Trending Topics:

Freedom only truly exists as a whole

Activism
on 34 Comments
The following speech was given at the ‘Freedom Festival’ held on May 5, 2019 in Leeuwaarden, Netherlands. 

I was born free.

At least that’s what I was told.

In diaspora far from my roots. Far from the language my mother would sing to me while growing in her womb. Far from the stories of empires and freedom fighters my father would read to me while tucking me into bed.

In a world were freedom of choice is measured by the variety of goods.

And were freedom of speech only reaches the walls of our privilege.

In a world where the fetishization of materials become our interpretation of love.

Where the exclusion of ‘otherness’ becomes our meaning of safety. And our growing ignorance and ongoing indifference our key to happiness.

I grew up believing that all this made me free. Until I turned 6 years old. This was the day when I Iearned that my freedom is connected to classism, race and most of all being born on the privileged side of the world.

Core and periphery.

Oppressor and oppressed.

Colonized, decolonized or simply benefiting from the hands of the exploiter.

Daliah Vakili

Daliah Vakili

It was the first time I’ve visited my mother’s homeland. ‘The holy land’ – she would call it with a bitter-sweet smile. She would talk about olive trees, the landscape, historical monuments, the world’s famous ice cream of Ramallah. I was too young to comprehend the pain in her voice whenever she would speak of breathing in the air of freedom that would run from the river to the sea.

What I’ve seen in her homeland was anything but holy. The olive trees she would speak of were surrounded by checkpoints that would limit our freedom of movement from A to B controlled by armed men and women who screamed at us in a foreign language that was not my mother’s tongue.

The historical monuments were accessible to anyone but us, the other indigenous people of the land, reduced to second-class citizens deprived of our rights to look back to our historical roots. Turning my relatives whose family tree can be traced back hundreds of years on the ground of this holy land into stateless souls, suppressing their existence, erasing the stories of my grandparents, suppressing the legacy of their voices by taking the ones away of their grandchildren. The landscape my mother spoke of was dried out, as the occupation controls the accessibility of water supply – water, the main source of life as they say, only available for a few hours a day for farming, washing, drinking. Only a few hours per day to maintain the minimum amount to exist.

Humiliation, tears, begging of mercy from children who were separated from their parents, echoed in my head day in and day out.

And then came the day I’ve witnessed my first execution. An innocent walk to the ice cream shop ended the salesman’s life in front of our eyes. ‘Why’, I would ask my mother while seeing his lifeless body lying in his own puddle of blood. ‘Just like that’, she would reply. Just.Like.That.

The things I’ve seen through the eyes of a six-year-old in only a couple of weeks, reflect only a bracket of the reality of what a Palestinian child has to endure. The terror, the fear, the deprivation of self-determination and human rights shapes the true colours of their upbringing. And when they resist they’re being labelled as perpetrators. And when they’re being killed, their life-less bodies are demeaned as collateral damage and turned into justification for colonial expansion.

Twenty-six-years later the situation worsened as ever. The grounds of the holy land are now surrounded by a wall, the view of my relatives only goes from brick to brick, their freedom of movement is limited to a tiny piece of land, their sacred monuments became fully unattainable – as well as the accessibility to their capital Jerusalem. A place that is only 30 minutes away but became forbidden territory. Banned for life.  Robbed of their home, their identity and culture. Justified with biblical claims, framed by a self-entitled colonial agenda of foreign invasion hidden behind the premise of ‘being the chosen people’.

For the past 11 years Israel has imposed an unforgiving siege on the Gaza strip. Like an open-air prison no one can escape, and no one can enter – ‘Gaza has effectively been sealed off from the world’ (MEMO, 2018), and is populated by almost two million people, squeezed together on the ground of one-quarter of the size of London.  According to the UN over 1.3 million inhabitants of Gaza are refugees who were violently expelled from their homes in 1948, the very same year when the state of Israel was established and with that the existence of Palestine erased from our history books for good.

So why do Palestinians protest every Friday with rocks, burning tires or empty handed – shouting to the fully armed occupation forces who shoot mercilessly at unarmed protestors?

