Countless people, in countless places, remember when South African policemen – turned willing executioners in service of a dying apartheid regime – shot and killed scores of unarmed black students who marched defiantly in defence of their freedom, dignity and land on June 16, 1976.
Countless people in countless places watched as Israeli soldiers – turned willing executioners in service of another doomed apartheid regime – shot and killed 17 unarmed Palestinians who marched defiantly in defence of their freedom, dignity and land on March 30, 2018.
Gaza is Soweto revisited. The anger inside and outside Soweto was just and righteous. The anger inside and outside Gaza is just and righteous, too.
Why are we, outside of Gaza, who witnessed what has happened, yet again, to besieged, imprisoned Palestinians inside of Gaza, so angry?
We’re angry because thousands of unarmed Palestinians walking together, in peace and solidarity, on what remains of Palestinian land in Gaza were shot and maimed by thugs in uniforms.
We’re angry because Palestinians are being murdered and maimed, yet again, by the same thugs in uniforms who have murdered and maimed Palestinian children, women and men with impunity for generations in Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon.
We’re angry at watching Palestinian children being shot in the back by thugs in uniform – the same thugs who, with a volley of missiles, dismembered four Palestinian boys playing football on a Gaza beach not too long ago.
We’re angry that these thugs – perched on hills behind a fence and hovering in the sky – were permitted, encouraged and applauded, yet again, by other thugs in well-tailored suits to murder and maim thousands of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza like a giddy afternoon of sport.
We’re angry because, on cue, the same lazy establishment media regurgitates the same lies about how unarmed Palestinians “died” in “clashes” with thugs in uniforms trained to kill using high-powered weapons from a comfortable distance.
We’re angry because, on cue, the same servile establishment media, quoting the same Israeli officials, regurgitates the same lies that thousands of unarmed Palestinians are simply ‘human shields’ for Hamas and have, in effect, invited their own deaths.
We’re angry because, on cue, the same lazy establishment media always finds and publishes a picture of a young Palestinian hurling a rock or tire to imply that Palestinians bear ultimate responsibility for being massacred.
We’re angry because sanctimonious pop and rock stars like Radiohead and Nick Cave choose to ignore the pleas of other artists not to play for an audience that largely defends, encourages and applauds when thugs in uniform kill and maim unarmed people and dismember four boys playing football on a beach.
We’re angry because, even in the face of unassailable evidence that unarmed Palestinians were massacred by thugs in uniforms, the same European bureaucrats recycle the same, predictable lines about the need for “both sides” to forego “violence”.
We’re angry because the thugs in suits who ordered the thugs in uniform to shoot and maim thousands of Palestinians in Gaza know that they will never be held to account, yet again, by anyone, anywhere, at any time, for their crimes against humanity.
We’re angry because Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is gloating yet again, like a preening cockatoo, over the corpses of Palestinians, knowing that no one in the ‘international community’, including in so-called Western, ‘liberal’ democracies, will do anything to stop him or the killing because they’re too busy shaking his hand on trade missions.
This article has been excerpted from: ‘Gaza is Soweto revisited’.