My opinions are mine and mine alone; they are NOT meant to represent any other’s opinion but my own. Because I am an individual. Because I have my own background and my own upbringing and my own history. Because I have my own personal tragedies and my collective inherited tragedies. Because I made my own experiences in life, and I lived my own culture and religion and political situation. My opinions are my own, so since we live in a democratic society, allow me to voice my opinions, without being deemed to fear losing my Aufenthaltstitel and therefore my Job.. community.. the life I love and cherish … give me my freedom of speech, without fear having drastic consequences!
No one should celebrate the death of civilians. No one should support the kidnapping of innocent people.. innocent children. NO ONE! I would never cheer a group like Hamas or agree with the way it fights occupation. But why do we have to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the oppressed? Nowhere is this more apparent than in the long-standing tragedy of Palestine.
The “civilised” world, having claimed moral superiority, rebukes the inhumanity of those whose humanity they have systematically denied for generations. It is a people whose existence they have sought to obliterate through relentless acts of murder, dispossession, and ethnic cleansing.
Have we ever walked a mile in their shoes? Or dared to imagine what it’s like to exist as a 16-year-old born into an open-air prison, where the ominous thunder of bombs punctuates our daily life, where drones and jets replace the clear blue skies, and where every step we take is scrutinised by an all-seeing, AI-powered military force? Can we fathom the despair of enduring hunger, no electricity, no clean water and no heat, all not due to natural disasters or poverty but because of a cruel, racist, man-made blockade?
Do we imagine being born into having no-rights… into a reality where some US-American nationals or British nationals have seized our lands and our homes and settled in it, living mere metres away from us, revelling in a paradise of privileges, while we are relegated to the margins of life? How does it feel when we’ve been stripped of everything we once owned, of the very essence of who we are and could have become if given the chance? What would our life look like when “normalcy” equates to death, terror, apartheid, air raids, bloodshed, and ceaseless destruction?
What would we do after the sight of baby brother’s insides exposed after he got killed when an Israeli rocket targeted our home or witnessing little sister lose her eye and limp in an explosion?
How does it feel knowing our future is non-existent, our past is being rewritten by those who control the narrative, and our present is a precarious tightrope walk between survival and the abyss of violence?
As the leaders in the “civilised” world condemn the killing of innocents, they act as if the violence of the oppressed could only target the guilty in their fortified compounds. They endorse and legitimise only their preferred brand of brutality: ethnic cleansing concealed in legal formalities, so-called “targeted” massacres facilitated by cutting-edge technology, the legal detention of children, inhumane blockades, and embargoes. Conveniently overlooking the stains on their own hands and the hands of their alt-right counterparts leading the Apartheid State of Israel, soaked in the blood of the innocent civilians from both sides.
Have we all forgotten that the Israelis starting their own “spring” in the past two years? Have we forgotten all the reports from human rights organisations unveiling Israel’s war crimes and Apartheid?
In their skewed narrative, attacking a police station in Israel is labelled as terrorism, while bombing a hospital in Gaza is an act of self-defence. The “civilised” world, is a world where a British Foreign Secretary endorses the war crime of collective punishment through starvation, and the German Chancellor remains notably silent on international human rights violations, repeatedly asserting that the Zionist state of Israel has the right to take any measures against the Palestinian occupied civilians.
Those who denounce Hamas’s actions today are the same voices that condemned the unarmed demonstrations at the Gaza border fence in 2018, where 223 Palestinians perished without a firearm in their hands. They criminalise the peaceful BDS campaign, a non-violent means to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. They deny the Palestinian Authority the right to seek redress at the International Court of Justice. They demand, instead, that the Palestinian people accept their own historical marginalisation and die silently.
Amidst this turmoil, I am confronted with these distressing images of murdered infants and the anguished cries of traumatised children. It sears my soul and leaves an indelible mark on my conscience to witness this happen again and again. Leaving me in a state of profound grief and disbelief. The images and videos we receive every day from Palestine are deeply distressing. None of us feel well as we watch from afar the ongoing genocide being perpetrated against our people, while the world watches, spreading gruesome lies about us in the media. These lies perpetuate our dehumanisation and normalise our deaths.
Palestinians in Gaza find themselves forced to photograph and take videos of their dead and of their horror and share them on social media as a grim documentation of this ongoing genocide, the harsh and painful truth that they are suffering daily. We all can witness the unfiltered massacre, the one that remains hidden from the headlines. I refuse to remain a passive observer as my people endure the relentless assault of internationally illegal chemical weapons. While I often hear Western voices and politicians advocating for their annihilation, adding to the gravity of the situation.
I am forced to witness propagandist narratives and the proliferation of fabricated information in western press outlets that are traditionally trusted and respected sources of information. Narratives diverting attention from the real crises and pressing concerns. The exhaustion that engulfs me daily is overwhelming, borne from the obligation to combat falsehoods and engage in conversations that detract from addressing the actual issues.
As a Palestinian in Berlin, I grapple with the stark reality that Palestinians are penalised en masse solely based on their identity. It’s disheartening to witness the toleration of police brutality and racism within this society, driven by a misguided assumption that we who identify as Muslims or Arabs share identical beliefs. This ingrained mindset reeks of racism and prejudice. I am told to “return to where you come from” simply because I dare to critique even the smallest aspect of politics or societal imperfections. It’s vital to recognize that my critique emerges from active engagement within this society, and in a democratic setting, shouldn’t we encourage open dialogue and civil discourse instead of stifling dissenting voices?
From the “civilised” world, the Palestinian people are offered nothing but the silencing of their voices, the tacit approval of their deaths, or at best, deafening silence.
Perhaps it’s time for the epiphany to strike, especially among the well-meaning adherents of social democracy, those whose own history is tainted with the blood of colonial and imperial violence. If you cannot stomach the violence of the oppressed, then it is high time to halt the oppressor.
SAVE GAZA. FREE PALESTINE.
This is an updated version of an article by a member of Feminist Bloc | Palestine Speaks which we published on theleftberlin last week