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Keep Your Gaze and Your Grace Fixed On Palestine

And Please Don’t Look Away

By The Dani WriterPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 8 min read
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Keep Your Gaze and Your Grace Fixed On Palestine
Photo by Jakob Rubner on Unsplash

Sometimes, writers become sufficiently enraged and distraught to such a degree that they cannot write effectively or coherently worth a damn.

I have lived in “sometimes.”

Pretty sure it will be a repeat occasional address with the current world climate.

Simply a word to the curious as to why this story took longer than expected to see the light of day.

Now, I write suspended atop a precipice, in balance on deep breaths. My pleas sent skyward to the cosmos that I shall be able to continue…

By Ümit Bulut on Unsplash

In the October 20, 2023, Metro UK newspaper, I read the words of Britain’s Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak as he met with PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv after the Hamas attack earlier that month. Sunak stated,

“I’m proud to stand with you. In Israel’s darkest hour, as your friend. We stand with you and your people in solidarity. We want you to win.” He affirmed support for a decision to allow aid to Gaza and insisted that Israel was doing all it could to limit civilian fatalities.

Only needed to read it once.

It took a lot to read the quote again for inclusion and context in this story.

I’m sure I exhaled vital internal organs through my nose that first time. My brain might have seized. Motor function non-existent. I kept hearing, “We want you to win,” feeling nauseous, enraged, and hyped all at once.

Had he seen the same historically documented Palestinian casualties that I’d witnessed over decades since my childhood?

And who the heck does he mean by, “We?”

Photo by Luci on Pexels

Me: You have the right to speak your opinion but not OUR opinion. And never MY opinion. Even as the leader of a country I reside in, you do not speak for the nation. It might be a stretch to say you speak for the Conservatives who voted for you but that’s as high as your flex goes on an international stage where there have been crimes against humanity and genocide against the Palestinian people.

To date, the death toll in Palestine exceeds 20,000 with Israeli attacks intensifying. The International Red Crescent as well as resource-deficient healthcare facilities for Palestinians are not exempt from Israeli military raids.

Watching the daily suffering and death count of fellow human beings is an atrocity beyond words. The sight of vast numbers of children and infants among that number is worse.

I would ask PM Sunak, "What more does a 'win' need to look like?"

These are the places where my heart needs to be propped up for continued function to help in whatever way I can. To speak out. Pray until sleep overtakes me.

Often during my youth, I would hear elder wisdom (especially from my Mom) that took the form of, “Wrong is wrong no matter who does it.” There is so much “wrong” happening in Palestine, Gaza, and the West Bank that began long before the creation of the Israeli state in 1948.

The stage set against a backdrop of national and international bodies effecting decisions they assumed were for the best as they possessed the might (but not the right) to do so. Everyone has lived/died with the consequences ever since.

Palestinians were systematically disenfranchised in their homeland and have been suffering ill-effects in disproportionate numbers.

By Abed Odwan on Unsplash

Some humans are deluded into self-appointed authority to implement decisions for people/nations who never asked them to do so.

Sadly, some humans also possess the totally worthless ability to take simple things and make them ultra-complicated.

The Beginning

At the end of World War I (1914-1918), British Forces captured Palestine from the Ottoman Empire.

Whhhyyyyy???

Then the League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations) granted Britain a mandate to administer over Palestine.

How in the entirety of eff?

Britain’s Balfour Declaration of 1917 formalized the intention to establish an Israeli state in Palestine, quite likely as leverage for Jewish support during the war. In 1947, the United Nations proposed a partition plan that would give the Palestinians 54% and Jews 46% of the land for separate states.

Of a land that was invaded by a foreign military force…really?

No small wonder that this nation, conquered by yet another foreign

power, with decisions actioned by other foreign authorities is not going to take that lying down.

Would you?

Did Ukraine?