  • Because their freedom of movement is limited. They’re dependent on a permit by the Israeli authority. Those in medical need are often rejected permission to travel within their own country. Which results in a high death toll of Palestinians who were rejected medical access outside Gaza. Being shot at and denied treatment. Left to die.
  • Because their resources are limited. And their economy is strangled.  According to the WB their economical growth decreased from 8 % to 0.5 % in less than a year.  Israel prohibits the entry of raw materials and goods into Gaza, which makes reconstruction impossible. In a place that has been violently attacked for the last decade.
  • Because Gaza only receives 6 hours electricity a day. Sitting in darkness for the remaining 18 hours.
  • Because 96 % of the water in Gaza in undrinkable as its contaminated by chemicals from fertilisers from Israeli settlements. A population slowly poisoned to death.
  • Because according to the UN Gaza will be uninhabitable in 2020.

2020 is in one year. In exactly one year part of my homeland will be uninhabitable. Yet, I am being silenced when I speak of Genocide.  Technicalities on discourses seem more essential than the eradication of my people.

As a person of colour, a woman, and a human rights activist I am often involved in political discussions. And with whatever fact, figure or evidence I try to support my arguments on ethnic cleansing, most opponents try to silence me with the same question:

But what about Hamas?

In 2014 – more than 1,462 civilians were murdered of which 495 were children.

But what about Hamas?

In 2010 –Israel launched a white phosphorus attack that burned 759 civilians alive of which 344 were children. We all know the famous photograph of a Vietnamese child in the 70ties who runs from the white phosphorus attack launched by the US, stripped naked, screaming for its life.  344 Palestinian children were screaming for theirs. Unheard. As their burning flesh remains invisible to the world.

But still they would ask me; but when does Hamas finally stop?

In 2018 – more than 29,000 unarmed protestors were injured, 111 limbs have been amputated, 300 people were brutally killed. Hamas was neither present nor part of these protests. Over three hundred people have been massacred on live-stream, that could be easily followed on every social media channel. My friends would desperately fill their Instagram stories with screams, flying limbs, bloodsheds and dying civilians. Hoping to show the world their reality. But remained invisible.

A United Nations inquiry has found Israeli forces have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by targeting unarmed children, journalists and the disabled in Gaza.

Yet everyone turns to me and says ‘they haven’t seen or haven’t heard’. And if they have seen or heard they’d still shrug their shoulders and claim ‘it’s complicated.’

Which makes me wonder: ‘How can anything be framed as complicated when the absence of morality is so obvious?’

Equality is an absolute value.

Justice is an absolute value.

According to Kant, the notion of ethical objectivism claims that each of us can know right from wrong. And that justice or equality is not a matter of subjective perspective. And that each of us have objective moral duties.

Would any of us, here in our privileged bubble, accept justice or equality as such if only a bit of it was provided and the rest taken from us? No. We would call both injustice and inequality by its name. So why don’t we do the same when it is done to others? What does it say about our moral duties as human beings on this shared planet?

It almost seems to me that our range of privileges determines our subjectivity of our ethical values. As long as we benefit, we see justice in everything and as long as we have the opportunity to maximise and generate profit, we see equality for all.

But when it comes to our own lives, our rights to exist or anything that could harm our development we would not accept a nuance. So why does everyone expect a nuance on the Genocide of my people?

Would it be ethical to demand from a victim to understand the side of her rapist?

So why is it ethical to demand this from me, when the roots of my being, the ground of my land is being raped and exploited for over 71 years?

Why is past colonialism condemned and modern colonialism justified?

Why is past Apartheid condemned and modern Apartheid legalized and globally accepted?

The Holocaust was legal.

Slavery was legal.

Segregation was legal.

Legality is not a guide for morality.

And legality does not necessarily comply with justice.

Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years, are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The most common charge is stone throwing. Rocks against tanks. Obedience and comfort zones often blind us and inhibit our striving for change and social justice.

Shouldn’t it be our moral responsibility to question structures that don’t provide equality, justice and freedom for all?

