Palestinian Existence is Resistance!

What the Martyrdom of Palestinian Children Demands

– Pierre Soublière –

During the weekend of August 5-7, Israel once again bombarded the Gaza Strip, killing at least 46 Palestinians, including 16 children and four women. Three hundred and eleven Palestinians were reported wounded in the attack. The Israeli army has claimed that it targeted 140 positions in Gaza.

Coinciding with the deadly Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Israeli Jewish settlers raided the Al-Asqua Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, August 7, protected by a large number of Israeli police.

Monopoly media in Canada and abroad presented these crimes against humanity as a legitimate defensive response with headlines which read: "Confrontations Continue in Israel and the Gaza Strip," "Violence on the rise" and the like. However, these attacks are part of untold acts of violence and expulsions which have been ongoing since the Nakba and have increased since last May. This interpretation of reality is similar to that of an Israeli spokesperson speaking at the UN Security Council in May, blaming her government's own violence on the Palestinian people themselves, calling those who defend themselves and protest the crimes of the occupier "Palestinian terrorists" and claiming that "tensions" exist because of a "culture of hate and of hostility spread in Palestinian children school books over decades."

The right to be of Palestinian children is not learned in books. It belongs to them by virtue of their being human and the ongoing occupation whereby children such as themselves are arrested, imprisoned, tortured and killed redoubles their longing for justice and peace and their conviction and love for a free Palestine.

Current attacks took place as Israel is going ahead with its plans to build 4,000 housing units in what it called the "zone C colonies" of the occupied territory of the West Bank, as well as the destruction of Palestinian houses and structures and the expulsion of 1,200 Palestinians. In April, the UN Human Rights Council passed a number of resolutions on the human rights of Palestinians, reaffirming the inalienable, permanent and absolute right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and calling upon Israel, as the Occupying Force, to immediately end its occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and to lift all obstacles to the political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Palestine. One of these resolutions requires of Israel that it immediately end all its settlement activities in all of the Palestinian Territory and occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

These resolutions, as clear as they are, were not part of any considerations of the Canadian government when, in July, it published a report titled "The Rise of Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremism in Canada" in which it rejects the "demonization" and "delegitimization" of the State of Israel and condemns all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups, or individuals, including university campus associations, to promote these "views," both at home and abroad. There is a definite resemblance between this statement and that of Israel on "hate culture." The same as Israel, the Canadian government presents a fraudulent history and ignores the numerous resolutions adopted at the United Nations, condemning Israel for its violations of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

Facts are facts, not "views" designed to "spread hatred." In 2004, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees denounced the intrusion into its offices by Israeli Defense Forces, who had fired in the direction of one of the agency's international collaborators, who was held for three hours, handcuffed and blindfolded. Two years earlier, the former head of the agency, Iain Hook, was shot to death by an Israeli soldier. Recently the Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces, for which Israel authorities refused to render account, once again blaming Palestinians themselves for her death. Denouncing her death and demanding justice is not a "hate crime."

Street in Ramallah named after journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, August 13, 2022.

This is the total disregard of Israel for the decisions of the international community, for human rights and for the most basic international norms which the Canadian government permits in the name of high ideals. The list of their disregard for the most basic norms of human behaviour is long, and this is what the Canadian government seeks to obscure with its stories of "demonization" and its efforts to stop facts from being known and justice from prevailing. This must not pass!

It is truly condemnable and cowardly to try to quell the voice of the brave Palestinian people, whether in Palestine or the diaspora. The Palestinian community in Canada, in Quebec and throughout the world has shown every time that it will never be silenced. No justice and freedom-loving person can accept nor allow repressive and obscurantist measures which support criminal activity and try to put off the day when the State of Israel will be held accountable to the international community.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 8 - August 17, 2022

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