‘We have more martyrs and casualties for our cause of freedom than we can count, and yet we are told that we have to atone for our sins before the terrorist state that is supported by the brainwashed politicians in London, Washington, Paris, and Berlin.’
Following is an edited version of a letter from a Palestinian activist and writer friend of an Indian academic, who wants to remain unnamed.
We are witnessing a horrifying genocide and large-scale displacement of innocent civilians in Gaza Strip.
As per the data shared by Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, more than 8,000 people, nearly half of them children, have been killed since Israel began its bombardment of Gaza on 7 October. More than half a million Palestinians have been rendered homeless; residential areas, hospitals, schools, grocery shops are being bombed on a daily basis and electricity and water supply — controlled by the Israelis — have been cut off. Neighbouring countries have sealed their borders as they do not want an influx of refugees while Israel shows no sympathy towards the suffering civilians.
The mighty United States of America along with European powers are funding and supporting the mad aggression of Israel.
The United Nations has been a mute spectator of genocide and forced migration. Media, on its part, has reduced itself to be a tool of biased propaganda and misinformation, justifying mass murder of innocents in the name of security and war on terrorism.
India, which abstained from voting in the UN on a resolution calling for a humanitarian truce in Gaza, however, has dispatched some aid to Palestinians. Some sections of Indians are protesting, while the right-wingers are rejoicing and mocking the dead in Gaza. They have no idea that Palestine is not just a country of Muslims but is also a habitat to Arab Christians who are peacefully living there since ages. My friend who happens to be a Palestinian Christian, and an academic, wrote this mail to me. He does not want to be named because of fear of vengeance from the occupation forces.
“My friends around the world, I write this to you from occupied Palestine, where we, like the rest of the world, are shocked and stunned. On October 17, 2023, the Israeli Occupation Forces bombed the (Al Ahli) Baptist Hospital in Gaza, wiping out about 1,000 Palestinians with a US-made rocket. About 1,000 Palestinians died in one go, while Israel so brazenly lies about who is at fault here (think Colin Powell before the UN in 2003). This is in addition to the over 8,000 killed since October 7, 2023.
What happened on October 7? What we’re seeing in the news and on many online outlets would have us believe that the perpetrators of violence on that fateful day were the evil Hamas. THEY are the ones who started the conflict. THEY, unprovoked, went on a rampage of killing and terror against innocent Israeli civilians and people who just wanted to attend a music festival just a few miles away from Gaza. THEY, the evil and malicious Hamas, are terrorists bent on the destruction of Israel and world Jewry. This is the narrative. Hamas evil. Israel victim. Thus, the killing of Palestinians is justified.
There are those who are countering this narrative, noting Gaza as an open-air prison. I reject this narrative! A prison is defined as “a facility in which convicted criminals are confined involuntarily (against their will) and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state as punishment for various crimes.” But I ask you, what is the crime of Palestinians in Gaza? Why are they criminals? The only answer to this is being Palestinian, but that is not a crime. Gaza is not an open-air prison, Gaza is a concentration camp, a place where you imprison people without charges or an intent to file charges. That’s more like it!
The news outlets would have us believe that there was absolutely no incitement that led to the horrific deaths of Israelis on October 7. The peace-loving Israelis who just want a place where they can live in peace, set up a state that completely adheres to the guidelines of states as outlined by the United Nations, which ratified its existence in 1948 – the first state to exist under the newly-established United Nations. Since 1948, Israel has violated more UN resolutions than any other state in the world.
What does Israel do to Palestinians? I live in the West Bank, and our life here is NOT easy (but far easier than the lives of our sisters and brothers in Gaza, of which I cannot speak first hand, as I’ve never been there). We live in fear of the Israeli army who can and does randomly enter into our cities and kills Palestinians with impunity. It regularly conducts incursions into our towns and villages and randomly imprisons young men for no reason other than a desire to incite terror (the use of extreme fear to intimidate people). We cannot travel freely within the West Bank due to the existence of numerous Israeli checkpoints that hinder our movement and limit our freedom to exist in any semblance of normalcy. A Jew from Ethiopia, Poland, the US or Argentina can, at her or his whim, decide to restrict our movement with the simple flick of a wrist – close a checkpoint (illegal according to international law – that farce of a body of laws that is only applied when the US decides to apply it), or keep us waiting for hours while they conduct unnecessary checks designed solely for the purpose of making our lives hellish.
Simultaneously, we live in an apartheid state, in which different laws exist for Palestinians and Israelis. Israelis have access to land, water, roads, hospitals, services, and ease of travel. Palestinians cannot drive on all roads, our IDs are a different colour than Israelis, we have to have a permit to enter into Jerusalem and other areas of occupied Palestine, water is not distributed equally to Palestinians and Israelis (we only get water pumped into our homes once every two or three weeks), our license plates are differently coloured (green for the West Bank, and yellow for Israel), our roads are cut off by illegal settlements and checkpoints that contravene all norms of “international law” or any of the so-called agreements signed between the terrorist organisation and the Palestinians.
But it doesn’t end there. Illegal Israeli settlers, the most fanatical kind of Israelis who believe some fictional biblical narrative about their right to this land (disproven by historians the world over, and by the way, the Bible is not the basis for statehood ANYWAY!), regularly conduct incursions into our cities, towns, and villages, terrorise our people, burn our crops, eradicate our olive and lemon trees, and do this with all IMPUNITY! They enter our most sacred places (churches and mosques) and desecrate them. They are guarded and protected by the Israeli Occupation Forces, whose sole goal is to terrorise and eradicate us as a people.