When I call for resistance I don’t necessarily demand for your presence on the street. I ask for your solidarity in the simplest ways. I ask you to consider boycotting products that actively contribute to social and global inequality. I ask you to consider using the endless accessibility on information and educate yourself on current issues. I ask you to consider sharing articles, videos and different type of sources that shed light on human right abuses and other forms of injustice. I ask you to consider listening to the less privileged and marginalized, to acknowledge their struggle and offer your voice when theirs isn’t heard.  I ask you to consider to extent your empathy further than a burning monument in Paris and to use your privilege into a tool that strives for change.

My Jewish sister Stavit Sinai, an offspring of Holocaust survivors, who demands human rights and justice for Palestinians, once said to me: ‘I did not choose to be born Israeli. Feeling guilt won’t help anyone. Instead I choose to feel responsible. To fight for equality and justice for all.’  Her words have taught me a valuable lesson: You can’t choose whether you’re born privileged or not. But you can choose who you want to be when it comes to morality.

And morality means to stand with the oppressed and hold the oppressor accountable.

I understand that it is not always easy to stand up for something that does not directly concern us. I also understand that we all deal with our own demons and struggles. But what we need to understand is that when looking away we make ourselves complicit.

Nelson Mandela once said ‘we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.’

Most of us who are here today were born free. At least that is what we have been told.

We compare our level of freedom to others, but are not willing to share – treating it as limited resourses, as there would not be enough freedom available for everyone.

But how can we feel truly liberated without the freedom of our siblings? Aren’t the chains of our ignorance turning us into mental slaves of a system that prevent us from making a change?

There is no such thing as part freedom. Freedom only truly exists as a whole.

Same as our earth only exists as a whole.

May the next liberation festival celebrate the freedom of all oppressed nations, from our indigenous to black siblings, our sisters and queer siblings, may we stand united against the forces of injustice and create a world where striving for equality becomes our moral duty.

We have nothing to lose but our chains.

Daliah Vakili

Daliah Vakili is a Palestinian-Iranian human rights activist, humanitarian and specialist on gender equality with many years of field experience in crisis and war areas. Currently she’s co-founding her own NGO on civil rights in Berlin, Germany.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

34 Responses

  1. brent on July 12, 2019, 3:35 pm

    A sensitive and touching description of the oppression being endured by one of the indigenous people in the holy land at the hands of the other.

    Vakili notes when she advocates for freedom, invariably the question comes up. “What about Hamas?” She explains further and the question again, “But what about Hamas?” After further considerations, they say, “It’s complicated”.

    Students of the conflict, which the great majority of Americans and their political representatives are not, understand it’s about far more than Hamas which Israel originally financed, armed and cultivated for reasons that have become self-evident. Violence generally initiated by Israel, through media manipulation, becomes reinforcement for the all-powerful and controlling narrative, “Israel has the right to defend itself”, something heard a hundred times and justifying actions that otherwise seen as aggression. While there is widespread understanding Palestinians suffer, its commonly concluded that is due to poor leadership and tolerance for individual violence.

    Vakili appeals for us to “stand against the forces of injustice and create a world where striving for equality becomes our moral duty”. As one who has appealed to political leaders multiple time over the years for justice for Palestinians, I know full well how the “defending” narrative defeated all such efforts.

    If Palestinians who consider the impracticability of two nations, move to a campaign for full equality in a secular democratic state, the original PLO objective, plausible two nation propositions might develop. Equality could reframe the controlling narrative because equality implies a peaceful, positive end-game, and a desire for positive relations.

    Its perhaps difficult to appreciate for many but stones and rockets have run their course, toward making Palestine free. Public opinion, thoughtfully cultivated, could in relatively short order, rearrange the politics and bring freedom.

    • Mooser on July 12, 2019, 4:10 pm

      Finally, a <hasbaratchnik who makes an honest effort to earn his pay.

      • RoHa on July 13, 2019, 2:31 am

        Actually, I think that the Palestinians should push for equality in a secular democratic state, and make as big a media splash as possible while doing so.

        I’m not convinced that this excludes resistance, though.

        As for his pay, it should be docked for bad punctuation.

