Because, even in the 21st century, ignorance still prevails
Supporting the Palestinian cause had always seemed natural to me. It was not until recently that I became aware that there are those out there still defending Israel’s actions against Palestine. And even in the midst of this global awakening to the truth of the Palestinian struggle, we find ourselves dealing with staunch supporters and vigilant defenders of the illegal and genocidal actions of Israel. I began to wonder why this might be. It seemed only rational for me to side with Palestine. After all, the use of chemical weapons, and an 80% civilian death rate is terrorism in any books. It hit me then that a biased narrative propagated in the media has had a great impact on public knowledge and perception.
The Israel-Palestine conflict has been depicted as a fight between two equal sides. Israel’s actions have often been coined as defence strategies against the militant terrorists of Hamas. But one need only to open their eyes to see that this is far from the reality. The media count on our ignorance to feed us that which is far from the truth. We must know that as individuals we have an obligation to search out the truth, and in this day and age, this has become very simple. In the words of Malcolm X,
"If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing".
Be it a simple changing of ones status or a letter to our local MPs, let us spread the truth and give voice to the voiceless. Because, even in the 21st century, ignorance still prevails.
GAZA - WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Pressure your MP to take action: http://act.palestinecampaign.org/lobby/crisisaction
Sign PSC’s open letter to the BBC: http://act.palestinecampaign.org/petition/bbc
Sign our petition to David Cameron to end Israel’s bombing and killing: http://act.palestinecampaign.org/petition/20
UN independent expert calls for boycott of businesses profiting from Israeli settlements (UN)
12 more EU countries warn against trade with Israeli settlements (Haaretz)
Israelis, Palestinians Pro Peace Process, but Not Hopeful (Gallup)
Under pressure, a strong EU-Israel relationship faces uncertain future (Middle East Monitor)
Israel-Gaza conflict: 80 per cent of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes are civilians, UN report says (The Independent)
Rule 156. Definition of War Crimes (ICRC)
Palestinians: Most Gaza dead are children, women, elderly (Haaretz)
Caught on Tape: US Teen Allegedly Beaten by Israeli Police (ABC News)
A policy of displacement (Visualizing Palestine)
Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry
I used to wonder why some Palestinian people would engage in actions that could only provoke the aggressor further. Then I realized that to ask a people to live quietly, while they have no justice and no freedom, is to ask them to live “peacefully” as slaves. “Peace” without justice or freedom is slavery. It’s like asking a battered woman to live “peacefully” with her abuse. We all want the bloodshed to stop. But what about the daily humiliation and institutionalized oppression?
I was reminded of a part in “The Hunger Games” when Katniss considers abandoning the resistance against the oppressor, in exchange for “safety”. Gale’s response was telling. He said: “Safe to do what? Starve? Work like slaves? Send their kids to the reaping?”
Consider this: If a woman is being raped, things would be a lot more “peaceful” if she didn’t resist. But, asking her not to resist—just because her attacker is physically stronger—is asking her to accept her own abuse and oppression for the sake of “peace”. This is what the world is asking Palestinians to do.
And sometimes what seems to the world as just ineffective tactics, like throwing a rock at a tank, is in fact an act of resistance. It is a powerful statement to the oppressor—and the world—that they refuse to be enslaved. That dignity and self-respect are even more beloved to them than their own lives.
It is a statement that you can take their lives. But not their freedom.
People say to me: “I don’t believe in religion, I believe in science.” As if I believe in Mickey Mouse! Just because I believe in God does not make me a less rational human being. As western philosophers of science point out, science cannot answer questions surrounding the issues of morality, meaning and purpose. Science can only study the physical world, not the metaphysical.
Religious people do not reject science; we believe there is more to life than just physical matter.
‘Israel under renewed Hamas attack’: this was last night’s BBC headline on the escalating bloodshed in Gaza. It is as perverse as Mike Tyson punching a toddler, followed by a headline claiming that the child spat at him…
The media coverage hardly reflects the reality: a military superpower armed with F-15 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, Delilah missiles, IAI Heron-1 drones and Jericho II missiles (and nuclear bombs, for that matter), versus what David Cameron describes as a ‘prison camp’ firing almost entirely ineffective missiles.
"Your Iman is earned through trials." - my Mother
After hearing update after update relating to the devastating circumstances of Palestine and of it’s people and then the horrifying news of the attack on Masjid al-Aqsa, frustrated and overwhelmingly upset, I turned to the Quran. I found myself on verse 114 of Surat Al-Baqarah which read,
“Who can do a greater wrong that the one who prevents the names of Allah from being in the Masajid and who does all he can to destroy them?…for them shall be disgrace in this world and a terrible punishment in the Aakhira”. [2:114]
This verse refers to the occasions when the Bayt Maqdas was destroyed as well as the occasion when Rasulullah (peace be upon him) and the Muslims were prevented from visiting the Masjidul Haraam. Subhan’Allah the verse so powerfully resonated with my concerns at that point. Persecution and torture is not a new phenomenon for the Muslim Ummah. But certainly, Allah is not unaware of what the oppressors do. Palestine, we are with you. Please forgive us for not doing enough.