Oh, the good days we live today: the times of oppression and institutionalized racism are most definitely behind us. We Americans pride ourselves on the utmost principles of universal human rights declared by the UN: of all persons born free and equal and having the right to life, liberty and security.
It’s great that we call ourselves a democratic society while financially assisting in the institutionalization of an ongoing apartheid system in Israel – while funneling over 30 billion of your hard-earned U.S. tax dollars in military aid over the span of a decade to an oppressive Israel to ensure that Palestinians civilians are being denied the universal rights valued intrinsic to all humans. They’re being stripped of these rights only to be maimed, shot, brutalized and ethnically cleansed.
Former president of South Africa and veteran of South African apartheid Nelson Mandela has brazenly remarked on the ongoing Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinian land. In 1997, at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, he remarked on its atrocious realities, “That injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” which we are yet to witness.
In his book “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid”, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s condemnation of Israeli violations: “this perpetuates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa.”
This should immediately place us on alert to question our national financial support for Israel: a state that has broken dozens of UN declared international laws as well as no regard whatsoever to the 4th Geneva Convention and is yet to be held internationally accountable. Some of the laws violated include, but are definitely not limited to: Geneva Conventions IV, Article 49– that is “it is illegal to colonize occupied land or transfer non-indigenous population to that land”.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been displaced from their legally owned lands. As well as the illegal dispossession that Israeli citizens commit to this day by occupying land not originally given to them in the UN partition plan, dispossessing even thousands more.
Next up is Israel’s illegal practice of ethnic cleansing as they are consistently “forbidding civilian populations the right to return to their homes following the end of armed conflict” which is in direct violation of international law and UN resolutions, Geneva Convention IV, Articles 45, 46 & 49 and UN resolution 194. Israel has taken Palestinian lands, forced native populations from their land, refusing their residency on what was their land, and denying employment on that land. The Israeli government enacts laws to keep over 6.6 million Palestinian refugees from returning home.
There’s also the illegal Israeli apartheid wall – dubbed the “Berlin Wall” which makes obvious historical parallel considering that The Berlin Wall, which was 96 miles long, and Israel’s reaching 403 miles in length. The average height of the Berlin Wall was 11.8 feet, compared with the height of Israel’s wall — 25 feet.
As well as designated Israeli sniper posts all mounted across the wall. The International Court of Justice of 2004 cites The United Nations Charter and General Assembly resolution 2625, ruling the Israeli separation barriers illegal. And we can’t forget that Israel also holds 1.7 million Palestinian civilians under siege on the Gaza strip over which 50% are children.
But really, why do we feel such a fear of speaking out when our government is financially supporting these atrocities against humanity? Isn’t it our responsibility to ensure that our government stays in check instead of exploiting us and our tax dollars that could have otherwise possibly paid your tuition? Is it because we do not feel that we are allowed to speak out? Or simply because we are ignorant? And if it is due to the latter – that is no simple matter at all. We must salvage ourselves from this ignorance and reach an understanding of this humanitarian crisis in order to intellectualize and prosper as the human race.
But you know what? Don’t even take my word for it. Do your own research. Listen intently to the all narratives and locate the history that has been buried under hundreds of rugs and make your decision. Trust me, when everything tumbles to dust only to settle in our future children’s books, you want to be on the right side of history. It is in our hands to start a revolution.
But, first, you must start a revolution of the mind by becoming knowledgeable. In that way, we can always pride ourselves in speaking the truth. Free! Free! Palestine!