        *”Vakili notes when she advocates for freedom, invariably the question comes up.”

        should be

        “Vakili notes, when she advocates for freedom, invariably the question comes up.”

        *”If Palestinians who consider the impracticability of two nations, move to a campaign for full equality in a secular democratic state,…”

        should be

        “If Palestinians who consider the impracticability of two nations move to a campaign for full equality in a secular democratic state,…”

        (The rule is that defining relative clauses are neither preceded nor followed by commas.)

        *”Its perhaps difficult to appreciate for many but stones and rockets have run their course, toward making Palestine free.”

        should be

        “Its perhaps difficult to appreciate for many but stones and rockets have run their course toward making Palestine free.”

        * “Public opinion, thoughtfully cultivated, could in relatively short order, rearrange the politics and bring freedom.”

        should be

        “Public opinion, thoughtfully cultivated, could, in relatively short order, rearrange the politics and bring freedom.”

    • echinococcus on July 12, 2019, 5:29 pm

      “stones and rockets have run their course, toward making Palestine free…”
      Agreed. Stones and ineffective 4th of July-like fireworks are suicidal and they have run their course. It’s time for way more effective stuff. To make Palestine free. Given that Palestine is invaded and occupied, “free” means free of invaders. Elementary, Dear Watson.

      • brent on July 12, 2019, 10:31 pm

        echinococcus..we both share a desire to see Palestine free. I would appreciate reading your detailing how you believe greater fireworks could plausibly be effective. In a sentence or two, what’s your vision for 10 years on?

        I see the violence game as being owned by Israel and the evolution on the ground indicate that to me. Its been their ticket to do what they want and when they want. “Israel has the right to defend itself” is the politically safe response constantly repeated.

        The photograph at the top with Daliah Vakili and co-activists shows what I judge is an effective way to deal with zionists who see themselves as superior. Peaceful, respectful presence, not throwing things or spilling blood but carrying articulate, intelligent placards that expose the hypocrisy and reflect the desire to move beyond this tragedy. She is building the bridge to humanist Judaism, best positioned to turn the ship and bring freedom and equality to the “other indigenous people”. Greater fireworks will throw cold water on her, and our, efforts.

        Rearranging the victim “narrative” is of utmost importance.

      • echinococcus on July 13, 2019, 9:56 am

        Brent,

        This is not the first time Weiss and his crew went so low as to let a Zionist propaganda agent rant all he wants and censor the answer. They’ll show how despicable they are by censoring this, too.

      • echinococcus on July 13, 2019, 12:26 pm

        Good. The honesty here is much appreciated. Now we are clear on that, I’ll resend:

        “we both share a desire to see Palestine free”
        Not so sure about that. Free means free from invaders (as already indicated, Palestine’s freedom problem is the presence of invaders) Any other solution may be a fair compromise, a midway house, anything else you can say… but not a free Palestine. I didn’t say I am against any of these non-freedom understandings: I am just insisting in using words properly. Else it is propaganda.

        “I see the violence game as being owned by Israel…“Israel has the right to defend itself” is the politically safe response constantly repeated.”

        For the time being. The world is round.

        ” Peaceful, respectful presence, not throwing things or spilling blood but carrying articulate, intelligent placards that expose the hypocrisy and reflect the desire to move beyond this tragedy…”
        has been done since around 1920, sometimes very much more intensely, and look where this has brought us.

        That is precisely why Zionists and the liberal bunch alike condescendingly preach some absolute non violence (a sine qua non for the Censor’s bible here) not as an occasional tactical need but as a strategy. This in no way disparages Ms Vakili but whoever uses her activism to push other agendas, if you get my drift.

        “humanist Judaism”
        is what both Zionist genocidaires and some tribals who say they are against do claim to follow. Statistics support the former and I, with no gods or religion, am agnostic in this matter.

        “the “other indigenous people” ”
        Zionist invaders are not indigenous to Palestine and have no right to be there. Your hooves are showing.

        “Rearranging the victim “narrative” is of utmost importance.”
        Never was a truer word uttered.

      • jon s on July 15, 2019, 12:54 pm

        It seems to me that echi is in violation of Article 5 in the Comments Policy.

