After critiquing what have become the main axes of political debate in the occupied territories--suicide bombings, armed operations, and reform--the author emphasizes the imperative need for a comprehensive, inclusive resistance strategy. Elaborating upon five major ingredients that must be taken into account when developing a sound strategy--cost to the adversary, cost to Palestinian society, political discourse, a clear message to the adversary, and a clear message to the world--he argues that in the present phase a resistance strategy is not at odds with state building, and that the two should be pursued in tandem.
Azmi Bishara, a former professor of philosophy at Birzeit University, is a member of the Israeli Knesset and head of the Israeli Arab National Democratic Alliance (Tajamu’/Balad). The essay was given as the keynote address at a one-day conference on occupation and reform organized in Ramallah by Muwatin, the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, on 3 September 2002. The full English translation of the transcript was published in the October 2002 issue of Between the Lines.