by Jonathan Azaziah
Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi (R.A.), the gregariously glowing glimmer of the Palestinian cause and the founder of Islamic Jihad, was a knight in shining armor; a radiant ray at the ocean’s bottom; and a force of ferocity that chills the enemy to its core and rattles it in its eardrums even to this very moment. ‘Israel’ murdered him on this day 23 years ago. A child of the Nakba, his family was driven from their ancestral home in Ramleh’s Zamuqa–where they had lived for half a dozen generations–by Jewish terrorists from the Irgun and the Haganah who were commanded by war criminals Yitzhak Rabin (real name: Rubitzov) and Yigal Allon (real name: Peikowitz).
He grew up in the bitter and battered slums of Rafah in the Gaza Strip but refused to let the Zionist occupation break his spirit and prevent him from pursuing education. Gifted and brilliant, Shaqaqi rocked a triple crown, attaining degrees from Bir Zeit Univeristy in physics and mathematics then later from Egypt’s Mansoura University in medicine. The last of which led him back to Gaza where he’d open a clinic to serve Palestine’s most poverty-stricken and desperate. It didn’t take long for him to grow completely disillusioned with the politics of the Strip’s two dominant currents: Ikhwan and the PLO. Shaqaqi saw the former’s near-disinterest in total liberation, not to mention growing sectarianism, as unforgivable and the latter’s lack of Islamic observance as a deathly folly.
Then, a geopolitical, spiritual and history-shifting miracle occurred in 1979 that gave Dr. Shaqaqi hope, vision and direction: Imam Khomeini’s (R.A.) Islamic Revolution. So moved, he wrote a book entitled “Al-Khomeini: Al-Hall al-Islami w al-Badil (Khomeini: The Islamic Solution And The Alternative”), which sold 10,000 copies in its first 48 hours of publishing and has sold hundreds of thousands (some estimates say millions) of copies since. In lectures, articles and essays after the fact, he referred to Sayyed Ruhollah as a “living victory” as well as a “burning beacon” that all oppressed people–and especially Muslims–should follow. He would say often that the Islamic Revolution was a Divine sign sent to bring Sunnis and Shi’a together in the face of the cruelty of the Empire’s Zio-Imperialism and that those who were against it, be it Saddam Hussein, Saudi Arabia or local preachers, were nothing but agents of fitnah.
One particular essay, “Sunni vs. Shi’ah: A Pitiful Outcry” is master-stroke on all fronts and encapsulates this very principle to the letter. Dr. Shaqaqi was as anti-sectarian as he was Anti-Zionist and viewed unity between Muslims of all different schools of thought as the key to unlocking the prison of oppression we currently find ourselves in. He condemned Al-Saud’s preeminent role in the war on Iran as well as its promotion of anti-Shi’a ideology across the globe as “blind” and “dangerous” and “hateful”. Islamic-Christian unity was also of paramount importance to him and he uniquely declared that Christians are “our partners in history and destiny”.
The triumph of Imam Khomeini (R.A.) inspired Dr. Shaqaqi (R.A.) to establish Palestinian Islamic Jihad with the sole intention of liberating every square inch of Palestine and driving the Zionist invaders from whence they came. His involvement in Mouqawamistic activity–which took all regions of Palestine by storm and moved even secularists and Christians away from the PLO right into the warm embrace of Islamic Jihad–would put him in direct conflict with the enemy. He was arrested and sent to the ‘Israeli’ occupiers’ dungeons where he was tortured several times. Nevertheless, his resolve only strengthened. He learned English so he could reach disaffected youth in the West and educate them about the Zionist menace. He learned Hebrew so he could cut through the hasbara of the Yahoudlings in their own language and know exactly what they were thinking–for they speak one way when Gentiles are reading and another way when their own are reading.
