If you have been paying attention to the news or the media, then you have probably heard of what is taking place in Gaza.
Israel declared war on Gaza, a strip of land that holds approximately 2 million Palestinians, after Hamas threw air strikes as retaliation against Israel. After Israel’s decades of ethnically cleansing and illegally occupying of Palestine, Hamas’s actions were not unprovoked. It is not something that occurred out of thin air, but a complete consequence of how Israel has been treating Palestinians for the past seven decades. There is only so much that humans can take before they fight back.
This issue should not be referred to as a war – it is a genocide.
You cannot compare untrained Palestinian civilians, who do not have an official military, to Israel who has one of the strongest militaries in the world and is funded with over $3.8 billion by the U.S. annually. Additionally, the U.S. deployed the largest warship in the world to assist Israel. The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 4,200, as of writing, not accounting for the estimated 6,500 people who are trapped under the rubble.
Palestinians are prisoners and are treated like second-class citizens in their own country. Their electricity, food and water are all in the hands of Israel. Currently, Palestinians in Gaza have been cut off from electricity and water, in addition to receiving no aid. Not to mention 97% of the water in Gaza is toxic to drink. The media is defending these atrocities by claiming that they are rooted in “self-defense.” However, this is beyond the limits of self-defense; these are war crimes.
Additionally, it is an act of collective punishment. All of Gaza’s population is suffering due to the actions of a group that only make up 1% of Gaza’s population. Not to mention, more than half of Gaza’s population are children under the age of 18, with their average age being 18.
This affair is not a matter of difference of opinion but of human rights. This is about denying the humanity and existence of Palestinians. No human should be treated the way Palestinians are. Palestine has no allies, no support, no coverage from the media and therefore need us to be vocal for their basic human rights.
I would also like to highlight the double standards and hypocrisy of the media. For the past week we have seen the media ask pro-Palestinians if they “condemn Hamas.” Of course no one is in favor of killing innocent civilians. However, this question has never been asked to Israelis or pro-Israelis who contributed to the ethnic cleansing, displacements and genocide of innocent Palestinians daily for the past 75 years. It is apparent that only certain lives are valued.
The villainization of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims of the media has vile consequences. A 6-year-old boy was stabbed to death 26 times in Chicago earlier this week due to his Palestinian-Muslim identity. This heinous act was committed by his landlord which he proceeded to yell “All Muslims must die!”
We are watching history repeat itself right before our eyes and we are allowing it to happen. What is happening in Palestine is no different than what was done to Native Americans. Native Americans were referred to as savages for resisting, and now Palestinians are being called barbaric and terrorists for doing the same. As Malcolm X said, “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
Do not be on the wrong side of history.