Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, a physician, is general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative. He is a member of the Palestinian Parliament and was a presidential candidate in 2005. He is a campaigner for grassroots democracy and internal reform as well as a leading figure in the nonviolent, peaceful struggle against the occupation.
He writes in "Steadfast before Goliath" in The Nation:
"When I am asked about Palestinian identity, one idea keeps coming to mind. I was told it would be translated into English as "steadfastness." I looked up what a steadfast person would be like and the dictionary says, "One marked by firm determination or resolution--not shakable--of firm convictions and strong resolve. A man of unbendable perseverance and unwavering loyalty."
That's pretty close to what I had in mind, but somewhat incomplete--it is hard to capture an entire people in a word. Steadfastness refers to our Palestinian character of never giving in. It refers to our standing up to overwhelming odds time and again, without a friend in our corner. It is about our being beaten and abused in every way known to man, only to get back up with our heads held high."
"We are steadfast in our cause and in our methods. We are armed with truth, justice, signs, flags and sometimes stones - nothing more. We will be marching again on Friday throughout the West Bank, and again the Friday after that, and again, and again...until we have defeated Goliath. A defeat that will finally liberate Palestinians and Israelis from the cancer of occupation and apartheid and that will open the way for our dream, where all human beings--whether they are Palestinian or Israeli--will be treated equally, with dignity and without prejudice."