Every day, we Palestinians are given beatings to our collective consciousness when our young men and women are imprisoned at the whim and will of the terrorist (see the definition of terror above) organisation that is Israel. We have more martyrs and casualties for our cause of freedom than we can count, and yet we are told that we have to atone for our sins before the terrorist state that is supported by the brainwashed politicians in London, Washington, Paris, and Berlin. And why are they brainwashed? Because between 1933 and 1945, a deranged Austrian half-Jew decided to eradicate millions of European Jews in the most heinous of ways. So, with the collective conscience of the West firmly in the grips of the Zionists (who would usurp Judaism and Jewry in their name, and forever equate the terrorism of Zionism with the religious/cultural beliefs of Judaism), Western leaders kowtow to the leaders of the terrorist organisation of Israel, using the same tired lines: “we stand with Israel”, “the only democracy in the Middle East”, “Hamas is evil”, blah blah. All the while, Israel’s clear aim is the outright extermination of Palestinians.
What happened on October 7 was NOT an unprovoked attack. It was the result of 75 years of pent-up anger at the oppression, subjugation, degradation, and humiliation of the Palestinian people. There are more Palestinians living outside Palestine than within because we have been forced out of our own land, to give way for ANY Jew from any place in the world who has more rights than we do (we, who have lived here for millennia!). For 75 years, we have been forced out of our homes, sequestered in towns (or in the case of Gaza, a concentration camp), our livelihoods limited and our lives controlled by the fascists in Tel Aviv, and we are granted no services, rights, or dignity. What happened on October 7 was not unprovoked, and I refuse to point the finger at Hamas.
To add insult to injury, since 1993, the Palestinians have had forced upon them the Palestinian “Authority”, a body that has, over the past 30 years, proven itself to be nothing more than the security contractors of the terrorist organisation of Israel. The “PA” has been the cuckold of both the occupation and the United States, bowing to both of their whims, at the expense of the dignity and rights of the Palestinians. The overlords of the authority (most recently represented by the tripartite of Mahmoud Abbas, Hussein Al Sheikh, and Majed Faraj) regularly use the powers granted to them by their employers (the US and Israel) to further subjugate the Palestinian people. The most public example of this was their assassination of the outspoken “PA” critic, Nazar Banat, in 2021. In the wake of the Baptist Hospital massacre on the night of October 17, Palestinians took to the streets to protest the psychopathic actions of a psychopathic Zionist regime that killed about 1,000 of their sisters and brothers. And how did the security forces of the cuckold authority respond? By firing live ammo at their own people to stop them from protesting, especially since many of the protestors were shouting slogans against this very same regime that oppresses them. So, Palestinians are now contending with the regime of occupation and the regime of the security contractors that are supposed to protect them.
My friends worldwide, the situation is dire. We Palestinians have nowhere to go and nowhere to seek refuge. Our brothers and sisters in solidarity in the Arab region and across the world are standing up as we speak, speaking truth to power, and trying to force their corrupt governments to listen. But we know this is limited. Our American comrades are led by a senile Zionist who is an embarrassment and a disappointment. Our German comrades are held in bondage by the state-sponsored guilt for the actions of the Austrian madman and who cannot seem to learn from history, as they allow the Zionist-fascist regime of Israel to mimic the actions of that Austrian. Our British comrades are led by a fascist whose own history as a man of Indian origin has no bearing on how he sees illegal occupation and colonialism. Our Arab brothers and sisters are powerless in the face of the authoritarian regimes that bow to the whim of their American overlords (think of how the Jordanian authorities fired at protestors outside the American Embassy in Amman, the same with the Lebanese and Egyptian protestors doing the same). Meanwhile, in the amoral Disneyland that juts out of eastern shores of Saudi Arabia, protests are not even allowed as their leader desecrates the memory of his father, one of the last truly noble leaders we saw in the Arab world, by firmly embedding himself in the backside of the leaders of the terrorist organisation of Israel. (That was a really long way of saying that Mohammad bin Zayed of the UAE is Israel’s stooge in the Gulf (I add the Bahraini Zionist leadership to this list). The Kuwaitis, Iraqis, Algerians, and Tunisians (and on a smaller scale, the Omanis) have proven to be the crème de la crème of the Arab world – both their leadership and their people have been steadfast in their morality and ethics, unwaveringly supporting the Palestinians, our desire for liberation and dignity, and have done so without hesitation.
My friends, as we speak, we live in lockdown in Palestine. We are not allowed to travel outside of our cities, and we are scared to speak out, for fear of reprisal from any which way. When I dared to have a private conversation with a rabid Zionist Democrat in the US, I was threatened with my job and public “humiliation” for daring to support Hamas and the resistance taking place in Palestine. I dared to say that the oppressed never gained their independence through the kindness and generosity of the oppressor. And just so we are clear, the oppressor is the fascist-Zionist-terrorist organisation known as Israel, and on that, we as Palestinians are unwavering. Whether or not one supports or doesn’t support Hamas or the Al-Qassam Brigades is immaterial, but what I will NOT do is do what every simpleton media personality would want me to do – condemn Hamas. I will do NO such thing. They have been the only legitimate resistance we have had against our oppression in DECADES. The whole world expected and expects us Palestinians to fall in line with the puppet that is Abbas and his posse of cronies who gain favours and benefits by playing the role of puppets. They have outlived their purpose and usefulness, and it is time for us to truly resist our oppression, our occupation, our degradation, and the daily humiliation that marks our lives.
I write this because I refuse to wait for permission to narrate. Yes, I cannot publish this in my name but I hope this message reaches far and wide. We, people of conscience the world over, must stand together in the face of the fascism of the psychopathic and unhinged state of Israel. The fate of an entire people, my people, is at stake here. We are literally fighting for our lives.”