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Five months of pain will not stop Palestinians demanding their rights

A woman sits with a child in a camp for displaced Palestinians, Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Mar. 6, 2024. (Reuters)
A woman sits with a child in a camp for displaced Palestinians, Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Mar. 6, 2024. (Reuters)
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07 Mar 2024 01:03:02 GMT9
07 Mar 2024 01:03:02 GMT9

In the fall of 2023, Israel appeared to be on the cusp of widening its effort to bypass Palestinian rights by means of expanding its normalization process with Arab countries. It had an overwhelming political, financial and military advantage over the entire region. The balance of force seemed to be in its favor, many of the world’s most powerful countries and their media appeared to be in its pocket and its ideological Jewish superiority appeared to be taking center stage at little or no political cost.

Five months ago, all this changed.

The brutal genocidal revenge war on Palestinians after the Oct. 7 “Al-Aqsa Tsunami” operation by the Islamist Hamas movement has devastated Palestine life, especially in Gaza. An entire community has been devastated, hundreds of Palestinian families have been wiped out and an entire press corps, medical staff, artists, writers, women and children have lost their lives. In addition to 30,000 deaths, almost triple that number have been maimed, millions have been forced into internal exile, leaving their now mostly demolished homes to live in tents awaiting a pause or ceasefire to start restoring what is left of their lives. Palestinian cultural and religious structures have been demolished and what little there was of the Gazan economy has been totally devastated.

Palestinians in the West Bank and even in Israel have also suffered from Israeli brutality and vengeance. Prisoners have become the easy target of racist Israeli police ministers and daily life for all Palestinians has been the target of systematic, racist acts of revenge.

The high cost that Palestinians have paid as a result of the Israeli war of revenge has triggered an unprecedented international response. More people know and support the Palestinian cause than ever before, an ad hoc boycott movement has been launched against companies and countries that support the Israeli aggression and a schism has appeared between Israel and its once ironclad Western support.

The high cost of the Israeli war of revenge has triggered an unprecedented international response

Daoud Kuttab

Some countries in the EU have refused to adhere to the fake solidarity that has built up over the years and have come out in solid support of the rights of Palestinians and in opposition to the genocidal war that South Africa has succeeded in litigating in front of the world court.

The huge double standard between the West’s opposition to the Russian war on Ukraine versus its response to the Israeli war on Palestine became the subject of both political and even comical responses around the world.

The Western media, which once boasted of its neutrality, fact-checking and objectivity, became embarrassed at being forced to repeatedly apologize and faced demonstrators shaking this former icon of public service as being just as influenced by government pressure as the other state-run media outlets it used to accuse. The sham of the BBC failing to cover the first day of the South African genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice while broadcasting the Israeli rebuttal and the bias that was exposed at CNN and The New York Times exposed the Western media, which was supposed to be the world’s role model.

The cracks that have been exposed in Western countries and their institutions, including its institutions of faith, were exposed and all efforts to placate the protests of antisemitism have failed to take root. Many Jews in America and other countries not only refused the antisemitism claims, but publicly and heroically stood with Palestinian Muslims and Christians. Efforts by Israel to equate Palestinian resistance with Daesh failed miserably, as the Palestinian flag and Palestine’s rights to self-determination overshadowed all the bogus attacks.

The Palestinian flag and Palestine’s rights to self-determination have overshadowed all the bogus attacks.

Daoud Kuttab

In five months, a political earthquake has taken place, shaking once impenetrable powers and their false excuses, which justified 75 years of Palestinian expulsion, 56 years of occupation and 16 years of an unauthorized siege on Gaza.

However, all that has transpired has so far failed to dislodge some of the blind support for the occupiers and even the unwise actions of some Arab countries, which violated their own commitments not to normalize with Israel before it had withdrawn from the Occupied Territories.

Despite their pain and suffering, the proud Palestinian people and their supporters around the world will shake off the hurt, clean up the carnage left by the brutal occupiers and rise once again to demand freedom from oppression and insist on their right to dignity and equality. Palestinian self-determination is no longer a political slogan — it has become a worldwide demand that cannot simply be ignored or used as political fodder in the lip service of support for the two-state solution or other political jargon void of any genuine belief in it.

Five months ago, Gaza was not known by many people around the world and the goal of Palestinians liberating their land and living in freedom seemed far-fetched. Palestinians have paid a high price for their insistence on their inalienable right and there is no power on Earth today that will stop them from fulfilling their national aspiration to be free.

Daoud Kuttab is an award-winning Palestinian journalist and a director of Community Media Network. X: @daoudkuttab

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