Words by Nur Lemuel Castillo
Who would’ve thought that the very people who were almost reduced to ashes in the hands of the Nazi rule would rise to become one of the world’s worst oppressors today.
Israel has once again showed the world that it has absolutely no respect for international law, disregards human rights and will exert brute force against innocent civilians including women and children in pursuit of their ultimate goal–the total obliteration of Palestine and the perpetual subjugation of its people.
Just last week, the on-going decades old ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people by Israel exploded to its most severe status in seven years and is now at the brink of breaking out again into a full scale war.
This came after the vicious attack of Israeli forces against Muslims in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the final days of Ramadan firing rubber-coated steel rounds, stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian worshippers. Let me be clear, the attack was sanctioned by Israeli government which by international law, is a crime against humanity.
Attacks such as this are nothing new for the Palestinians, but have rather been part of their daily lives for decades now and will continue unless we stand and support them in their struggle for freedom and independence.
The faux state of Israel
Understanding the roots of this injustice against the Palestinians, requires us to look back in history and see how the Jewish people or Zionists managed to successfully occupy and colonize Palestine and establish what we know today as the State of Israel.
Before Israel, Palestine was a country born out of the Ottoman empire with diverse people, where Muslims, Christians, and even minority Jews, were living together in peace under the banner of one nation.
It was the diaspora of the Jewish people in Europe in the 1900s that gave birth to Zionism, the political and religious movement with the aim of creating a jewish-led and jewish-only nation in the Middle East. A movement that is seemingly congruent with Nazism, an irony that history won’t deny.
Owning a piece of land let alone claiming it while it is in possession of someone else requires the claimant to lay proof of ownership, but Zionists have nothing more than their religious texts instructing them to return to their ‘homeland’ as evidence. The Jewish claim over Palestinian lands is no different from what we see in the West Philippine Sea today with China claiming sole ownership of the seas, shoals, and islets through their dubious Nine dash line.
But despite the absurdity of this claim, the Jewish people, with the backing of the British empire through the Balfour declaration, took it upon themselves to unilaterally declare independence and enforce their authority over the lands they did not own to begin with. As any patriot would do, the Palestinians stood firm, took up arms, and defended their rights over their lands, thus, starting the series of wars between the neighboring Arab countries and the Jewish colonizers, resulting to the partition of lands as we know it today, the Israeli Occupied lands, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.
This historical injustice committed against the Palestinians, fueled further by the continued support of colonial powers such as the US and Britain, created irreversible consequences beneficial only to colonizers and never to the Palestinians.
The Western Power play
More than 135 members of the United Nations recognize Palestine as an independent state but the United States along with some of its allies do not. In fact, the Israeli military occupation has always had the financial support of the United States with the aid amounting to $3.8 billion. To no surprise, colonial powers such as Canada, France, and Belgium likewise support the continuing illegal occupation.
Though I expect it no less from these western powers to pour support toward Israel since they share the same roots of being founded from settler colonialism, the problem lies on how this power play diminishes the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle.
Even in the majority of western mainstream media coverage, the resulting violence of the Israeli occupation is always pinned against the Palestinians and that their efforts to defend their rights are painted as the cause of all disputes. With the media turning a blind eye when it comes to the death and devastation of Palestinians and their homes, and reducing them to mere numbers further advances Israel’s goals.
Lest we forget that Israel has the upper hand with their advanced military technology, control over most of the land resources in the occupied Palestinian lands, and the unquestioned support of the US. Palestinians as a result are left at the mercy of Israel, however, Israel has been proven to have no mercy with their history of targeting women and children in their vicious attacks.
Moreover, the ongoing media portrayal of the Israeli occupation as a ‘conflict’ creates a narrative that the Palestinian people are in equal footing with their oppressors but that is simply not the case. Even with the existence of Palestinian Liberation Organization in the West Bank and the Hamas in Gaza as resistance forces against Israel, they are still no match against Israel’s military arsenal and war machines.
Efforts to calm the situation in the past decades have always put Israel’s colonial interests ahead of Palestinian rights. Their crave to own and control Palestinian lands through systematic and gradual settlements were disguised as a security and demographic concern but in reality is a subtle but brutal way of forcing Palestinians to accommodate their colonizers’ desires.
We must understand as well that the US will never stand for Palestine nor will it ever call out the crimes committed by Israel because it is their most stable ally in the Middle East. For the Americans, to lose Israel means to lose their foothold in the region.
Palestinians have every right to fight back
Apart from the growing illegal settlements of Israel, their plan to declare Jerusalem as their ‘undivided’ and ‘eternal capital’ and use any kind of brutal force to enforce this agenda solidifies that legitimacy of the Palestinians’ plight for freedom.
Five decades of Palestinians suffering and begging to be able to have access to their own resources necessary for their survival should stop. With the US and Israel both pledging never to ratify the Rome Statute, Palestinians have every right to fight back and retake what is rightfully theirs.
Despite the International Criminal Court’s impending investigation on Israel’s crimes against humanity, the Zionist state remains steadfast and unbothered. Who then will the Palestinians call but their own people to resist and revolt against the ethnic cleansing, illegal occupation, and land theft.
To deny the Palestinians your support is to give Israel warrant to continue with their genocide. The Palestinian struggle is not just about them alone, but rather about how we value international law and order. To side with Israel will send a chilling message to the rest of the world and would encourage dictators and despots that they too, can sponsor the murder of women and children, and the grab lands from weaker nations, for as long as, you have western support and interest at hand.
To side with Israel is to accept and embrace injustice. The Palestinians need our unconditional support along with the Uighurs and Rohingya people. The war crimes that Israel has committed, is currently committing, and will commit against the Palestinian people must not go unpunished.
To let this injustice go on is to put Palestinian blood in your hands, a stain that even time cannot erase and a history that we will never forget.
FREE PALESTINE! [P]
Photos from Facebook, Towardfreedom.org
Design by Patrick Josh Atayde
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