By: KAYLA McDONALD
Palestine vs. Israel has been labeled a “conflict” that has been ongoing for the past 73 years when Israel was first labeled a country in the Middle East in 1948. What is happening between the two countries is not a conflict, but rather an ethnic cleansing and settler colonialism. Over the past few decades, since Israel became its own country, they have continued with their settler colonial agenda, affecting thousands of Palenstians. Sheikh Jarrah has been the most recent neighborhood to be targeted, threatened, and affected by Israel. Now, let’s take a step back and go to the root of where this decades long settler colonialism first began.
In 1936 a six-month long general strike took place in Palestine, to protest Jewish immigration. Within the following year the peel commission recommended the partition of Palestine and transfer of Palestians from land allocated to a Jewish state. Now skipping ahead to the years 1947-1949 over 80% of Palestiantians, in what is now Israel, were displaced from their homes and 80% of their land was seized by Zionists*.
In February of 1948 Zionist* forces attacked the village of Quisarya near Haifa, this is one of the earliest examples of Israel’s “ethnic cleansing” agenda. In May of 1948 the country of Israel was created, this sparked a regional conflict and caught the attention of the US and the Soviet Union. According to the Palestine Remix “After the tumultuous events of 1948, 150,000 Palestinians remained in Israel and were eventually granted citizenship. However, they were subjected to military rule until 1966. After the conquest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel began its military control over Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”
Now 73 years later, and the mass genocide of Palestians is still as prevalent as it was in 1948. Israel has massacred and destroyed over 540 Palestian towns and villages along with being responsible for the displacement of over 7.2 million Palestian refugees. Media has been silencing the voices of Palestians for years and giving out false information to make sure that their voices stay repressed. Since their voices can’t be heard what can we do?
Step 1 is to educate ourselves. Israeli military occupation has been supported by US aid with $3.8bn a year paid for by our U.S tax dollars since 2016 and for the next 10 years. By sitting quiet and not using our privilege of freedom of speech, we are contributing to being the oppressor towards Palestinians. To learn more about Palestine and their ongoing fight for liberation educate yourself by paying attention, following, and reading any Palestian-led organizations and websites such as https://palestinianyouthmovement.com/ Another way to help is by donating to ongoing fundraisers such as the Save Palestine fundraiser which is being held by @nora.elfadili on Instagram. Her motive for the campaign is to help the children of Gaza by providing meals, education, and empowerment for them.
*Zionist- a supporter of Zionism; a person who believes in the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel