15 May 2018
Countries across the world have zoos, in which animals are penned into their enclosures for the ‘pleasure’ of human beings. These animals are taken from their natural homes and habitats across the world to be placed in cages. Many of these animals, out of sheer frustration, try to breach their shackles in a bid for freedom. Any zoo owner who was to meet such a challenge with a response of deadly force, would not only be dealt with, with the full force of the law, moreover he would cause an international outcry for such barbaric and unjust actions. However, much to the shame of a world which now treats Palestinians less favourably than animals – the beleaguered citizens of Gaza were not afforded even this most simplest and most basic of human rights.
Yesterday the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) carried out a massacre of defenceless, unarmed Palestinians on the Gaza/Israeli border. Such was the complete and utter disregard of human life that protesters were gunned down despite posing no threat whatsoever to the well armed IDF soldiers. The resulting carnage was that over 50 Palestinians killed and in excess of 2700 injured. This was without doubt a complete massacre of innocent Palestinians rightfully trying to legally and peacefully express the right to protest at the injustice of their predicament.
Such is the injustice of the Palestinians in Gaza, that not only are they virtually imprisoned, crippled by a 11 year siege, dispossessed of their rightful homeland and futures, but to add insult to injury – the brutal treatment meted out by the Israelis is misreported by the western media. We watch and read news reports from various news agencies – hoping against hope that there is justice in their reporting. However even this most simple and most basic level of humanity is not afforded to the Palestinians.
Many western news agencies called the events in Gaza yesterday – ‘clashes’. However, this is not only a blatant misrepresentation of the events of yesterday, but also a misuse of the word ‘clash’. By definition, ‘clashes’ are when two parties meet in a violent confrontation. There was no violent confrontation on the Gaza border because there is a enormous, well fortified fence to prevent this.
Israeli spokespeople and supporters all talked of their right to defend their borders. This is a bit rich, because as we all know, Israel has never defined its borders. The so-called border, which the IDF defended with such vigour was the lines which were drawn as part of the 1949 Armistice Agreement. Even if you accept the argument that Israel now sees this as their border – then all the fatalities and injuries happened within an area which they themselves define as the ‘buffer zone’. Not a single Palestinian breached this buffer zone.
With a distinct stench of Trump nepotism – the newly re-located US embassy in Jerusalem was opened in the presence of Trump’s daughter and son-in-law. Many commentators argued that this was the source of contention and controversy which spurred the protests resulting in so many casualties. However, I can assure you that for the thousands who protested in Gaza, it was barely on their radar. For as we all know, Jerusalem is internationally disputed territory and as an occupying force, which Israel is, it has no legal right to lay claim to Jerusalem. Israel has as much right in calling Jerusalem its capital as the USA has in claiming London as theirs.
So what spurred protesters into walking defiantly within the so-called ‘buffer zone’ towards a fence which is guarded by an occupying force with the will, desire and capability of blowing them away?
The answer to that question is sheer, and utter desperation.
The dignified, brave and resolute Palestinians of Gaza have now decided that enough is enough. Seventy years after having being dispossessed of their homes, land and livelihood – an event which they commemorate as Al-Nakba, The Catastrophe, they have now taken matters into their own hands. The world has had over 70 years of attempting to right the wrong which is known as Palestine. The waiting for the Palestinians is now finally over – for if the world won’t free Palestinians from their cage known as Gaza, then the Palestinians and Palestine are now free of the world.
By Mukhtar Ibn Yusuf