestinian people against Zionism.
I landed in Tel Aviv and took a train and taxi to the city of Al Khalil (Hebron), the second largest city in Palestine and the informal capital of the Southern West Bank region. Al Khalil is conservative, densely packed city. The West Bank is supposed to be controlled and administered by the Palestinian Authority, but in reality, the Zionists control most of the territory of the West Bank. Since the Oslo agreements, the Palestinian territories have been divided into three categories: A, territory administered by the Palestinian Authority; B, territory that is jointly administered by PA security forces and the Israeli military; and C, territory under the complete control of the Israeli government. Most Palestinians live in areas A and B and this land makes up just under 40% of the West Bank. This means that cities such as Al Khalil cannot expand beyond their city limits as that territory is controlled by Israel. Under the Oslo Accords, the Areas of C and B are supposed to be gradually transferred to the control of the Palestinian state, with the Palestinian Authority meant to act as a caretaker as that state comes into being. Such a transition has never taken place. In fact, while it is technically illegal for citizens of Israel to even enter much of the West Bank, the Israeli government, rather than follow the commitments made at Oslo, readily sends large numbers of (mostly foreign born) “settlers” into the West Bank. These are people violating international law and Palestinian sovereignty by creating “settlements”, in a blatant campaign to steal Palestinian homes and territory. International Law in regards to Palestine must not be overstated, as the state of Israel has demonstrated time and time again since 1948 that it will violate international law to suit its own ends and those of its supporters such as the United States.
This means that Palestine is a society hemmed in on all sides and the Palestinian people live in some of the most densely packed conditions in the world, with the walled city of Gaza being the most densely packed city on Earth. The plight of the Palestinian people and the state of their struggle is a consequence of not only the ambitions of the Zionists but also the surrender of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) during the Oslo Accords. This surrender was signed by a growing class of compradors that came to exist in the PLO and thus continue to exist in the form of the Palestinian Authority. The present Palestinian National Liberation Struggle now finds itself in conflict not only with the state if Israel but with the very “authority” claiming to represent the Palestinian people. It was this clarity and consciousness that I found among the Palestinian people of the West Bank, however this consciousness is still lacking in much of the international solidarity movement.
Al Khalil is the economic heart of the West Bank and represents the largest portion of Palestine’s GDP. Al Khalil has an unemployment rate of over 20% with a population where 60% of all people are under the age of 20. Al Khalil is a crowded city, and this is exacerbated by the settler military occupation of the heart of the city. During the Oslo period, Al Khalil itself was divided in a similar fashion to the West Bank as a whole. The bulk of the city was placed under “H1”, being administered by the Palestinian Authority and the Municipal government of Al Khalil. Almost 25% of the city is under “H2” which is administered by the Israeli army and exists under strict martial law. This situation is part of the active colonization of the West Bank by the State of Israel. What began as an illegal group of Israeli settlers breaking into an abandoned hospital near the city center in 1970 has since grown into several settler communities in the center of the Old City. In 1994, one member of this community, Baruch Goldstein, attacked the Ibrahim mosque during the Muslim holiday of Eid and killed 29 men, women, and children while they were praying, and injured hundreds of others before being killed by the survivors of his attack. At the time, Goldstein was an extremist even by the standards of other settlers living illegally on Palestinian land. Goldstein was a physician who refused to treat Arab patients, openly called for the expulsion of Arabs from Israel in an op-ed published by the New York Times, and was even found culpable for pouring acid on the floor that same Mosque only months before he launched his attack. He was American by birth and was active in the Kahanist movement, some sections of which were banned and declared as terrorist organizations by the Israeli state in the 1990s. In recent decades this particular brand of Zionist fascism has gained mainstream support and now makes up a substantial part of the current Israeli government. Israel’s Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir is the leader of the Kahanist Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) party, which traces its foundations to the same banned Kach party which Baruch Goldstein was a member of.
The Israeli state quickly continued the Zionist assault upon the Palestinians in the aftermath of the massacre. The Ibrahim Mosque was divided in half (one to be used by Jews and one by Muslims), and checkpoints were created to separate the settler areas from the rest of the city to prevent any chance of Palestinian reprisals. This repression only intensified after the Second Intifada; the Old City of Al Khalil was once a bustling market and commercial area, and these areas were “sterilized” by the Israeli military and became one of the many streets in H2 where Arab people are not even allowed to walk. In a city of over 300,000 people, the center of Al Khalil has been largely turned into an occupied ghost town. The recent history of Al Khalil is but one example of the constant national oppression faced by the Palestinian people at the hands of the Zionist Israeli government that consistently denies their right to determine their own destiny as a Nation.
