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Basil Al-Araj: The Turning Point of The Palestinian Youth

Published on 08 March 2017, by M. Tomazy.
The Israeli forces assassinated Palestinian activist two days ago. For a moment, it is just a daily headline in Palestine diaries, however, the event is a turning point in Palestine, at least, I have noticed that incidence, which supposed to be an ordinary daily event, left a very deep and reactionary effect on the Palestinian youth.

Basil Al-Araj (31), Palestinian pharmacist, young intellectual and anti-occupation's activist. He theorized on the individual armed struggle against the Israeli occupation in Palestine. He was a talented public speaker which allowed him to be an effective theorist on the youth and used to criticize the Palestinian factions, although he was adherent to the idea of armed struggle which is still adopted by some Palestinian factions.

Basil Al-Arajf

Basil's striking idea was: The real intellectual is the one who clashes with the invader, otherwise he or she would be a "fake intellectual".
He wanted to prove his philosophy, so he and five of his comrades formed a small armed cell aimed to hunt the Israeli forces in the West Bank. However, the Palestinian Authority's intelligence interrogated him and his partners and jailed them afterwards. They were released after six months amid protests and the anger of the public opinion. Israeli forces detained his partners, but Basil preferred to escape till his assassination after he refused to surrender.

The iconic hero:
He became an iconic revolutionary in a matter of days. This can be easily demonstrated by the number and the size of demonstrations after the assassination.
Funerals were held in the cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Haifa and Gaza. Even the Palestinians in exile, particularly in Syria and Lebanon, launched protests and praised him as a national hero.
Moreover, over 160 million users interacted with the story in social media, according to local news agency analysed the hashtags.

The reverse effect:
The Israeli forces wanted to get rid of armed man, but they in fact, made an iconic hero who attracts the youth and who scarified with his own self for his people and homeland.
Undoubtedly, there will be many people, especially among the youth, who will walk on the footsteps of Basil Al-Araj.