The Israeli Defense Force implements ‘Plan D’ during which Palestinian territories of strategic significance were subject to “small scale massacres” to “encourage people to leave.” As a result, around 300,000 Palestinians instantly became refugees. Nevertheless, on May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was created and recognized that same day by US President Harry S. Truman. The combination of all these factors and more instigated the Arab Israeli war, with continued enmity between Palestinians and Israelis for successive generations. But don’t you find it odd that the culpability of Britain and its allies, the United Nations, and US support are infrequently (if ever) mentioned in the creation of this now ginormous problem since it began?

Nowhere along this timeline has this conflict been anything but one-sided in favor of the occupying force. But breathe a word to that effect, and in all likelihood, you may be deemed anti-Semitic by a segment of the misinformed public. If you criticize Israeli actions or policy regarding the treatment of Palestinians, you can also be branded anti-Semitic. Speak to the injustice of land grabs for new Israeli settlements and you guessed it…anti-Semitic. It’s a blanket term aiming to suffocate dissent into silence but has no bearing here in its definition whatsoever.

Anti-Semitism is defined as a state of hostility and prejudice against the Jewish people. Disagreement is not hostility. Protest, self-preservation, and protection of human rights are not prejudice.

(Note: There are, in fact, other Semitic people, interestingly enough, the Arab population, but this term 'anti-semitism' is primarily applied to prejudice against only the Jewish people.)

The Middle

What is happening in Palestine is a despicable form of upgraded genocide during heightened levels of the information age. It is complete annihilation with no regard or recourse for the civilians living (and now dying) there who have been subjected to inhumane treatment for over 75 years in their homeland. Generations have come and gone knowing nothing but discrimination, disinheritance, and destruction.

A 280-page Amnesty International Report in February 2022 highlighted sustained and unjustified segregation against the Palestinian people, citing crimes against humanity. The organization documented house dispossessions and land seizures, prolonged discriminatory treatment as well as policies that facilitated control through demographics to benefit to Jewish citizens over Palestinians deprived of statehood. The report also noted that in 2018, Palestinians in Gaza who protested near the border against an Israeli blockade and demanded the right of return for refugees were shot at by Israeli forces, resulting in 214 dead of whom 46 were children.

What about this looks even remotely like Palestinians have the upper hand PM Sunak?

This is NOT the End

These are a people who need and deserve all available resources, interventions, networking, love, and friendship. They unequivocally have my support even though the British PM wants the leadership responsible for their oppression to “win.”

A common response concerning this travesty from the public that I hear on a daily basis is that the news is too depressing to watch. As your typical sensitive Cancerian, I understand this. However, the fact remains that turning away allows the perpetrators to act with impunity (probably what they want to do anyway.) There is an established timeline of Palestinian casualties whenever there is protest or no protest, compliance or noncompliance, defense or attack. It simply becomes a pretext for excessive use of force and justification for more civilian casualties as 'unfortunate fallout' in the interest of defense. But this is what defense looks like on a regular.

Please do not give up hope. Curse or cry if you must but please do not look away. The masses possess power. Add YOUR mass to this equation (by whatever is method of choosing) to shift for a positive Palestinian outcome like only love and energy and mathematics can effect.

Within all my yearned for realities, solace and healing permeate Palestine. As blood and bodies steeped in an earth that never forgot them find eternal paths to rejoice in every remembrance and every song for those who yet breathe.

And the only tears that flow there come from the relief of overwhelming and everlasting peace. For the Palestinian Sunbird whom they could not kill, songs outlasting any explosives. From the sight of triumphant ones unified by smiles of the Dabke in merriment of dance. And behold, the vision-glorified faces of children born too beautiful for words who shall never know war.

As exponentially difficult as it has been, the Palestinian people have not given up, so how in the name of any and every heaven...exactly HOW can I?

By Ömer Yıldız on Unsplash

I am sure that many of you can appreciate that the entirety of this story timeline would not fit within a framework that would lend itself to a short article.

I've expended the best of my limited expertise to balance extensive history with condensed concentrations of facts, amidst current/ongoing events.

Please take the time to read additional background information beyond what has been provided here and then leave your time stamp for history to remember your judgment and actions.