This school adjacent to the old city was seized by the Israeli government and repurposed into a military outpost
I came to Al Khalil as an intern at a language and employment training center. I will not name this organization due to safety concerns as all Palestinian organizations are dealing with a particularly high level of scrutiny during war time. The center offers language classes and internships to foreign students and works to introduce foreigners to the Palestinian struggle while also providing English training to Palestinians. As a part of this internship, I was given the chance to study Palestinian Arabic and tour many aspects of the city of Al Khalil. I met with representatives of the Municipal government. I spoke with teachers working in the public schools. I toured the Al Khalil Chamber of Commerce. I visited the Palestine TV and Radio Networks. I spoke with freelance photo journalists, a Center for Women’s rights, practicing Lawyers in the West Bank and the Human Rights Defenders. I toured several cities of the West Bank such as Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Al Fawar Refugee Camp and several small villages. While I was there, the Israeli military bombed and invaded the Northern City of Jenin and I got the chance to see the solidarity demonstrations that took place in the south of the West Bank.
Coming as an intern working with a non-governmental organization poses several contradictions. This NGO is a liberal organization and thus limited in its ability to put forward anything but liberal anti-Zionist positions. The stated mission is to provide Arabic courses and internships for Western students, expose them to the daily reality of the Israeli occupation, and provide English and vocational classes to Palestinian youth. The organization was overtly opposed to the occupation of the West Bank of Palestine, but it put forward no analysis as to how this occupation could end nor did it have a clear stance on the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Instead, the center emphasized the responsibility of students to share their experiences in the West as a counter weight to Zionist propaganda. In this environment, I encountered a mix of varying opinions and positions within my visits to various sectors of Palestinian society. Many of the agencies I visited were directly administered by the Palestinian Authority, though many of the activists I spoke with maintained that the Palestinian Authority is nothing but an extension of the Zionist occupation and represents the forces of collaboration.
As a revolutionary, it posed a very interesting conundrum. I chose to visit Palestine as part of this NGO because I felt it gave me a necessary cover to hide the nature of my activities from the Zionist authorities, to ensure that I wouldn’t be harassed and possibly banned from ever returning in the future. However, to participate in the NGO created a risk that I would just parrot back their analysis and tail behind these NGO politics. I could not just allow myself to be led around by an organization with such unclear politics and take everything presented to me at face value. This created the need to be vigilant and meticulous as I gathered observations and that I worked to cross reference what I saw and heard. Of course, it is difficult to be completely objective or unaffected by one’s surroundings, and I admit that my observations have major limitations and shortcomings that should be freely criticized.
In order to understand the relationship between the Palestinian people and the PA, one must look at the mandate of the PA itself; the PA was originally formed to be a “caretaker” organization, meant to gradually take over the administration of the entire territory of Palestine and eventually develop into an independent Palestinian State. The State of Israel has consistently rolled back the commitment it made at Oslo to prevent such a State from fully forming. The Israeli military frequently stages incursions into Areas A, B, and C, while the PA merely pays lip service to the Palestinian people rather than protect them from the forces of the Occupation nor push to concretely accomplish its own stated mission. During my time in the West Bank, I was able to see this dynamic play out in real time as Israeli Occupation forces invaded the north of the country.
The Military Raid in Jenin
On July 3rd, the Israeli military invaded the camps of Jenin. The Israeli military brought bulldozers to tear up the roads inside the camp to impede the movement of people and vehicles. Over three thousand men, women and children were forcibly pushed out of the camp under threat of violence by the Israeli military and forced to stay in surrounding hospitals for several days as the Israeli military pushed deeper into the camp trying to eradicate the armed groups that operate out of Jenin. After a couple days of fighting the Israeli military became over extended and was forced to withdraw in embarrassment without accomplishing this goal. While this particular attack was limited to the city of Jenin, the entirety of Palestine responded in some way to the incursion. There was a general strike in Al Khalil the day after the invasion. An important fact that I discovered that would guide some of my conversations with other Palestinians was that the Palestinian Authority’s security forces withdrew from Jenin mere hours before the raids began. This would be a point of popular outrage by the people of Jenin and of Palestine in general and PA officials would be refused entry back into Jenin after the Israeli withdrawal.
Solidarity protests held in Al Khalil
This blunder in Jenin led much of the Israeli military establishment to fixate on armed groups operating in the West Bank. It is still just speculation, but this situation could have possibly contributed to them being caught off guard when Hamas-led militants broke down the walls of the Gaza strip to attack Israeli military positions only 3 months later.
