As Israel amasses a 30,000 strong Army on the border of Gaza, threatening a massacre of civilians in Gaza, world leaders have spoken out in defence of Israel, while silent on the massacres of Palestinians.
Today (16 November 2012) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard condemned Palestinian rocket attacks, while the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, stated that Israel has a right to self-defence.
Christians across the globe are praying for Israel. Very few are praying for Palestine.
The Palestinians have been labelled terrorists. The Israelis have been lauded as the peace-loving victim. Yet, Israel has illegally occupied Palestinian territory since 1948. It has killed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and forced more than a million out of their homes. Israel is in violation of hundreds of U.N. resolutions, which it continues to flout.
Israel's actions are genocidal. The denial of Palestinian nation-hood and the erasing of Palestinian history is ethnic cleansing.
Who speaks up for Palestine?
Desmond Tutu once said, 'if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor'. Sadly, national leaders and millions of Christians are not neutral, they have blatantly, proudly and vocally joined the side of the oppressor, while being completely silent, or even hostile towards the oppressed.
Israel is guilty of arresting and detaining adults and children without charge for months, some for years. This is called 'administrative detention'. Israel has segregated, demonised, dehumanised and invalidated Palestinians. Israel may not be using gas chambers, but they are using Nazi tactics. For decades Gaza has been a massive concentration camp.
Israel has built a 'security barrier', which in most parts is a massive wall and in other parts a high, impassable fence. This security barrier is placed well within Palestinian territories and prevents Palestinians from accessing schools, hospitals, their own crops and jobs.
Some Palestinians fire rockets into Israel. Israel responds with military jets, tanks and personnel. They launch missiles loaded with white phospherous and depleted uranium that cause horrendous injuries to the survivors of the attacks. The missiles are launched into civilian areas.
Israel claims they have a right to self-defence. Based on this, Palestine could argue the same thing.
While Israel makes much of the recent rocket attacks from Gaza, it must be kept in mind that Israel has been firing rockets and bullets into Gaza for years, killing dozens of people. For example, Stop the War Coalition has reported the following:
- In 2011, Israeli weapons killed 108 Palestinians, including 15 children and injuring 468 people. Israeli weaponry used in these attacks was 57% (310) military aircraft, 28% (150) live ammunition, 11% (59) tank shells, and 3% (18) mortars.
- In September 2012, Israel killed 55 Palestinians and injured 257 people. 209 of these casualties were caused by Israeli Air Force missiles, 69 by live ammunition, and 18 from tank shells.
- 11 November 2012 - Five Palestinian civilians, including three children, killed in the Gaza Strip in the last 72 hours. Four of these deaths occurred as a result of Israeli military firing artillery shells at children playing soccer. Additionally, 52 civilians were wounded, including six women and 12 children.
- 8 November 2012 - a 13 year old boy playing football in front of his house was shot dead by the Israeli military.
- 5 November 2012 - a mentally-ill man wandered close to the border and was shot by Israeli military. Israelis did not allow Palestinian medical personnel to attend to the man for six hours. It is believed this delay caused the death of the man.
Whether Palestinian or Israeli, killing cannot be condoned. However, the world's leaders, and sadly many Christian groups, are condoning the Israeli massacre of innocent Palestinians.
The violence has been grossly misreported, with little or no mention of Palestinian deaths in the mainstream media.
Israel accuses Palestinians of being terrorists. The Palestinians blame the violence on Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. The following map shows how much land Israel has stolen from Palestine (the white areas show Jewish land, the green areas show Palestinian land):
Now, with 30,000 troops preparing to invade Gaza, I fear a massacre that will make the atrocities of Sabra and Shatila (3,500 deaths), Operation Cast Lead (1,400 deaths) and other brutal and ongoing attacks pale against it.
This is a continuation of the Nakba; the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
When will the world stand up to this brutality and hold Israel accountable?
When will the world stop trying to erase Palestinians from history? When will their existence be validated?
It seems that Palestinians are not entitled to the same human rights of safety, security and dignity that the rest of us are.
When will Christians pray for Palestinians instead of condoning Israeli aggression in the name of God.
Rather than backing the oppressor, it is time the world spoke up for the oppressed.
Speak up for Palestine!
|The Palestinian Nakba|