        Jews are not “invaders” in their homeland, and echi is advocating genocide . (“free of invaders”)

      • eljay on July 15, 2019, 3:12 pm

        || jon s: … Jews are not “invaders” in their homeland … ||

        Geographic Palestine was not and still is not the “ancient”, “historic”, “eternal”, “one true” and/or “lost” homeland of people all over the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

        Geographic Palestine was and still is the actual homeland of people living in and up to n-generations removed from the region.

        It seems to me that you Jewish supremacist (Zionists) continue hypocritically to be in violation of justice, accountability and equality.

      • Mooser on July 15, 2019, 4:30 pm

        “Jon s” with all this out-marriage going on, how can we apportion the homelandness of Israel. 100% Jews can, of course, go to Israel. If a person has one Jewish parent and one not, can they go into Israel up to their knees?

        How do you plan to deal with this, after you form a government?

      • oldgeezer on July 15, 2019, 8:49 pm

        @jon s

        Some Jews aren’t invaders jon. The vast majority from Europe, US, Russia are indeed invaders.

        ech no more suggests gernocide than your fellow zionists that frequent here suggesting Palestinians must go back to Arabia. Of the two ech is the least to sin given that Israel has the power to force the Palestinians out and members of the Knesset and cabinet do indeed call for actual genocide. Yup a Hamas scum bag apparently called for genocide also. But he’s no worse than say Lieberman.

        So dry off your crocodile tears

      • RoHa on July 16, 2019, 9:03 am

        No-one denies that a lot of ancient Jews had their homes, and a Jewish society, in Palestine. I’m quite prepared to say Palestine was the homeland of those ancient Jews.

        But what makes it the homeland of modern, nineteenth and twentieth century, European Jews? There seem to be two common justifications offered for this idea.
        First, it is the place where their religion, and the cultural history associated therewith, allegedly originated. But the same is true for Welsh Methodists. On that basis, Palestine is the WM historic homeland.
        (And the Hejaz is the historic homeland of Indonesian Muslims.)

        Second, the modern European Jews are, allegedly, biological descendants of the ancient Jews. By the same token, modern Welshmen are, allegedly, biological descendants of the ancient Celts who lived in Central Europe. So the historic homeland of modern Welshmen includes a chunk of the Czech Republic.

        But the homeland of modern Welshmen is Wales. Central Europe is not their current homeland. In the Czech Republic they are now foreigners.

        If a bunch of Welshmen moved into the Czech Republic, drove out Czechs, and set up a state there, or into Israel, drove out Israelis, and set up a state, they would be invaders.

        The nineteenth and twentieth century Zionists had a variety of homelands. Poland, Russia, the USA, etc. Palestine was not their current homeland. When they moved into Palestine to set up a state there, they were foreign invaders.

      • jon s on July 16, 2019, 10:12 am

        Old geezer, RoHa,
        It’s not as if the Jews were here two thousand years ago, left the country, then showed up suddenly two thousand years later to claim it.
        Throughout those centuries , a period even longer than Jokovich vs. Federer (Wimbledon, 2019), the Jews maintained a remarkable connection to their homeland: through an ongoing, continuous, physical presence (and that presence made significant contributions to Jewish culture and religious life), through the texts, the prayers, the holidays, the customs…all of which preserved those connections and yearnings which were -and are-a significant element in Jewish identity .
        On a personal note: my father and grandfather, of blessed memory, were born here , died here and are buried here. My cute little grandson is 6th generation born-in -Israel . Is he an invader?

      • eljay on July 16, 2019, 10:47 am

        || jon s: Old geezer, RoHa,
        It’s not as if the Jews were here two thousand years ago, left the country, then showed up suddenly two thousand years later to claim it. … ||

        With the exception of those Jews who were living alongside non-Jews in geographic Palestine prior to the advent of Zionism, that’s actually pretty much how it is. Thanks for stating it so clearly.

      • Talkback on July 16, 2019, 12:09 pm

        jon s: “It’s not as if the Jews were here two thousand years ago, left the country, then showed up suddenly two thousand years later to claim it.”