Palestine Radio and the Struggle Against Censorship
Front lobby of the Freedom Media Network Station
I visited the Freedom Media Network’s radio station and toured its facilities. I spoke with a radio host about the recent history of the station. The station is entirely independent and they have had their recording equipment confiscated by the Israeli government four times in the last ten years. Each time they have had to raise money among the Palestinian community in order to come back into operation, and each time they have been able to avoid substantial delays in broadcasting. While many people in Palestine lack a television set, almost everyone has access to a radio or a phone. The Radio station has also recently adapted itself to stream online, expanding the possible reach of their broadcasting. However, they have faced major resistance from online platforms, the largest being Facebook. They are unable to even publish the word “occupation” without their posts and streams being taken offline. They are also limited in growing their platform. Every time the radio station’s page gains millions of followers, it is deleted. Their current profile has been limited to only a few thousand subscribers and every day it is vulnerable to being deleted.
A Visit to Palestine Polytechnic University
I was given the chance to lead a workshop at the Palestine Polytechnic University. I jumped at the chance to discuss anything with a group of students. I was given a wide range for the workshop. My only direction was to focus on the themes of journalistic writing and social issues. I used this opportunity to ask students their thoughts on the pressing issues in their city and society in general. The result was a lively discussion. Students spoke about all manners of issues: the occupation, its impact on the economy and everyday life, and the impact of the Israeli military and settlers’ incursions into Palestinian lands and violence against the people. Though this was not even the bulk of our discussion. These students showed a deep concern for many other issues. They spoke about the environmental issues in Palestine; that pollution in the cities is a serious concern for young people and that the impact of such pollution has led to elevated rates of cancer among Palestinians specifically around Al Khalil, cancers that cannot be treated in the West Bank. We had a lively discussion about the issue of child labor in the West Bank and how many young boys often do not complete school due to wanting to help provide for their families. A group of young women raised that domestic violence is an often ignored issue that has no place in public discussion. Many also spoke of the struggles for civil employees such as teachers, who frequently do not receive their wages[i]. While the wealthiest people in Palestinian society are often members of the PA, this same PA will often complain that it lacks the necessary funds to pay its lower level staff.
Our discussions were inconclusive. We came to agreement that any campaign could begin from just the simple act of collective discussion, and that by making a plan, even as a small group, change was possible, even inevitable. I walked away from this discussion impressed by the clarity and conviction of these students. Our workshop had almost been interrupted by Israeli soldiers. On the second day of our workshop Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) soldiers began pitching tear gas canisters onto the campus as soon as we arrived. I feared that we would lose a day of discussion as a student led me across a hazy quad into a lecture hall; but not one class dismissed itself, not one lecturer gave, not one student in class left their class to even look at the commotion outside. I could hardly believe such courage existed.
Workshop participants at Palestine Polytechnic
Clan Relations in Al Khalil
One enlightening fact was the force of clan (Hamula) relations in Al Khalil. Al Khalil’s political, economic and cultural life is dominated by 5 major clans. These clans have a disproportionate influence on the economy and society of Al Khalil, and clan law often trumps civil law when they decide so. Many have more faith in the council of Hamulas to solve property or criminal disputes than the courts of the PA, and Hamulas even play a major role in mobilizing Voters in PA elections in cities such as Al Khalil [ii]. The Center that I was working as a part of is itself was run by two clans and its instructors came from those clan associations, and the people that ultimately took courses there were often from other more economically well off clans. The clans’ impact can be felt all over Al Khalil, it is the clans that are the most organized proponent of conservative Islamic values and represent the most well organized kind of social organization aside from the Palestinian Authority. In the context of the Israeli occupation, clan law has been largely kept intact in cities such as Al Khalil despite the development of other aspects of society. This concretely refers to the development or rather lack of development of any kind of state bureaucracy into a force that can effectively challenge clan rule and ultimately the Zionists. Such clan relations draw their origin from feudal relations that dominated before any modern bourgeois state existed in the Middle East. In feudal agrarian society, these clan associations represented the highest form of social organizations. The occupation would rather maintain such forms of organization than allow a modern state to develop. This development would normally relegate a clan system to the dustbin of feudal history. In a society that is unable to develop an independent state, a functioning social safety net or a legal system free from the interference of the Zionists, clan law is allowed to not only persist but to remain quite dominant. In this way, many heads of clans have some interest in the present state of affairs as a robust Palestinian state would eventually come to challenge their power. Of course any group is not a monolith and this class like all classes is in itself divided and many heads have contradicting interests.
