As another Ceasefire is declared after 11 days of war. Only one thing lies certain ahead – this is only temporary. For many, like myself, we have seen this endless cycle of war and peace played out over and over in this conflict between Israel and Palestine. 2009, 2012, 2014 and here we are again in 2021. The same story – only more casualties. Those who have been around more than me, can add more years to their resume of this saga and those younger, are going add more in the future.
The issue of Al Aqsa and Palestine stretches far back beyond the creation of Israel in 1947, the Balfour Declaration, Hamas, Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yassar Arafat, Ariel Sharon or Benjamin Netanyahu.
The hurt of Palestine runs deep like the rivers and it amplifies that much more each time, a never ending voice that refuses to retreat.
Al Aqsa holds deep entrenched values to the global Muslim world- it’s not something they can simply let go and disown. It is the place where the Prophet Muhammed travelled in his night quest and led the prayers with all the Prophets of the past. It is the point where Muslims were first directed to pray towards before being instructed to change it towards the Kabba in Mecca. Whether you believe in the religion of Islam or not. These very beliefs are cemented within their principles, their fundamentals and their future beliefs (where Jesus (Isa) will arrive)- In the same fashion, Judaism believe it is their Promised Land from God to their people. The conquest of Jerusalem from both the Christian and Muslim world in different periods of history, had been the focal point of these beliefs.
For this reason for Muslims around the globe, the situation of Palestine ranks high and raises awareness than any other acts of war and oppression taking place in the Middle East or other parts of the world. Which is why every time a severe bombing campaign takes place, emotions take over rather than the mind.
However, the modern warfare and struggle which we see today reaches far beyond the fundamentals of religious ideology and exposes the tyranny, hypocrisy and double standards of the world governments. Leaders and politicians have failed to acknowledge a situation that stares them indiscriminately in their face. Similar situations in the past and present, carried out by any other government apart from Israel, has demanded (rightfully) these governments being faced with sanctions, embargos, arming of militants and even invasion. Syria, Iraq, Iran and Libya are just a few examples of the last decade.
Israel is an apartheid state, it has used and continues to use disproportionate amount of ammunition and sophisticated fire power (funded in billions year after year by the US taxpayers) to neutralise who they think are their enemies. They have a blockade at the border to minimise the amounts of medical supplies and food that gets across to Gaza for every day life. They arrest and imprison children, they are an imperialist nation and the only one in that region with nuclear weapons. Their crimes against the people of Palestine stretches far beyond religion- its an act of cleansing and an act against every basic human right. No human being can ever evaluate the situation and stay neutral, and that anger is only fuelled when world leaders and politicians (who we elected) do just that. People of influence who have always had an opinion and sides in global warfare and for decades have had the chance to facilitate a solution, stand idly by and hide behind the smoke screen that ‘Israel has the right to defend themselves’. Instead they focus on the few immature and isolated chants of close- minded idiots, to make it about Anti-Semitism, avoiding the real issue at hand. Their rhetoric and slogans are wearing thin, as we move toward a world where political thoughts and ideologies are no longer controlled by the box in our living room and newspapers owned by a few individuals. With the ever-rising power of social media and the different ways people receive their news. We have more windows to see the world for what it is. People in power should know, that hiding behind old wordings, just to keep the powerful lobbies of a few, are numbered.
Even though the placards, banners and rhetoric from the protest are the same each time, every year. One thing is for certain, it’s growing each time, it’s raising more awareness each time, it educates a new generation of people and the tides are changing in all aspect of global causes, not just one.
As we move on from this moment of radical, virtual and physical protests. There are some waiting and some hoping, that the 11 days of awareness around Palestine, will die out. History tells us, that is exactly what will happen. So, for those of us who took the time out to raise your slogans, attend the protests, fly the flags, sign the petitions, change our social media DP, share videos, get into internet debates. What else is there to do after this?
The real action comes from you own action, if the Pandemic has taught us anything, is how vulnerable the global economy and power structure is and how much influence we have, as collective powers. Government and big businesses who get involved in unethical businesses do so with the powers we give them and with our money.
Let us set aside the Western governments and businesses and look at the ones who should be closer to the heart and region of Palestine. I am talking about the Muslim countries across the globe. Its time we boycotted them where and when we can. Take United Arab of Emirates who had established a diplomatic relationship with Israel since August 2020. A place which has benefited and been the go-to place for Muslim tourists for nearly two decades. Knowing all too well how sensitive the whole Israel – Palestine situation is, went ahead against the wishes of the people and created a link for their own greed and power.
Its time to look at our moral compass, simply posting flags, poems and chants is not good enough. Emotions dies out, causes don’t. How long can we hold onto our anger and emotions? That is the pivotal question. It’s time to hit them with our minds and wallets, boycott those who fail to hear your voices, its only when they see the rising tides of unilateral voices, the changes really happen.
Are we willing to go beyond the luxury of our Frappes from Starbucks, our branded clothes from the likes of Puma, our resorted holidays and pictures for Instagram at Dubai and stand our ground. At the end of the day, this is all we can do. Raise our voices and take a collective stance against those who are complacent of the Occupation. If we cannot make those simple changes, ask yourself, what are we really doing and who is this for and our voices only left for the chat room and virtual world?
End the Blockade.
End the Occupation.
Liberate Al Aqsa