Palestine: A story of human liberation
“The metaphor for Palestine is stronger than the Palestine of reality,”
Palestine has become one of the most popular terms on the search engine in light of recent events. All over the world, both virtual and real, individuals and groups alike are discussing the fate of the 2.1 million people residing in the Gaza Strip. The concerns as to what is actual truth and what is fake have arisen as demands for peace and negotiation keep on increasing. One needs to comprehend at least an overall picture, if not completely, of the current Israel-Palestine issue; is it a war of crime or a war of survival?
From the Arab-Israeli war and Yom-Kippur war, through the two Intifadas to the current Israel-Hamas war, the Gazan soil has forever been bracing the weight of fallen children, martyrs, orphans, and widows. The Palestine history that started on the land of the modern-day State of Israel has retired to the relatively small patch of Gaza. Yet, the fire showers and nuclear thunders have not stopped and thousands of innocents have been sacrificed to satisfy the political hunger of many.
The Beginning to an End
To say that the Israel-Palestine issue began on October 7, 2023, would be wrong in many ways. Firstly, this conflict has been named as one of the world's longest ongoing conflicts which thus proves that the violent history traces further into the past. 'Palestine’-Israel’-‘Gaza’-‘deaths' and 'bombs' have always been words equated to each other in the headlines for nearly a century now. Yet, there's still scope for more wars and more battles in the region as proven recently.
While the Balfour Declaration marked a milestone in Palestine-Israel history, this treaty could not be considered the beginning. The dispute further dates back to centuries and terms like 'Zionism', the Jewish version of terrorism and militancy; 'the Promised Land', a biblical terminology interpreted to be the Palestine region; and 'Islamic-terrorism', the Western reference to the militant self-defence activities of the area; have been widely circulated in the international media and on loose tongues of the common people.
What happened on October 7 was a trigger; a matchstick to a load of wood, a shout-out to the rest of the world, a final Palestinian blow to Israel to show that hope still resides in the suburbs of Gaza and that history has not been forgotten. It might even be noted that the October 7 'terrorist' attack (as the Israeli media titled it) was an idiotic charge when viewed from a logical perspective. A region with a pseudo-government, which has been subjected to endless cruelty and brutality over the years and lacks adequate resources in the war field, rose to challenge one of the biggest military powers of the world one fine day. Indeed, nothing other than simple hope for a secure future pushed these armed soldiers into the battlefield. Their days of waiting for a solution while the rest of the world forgot about them, of facing 'security' checkups at almost every mile in the country just because they are Palestinians, and of living in fear of being kidnapped or losing another family member one day out of the blue, they were wanted to be over. Hence, they took the challenging step of attacking a superpower in warfare, reminding all that they were still alive and wanted an end to this centuries-long oppression.
The 'terrorist' attack
It's greatly surprising that when a bearded community finally asks for justice in the language of the military, it is termed terrorism and branded as a criminal activity everywhere. History is evident proof of the real terrorism behind the mask of Zionism and the back-stabbing against the hosts who took in the refugees after the Second World War. One cannot deny the fact that the Palestinians literally 'took in' the refugee Jews, and when they are forced into submission by the guests, what can they do other than retaliate?
The international media have wasted no time in condemning the Hamas attack, which took the lives of over 1,000 people and caused the injury of even more. Yet, it proudly brands the Israeli retaliation, which has resulted in the deaths of over 25,000 Palestinians and the subsequent wounding of a million, as an act of 'self-defense'. As the wise saying goes, "It's not really a war if only one side has an army."
The Israeli-censored media and news reports, in an apparent account, will report only the twisted versions of the actual incidents. Nevertheless, the toll of deaths in each region can never be kept under cover. While Israel-supporting media have taken up on reporting fake news of raping women and murdering children by Hamas, they conveniently have kept silent on the brutal actions of the IDF. If the words' terrorism' as provided by the Oxford Learners' Advanced Dictionary, is believed to be the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims, the world will have to reconsider branding the Hamas attack against Israel's occupation as terrorist. Otherwise, the Indigo Rebellion of India, the French Revolution, and similar instances must also be called 'terrorist'.
