I don’t even know how to begin this one, it’s been cooking in my mind for a few days now. There are so many things I want to say concerning the sheer hypocrisy of the latest Gaza instalment. The hypocrisy of the West, the Arab ‘leaders’ and the Israeli regime is so potent it really does take a blind person to not see it: Hamas is seen as a terrorist organisation – even by its indoctrinated neighbours (Egypt I’m looking directly at you) – yet the IDF is allowed to bomb, arrest and slaughter civilians en masse, their uniforms giving them immunity, credibility even. That 100,000 protesters marched on London last Saturday but barely made the news, or that my beloved BBC has made the oppressor the oppressed and vice versa (you were right, Malcolm X!) confuses me. The hypocrisy includes the reactions involved: the angry Palestinians are told to learn some Gandhi-like ‘peace’ whilst the Israelis are taught ‘justice’ which condemns the grief of the former and justifies the brutality of the latter. The hypocrisy of Cameron and Hague – my not-so-democratically elected leaders – who are still pro-Israel despite criticism from MPs of all parties. Or perhaps, most shocking of all, that four boys playing footie can get killed on a beach whilst Israel bleats ‘human shield’ (a phrase which sounds so bizarre, not least because Gaza is the most densely populated place on planet earth so, by default, everyone is someone else’s human shield).
What triggered me into writing this article though, with tears tripping down my cheeks was watching the solid coverage ofJonathan Miller and my hero Jon Snow for Channel 4. And you know the ironic thing? They stood there looking visibly shaken, all I could think about was that when they come home to grey-skied Britain, they’ll need therapy, for Post traumatic stress disorder or whatever else. Snow, in his powerful blog wrote that he was ‘for the first time in my reporting life, scarred, deeply scarred by what I have seen, some of it too terrible to put on the screen.’ I felt bad for them having to see those sights. Then I remembered the ones with no Britain to come home to, those who will have to deal with hospitals with limited supplies, injuries with inaccessible cures, destroyed buildings with no infrastructure allowed through the blockade, 95% of water undrinkableand so on and so forth. Because when the cameras go and the twitter topics stop trending, and Israel keeps its head down while the flaccid UN decides, yet again, to avoid the question of war crimes (cheers America), and the Israelis continue to build and support their apartheid, settlements, walls and all other apparatus for oppression… When all of that restarts and intensifies, and the status quo is reinforced, two million Palestinians will be more traumatised than anyone can ever fathom. It is indefensible, frankly.
If you’re a Zionist, or someone who swallows enough of the terrible media, you may well be sitting there saying ‘yeah well Hamas are firing rockets’ and I have my answers ready for you, but that’s a whole separate article. I will only say that yesterday the Israeli regime stated that the three settlers’ deaths (who were the spark – or rather the excuse – for this massacre) were not, in fact, as many suspected, killed by Hamas. Therefore all the Israeli bombs raining down in the names of the teens were for nothing. Moreover the facts (almost 900+ dead: 80%+ civilians, 200+ children, 5,000+ injured and 100,000 displaced – numbers rising by the minute) speak for themselves really. If you choose to ignore it and have dehumanized the Palestinians then, truly, I feel sorry for you, because though Palestinians may have their bodies and bones broken by people who think like you, your mind is infected with so much ignorance that it’s a wonder if you will ever be able to tell the wood from the olive trees.
It’s high time the world starts remembering that Palestine was and is being ethnically cleansed, Palestine is being colonized and Palestine is getting eradicated. The blood of the indigenous people of Palestine is soaked into the land and onto the hands of the imperialistic West, the spineless Arab leaders, and, of course, the Zionists. Barely two generations have passed since the Holocaust and yet today’s Israeli regime bears an unnerving resemblance to Hitler’s dystopian vision of one homogenous group. Do not insult Judaism, the religion, with the horrors of Israel; there are Jewish voices out there (such as the ever brilliant Jewish Voice for Peace) who do a better job at defending Palestine than the millions of idle Arabs in the region. This is Zionism: Theordore Hertzl, who invented the Zionist project, was an avowed atheist! This is not religion, this is politics and it’s as dirty as it gets.
Israel, despite actually paying students to spread Israeli propaganda on social media is overwhelmingly losing the PR war and the fight for public opinion – not surprising, really, seeing as it never earned it. People are definitely waking up and smelling the hummus and, incredibly, the truth is rising like a specter out of the bombsite. The tides are turning, no two ways about it, and it is your duty, as an impotent observer to tell the world that you will not stand for it. Protest, boycott and get informed.
Even though an astronaut tweeted a photo of the bombs falling on Gaza all the way from space, know, dearest reader, that Palestine will never die, so do not turn your back on it. Do not be afraid. Palestinians are a displaced people, a persecuted people, a dehumanized people. It all sounds so familiar the irony of it is almost comical. 700,000 refugees have grown into 7 million refugees, myself included. Ben Gurion, in reference to the creation of Israel said ‘the old will die and young will forget’ well, we will not forget. We will not go away and we will not stop fighting for justice. And neither should you.
(p.s if you can watch this through to the end without getting upset, congratulations, you’re ready to join the IDF! I cried, and this was only 4 minutes…not weeks of reality.)
Like: Zena Agha