[This is Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza where at least 10 civilians were brutally massacred in an Israeli airstrike which targeted a residential building, turning it into a heap of rubbles.]
Five weeks on, the Israeli regime continues to hit new genocidal lows in its barbaric attack on Gaza. In its quest to erase the military humiliation experienced on October 7, the Israelis are employing unspeakable levels of collective punishment against all Palestinians...premature babies, journalists, doctors, and whole families. And despite Israeli officials being clear about their intentions to carpet bomb Gaza into extinction (or surrender), Western leaders are still vocal in their support of this campaign.
Five weeks on, I no longer have any patience for those in Western countries, who pontificate from their positions of elite privilege about supporting Palestinian rights, but only when Palestinians can be viewed as victims, corpses, or helpless people deserving of our precious “charity”.
A little girl desperately searches for her family, who were killed by Israeli airstrikes in #Gaza. pic.twitter.com/klGk5PJ0Yd— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) November 17, 2023
A little girl desperately searches for her family, who were killed by Israeli airstrikes in #Gaza. pic.twitter.com/klGk5PJ0Yd
I cannot look at another one of those Gaza kids, covered in concrete dust, blood pouring down their faces, their eyes blanked by trauma. And I am thousands of miles away. It is not my job to lecture the parents or siblings or extended family of those children as to how they must respond, or as to how they must contain their rage.
No, that is not our job if we really want to be in solidarity with Palestine. Our job is to make the world understand why this is happening, especially in the West where critical thinking in media and politics has vanished. The ease with which the Zionist narrative has been propagated by politicians across the board is a lesson for all of us – in Canada, mayors, premiers, cabinet ministers, and the PM have all joined the cheerleading chorus for the Israelis. Even “ceasefire” has now become a dirty word, portrayed as something too radical.
All of this is predicated on the underlying Western arrogance that you can endlessly oppress another people without consequence, that the people suffering under a settler-colonialist regime must wait until the oppressor population (and their benefactors) determine the timing of their liberation.
Given the overwhelming acceptance at the official level of this dominant Zionist narrative and the increasing intimidation by police and security forces of pro-Palestine supporters, we take inspiration from the fact that so many people across the world are coming out in massive numbers for Palestine.
Vancouver, and most other major cities in Canada, have had their largest rallies for Palestine in almost 50 years. And the clarity of the support is as heartening as the huge turnout. This is the kind of moral conscience that we can respect. The kind demonstrated by Ontario MPP Sarah Jama, who was abandoned last month by her own NDP Party and censured by the Ontario legislature, but still refused to forsake her principled position on Palestine. Many others have also been harassed for speaking out for Palestine and against the ongoing Israeli genocide -- college instructors, journalists, doctors, and students. But even knowing these risks, more continue to stand up and put their careers and futures on the line to demand justice for Palestinians.
This is what gives us hope, that a day will come for a genuine and universal moral conscience. And then the world will understand that what is happening now in Gaza and Palestine is the logical trajectory for an insidious and racist ideology like Zionism, an ideology that must be defeated.
[The writer, Marion Kawas, is a member of Canada Palestine Association and Former Cohost of Voice of Palestine, Canada.]
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