        Of course not. Jews were there thousands of years ago. Nobody left. And then suddenly other Jewish foreigners showed up two thousand years later to claim Palestine.

        jon s: “Throughout those centuries , a period even longer than Jokovich vs. Federer (Wimbledon, 2019), the Jews maintained a remarkable connection to their homeland.”

        True, but legally irrelevant.

        jon s: “through an ongoing, continuous, physical presence”

        Jewish natives in Palesatine are not the problem, but made up only 10% of the Palestinians in 1922.

        jon s: “(and that presence made significant contributions to Jewish culture and religious life), through the texts, the prayers, the holidays, the customs…all of which preserved those connections and yearnings which were -and are-a significant element in Jewish identity .”

        The most significant element in this Jewish identity is only followed by True Torah Jews, Neturei Karta, etc. nowadays, but not by any Jews who believe that they were allowed to “storm the wall”.

        jon s: “On a personal note: my father and grandfather, of blessed memory, were born here , died here and are buried here. My cute little grandson is 6th generation born-in -Israel . Is he an invader?”

        Not if your father and grandfather were born there before mandate times. And in that case neither would be their descendants. But every settler who came during mandate times under British gun and without the consent of the local population is. Including their descendants.

      • oldgeezer on July 16, 2019, 12:18 pm

        @jon s

        Those individuals who maintained a presence throughout those two thousand years are indeed part of the indigenous population of the area. They are entitled to full and equal rights to all non Jewish individuals who have maintained a presence in the area. No more. No less.

        Based on the limited info you provided (in other words with more info I reserve the right to change my opinion) your grandson certainly is not an invader but is a native of the area. Whether he is actually indigenous or not isn’t even relevant as he is entitled to all the rights and privileges of other natives of the area regardless of whether or not they are Jewish.

        “through the texts, the prayers, the holidays, the customs…all of which preserved those connections and yearnings which were -and are-a significant element in Jewish identity .”

        None of this results in the decision as to whether someone is indigenous or not. None of this creates a right to claim the land as theirs. None of this justifies claiming territory as a homeland. None of this creates a right for any Jews, whether they be indigenous or not, to make a claim of rights which supercede the rights of the other peoples who are native or indigenous to the area.

        It is far worse than merely “as if the Jews were here two thousand years ago, left the country, then showed up suddenly two thousand years later to claim it”. For some that may indeed be spot on but for a large number of the invaders there is no connection whatsoever to their ancestors ever having been there in the first instance let alone this left and returned fiction.

        Connections, attachment, customs, longings, religious practices are not land deeds or entitlements. They do not alter the one’s status in terms of being part of the native or indigenous population in the area in which they were born.

        Those migrants from the EU, US, Russia, etc are primarily invaders who have no right to be there whatsoever. It would be much less of a egregious violation of human rights if those invaders had not murdered, terrorized and to this day trampled on the rights and humanity of those non Jewish people who were native or indigenous to the area.

      • Mooser on July 16, 2019, 2:16 pm

        “The nineteenth and twentieth century Zionists had a variety of homelands.”

        It is a puzzlement, but modern technological technology can supply the answer. The entire human genome has been mapped, wherein our right to Palestine is platted.
        To prove entitlement, all we have to do is gene-test all Jewish people in Israel. Those with 100% Jewish genes are, of course, entitled, with entitlement lessening as Jewish-gene content goes down. Those Jews who have fewer Jewish genes than the Palestinians have Palestinian genes are out of luck.

      • Mooser on July 16, 2019, 2:19 pm

        “On a personal note: my father and grandfather, of blessed memory, were born here , died here and are buried here”

        But you, “Jon s” were born in and a citizen of the US. Must be quite a tale how that happened to happen.

      • RoHa on July 16, 2019, 8:18 pm

        Well said, Old Geezer, Talkback, Eljay.

    • jon s on July 15, 2019, 3:30 pm

      “Sensitive and touching”…but with so many inaccuracies, exaggerations and omissions that I would hardly know where to start . And, yes, “what about Hamas ?” is a good question.

      • Talkback on July 15, 2019, 4:13 pm

        Jon S: ““Sensitive and touching”…but with so many inaccuracies, exaggerations and omissions that I would hardly know where to start.”

