Friday, March 09, 2012

Ramzy Baroud: Redefining Our Relationship to A People's Struggle

Hana Shalabi is every Palestinian woman. (Alternative News)
"It is time that we redefine our relationship to the Palestinian struggle. We are not helpless outsiders; we are enablers of this moral travesty that translates into untold daily suffering of millions of people. Our silence is a blank check to the groveling politicians to continue to plead at the feet of the ever-demanding pro-Israeli lobby.

Ordinary Palestinians need true solidarity, not preaching of violence and non-violence; they have utilized the latter for nearly a hundred years. They need us to morally divest from Israel, as opposed to standing half way between the oppressed and the oppressor. They need us to overcome our tendencies of intellectual elitism or any sense of moral ascendancy. They don’t need of us to play the role of the lecturer. They need us to truly listen. To genuinely comprehend. To earnestly act.

This is not a conflict concerning religion. It is not about politics. It’s about rights. About people with history so rooted in the land, their land – for, who else has planted the ancient olive groves of their ancestors? They need us to remember their names, their stories, and to constantly consider that behind the headlines there are people with faces, with untold courage and humanity, aching for justice and lasting peace: Suheil, Hana, Adnan and Bassam and millions others, some passed away and others are yet to be born.

Before we speak of ‘solutions’ to the ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict,’ I believe that we must first resolve our own dilemma by divesting, first, morally, then by every other mean, from an occupation that runs counter to any true conception of true humanism.

It was Desmond Tutu who once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Where do we stand from this conflict, on the side of the armed Brooklyn settler, and the US-armed Israeli soldier? Or on the side of the bearded old man holding tightly on his broken olive branches in a mix of despair, yet hope, however slight, that someone somewhere cares enough?

The choice is yours, but the consequences of your choice could redefine history."
Read the whole article here.

Comment:  This article is a speech given by Ramzy Baroud at Israeli Apartheid Week conferences in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, Canada on March 5 and 6, 2012.

The article is published in The Palestinian Chronicle (March 6).


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