‘Let’s remember the struggles of the Palestinians’

Published: 5/16/2019 3:00:44 PM

May 15 is a double-edged anniversary. On this day in 1948 the state of Israel came into being on land inhabited by Palestinians. Palestinians call it the “Nakba,” the catastrophe.

Seventy-one years later, the legacy of that day endures. Israel denies Palestinians self-determination and the rights of citizenship. Israel’s security rests on military power, and the support of the United States. Its government displays the hubris which the Hebrew prophets warned against.

Palestinians have watched the West Bank and East Jerusalem fill up with illegal settlers and Gaza endure pounding after pounding. A free Palestine continues to exist as a dream for a third and fourth generation of exiles. The conditions for Palestinians within the occupied territories are such that people around the world are calling Israel an apartheid state. The BDS campaign (Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment) serves as an organizing tool for opponents of the occupation. The Israeli government and its allies worldwide, knowing full well the power of this tactic in reforming South Africa, are doing their best to have the strategy ruled illegal.

The people of Gaza have been protesting for the right of return, every Friday for over a year now. The Israeli army has deployed snipers against this largely peaceful protest. Over 200 Palestinians have been shot dead; 30,000 have been wounded. Hundreds survive as amputees due to the damage caused by military ammunition.

Peace, as prophets tell us, depends on justice. Force can prolong injustice but it cannot achieve peace. On this May 15, let’s remember the struggles of the Palestinians and their determination to be free. Let’s work to establish a new date when both Israelis and Palestinians can genuinely celebrate.

John Hoffman


For Franklin County Justice for Palestine

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