We will not give up on Gaza. We will not give up on humanity!

For the past seven months, we have been waking up to the news of despair and tragedy in Gaza. An area that has already embodied the definition of injustice, long before October 7th and has been plunged into an abyss many believed impossible in our modern age. Our age of order and compassion, our age of a free press and enlightened politicians, our age of powerful social media influencers who care about the plight of every living thing on our fragile planet, seem to have dwindled or disappeared. We witnessed humanity perfectly exercised towards the refugees of Ukraine with our country extending our arms of friendship and kinship. In unison, we empathised, sympathised, and agreed that all that could be done should be done to protect the civilian population. This sympathy appeared to have reached our friends across the Atlantic where, on a visit to America to the state of Orlando, the first conversation I engaged in with a taxi driver who picked me up from the airport was the concern about the plight of our Ukrainian friends, “ We need to defeat the tyranny of Putin,” he explained. Logically, it would be congruous to believe that the same compassion, the same humanity, and the same love would be extended to the dispossessed, the disadvantaged, and arguably, to those facing an even greater dystopian situation. Gazans are a people with no army, no airforce or a navy, facing one of the most sophisticated military machinery the world has ever seen.

The above-said entities have abandoned the people of Gaza, and the morality of the West has been, possibly, irreversibly lost!

As I write this, relatives of loved ones are exhuming close to three hundred bodies found in shallow graves near the Nasser and Al Shifa hospitals, with reports of some found with their hands tied. The UN has expressed horror, and human rights agencies like Amnesty International are demanding immediate access by neutral observers. Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the Tory party, Oliver Dowden, when questioned by the SNP, Mhairi Black, about the incident, responded by saying, “We will ask the democratic government of Israel”. Yes, that’s right, the arsonists are also the insurance investigators.   

Those of us who are calling out what is happening are vilified and ostracised. In the USA, the ‘Land of the Free’ and the so-called defenders of democracy, unbelievable scenes are unfolding as armed police officers wrestle female professors to the ground (at least two police officers are usually needed), the tasering of unarmed students and shooters being deployed on roofs to strike down peaceful dissenters.

Despite the millions marching peacefully in this country, our home secretary, prime ministers (new and old), our opposition, the media and specific Zionist organisations have embarked upon a relentless crusade to vilify, to obstruct, to provocate and to ban. Although in no way equivalent, the destruction of property and lives in Gaza is being reflected by the destruction of liberty and freedoms in ours. Young children are not allowed to express solidarity with their peers; even a pin-sized badge is seen as an affront and a token of aggression. I had to console a six-year-old who was told to remove her badge, or her mummy would have to pick her up and take her home.  

It appeared nothing we can do or say will make the political and media classes question the actions of the Israeli incursion. We are witnessing such scenes of horror and brutality that no matter what we are doing, everything is tinged with sadness. Yet the sight of distraught, orphaned, wounded children does not invoke any sympathy from our ruling classes. What would make the world see what we are seeing, we ask? The answer came on April 1st when an Israeli drone killed seven brave aid workers. Six of these poor souls were white, five Europeans and one Australian. All distinguished individuals, with some having served our country. The news journalists began taking a severe tone in questioning the well-oiled carousel of Israeli spokespeople. I think I even saw a journalist interrupt an Israeli spokesperson, but I am unsure. I may have been a little confused by the change in tone of the questions.            

Those who wish to divide us for political advantage have attempted to use this tragedy to create further division and discord between communities. Weaponising terms like antisemitism, a heinous prejudice in itself, are used and abused to smear any objector of the actions of the Israeli military. Acts of violence and injustice committed by a state do not reflect the faith of its people; similarly, the opposition to Saudi Arabia’s domestic policies does not make you Islamophobic or calling out India’s rise of nationalism does not make you Hinduphobic. We must not allow anyone to divide us.       

My only solace in this bleak period of history is that despite the unequivocal support given to Israel from media moguls to music maestros, from political leaders to power brokers, the tide of opinion is turning in favour of the truth and the Palestinian people. Our protests, economic sanctioning, and prayers may have had little or some effect. Still, ultimately, I believe the Palestinian peoples’ unshakable strength and dignity are their salvation, and their inner beauty shines through, especially when you see a Palestinian child smile despite their intense suffering.

Our role is to ensure we play our part in keeping their story alive. The terror unleashed on the innocent men, women and children of Gaza dwarfs the injustices being faced by protestors in this country. Our resistance can manifest in various guises. In addition to protesting, we can exercise our freedom of speech by engaging in intellectual and moral debates, economic sanctions, and, ultimately, the ballot box. When it comes to voting in the next general election, we must ensure that those who turned their back on one of the greatest injustices in modern times are told loud and clear we have turned our backs on them.   

Shockat Adam

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