The Violence In Palestine Continues To Be Ignored And Excused – Junkee

Posted By on April 20, 2022

The ongoing violence is Palestine needs to be seen as the result of ongoing occupation and apartheid, not isolated events.

Almost a year ago, on May 20 2021, I published my first opinion piece. It was published in Junkee and titled The World Cant Ignore Palestine Anymore.

Until recently, Ive had a strange relationship with the term writer it always felt foreign to me, like the term wasnt one that I had any right to claim. I started writing not because I love the craft, although I have come to love it, but because I felt like I had something important to say.

My whole life, Ive watched as the world was silent on Palestine, and so I saw writing as one of the ways I could take action to amplify the Palestinian struggle. I write to ensure that these atrocities are on the public record; so that its impossible for people to one day look back and say we didnt know. You do know because we write to tell you.

As was the case this time last year, peaceful prayer goers are being shot at with rubber bullets by the Israeli military. As was the case this time last year, there have been mass arrests of Palestinians across historic Palestine. As was the case this time last year, Gaza is under attack. As was the case this time last year, we are seeing Palestinians take to social media to shed light on the settler-colonial violence thats being perpetrated against them by the Israeli regime.

The repeating of history can make it easy to think that these are waves of settler-colonial violence that come and go around the same time each year. The reality is that Israeli settler-colonial violence is not seasonal it doesnt happen in year-long cycles that start or end in Ramadan. Israels settler-colonial violence is constant because settler colonialism is constant.

In the last 12 months alone, we have seen ongoing violence being perpetrated by the Israeli regime across historic Palestine. In October 2021, Jerusalems al-Yusifiya cemetery was bulldozed to make room for the City of David National Park. Footage went viral of a Palestinian mother being ripped from her sons gravestone as the cemetery was being bull-dozed.

In December 2021, there was a wave of Israeli violence in the Naqab in which homes and villages were demolished in an attempt to seize Palestinian land. In January 2022, we saw footage of the home of the Salihiyah family in Jerusalem being stormed by Israeli forces and the family being arrested and their home bull-dozed shortly after. In March 2022 Al-Araqeeb, a Bedouin village in the Naqab, was demolished for the 199th time. In April 2022, Jenin Refugee Camp was raided and then besieged. This list of death and destruction of Palestinian land, homes and lives is by no means exhaustive: it merely provides a snapshot into the everyday reality for Palestinians; a reality that we have had to confront every day for 74 years.

The violence that is occurring in Palestine right now is only possible because the violence that has occurred between last year and this year has been enabled, ignored, and excused. The media have selectively reported when and how they report on Palestine so that acts of violence are seen as independent from each other rather than inherent to the broader, settler-colonial project that is hell-bent on eradicating the Indigenous Palestinian population.

We only need to take a look at organising efforts that have taken place over the last 12 months to know that Palestinian resistance is constant and that ongoing solidarity with the Palestinian people is possible. In September 2021, six Palestinian prisoners liberated themselves from Gilboa prison in occupied Palestine. In December 2021, we saw the success of the Sydney Festival Boycott campaign which has been described as the most effective, impactful and creative boycott campaign since the inception of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in 2005. In January, we saw one of Israels Elbit Systems UK factories shut down following fierce direct action campaigning.

We know that, overwhelmingly, support for Palestine is growing on a national and international scale people are waking up to the brutal reality of the settler-colonial, apartheid state that is Israel.

The results from a recent YouGov poll found that the majority of people believe that Israel should immediately end its occupation of Palestine, that the Australian government should support an International Criminal Court investigation into Israeli war crimes, and that Australia should take action in response to reports of Israeli apartheid.

Footage went viral of a Palestinian mother being ripped from her sons gravestone as the cemetery was being bull-dozed.

Support alone is not enough to win this fight, your solidarity with Palestinians needs to also be constant. It cannot be as short-lived as the hashtags nor as fleeting as the news headlines on Palestine. Here are three things you can do right now to be in solidarity with us:

Show up to protests. So far, there are two protests being organised in Australia this weekend, the 22nd and 23rd April: 4:30 pm at Martin Place in Sydney and 1pm in front of the State Library in Melbourne.

Support the BDS movement. Since 2005, Palestinian civil society have been calling for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against the state of Israel. You can take action and share Australia-based actions here.

Vote with Palestine in mind. With the upcoming Federal Election, the Australia-Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has started an I Vote Palestine campaign. You can call on your local candidates in the lead-up to the election and let them know that you vote and that you care about Palestinian human rights.

Jeanine Houraniis a queer Palestinian activist, organiser, and storyteller. She is the director ofRoad to Refuge, an organisation that aims to change the narrative around refugees and people seeking asylum.

Photo Credit: ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images

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The Violence In Palestine Continues To Be Ignored And Excused - Junkee

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