Shaqaqi and his growing number of moujahideen were at the beating-as-fast-as-a-hummingbird’s heart of the First Intifada and masterminded a cornucopia of actions against the “chosenite” colonialists’ positions in the aftermath of it, refusing to let the struggle fall to the wayside. And when the Oslo Accords were humiliatingly imposed on the Palestinian people and the Islamicate as a whole, it was Dr. Shaqaqi who spearheaded the National Alliance, securing the participation of eight different organizations, including Hamas, to band together and reject the entire Zionized process. Whether standard irregular/guerrilla warfare operations or martyrdom operations, knife counterattacks or bicycle counterattacks, demonstrations or writings, cultural or popular or military, Shaqaqi was at the forefront of keeping the resistance project of the Palestinian people in flux to throw off the enemy.
Islamic Jihad’s founder and guiding hand also fully comprehended that no Resistance movement could be successful without steadfast and like-minded allies, an understanding that prompted him to forge long-lasting and brotherly ties of the utmost military sort with the Islamic Revolution he loved, cherished and respected so much, the Syrian Arab Republic–Iran’s only Arab ally at the state level that granted him a safe haven–and the Lebanese Islamic Resistance of Hizbullah which Dr. Shaqaqi (R.A.) referred to as his “blood”. Meaning that when you see Islamic Jihad’s Mouqawamists outperforming the expectations of military analysts and Islam-hating Western intelligence operatives the world over, as well as the arrogant predictions of IOF, like they did in Operation Pillar of Cloud, what you’re seeing are the literal fruits of Shahid Fathi’s labor. ‘Israel’ feared this–and him–beyond definition.
The idea of a united Palestinian national movement, driven by Islam and backed to the hilt by the Resistance Axis, crippled the Zio-Tumor in its upper echelons–which then took the decision, with Mossad Director Shabtai Shavit signing off, to eliminate the Medicine Man of the Mouqawamah. And when Dr. Shaqaqi briefly stopped in Malta following strategic meetings with Muammar Qadhafi in Libya, assassins from Mossad’s Kidon unit shot him dead. So cowardly in their policies are the ‘Israelis’ that still, as of 2018, despite multiple confirmations from multiple Zionist journos in multiple publications, they don’t admit that it was their hitmen who pulled the trigger.
The usurping Zionist entity was surer than sure that slaughtering Shaqaqi would mean the end of Islamic Jihad and a devastating blow to the armed contingent of the Palestinian cause. Instead the movement lives on today stronger than ever and with even more support from Damascus, Tehran and Hizbullah than it did in its beginning stages. Gaza’s liberation from the criminal Jewish colonizers, which was the culmination of all the sacrifices of the Second Intifada, was led by Islamic Jihad and essentially, the triumph of Shaqaqi over his killers. It’s a recurring theme with the ‘Israeli’ enemy and the courageous souls who fight it: Blood in, blood out, blood risen. And Zion won’t be able to stop the rising of the Palestinian revolution which strives onward as we speak with the Zeal of Zamuqa as its foundation.
Islamic Jihad’s grandsire once described himself as a “human being and a poet first and foremost”. I can’t think of anything more poetic (or human for that matter) than the poem of his life–a poetry so profound that it far exceeds all the rhythmic limits of Al-Farahidi’s (R.A.) ‘Arud. A poetry so deep that we won’t know its true depths until the liberation of Palestine from the River to the Sea and the liberation of the Islamicate from World Zionism are achieved. And a poetry so revolutionary that 23 years after his martyrdom we’re only just beginning to grasp how critical he and his sacrifice were and are to our revolt against the Moustakbireen.
Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi (R.A.) lived the life that all Muhammadi-Husseini strugglers should live. Not just a giant among men. Nor just a giant among giants. Nor even a sun among stars but the Canis Majoris among suns. Not just a son of Palestine but a son of Islam and the torchbearer of its Thawra in this epoch, Imam Khomeini (R.A.) We celebrate you. We salute you. We strive to emulate you. And we say the sincerest prayer for your soul and that vengeance will one day truly be yours when the scourge you gave your life battling, Zionism, is no more; when your homeland is restored to its rightful owners and Islam and Christianity are at peace in the Holy Land again as–like you so gorgeously put it–partners in history and destiny. Rest in peace and power o’ warrior. Long live Islamic Jihad and its Saraya al-Quds. And death, death, DEATH to ‘Israel’.