Silence Condones Violence and Complacency is Guilt by Association

MohammedJust in the last day, four more young Palestinian men were shot and killed in the streets and marketplace; including Mohammed Abo Khalaf 20 years (pictured left) of Occupied Jerusalem. He had a life, he wanted to live longer and make his own life but he was denied the right to live, and was executed today by Zionist occupation forces at Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem, he was shot more than 50 times, denied medical intervention and left in the street to bleed to death like an animal;

and Abed Raed Hamed 22 years of Ramallah 12715688_816836178428761_6483194750105759265_n–  shot in broad daylight for alleged crimes perceived by IOF.  These mark nine young Palestinians gunned down in the last week in cold blood.  Defense for Children International has released, that 49 Palestinian children have been executed by IOF since the beginning of October 2015.

There is little to no recourse for the families of these slaughtered youth.  It is said, that children and youth in Palestine are taught when they leave their homes to go to school, to the store, to visit a friend or neighbor, they should always say farewell to their families in a way one would, knowing there is a good chance they may not come home alive again.  This is the stark reality of life in Palestine.  This is what every Palestinian faces.

Imagine having to condition your children to be in a constant state of preparedness for their own demise, for the demise of their loved ones.  These children are taught from such young ages that they should never take for granted their existence because they are hated, hunted like animals, to be abducted, brutalized, tortured and killed at will.

Rahaf Hassan (2 years) killed in Israeli raid on Gaza in October 2015The innocence of childhood is overshadowed by such realities.  (Rahaf Hassan (2 years) pictured right, killed in an Israeli raid on Gaza in October 2015).

Generations born into a state of fight or flight response.  Children and youth are old beyond their time.  When will the world stop participating in these crimes against humanity?  Governments who are now standing in the way of democratic process, by criminalizing their citizens for actively boycotting Israel on the basis of their crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, torture, and genocide.  Boycotting is now considered an aggressive act of antisemitism.  However, the truth is, it is anti-Zionism.  This is another truth the western world and media do not discuss and speak about.

There is a big difference between Zionist ideologies and true Judaism.  To be against Israel and their crimes does not make one anti-Semitic.  It makes one anti-crime against innocent human beings.

4e71bcf9-a80c-47c2-9b1f-6b8bcdbabb75_BDS-movementFor many Palestinians it feels like things are not changing and in many ways in the day-to-day life, it is hard to see that change is coming, but more of the world’s governments are taking a more assertive stand against the illegal occupation of Palestine, against Israel, in support of Palestine; just in the last two months alone, Iceland, Sweden, Cuba, Spain, Greece, South Korea, and soon more, recognize a free Palestinian State and are actively speaking against Israel’s illegal occupation and violation of international laws, and they are boycotting Israel.
What the governments in other countries may not be doing directly, their citizens are; mounting pressures on corporations now under closer scrutiny.  Others under pressure from their investors, have begun to pull out of Israel completely.  More countries and companies are realizing that silence condones violence, and complacency makes them guilty equally by association; guilty of genocide, illegal occupation, apartheid and murder of innocents. 
When the world caught on that the only cement factory in Israel, CRH, owned and operated by an Irish company, was producing the cement used to build the apartheid wall in Palestine, the investors, and international community put so much pressure on them that they have now pulled out of Israel, and closed all operations.  This happened last month. Also, the French telecommunication firm Orange also has met similar pressure and is closing all operations and pulling out of Israel.12417683_1137333219623944_1641006497100839890_n
Even the US is now bending ever so slightly to pressure to reduce funding to the Zionist Regime in Israel.  The BDS movement that is now in some countries under fire and being criminalized have stood their ground and said they will continue to promote and encourage the boycotting of Israel.  Israel is suffering economically and has been on an economic decline for years, specifically since 2012.
Even the Zionists that Israel have paid incentive too, to come and live, work and contribute to a Utopian Israel are now saying it is all lies.  For example, there are currently 15,000 French citizens, Zionist Jews, living in Israel.  They are growing increasingly angry with the Zionist Regime because Israel has not lived up to the promise of a prosperous existence in Israel for these people, so more and more are returning to Europe.
What the world needs to continue to do, is spread the truth of what is happening in Palestine; what is actually happening, not what they see and perceive from creatively crafted media reports.  There is no such thing as ignorance of the facts in the day and age of technology that we live in.  One cannot plead “I did not know the truth”, when the fact is, the truth is there if you make the active efforts to seek it.

Palestine ~ Life in Constant Contrast

Life in Palestine is one of constant contrast between normal day-to-day things and conflict between resistance and Occupation Apartheid.  Both circumstances speak to the strength and resiliency of the Palestinian people.

12570873_951774111580541_1844476624_nThough there is no escaping the reality of life under Occupation Apartheid.  The efforts and fight to live a normal life is an inherent objective of every Palestinian.

Conflict in Palestine has become as routine as breathing.  But unlike breathing of our own free will, it is like breathing through a respirator, breaths we wish to take on own taken but instead with the aid of a machine and the machine is resistance.  Last Friday, January 16, 2016, these photos, taken by photo journalist, Ahmad Hasaballah in Gaza, of strong, young and determined Palestinian men, wanting only peace, wanting the same life and future we all want and some are lucky to have, were taken during a protest against Occupation Apartheid along the border of the Gaza Strip, Nahal Oz.