        Because there are none, right?

        Jon S:; “And, yes, “what about Hamas ?” is a good question.”

        Yeah. Another one is “What about Zionism?”.

      • jon s on July 16, 2019, 10:46 am

        Talkback,
        Inaccuracies and exaggerations: take the matter of white phosphorous, which the IDF used during “Cast Lead” in 2009 (not 2010, inaccuracy).

        Exaggeration: “white phosphorus attack that burned 759 civilians alive of which 344 were children”.

        Here is the HRW report:

        https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/03/25/rain-fire/israels-unlawful-use-white-phosphorus-
        gaza
        The report documents 12 civilian casualties of WP, including 7 children, and speculates that there could be more.

        Incidentally, the IDF discontinued the use of WP after Cast Lead, 10 years ago.

        Omission: the writer ignores the Hamas strategy of using civilian facilities such as hospitals, schools, mosques and residences as launching sites, arms depots, etc.
        and much more…

      • Talkback on July 16, 2019, 11:55 am

        Jon S: “Inaccuracies and exaggerations: take the matter of white phosphorous, which the IDF used during “Cast Lead” in 2009 (not 2010, inaccuracy).”

        2008/2009

        Jon S: “Exaggeration: “white phosphorus attack that burned 759 civilians alive of which 344 were children”.

        These are the total number’s if Israel’s massacre. This point goes to you.

        Jon S: “Omission: the writer ignores the Hamas strategy of using civilian facilities such as hospitals, schools, mosques and residences as launching sites, arms depots, etc.”

        What do you mean? Does Israel really target civilian facilities???

        Jon S: “and much more…”

        What else?

      • oldgeezer on July 16, 2019, 1:39 pm

        @jon s

        “Omission: the writer ignores the Hamas strategy of using civilian facilities such as hospitals, schools, mosques and residences as launching sites, arms depots, etc.
        and much more…”

        zionist terrorists did the same and were never held to account. Some even gained the office of Prime Minister.

        Israel and zionists have no moral high ground.

        By the way show me one instance where Hamas used an active school to hide any weapons. To my recollection they used buildings owned by UNRWA which had been previously used as schools but were now disused. It becomes quite arguable that a building no long being used as a school is by definition no longer a school.

        Israel on the other targets refugee compounds, UN observers, medical personnel, journalists and a long litany of other offenses.

        Israel is no better than an organization designated by much of the western world as a terrorist group. And it’s supporters are no better either.

  2. Brewer on July 13, 2019, 1:27 am

    “Israel has the right to defend itself”
    Any rights Israel might once have had (only in the arrogant eyes of those who considered it legal for foreign powers to dispossess an indigenous populace against their expressed will) were extinguished by its flagrant breaches of even the minimal guarantees it agreed to – the right of return of refugees, the wholesale theft of real estate to mention a couple.

    As it happens, there is no defense against the greatest threat to Israel – Israel itself and what it has become. There is an inexorability to the fate of organizations based on falsehood, greed and injustice. Inevitably they become fractional, perversity multiplies – and they fall apart through internal contradictions. All the signs are there in Israel today as the fascists are forced into coalition with the loony religionists. ‘Tis indeed a rough beast slouching toward Jerusalem to be born.

    • Talkback on July 13, 2019, 12:07 pm

      “Israel has the right to defend itself”

      Yeah. A genocidal settler project claims defending itself. That’s hilarious. In reality the way it “defends” itself, whether through physical violence or racist laws (structural) against the natives, is part of its genocidal policy and how to secure it.

  3. LiberatePalestine on July 13, 2019, 1:35 am

    → I did not choose to be born Israeli. Feeling guilt won’t help anyone. Instead I choose to feel responsible. To fight for equality and justice for all.

    Precisely the right attitude. She is not to blame for being born Israëli, just as noöne is to blame for being born Yankee, Canadian, or Australian (just to mention a few of the major settler-colonial populations). But she would be to blame if she merrily reaped the benefits of her accidental membership in an oppressor nation. A decent person like Ms Sinai cannot tolerate injustice, even if it happens to favour her.

