I feel so helpless, fellow sojourner… )’: Whenever I see so much injustice going on, I can’t help but feel so little and incapable. I feel weak because I couldn’t do anything strong enough to end such atrocities. It hurts me, really, to know that I can only do *this much* right now. It pains me to see hundreds of people die from greedy wars. But somehow… It pains me more that I couldn’t do anything to stop it.
If only I had more power–be this political, economic or social–I would go out and be dauntless in defending those who are severely persecuted. If only I were in a position of great influence, I would honorably maximize every connection possible so as to deliver a stronger blow against large forces that continue to abuse, harm and dehumanize people. I would not be afraid to speak up and go against the Goliaths of this generation. Let the David rise up against the oppressor.
Oh God… May you help me help other people better.
After suhoor, I saw this documentary about Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist who writes about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. Lots of Israelis dislike him because they think that Levy is betraying his own country by “siding” with the Palestinians. Levy doesn’t side with the Palestinians, he sides with the truth. He writes what happens, as it happens. If the truth is radical, then so are his writings. Thus, why hate the journalist who reports such realities? Hate the system that perpetuates such atrocities.
Reality is radical, and this is what Levy writes. He bursts the isolated bubble people live in and shatters it with the INCONVENIENT truth—truth that takes away bliss from ignorance; truth that brings forth guilt and dissonance.
Life is unfair because people make it so. We say that all human beings–regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, etc.–are equal and have the same basic rights. And yet, why is it that “fate” still dictates the fortune of our lives? I am safe here, writing this down, because I happen to be born in this condition. But what about the others? What if I were born in the occupied territories and soldiers just bullied me… Or shot my parents head on? Where is this sense of security–security and assurance–that no matter where a person is born, he or she will live as a DIGNIFIED human being, free from harassment, injustice and abuse?
Indeed, may God help us as we help ourselves.
In Ramallah, Palestine, 70 liters of water/day is allotted for each Palestinian in the West Bank. Meanwhile, 300 liters of water/day is allotted for each Israeli (including settlers). The Israeli state controls all major water sources in the West Bank and determines how much water Palestinians can use.
Humane? Just? Equitable? NO.
Not Enough Water in the West Bank? (By: Visualizing Palestine in partnership with EWASH)
Visit the Visualizing Palestine Team for more info-graphics: http://visualizingpalestine.org
END $30 BILLION OF U.S. MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL!
Today, the VISUALIZING PALESTINE Team launched a billboard campaign throughout Washington DC with the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation”. As the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meets for its annual Congressional lobby, the campaign calls for an end to the $30billion in US military aid promised to Israel over the coming decade. The three different posters highlight the ways in which US funding to Israel could instead be used to fund communities’ needs.
We live at a time where we are still plagued by many problems both here and abroad. Sometimes, these problems are so atrocious that it baffles me to much to know that these circumstances still continue. I understand that these problems often involve too many complications. However, this should not stop us from demanding for SOCIAL JUSTICE. This should not stop us from wanting to see CHANGE. Let us not be content by how things are, especially if we know that there are thousands, even millions, who are still deprived of INDEPENDENCE. When millions are constantly being land-grabbed, when millions are still denied of basic rights which people–of all races, creeds, and sexuality–should have, how can we just rest, and go on with our own lives while being blind to these? We cannot be apathetic to the sufferings of others. We cannot. Their suffering is also our suffering–it hurts the essence of humanity.
Call me a raving lunatic for wanting such high ideals–for demanding the “impossible”. I’d rather be one anyway than a dull realist who has lost hope in all things “possible”. Tell me, what is “the impossible” anyway? Isn’t “impossible” just a word imprisoned over time? That “the impossible” of today may be “the possible” of tomorrow. I hope that we never lose the zeal–the burning idealism–to fight for social justice. We may never see the fruits of our advocacies come into complete fulfillment during our lifetime, but at least, our children, or the children of our children, WILL.
Once again, the “Visualizing Palestine” team has released another infographic. I am sharing this in order to help raise more awareness about the injustices happening in Palestine. Of course however, more than awareness, ACTION must be taken upon. The Israeli state may continuously pursue acts of injustice (along with the support of its powerful allies) but, it must be known that so long as repression continues, resistance shall go on as well.
As more and more people, from around the world, realize how disturbingly alarming the injustices are in Palestine, the time will come, I believe, that these occupiers will soon be defeated. The time will come when children like Gibreel can enjoy a life of peace and freedom, under the canopy of a thousand olive trees.
Here is what “Visualizing Palestine” has to say about this infographic:
“Bil’in has been one of nine Palestinian villages engaged in regular demonstrations against the Israeli wall, which continues to be built despite being declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Bilin’s community have been conducting weekly nonviolent protests against the annexation of their land, the building of settlements and the destruction of their farmland, all the time facing violence from the Israeli military and settlers, and indiscriminate raids and arrests in their village.
Share this graphic and continue to build the discussion on social justice through your social media networks.”
“Violence is part of the resistance to occupation. The basic fact is not the violence; the basic fact is the occupation. Violence is a symptom; the occupation is the disease–a mortal disease for everybody concerned, the occupied and the occupiers. Therefore, the first responsibility is to PUT AN END TO THE OCCUPATION. And in order to put an end to the occupation, you must make peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people. This is the real aim, this is the real task.” -Uri Avnery
How many times do we have to reiterate this? The road to peace starts by ending the occupation. No matter what “peace” platform the Occupying State gives out, no concise peace will be achieved so long as they refuse to end the occupation.
I’m currently subscribed, via e-mail, to the “Visualizing Palestine” team. Their organization creates socially-responsible infographics which I highly appreciate.
Shown above is their newest infographic release as of this month.
Shown below is the statement that comes along with their e-mail. Need I say more?
“Born at Qalandia Checkpoint (the title of this infographic) focuses on the impact of Israeli movement restrictions on the everyday lives of Palestinians. The phenomenon of Palestinian women forced to give birth at military checkpoints peaked during the Second Intifada (2000-05). Since this time, Palestinian women in remote areas have increasingly resorted to coping strategies of relocating in the weeks prior to delivery, or giving birth at home.
By supporting humanitarian remedies such as the training of midwives but not mounting legal or diplomatic challenge to Israeli abuses, the UN and international agencies have sought to address the symptoms but not the root cause of the problem, which remains Israel’s policies of settlement, segregation and contol over the lives of Palestinians.” (emphasis added)
The Visualizing Palestine team may be visited through these links:
“Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter one.” -From John Boyne’s “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”
The flag that the child’s waving is the Palestinian flag. This internationally-criticized wall/barrier has been set up by the Israeli government.
*Photo from Abayomi Azikiwe
I closed my 2012 by reading “The Boy in Striped Pajamas”. I also watched the movie right after. The fiction, in itself, is very sad.
What’s even sadder is knowing that fictions like these have happened and still do happen up to this day. It’s heart-breaking, really.