The Genocide of Palestinians is Ours to Face

We funded this, and now we will bear the burden of resisting Israel’s violent, apartheid state.

Alice Walker, in her poetry book Sent By Earth, reminds us that murder is murder and that it is personal. Regardless of “if it is done in war. It is very intimate,” Walker says. “The beings we kill become, somehow, ours for life.”

I believe Walker is correct. 

The thousands of Palestinians  — who have been killed at the hands of the U.S.-funded bombs, and the settler colonial apartheid state of Israel — are not guilty. Americans are guilty.  At this point, with a death count of over 20,000 people and displacement of 1.5 million people, Israel’s violent ethnic cleansing campaign has officially surpassed that of the 1948 Nakba. And this terror campaign is that of U.S. citizens to face. 

PTSD isn’t an acronym long enough to describe what we have inflicted. The women in Gaza have no water to tend to their menstruating bodies, and they have no water for their daughters either. Over a million people in Palestine are displaced, many of them living under tents and tarps, and they spend hours of their days trying to obtain food and water. 

Hospitals — which are supposed to be protected by International Law — have been relentlessly destroyed. Less than 30 percent of Hospitals in Gaza are functioning.  “Not enough beds, not enough doctors, not enough space”, said Palestinian photographer Motaz Aziaza when describing the situation at Al-Aqsa Hospital. 

 “I miss my uni friends, I miss my life”, writes Plestia Alaqad who is a Palestinian journalist.

As we read and see these gut-wrenching and gruesome accounts, it is important not to desensitize ourselves to Palestinian suffering. There are actions we can take every day. Many of us in the U.S. have given far too many tax dollars to genocide. We let our media dehumanize Palestinians through their war-mongering lies. 50 days later and there is no end to this madness in sight

And now we must divest from the systems that sponsored this. We will divest from corporate media. I will not watch.  We will continue to boycott Starbucks, McDonalds and Disney. Ethnic cleansers do not get our business. 

Moreover, we must bear the burden of this violence, facing it entirely. Palestinians who have died did so with honor. They died in resistance to their violent occupation. Heartbreakingly, courageous journalists like Motaz Azaiza, Plestia Alaqad, and Hind Khoudary have become heroes of our generation, showing us what it means to be a warrior of resistance in the face of trauma and oppression. 

These heroes — and the burdens they have taken on — should bring us both hope and shame. As they brazenly call out the hypocrisy of Western Media, they have carved paths for us to speak truth to power. But isn’t it sad that our heroes never wanted to be heroes? Isn’t it sad that young adults (many of them our age) had to extort gruesome images of death and terror to make us care? 

Our privilege, as students in the West, means we must continue their work. Our activism will grow to be as relentless as the bombs that displaced and murdered our brothers and sisters. 

As artists, writers, historians, archivists and journalists, we have to tell the truth.  We should show images that maintain both the truth and the integrity of the Palestinian people. We will fight against this gruesome occupation for as long as it takes, and we will understand more than ever that this struggle is not insular. America’s longtime desire to Kill extends everywhere; nobody is safe. 

With our teeth sunk into the military-industrial complex, we have a long road ahead of us in resisting Israel and U.S.-led war crimes — along with further development of potentially catastrophic military developments, which could certainly lead to a disastrous nuclear war. 

Palestinians are wrongfully treated as tokens in the U.S.’s foreign policy agenda. You don’t need to be Arab or Muslim to see that this is wrong. Palestinians are not tokens, and neither are the people of Sudan, Congo & Armenia. These countries have all experienced genocide, ethnic cleansing, and gross human rights violations in recent months. Where has the mainstream media been? Reporting on Barbie. 

Truth is bleak these days. But to stand with the other, the group being marginalized and oppressed, will always be a part of the struggle for liberation. When I feel tired and hopeless, I remember that every action I make matters — that movements have always been built by ordinary people taking both small and large acts. I remember what Angela Davis said: “Freedom is a constant struggle.”

The views expressed in opinion pieces do not represent the views of Glimpse from the Globe or its editorial team.