  4. Bennorius on July 13, 2019, 10:51 am

    Beautiful piece by Daliah Vakili. It is heartening to see young Palestinians express themselves in such a powerful and eloquent way. Palestine’s struggle for freedom and equality and establishing the truth of the Nakba needs poets, philosophers and historians.
    The State of Israel’s desperate attempts to bury the Nakba shows how much it is on its way to becoming a totalitarian state with a similar future as Apartheid South Africa.

  5. gamal on July 13, 2019, 1:23 pm

    “And then came the day I’ve witnessed my first execution. An innocent walk to the ice cream shop ended the salesman’s life in front of our eyes. ‘Why’, I would ask my mother while seeing his lifeless body lying in his own puddle of blood. ‘Just like that’, she would reply. Just.Like.That”

    “I understand that it is not always easy to stand up for something that does not directly concern us”

    you are very generous but it is not only something which very directly “concern us” I would say “And morality means to stand with the oppressed and hold the oppressor accountable” it is perhaps the only way we have of if not saving ourselves perhaps ameliorating the disaster towards which we are rushing headlong….

    “May the next liberation festival celebrate the freedom of all oppressed nations, from our indigenous to black siblings, our sisters and queer siblings, may we stand united against the forces of injustice and create a world where striving for equality becomes our moral duty”

    yes standing firm, Sista, holding firm

    “Some will share, others do as they like
    Some, yuh flesh dem waa’n tear with dem fork and knife
    Some don’t care their heart is like ice
    Out to kill another then rejoice but I’m”

    “Holding firm
    Every man deserves to earn
    Jah Jah come and crown my plan with success
    Holding firm
    Every man deserves to earn/Every man has his turn
    You won’t sink I in the mess”

    https://youtu.be/PObJuJOXZyo

  6. Stephen Shenfield on July 13, 2019, 1:35 pm

    When intelligent people respond to cogent moral appeals by mindlessly repeating stupid propaganda or resorting to evasive generalities like ‘it’s complicated’ there is good reason to suspect that they are concealing their true thoughts and motives. Often what they are thinking is: ‘I know you are right, but I also know the price that I would have to pay in taking your side and I am unwilling to pay it.’ That also explains why sometimes, when you make a particularly telling point, people just fall silent and refuse to continue the discussion.

  7. brent on July 14, 2019, 1:17 pm

    You make a good point on the right of defense. Suggest you take that up with all Presidents, all European leaders, all in the US Congress. I’m amazed at the hurtles some seeking justice in Jerusalem take on. My preference is undermining the narratives that underpin the nonsense. Exposing hypocrisy is a far easier path forward and becoming savvy to public perceptions ihas become necessary.

    I’ve observed its Jews, I characterize them as humanists, who have mostly been influencing the perceptions of Americans. It seems to come from concern for Israel, Palestine, and Humanity. Palestinians could have no more competent allies.

    Some on both sides seek exclusivity, something the maps show to be achievable only at great turmoil and at the expense of humanity. This unresolved conflict has had great costs. The killing of a million Iranians under Reagan, a million Iraqis under W., the destruction of Libya, of Syria and the destabilization of Europe under Obama. With war on Persia, a could doom humanity. We must move forward and Trump wants a feather in his cap and has positioned himself for it. Time to smell the roses.

    • Mooser on July 14, 2019, 3:11 pm

      ” Time to smell the roses.”

      Be a nice change after the reek from your comment.

    • Keith on July 14, 2019, 6:30 pm

      BRENT- “Palestinians could have no more competent allies.”

      Indeed, Adelson, Saban, Dershowitz, et al stand ready to help just waiting to be asked. Why have the Palestinians been so reluctant to benefit from tikkun olam? Perhaps your innovative proposal is just a little too far out of the box for the Arab mind to grasp.

    • Mooser on July 16, 2019, 2:23 pm

      ” We must move forward and Trump wants a feather in his cap and has positioned himself for it.”

      “Brent”, are you aware there is an archive of your comments accessible by clicking your name? Each comment is identified by date and article.

Leave a Reply