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When the outside world see these images in mainstream western media, they assume that the Palestinian youth are the aggressors; but such is mainstream, western media.  These young men cannot protest, in the most peaceful ways without being bombarded by occupation forces who shoot live rounds of ammunition, and launch gases, each with the intention of indiscriminate harm and is some cases death.  In an effort to counter affect these brutal attacks, Palestinian youth light fires to rubber, in the hope the smoke will shield them from attack.

12576249_951774181580534_1290131458_nArmed with nothing more than stones, they continue to protest, to demonstrate, in the hopes that the world take notice, not forget them, not forget that they live in the world’s largest open air prison, imposed by occupation apartheid.

It is scenes like this that occur all over Palestine daily.  The heartbeat of Palestine beats forever strong.  The hope and fight for freedom is undying.  What the Zionist Occupation Government strives to break in spirit, serves only to strengthen the resistance and continued resistance is how freedom is won.

1486702_10207231457037710_4323727660591484658_nResistance comes in many forms, determination, passion, and desire for freedom is humanity’s greatest desire and hope.

Here in the beautiful village of Bil’in, just outside of the city of Ramallah, my partner, Haitham Khatib plants young olive trees on his land.  The trees themselves are a testament to the strength and resiliency of the Palestinian spirit.  And like the green branches of these beautiful and fruitful trees, they bend, yet not break, only grow stronger, day by day, just as every Palestinian child, adolescent and adult does.

12400849_10207312459542722_3699667204299069361_n 12508948_10207312456702651_2758681669371870625_nTilling and caring for the land is a part of the rich heritage and culture that is Palestine.

Haitham takes great pleasure and pride in his land, as all Palestinians do.  But these images carry a power statement of a resistance to Zionist Occupation, a statement that Palestine will be free, that her people are strong, determined, strive to live with dignity and humanity.  Together Haitham and I strive to tell the world the truth about Palestine, her people, their lives, their hopes and dreams.  Together through word, images and videos, we will achieve this and the world will take notice, see the truth of what is happening daily in Palestine under Occupation Apartheid.

 

 

 

Promising Signs of Change for Palestine

10276060_10153358175693325_998773002538043109_n Change never comes easy and never comes fast, and never without heavy sacrifices, but change eventually comes nonetheless…

The European Union together with other Western Governments are putting continued economic pressures on Israel to force the current, Zionist government to comply with international laws, agreements and Accords, and cease their aggressive actions against the non-Zionist population of Palestine.

There is no denying that Palestine is living under Israeli Zionist Apartheid. Just in the last week, one of Ireland’s largest materials firms, CRH has admitted that cement from its Israeli affiliate was probably used in the apartheid wall and has pulled out of Israel, disposing of all its assets there. CHR Pulls Out! (article) .

In over 60 years, around 700 Jewish communities have been established in Israel’s pre-1967 borders – but just seven for Arab citizens (and those were built in the Negev for ‘concentrating’ the Bedouin population). The average Palestinian community inside Israel has lost up to 75% of its land since 1948, while a quarter of all Palestinian citizens are internally displaced, their property confiscated for use by the state and Jewish towns.

An estimated 90,000 Palestinian citizens live in dozens of ‘unrecognized villages’, which suffer from home demolitions and a lack of basic infrastructure. Israeli officials openly talk of ‘Judaizing’ areas and tackling the ‘threat’ posed by non-Jewish citizens. Residency in 70% of Israeli towns is managed by committees that filter out those deemed ‘unsuitable’ for the ‘social fabric’.

Add to this ongoing violation of UN Agreements and International Accords, the internal strife between a divided Palestinian government consisting of the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas and it feels overwhelmingly hopeless that change and freedom for Palestine is coming, let alone achievable.

However, there are continued international movements, such as the BDS Movement ~ The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights – See more at: (Click here to learn more)

The campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is shaped by a rights-based approach and highlights the three broad sections of the Palestinian people: the refugees, those under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Palestinians in Israel. The call urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by:

  1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

The BDS call was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian political parties, organizations, trade unions and movements. The signatories represent the refugees, Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

These boycotts are slowly being felt by the Israeli economy that continues to face many challenges. In the short-term its inability to duplicate its success in the telecommunication industry into other growing industries hampers its economic outlooks. Its inability to foster large multinational companies in the last decade also calls into question its ability to employ large numbers of people in advanced industries.

It is imperative for the international community to continue to take a strong stand against the Zionist imposed Apartheid occupation of Palestine.  Peace is possible, and freedom for all Palestinians is possible.  Prior to the Zionist occupation, Arab Muslims, Jew and Christian lived together as neighbors, as friends in peace.

12494996_10153888178442533_2887465968704746376_n To quote a friend “One state (of Palestine) is the only solution but needs world intervention to make it happen.”

Hatred, racism and violence is not born, it is created.  Just as these innocent children demonstrate, we are all humanity, “we are one, we live under the same skies, under the same sun.”