Excerpt from an article by Ramzy Baroud, based on talks he delivered at Israeli Apartheid Week conferences in Edmonton and Calgary on March 5 & 6, 2012.
“There is little point in counting on Barack Obama, Stephen Harper or David Cameron to exact justice for Palestinians. How could they, when their governments continue to facilitate and arm the occupation of Palestine, finance the illegal settlements, ensure the continuation of the siege on Gaza and block any attempt, even if symbolic, to indict the unlawful, violent and Apartheid-like practices of the Israeli government?
But to whom can the unnamed old man of Qusra, Suheil, Hana, Adnan and Bassam turn for justice? To whom can they appeal for rights? And from whom should they expect solidarity?
One thing is sure in all of this: Palestinians will continue to resist with or without an international awaking to the injustice underway. The old man will try to replant a new olive grove, Suheil, Hana and Adnan will continue their quest for freedom or will die trying. A whole new generation will carry the torch from the previous one, replant, rebuild and hunger for freedom.
But we, the silent multitudes must not accept this paradigm of supposed immoral certainty as a must. It is our silence that empowers Israel’s crimes, and our morally-challenged leaders who continue to speak of the ‘unbreakable bond’ between them and an Apartheid regime; it’s the lack of accountability that makes them shed their last shred of humanity in fear of lobby pressure, or in seeking lobby support.
It is time that we redefine our relationship to the Palestinian struggle. We are not helpless outsiders; we are enablers of this moral travesty that translates into untold daily suffering of millions of people. Our silence is a blank check to the groveling politicians to continue to plead at the feet of the ever-demanding pro-Israeli lobby.
Ordinary Palestinians need true solidarity, not preaching of violence and non-violence; they have utilized the latter for nearly a hundred years. They need us to morally divest from Israel, as opposed to standing half way between the oppressed and the oppressor. They need us to overcome our tendencies of intellectual elitism or any sense of moral ascendancy. They don’t need of us to play the role of the lecturer. They need us to truly listen. To genuinely comprehend. To earnestly act.
This is not a conflict concerning religion. It is not about politics. It’s about rights. About people with history so rooted in the land, their land – for, who else has planted the ancient olive groves of their ancestors? They need us to remember their names, their stories, and to constantly consider that behind the headlines there are people with faces, with untold courage and humanity, aching for justice and lasting peace: Suheil, Hana, Adnan and Bassam and millions others, some passed away and others are yet to be born.
Before we speak of ‘solutions’ to the ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict,’ I believe that we must first resolve our own dilemma by divesting, first, morally, then by every other mean, from an occupation that runs counter to any true conception of true humanism.
It was Desmond Tutu who once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Link
“American sources indicate that, for the first time, the US will not use hold back from condemning Israeli settlement construction in the Security Council.“
Well, well …
“It is a matter of instinct and conscience,” writes Costello, in an open letter on the cancelation of a concert in Israel this summer. “There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.” – MORE