In the past couple of days, we have seen what we frequently see occur to Palestine ever since we were young enough to hear the stories, to watch the conflict on television, to see the white and black pictures on newspapers, to hear our grandparents argue statistics on the dinner table; we heard what we have heard since we were young enough but adaptable enough to comprehend war, and how death does not always make history but genocide quite often does.
We again watch Palestine make history, but the history of Palestine is often linked to combat military boots straining the nape of her neck. Two days ago, we tallied up the dead, the deceased demonstrators; we counted 60 dead bodies, six of whom were children. We mourned as they were murdered by Israeli forces during protest and then, as the world called to Israel for restraint, as the UN drafted a statement on Tuesday, expressing sorrow and outrage, we watch – as we often do – The United States of America block the adoption of the UN statement saying that it needs to “further investigate” the Israeli’s killing of Palestinian protests. This is all it takes to make you understand how the compass of government works, and how political powers are capable of moving the needle of conversation.
The Palestinian vs.Israeli/ Settler and Colonizer discussion is not an easy one to have, especially since history is sometimes mere tales transmitted orally through bias and patriotism. What we do know for certain is that Palestinians often gather in mass crowds within both Gaza and Israel property in order to protest, and they have been doing it for seventy years. The Palestinian ‘Great Return March’ has been active for a month and a half, culminating Tuesday with ‘Nakba.’ A day where they protest their removal and disposition in 1948. Speculation continues to revolve on whether or not Hamas has enabled the protest, if Hamas is to blame, if they have convinced the Palestinian people to implode, to forsake their own lives and call their own time of death but it seems to be a disregarded fact that regardless of whether or not Hamas encouraged the protests, Palestinians would have gathered for protest either way because Palestinians have been gathering in mass civil protests for generations now, especially for Nakba. Generations before Hamas had ever risen, or shifted into a position of power, Palestinian civil society have organized themselves to protest for their human rights and exile consecrated. Directing our attention to Hamas as the source of the problem blatantly subsides the startling cruelty and degradation of the Palestinian people who are protesting for their freedom. Freedom that they are willing to die for. As many of us are willing to die for. America forgets that it was their own Patrick Henry who said “Give me liberty, or give me death.”
Which is an interesting sentiment for the United States to conveniently forget now that Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s victim-shaming, alt-fact fire breather husband, who happens to be senior adviser to Donald Trump, mentions during a press conference where he is addressing the attacks and murder of dozens of Palestinians, stating that “protesters are part of the problem” for the shameful act of…protesting. This is not a bizarre or unexpected statement coming from the Trump administration since Kushner’s father-in-law is wildly famous for victim-blaming minorities that are protesting against his administration. Whether you are taking the knee, or being vocal on social media, or peacefully protesting in front of a strip of land that once belonged to your ancestry, there seems to be a trendy logic of mitigating victims as responsible for their own oppression, as if to say ‘if you did not want to be a slave, then don’t be born in 1863’ or ‘if you didn’t want to be grabbed by the pussy, don’t have one.”
The truth is, unlike other countries where refugees are able to return back to their homes, Jerusalem has refused Palestinian refugees to return back to their homes for the obvious reason that it does not want to disrupt a Jewish demographic majority. Israel wants to enshrine a racial, religious supremacy. In short: it is preforming a good old-fashioned Nazi-inspired ethnic cleansing. And because Israel is highly supported by the world’s global superpower and given diplomatic aid, it continues to disable a peace-process – simply because it can.
The greatest example of this is that a two-state solution has been acknowledged by Palestinians and it is a frighteningly dismissed fact that the Palestinian national council recognized Israel’s right to exist in November 15, 1988, and then declared that Israel will have an independent place in Westbank and then recognized it again in 1993. The sole entity that refuses a two-state solution is simply Israel. Netanyahu has claimed on numerous occasions “there will never be a Palestinian state.” When he declares that, he reveals Israel’s rejection of a two state solution. Palestine attempting to exercise freedom and recognizing Israel and Israel’s impediment towards that solution reveals Israels’ obvious stance of a supremacist regime that recognizes racial identity and exclusive sovereignty instead of willing to co-exist with its Palestinian neighbors.
So what can a Palestinian do if they cannot protest? How can they further petition the contravention and transgression against their human rights? If they are peaceful, they are bulldozed to the ground. If they are chucking rocks, they are sniper-shot mid throat. If they are even unarmed, driven into the squares of their own buffer zones, they are still violated, still harassed, still shamed and detained. What is there left to do? How can they further pet and nuzzle Israel’s settler anxiety? How can a Palestinian activate their own freedom and bring an end to the bloodshed and violence incited upon them? Well, by the current terms of both Israel and America, they must simply disown their Palestinian heritage. They must disappear. They must forget the dead. They must flee, must assimilate into other countries. They must abandon. They must no longer be Palestinian.