Written by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire
Since the beginning of the Palestinian Grand Return March on land Day 30th April, the world has looked on in horror as Israel has killed at least 109 Palestinians and injured thousands of unarmed Palestinians asking to return to their land, and seeking to protect nonviolently what little of their land is left.
The massacre and ongoing slow genocide in Gaza where two million (mostly refugees and mostly youth) are subjected to Israeli government policies that ignore human rights and international law, and implement apartheid and ethnic cleansing policies which goes unchallenged by the rest of the world. We should not allow the Palestinians to be punished by Israel because of what happened to European Jews in the Holocaust during the second world war. Nor should we allow Europe and the Worlds future to be manipulated by the past and the world to be held to ransom by Zionism. For over 70 years anyone who critizes Israeli policies, has been silenced by threats of being anti-semitic and Political Leadership have yet to call Zionism’s bluff and demand they stop the persecution of Palestinian people.
The Middle East and Palestinians should not be made pay with their lives for what happened 70 years ago, and surely at some point in time, Europeans including Germany will have to question how big a price Palestinians must pay through our silence and complicity. For too long anti-semitic accusations have been wielded by Israeli Zionists, as a political weapon to silence anyone who challenges Zionist Policies, and it is widely known and feared in media and politics that to question Israeli policies and be labelled anti semitic, is a possible career ending for anyone with the courage to do so. It is time for the people to wash away the shame and guilt of the second world war and no longer be silent and complicit in the modern day slow genocide of the Palestinian people.
I question myself, is the major underlying problem one of sub-conscious racism towards Palestinians and Muslims? Dehumanization, religion, language, race, have all played a part in the dehumanization of the Palestinian people because they are not western christians. Fear of the unknown and ’the other’ can so easily be fed by unscruplous people for their own purposes, and this leads to violence which can lead to war. The demonization of the Palestinians and other Middle Eastern muslim countries, in readiness for NATOs wars, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and now Iran, is racist, and western interventions to destroy countries and claim their resources continues to be standard western policy. Bombing and intervention by Western powers would never be tolerated in Western countries. Can you image the outcry if Germany, Italy, France, UK had its unarmed civilians held under seige, starved, shot, and gassed for protesting their right to live in their own land and have their rights?
Over 30 years I have hoped, protested and prayed for World powers to come to their senses, and for a genuine peace process, where Israel chooses peace and not confiscated Palestinian land and resources, and to end the Palestinian suffering. Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that Governments are just too afraid and unwilling to stand up to the US and its powerful Israeli lobby, so I encourage everyone to support the ongoing nonviolent resistance of the Palestinian people and the current international grassroots Campaign for Israeli Divestment/Disinvestment against the criminal apartheid regime of Israel.
I extend to the Palestinian people my deepest sympathy on the killing of their sons and daughters and the continuing occupation and seizing of their land by Israel. I thank them for their courage and sacrifice to challenge injustice and the latest inhumanity perpetrated upon them by Israeli/USA Gov., policies. Though our hearts are aching watching your suffering, we take hope from the Palestinian peoples brave struggle and pray your hearts will not be hardened by injustice and suffering, but remain at peace and your struggle nonviolent and true to the great spirit of the Palestinian people.
MAIREAD MAGUIRE (NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE)
16th May, 2018 www.peacepeople.com