It’s not a matter of religion but humanity

2014-07-11 07:02

As fears of an all-out race war spread with the news of South African Communist Party secretary-general Chris Hani’s assassination, the African National Congress (ANC) under the leadership of Nelson Mandela immediately called for calm. On the other hand Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quotes from the poet, Haim Bialik- “Vengeance for the blood of a small child.”

To quote from Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom: “The country was fragile. “There were concerns that Hani’s death might trigger a racial war, with the youth deciding that their hero should become a martyr for whom they would lay down their own lives.” What a glaring difference in the handling of a volatile situation.

Although I do not condone the violence, suicide bombings or rocket attacks, the retaliation or anger has to be understood in the context of resistance by the Palestinians.

Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine says, “The problem is that people equate the Palestinian response to Israeli violence and to Israeli aggression as terrorism, instead of realizing that this is an act of resistance. The Palestinians have been the subject of oppression and violence by Israel from the very beginning that the state of Israel was established. This is why we have a Gaza Strip. This is why we have hundreds of thousands of refugees in the Gaza Strip and other places. These people were forced out of their homes as a result of an act of terrorism, which created the state of Israel in 1948. These people have been resisting, and they’ve been resisting in other places, mostly by nonviolent means.”

This spirit of resistance of the Palestinian people will remain as long as the brutal occupation of Palestine, the home demolitions, illegal settler establishments, the illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, heavy restrictions placed on Palestinian fishermen and farmers, the check points, the building of the apartheid wall continues.

Unfortunately, we have seen decades of failed political initiatives at global level. In this day and age, justice and compassion in dealing with human causes have lost meaning. As long as the question of the occupation is not justly addressed, all the pain and suffering will continue.

Many human right activists and conscious driven individuals believe and recognize that in order to achieve any sort of sustainable peace and a life of dignity for all who live in the holy land, the Israeli occupation of Palestine be addressed.

New criteria need to be created by the negotiating authorities towards which a new revisiting of this half a century long conflict can be brought to a fair and equitable resolution; with both sides’ political apparati accepting to compromise for the sake of their thousands of innocent populations.

It’s not a matter of religion, race or nationality but humanity. It is about saving lives.

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