When justice is 'brewed' internationally
South Africa's allegation of genocide against the Palestinians by Israel has turned peoples' eyes towards the Hague, where the International Court of Justice is located. Israel, though it often ignores the United Nations or other international agencies, had quickly sent backup lawyers and solicitors to plead its case in court.
Israel rebuffed South Africa's claim of committing genocide in the area and argued the right to self-defence. It also stated that its war was with Hamas, and Hamas was using civilians as shields. Despite all these unbelievable arguments, the reality of the constant bombing of Gaza hospitals, all the while boasting of providing adequate medical care to the injured people of Gaza, executing a blockade around the region, and cutting off electricity, fuel, and food supplies; of directly targeting Palestine living quarters in Gaza; of murdering journalists; and of taking numerous people, including children, as hostages who then never live to see the daylight, contradicts their arguments and turns the tables around them.
If Israel has the right to self-defence, why doesn't Palestine have it? If the mass-targeted killing of thousands of Palestinians in an area is not genocide, why should the Holocaust be named genocide when Hitler has refuted the claim? If the attack is against Hamas only, how did innocents who live far away from Hamas headquarters end up being bombarded in their homes? How did various hospitals collapse on the wounded, children, men, and women alike?
We are unsure whether the International Court of Justice will serve as a hope for the oppressed. Yet, the well-known fact that Israel pays no heed to international warnings or the United Nations motions due to the support from its greatest ally, the United States, cannot be kept aside. 34 out of 36 motions have been rejected by the United States using its Veto power in the United Nations Assembly. If the majority of countries will stand by the oppressed, but only the one with power and money gets to make the decisions, what is the need for a United Nations? What is the requirement for a convention when, ultimately, the superpower will veto the majority decision? If international justice is brewed in the pot of the United States, why even have an International Court of Justice and not just the United States Court of Justice?
The media takeover
'Bring them home' is a public campaign started by the Israeli government as an initiative to raise funds and support to bring back the Israeli hostages taken by Hamas. The campaign effectively uses social networks and information technologies to lay its foundation and embrace supporters. Among its many strategies, Israeli sponsored website of the said campaign and other activities that efficiently utilize the Search Engine Advertising (SEA) strategy in such a way that the search for 'International Court of Justice' brings the same website as the top result, is a wholly manipulative and deceptive political trick to confound the minds of ordinary users. The recent remark of the Israeli President against Hamas as to breaking all the rules was strategically staged to emotionally manipulate the public with the photo of Kfir Bibas, a one-year-old Israeli boy held hostage by Hamas along with his mother.
The fact that an infant has been taken hostage and that more than 1,000 people have been missing since the attack is not to be belittled or neglected. Yet the irony that hundreds of preterm-born Palestinian babies have died because of breaking off the electric supply to the incubators, a thousand more have died in the bombing and a million have become orphans on the battlefield, while innumerable people have gone missing such that there is no way information as to who have gone missing or died, nor a page to commemorate their lives or raise fund for them or support them, nor a peaceful day to silently bury their beloveds, all the while Israel mourns over their lost and died is a sharp double-edged sword against humanity.
Meta has removed and suppressed every speech against the Israel attack on Facebook and Instagram, and international news agencies like BBC, CNN, New York Times, and ABC News have confirmed being censored. The direct attacks on journalists and news reporters, which is a violation of the war laws, are also not new to the media, and yet, nothing is being done.
Is it worth it?
No matter what the agenda, aims, goals, who is on the right, and who the wrongdoer is, the ultimate price for politics has always been paid by innocent lives. With heart-wrenching situations in Gaza and bone-chilling news from the area, neither Hamas nor Israel will be defeated in the war. It is humanity that will be defeated. The hundred unknown infants succumbed to death without a glimpse of this world just because of committing the grave mistake of being born in the womb of a Palestinian woman are just a few of the highest costs of this war.
In the end, wars will cease, rocket fires will stop, and the period will be etched in history. Yet, the region will echo the unfulfilled dreams of little boys and little girls, committed parents, and hopeful families while the barren land bears the heavy punishment of human crimes.
About the author
Fathima Qudsiya is studying for a degree in BCom with Wafiyya Course at Ayisha Hajjumma Wafiyya College, Madavoor. She completed her primary and secondary education at MES Indian School in Doha, Qatar.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.