Ramallah versus Al Khalil
One of the major contradictions in Palestinian society is that between the Palestinian Authority and the Clan system. This contradiction can be most visible in comparing Palestine’s temporary political capital in Ramallah, and its economic capital in Al Khalil. The industries of Al Khalil are dominated by the major clans while Ramallah is the seat of the Palestinian Authority. The Clans of Palestine represent more conservative social relations and emphasize Islamic law in daily life. The result is that the Clans use their control of the economy to encourage conservative Islamic social values and practices. The PA, as a collaborator comprador, often mirrors the liberal social values of the Western governments that financially support the PA. The result is that Ramallah is the most “western” city in Palestine. Where Al Khalil is a Muslim city that lacks cinemas, dancing, or alcohol, Ramallah is a city of bars, clubs and secular social relations. My first night in Ramallah consisted of going to a crowded bar playing popular music. Aside from the strong smell of cigarette smoke, I almost forgot that I was in Palestine and not in San Francisco or New York and one could almost forget that the Israeli military was invading villages only a few miles away. Palestine is a class society that is unevenly developed just as every other class society on Earth. The key difference being that this class society rotates around the armed occupation of its territory and all political forces are defined by their relationship to this occupation.
Talk with a Lawyer in Al Khalil
One important conversation was with a lawyer with a legal practice in Al Khalil. The lawyer practiced criminal defense and human rights law in the West Bank. He spoke about the struggles of representing Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, (there are over 10,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons). The lawyer explained that a major contradiction in the civil administration of Palestine is the nature of the Palestinian Authority which he described as a “dictatorship”. For instance, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah has served as the president of the Palestinian National Authority since being elected in 2005. The following year during the parliamentary elections of 2006, Hamas won the majority of the seats in Parliament [iii]. Hamas, while being a party of political Islam, is distinct from Fatah because of its hard stance of resistance to the Israeli Occupation. The immediate result of the election was that the Western countries that provided financial support to the Palestinian government withheld this support until the Hamas-led government collapsed due to lack of funds. President Abbas and Fatah have postponed further parliamentary and presidential elections ever since. President Abbas has stayed in power for over 14 years since his first term expired. This lawyer’s testimony is not the only negative position on the PA that I heard during my stay, I could not find even a single person willing to defend the Palestinian Authority as a force representing the interests of the Palestinian people. There are examples everywhere of the PA’s equivocations and collaboration with the occupying Israeli forces. The PA allows the Israeli military to invade Palestinian territory constantly. The PA allows Palestinians to be imprisoned in Israeli prisons. There are over 10,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons and many are there due to the collaboration between the PA and Israel [iv]. When settlers attack Palestinian villages, the PA does nothing to protect Palestinians from what are essentially pogroms. What could even be worse is that the PA has failed or likely refused to build an independent Palestinian state that can advance the interests of Palestinian Society.
Visiting the Bedouin Community
The Bedouins of Palestine live in some of the worst conditions in the West Bank. While the growth and development of Arab societies in the Middle East has limited the nomadic lifestyle that the Bedouins enjoyed for millennia, the Nakba began a new phase of oppression for the Bedouins of Palestine. Most of the Bedouins live in Area C, lands in the West Bank directly under the control of Israel and the Zionists, who work hard to make their lives difficult. This is due to the Zionists’ designs on the lands that the Bedouins live on. Organizations such as the Jewish National Fund plan to settle1.5 million (dominantly those of foreign birth that would receive Israeli citizenship) in the Negev/Naqab to the south of the West Bank over the next 20 years. These designs include the surrounding Palestinian-majority areas and the existence of the Palestinian Bedouin community stands in the way of such colonial designs [v].
Unlike other parts of the West Bank that can access Israeli utilities, the Bedouins largely lack consistent access to running water or electricity. I met with one Bedouin elder that described how upon settling in the West Bank after 1948, the Bedouins of Susiya, one of the villages that I visited, actually purchased the right to live there from absentee Palestinian landowners living in the nearby city of Al Khalil. The Israeli court has consistently refused to acknowledge such claims of ownership and has made myriad attempts to oust them from the land. Yet the Bedouins remain due to their staunch resistance. The price has been high: one family from the nearby village of Umm Al-Khair described how the Israeli military routinely demolishes their houses, often as many as three times a year. Although to call their shelters “houses” is also to hide the tenuous nature of their situation. Most of their houses are but tents made of tarps and plywood. When this community of Bedouins came to the West Bank, they had almost nothing. They lived in caves in the area, and they dug and expanded these caves into simple dwellings in those first years after the Nakba. As the Israeli military came to displace the Bedouins, the soldiers even collapsed the roofs of those caves. Such conditions are not an artifact of their Bedouin culture but a consequence of the National Oppression brought down upon them by the Zionists. I would later learn that with the outbreak of this current phase of War, the Bedouin villages of the West Bank have not been spared and the village of Umm Al-Khair has been repeatedly attacked and invaded by Israeli soldiers and armed settlers, and many of the homes that I saw were burned yet again.
