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May 10, 2021

Power and resistance

 
May 10, 2021

For too long have we been writing about the need for the ‘international community’ to pay more attention to the sheer brutalities wrought by the Israeli occupying regime on Palestine and its people. For too long have all the stories of Palestinian suffering been ignored. However, the Palestinian resistance to the Nakba – the forced exodus of the Palestinians that started in 1948 – is possibly the most potent example of what resistance by the oppressed looks like in the face of brute power.

In the latest incident of Israel ‘s impunity for what even Human Rights Watch calls ‘apartheid’, the Zionist state resorted to injuring hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the revered Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The areas has seen mounting tensions over the last few weeks, as numerous Palestinian families are facing ‘eviction’ in the Sheikh Jarrah area in occupied East Jerusalem. With Israeli police using rubber bullets and water canons and the Palestinian protesters using whatever sticks and stones they have, it is rather painfully clear just how uneven this fight is. This is not the first time Israel has attacked Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque. In 2018, it fired stun grenades and tear gas at worshippers who had gathered at the Al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli forces then also raided and sealed the mosque. There has been some international outcry over the latest act of violence by the Israeli state, but other than a select few, even the growing calls from the ‘West’ seem to come in a both-sides-equal assumption.

The fact is that Palestinians and their struggle has continued in the face of one of the most brutal regimes in the world. In the occupied West Bank Palestinians are driven away from homes they have lived in for decades. In Gaza, they are denied food, power and other basic services because of Israel’s illegal blockage. Within the area called Israel, they are treated like second-class citizens and increasingly segregated away from the Jewish population. They cannot pray in their mosques without fear of attack. The rest of the world needs to wake up to the fact that Israel has colonised territory and established an apartheid state. And every country that refuses to denounce and take action against the system of apartheid Israel is practising is only complicit in its crimes. Drawing a false equivalence between a violent state and a people that are only defending their right to live on their own land will not lead to anything; only international action can force this rogue state to change its behaviour.