Let there be clear acknowledgment also for members of the Jewish community who oppose Israel's actions and support freedom and justice for the Palestinian people.

By Nikolas Gannon on Unsplash

Immense thanks to you for reading.

***

References:-

Al-Mughrabi, N. (2023) ‘Sunak tells Israel: Britain stands with you in your darkest hour’, Metro, 20 October, pp. 5–5.

humanityhistoryCONTENT WARNING
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About the Creator

The Dani Writer

Explores words to create worlds with poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Writes content that permeates then revises and edits the heck out of it. Interests: Freelance, consultations, networking, rulebook-ripping. UK-based

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  • Real Poeticabout a month ago

    Powerful. Evidence-based. Educational. Heartfelt. I could go on!!! This article is so spot on, and I completely agree with your concern for the Palestinians and I definitely agree with this line, "You have the right to speak your opinion but not OUR opinion. And never MY opinion." Dani, you are so brave and your heart is so pure my friend. Thanks for sharing!

  • This of course, barely scratches the surface of what has happened & is happening in our world. From long before the beginning of recorded history we have fought wars to conquer, control & possess, virtually all involving great atrocities against others. (One possible notable exception being the Babylonian takeover of the Assyrian Empire between the Diaspora & the exile of the southern kingdom of Judea.) The argument frequently made in support of Israel, at least among those of Judeo-Christian heritage, is that God gifted the land to the Jewish people. It is "The Promised Land". In order to claim the land, they committed genocide, according to scripture commanded by God. In 1 Samuel 15 Saul loses God's favor for failing to utterly destroy the Amalekites, including men, women, children & all their possessions. Subsequently, they suffered under Assyria, Babylon, the Greeks & the Romans, not to mention their myriad sufferings endured among the rest of us once they were no longer a nation, culminating in the Holocaust. So the UK & US & UN decide to create a homeland for them. It's good for people to have a place they can call home, where they feel they belong. It's not so good to dispossess, persecute & dehumanize others in order to do it. But those of European descent (including most of North America), have a long history of doing just that. The land upon which I currently live (as well as every other piece of land upon which I've ever set foot) involved the serial dispossession of indigenous peoples & tribes. Israel's settlers might even be said to have patterned their ostensible takeover of the land after those of American settlers who continuously settled lands belonging to various tribes (whether originally or by treaty), trusting the army would protect them against "hostiles" even though they were by law trespassing. In other words, what the Palestinians are currently suffering is nothing new. It's been going on for millennia. At some point, though, it has to stop. In the 1940s we said, "Never again," only to have it happen time & again while we either stand idly by or participate in it. For decades now, it has been those on whose behalf we had said, "Never again," who have been perpetrating it (with our nations' assent), in the name of "national security". In order for this cycle to end, the one with the power/upper hand must take the first step, pledging peace & justice knowing that there will be a price to be paid for it. The more powerful must choose not to respond to attacks in kind, but judiciously, seeking justice rather than revenge. In the current crisis, that party is Israel, backed by the US & UK. President Biden has already declared that there must be a two state solution where both nations are autonomous & secure. (Trump seems to prefer simply to wipe everyone of Arab descent off the face of the map.) The problem with this is that there are powerful forces at play who are determined not to let that happen. The last time someone attempted such detente was while Yitzhak Rabin was prime minister of Israel. Zionists assassinated him in 1995. Ever since Israel has been ruled by the right (wrong) wing who refuse to let it happen. Benjamin Netanyahu is determined it shall never be. Is it possible to overwhelm such bitterness, hatred & need for control with love? I used to think so. Now I've come to believe that the powers that be simply kill those who would attempt such a thing if they can no longer be marginalized & dismissed. Why? Because they're people just like us. I do believe it would take an overt act of God. But that doesn't mean that you & I should quit doing what we can. After all, what does God require of us but "to do justly, love mercy, & walk humbly with our God"? I can't think of a better reason to offer ourselves up than love for God, all God's people, & all God's creation.

  • Rick Henry Christopher about a month ago

    Very powerful article. Well written and researched.

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