What remains of the original caves inhabited by Bedouins in the area.
Umm Al Khair
Umm Al Khair community center
The photos of Martyrs killed by the Israeli military cover the walls of every building in Nablus. Images of fighters hang over doorways and alleyways in the Old City of Nablus. They carry rifles in their hands or slung over their shoulders, they wear keffiyehs around their necks, and the date of their death is listed at the bottom of each poster. Graffiti on the walls lists names of the fallen militants and I see the words “Lion’s Den” all throughout the city. Nablus is a city that sits in a valley between the small mountains Gerizim and Ebal. I spend a day walking through Nablus to Sebastia along the Palestinian Heritage trail. Sebastia was once a Roman colony and its archeological sites are a candidate to become a World Heritage site. I make it back by early afternoon and rest my heels in a hostel in the Old City. In the morning a woman approaches me in the lobby and we exchange pleasantries until she tells me that her son’s friend had been killed that night on the same street that I had walked on to get back to Nablus only hours later.
Graffiti covers the walls in all the allies in the old city of Nablus
I encountered some slight resistance at Ben Gurion Airport as I made my way back to the United States. I was questioned by three different security personnel before I was allowed to board my flight. They wanted to discover the deeper motive beneath my visit to the two countries. They couldn’t understand how my time in the West Bank could be described as “pleasure”. I stuck to my story and tried not to laugh when they dumped my carry on bag out on a table, I did my best not to argue when they confiscated my toothpaste and deodorant and managed to board my flight without incurring any future travel restrictions that could prevent an eventual return.
Palestinian Society is a state still in embryo. Its growth is limited in all directions by the Zionist Occupation. It has been 30 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, and the “two-state solution” that this act of surrender was supposed to bring about is no closer to being achieved than the day the Accords were signed. Now more than ever, we must not forgot the original demands of the Palestine Liberation Organization; of a single secular democratic Palestine for all, on all of historic Palestinian land.
This occupation rests upon the contradictions internal to Israeli society; between the US (as the largest imperialist benefactor to Zionist colonialism) and the Israeli ruling class; and between the Israeli ruling class and the armed struggle in Palestine. The resolution of this conflict means that revolutionary change will not be limited to just the West Bank but all occupied lands. Settler violence and armed incursions by the Israeli military are not new offenses against the Palestinians, but the Israeli state is encountering greater resistance to its overall agenda not from just a more organized Palestinian resistance but from a society full of rapidly maturing contradictions. The deterioration of the situation internal to Israel will bring further armed action on behalf of the Israeli right-wing elite to draw support for itself. However, the efforts of these forces have drawn the ire of the Liberal Zionists that actively oppose the right-wing agenda, which includes weakening the Israeli Judicial system and ostensibly limiting the check on the balance of power of the right-wing government [vi]. The economy of Israel is falling into crisis as foreign businesses withdraw their capital [vii] and more Israeli citizens apply for foreign passports [viii].
Since October 7, dissent has continued to grow among the Israeli population as protests of Israeli families for a prisoner exchange and return of hostages are met with police repression, and Israel increases its censorship of dissidents, especially Palestinians living within Israel. These are the seeds of a growing crisis. They only put greater pressure on the right wing and its agenda of further military action against Palestinians–an agenda which is dependent on the support of US Imperialism. It is here where the international solidarity movement can play its strongest role, by struggling to weaken and ultimately topple US Imperialism. Any openings created by these events can only be seized by the movement of the Palestinian people working with the support of the International movement and those Israelis sympathetic to the Palestinian National Liberation Struggle.
This solidarity is sorely needed in light of recent events. In the months since my return to the United States, the Palestinian Liberation struggle has reached a new, perilous phase. Palestinian fighters from Gaza broke out of the border walls of their coastal prison and attacked territory held by the IOF. These efforts are manifestations of the popular sentiments of much of the Palestinian masses to overthrow the brutal occupation. While this effort was short-lived, the IOF has unleashed a genocidal bombing campaign upon the people of the Gaza Strip, targeting hospitals, apartment buildings and whatever infrastructure remains. Simultaneously, the IOF is launching raids into the West Bank, looking to round up any Palestinians inspired by their compatriots in Gaza. The State of Israel has formed a new reactionary Coalition government to try and rid itself of the “threat” of the Palestinian people and launched a ground invasion. The Resistance of the Palestinian People demands the support of all progressive people around the world, and this support should be second to any discussion of the nature of the Palestinian political leadership.
A speech at a rally in Fairfield, California