The [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] recognized that if Hamas and Jihad were the only groups carrying out martyrdom operations [i.e. suicide attacks] and generating tremendous support by doing so, then leadership of Palestinian society would fall exclusively to the Islamic groups, and the PFLP, along with its programs for social change, would die. Martyrdom is the form of contemporary Palestinian resistance that has proved meaningful and captured the imagination of Palestinian public. To be recognized as a resistance faction, Palestinian groups are compelled to participate in the performance of martyrdom. The cultural discourse of martyrdom has achieved such power that the cultural dynamic is defining the form of engagement and resistance, forcing it on some groups and reorganizing society.
Friday, October 23, 2009
From The Making of a Human Bomb: An Ethnography of Palestinian Resistance by Nasser Abufarha (p. 197):