Let’s talk about Israel. As of this date, at least 192 people, including 58 children and 34 women, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the latest violence began a week ago. Israel has report 10 dead, including 2 children. I know this whole topic and conflict can appear extremely complex, with so many layers dating back decades. I don’t believe it really is that complex, but I am not going to try and attempt to explain it as there are many other articles, videos that can do that far better than me. Check out the links at the end of this piece to put things into context. And it is this point of context, I believe is a key point to understand right now. As there are a couple of “things” that are happening that are just plain and utterly wrong.
The first of which are the words being used by media outlets, by leaders and even you and I. Words matter. The term “eviction” has been used as one of the causes of this most recent conflict. A “real estate” dispute in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem to replace Palestinians with Jewish settlers. Sorry, but this isn’t Big Brother. No, this is forced, violent, brutal ethnic displacement. Pure and simple criminal theft. Ironically though, when a Palestinian resists someone from stealing their home, they get arrested! Not in a nice way either, I mean there’s no “You have the right to remain silent…” its more of a “Mind that window, what window, splat”. This also isn’t a one off on some poor Palestinian family, this is about hundreds of thousands Palestinians all around Jerusalem and Palestine in general suffering this displacement. Now putting the term “Eviction” doesn’t evoke the same response does it?
“Israel has the right to defend itself”. Sure, when anyone fires a hundred rockets, anyone would want to defend themselves. However, let’s put aside the facts of who started what, and focus on the very apparent power disparity between them. Israel has one of the most advanced militaries in the world, including defense systems. Their Iron Dome can block almost all of the rockets coming their way. The public even have an app which warns them of incoming rockets so they can utilise their bomb proof safe room. Palestinians on the other hand get a “Sup” text warning to evacuate within 3 minutes. But evacuate where??!! Look at the map of Gaza, where should they evacuate? On one side they are blocked by Egypt, the other Israel, behind them the sea. Should they swim for it? Then look at what is being targeted by the Israeli rockets, mostly residential homes, even in a refugee camp. They are not military targets. This is intentional. This is a war crime. Yet the argument still is, “Don’t fire rockets to Israel and you won’t get rockets back”. Sigh…. The people of Gaza are not Hamas, they are not the ones firing rockets after a communal town hall meeting, well, especially not now as it’s been blown up. It simply is irrelevant, and the point is, Israel can defend itself easily, while the innocent people, children, frickin’ children of Gaza cannot, and subsequently are being killed. Murdered. If the fact that children are being killed still doesn’t make you say that this is wrong, then at least acknowledge the clear differences between the death tolls this article began with and admit that “Hey Israel, maybe don’t fire rockets into those whom you know cannot defend themselves and celebrate it on Instagram?”
Look, personally, just by looking at these two points alone, it’s pretty clear that this is a strategic plan of action to simply get rid of Palestinians. When you want to take someones land, it’s easier to not have the person around who’s land you are taking. It is an incremental, systematic apartheid against Palestinians. Soon this conflict will come to an abrupt end, then spark up again in the near future, like it has been done numerously in the past decades. (The cease fire will no doubt be because Israel have used up all their rockets and need to buy some more from US). While the words used will deflect all blame from Israel to Hamas and Palestine themselves, and convincing us all that the one throwing stones against rockets are the villains, with full back up from Western Governments.
I don’t know what the solution is. It’s hard to have any hope. Yet we all, amongst this deja vu, can at the very least admit and call this for what it is. It is the absolute minimum we can do for those innocent murdered children. Acceptance of that fact first, is the only hope to work on a vision of treating everyone with equality. Peace&Love.
Having over 15 years’ experience in freight forwarding and supply chain management, Ali has led numerous multi-disciplined projects and operations globally. A change management specialist having worked within multiple industry verticals. He is also a coffee-obsessed, solo-travelling introvert.
Ali is also a published author with his latest book; Building Your Bridge: An Introvert’s Art of Success. A personal journey to help guide professional introverts to realising that as an introvert, the skills and traits for success are already within their grasp. Available now here.