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Mahmood OD Group

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Sometimes I feel like giving up...

This world is unjust. It always has been. Seeing horrors day in and day out takes a toll on a person. Especially when we see that the world’s powers do as they wish, applying double standards, ignoring international laws and norms when it suits them, and placing a lower value of life on others. Those of us who believe in peace and justice may be great in numbers, but we have far less power and fewer resources than the oppressors.

I’m not one to live in blissful ignorance. Even in my youth when the Bosnia genocide and Rwanda genocide were taking place, I was saddened and distressed. Even as a kid I realized that the world was a pretty messed-up place.

With Palestine-Israel in particular, we’ve seen for decades that Israel has been able to act with impunity. Far from being held accountable, Israel has received diplomatic and military backing from the likes of the US, UK, and Germany. Its propaganda is widespread, and its brutality is endless.

Britain issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, effectively promising Historical Palestine to the Zionist movement, as if Britain had any right to give away another people’s land. In 1947, the United Nations partitioned Palestine, giving away more than half the country to less than half the population, all against the will of the people actually living there.

Over the decades, Israel has continued to usurp land from Palestinians, demolishing their homes and replacing them with Jewish-only settlements. Israel has arrested and detained thousands of Palestinians, including children, holding them in “administrative detention” without charge and without trial. Israel has dropped tens of thousands of bombs on Gaza.

The situation seems hopeless. Can things ever get better? Can there ever be justice? Without justice, how will there ever be a lasting peace?

Sometimes I wonder if we should just give up. But I don’t think we can.

I watched a video of a child in Gaza being treated for injuries at the hospital. He couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 years old. The doctor told him not to be scared, and his response was, “I’m not the one to be afraid.”

I’ve also seen videos of babies being rescued in Gaza, and somehow they appear so calm and serene despite being surrounded by a bunch of strangers trying to save them. In some cases one or both of their parents were killed by Israeli airstrikes. Who knows how long they were alone before being found.

I watched another video in which a child was trapped under rubble, all scrunched up. A man found him and called for others to help rescue the boy. The boy said the blood wasn’t running in his legs. It looked like such a painful position to be in. Yet, he wasn’t crying, panicking, or screaming.

What is it that gives Palestinians such resilience? When we see a nation whose children teach us grown-ups how to be strong, what right do we have to give up?

Even if we are physically tired, emotionally drained, and overwhelmed, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what Palestinians must be feeling. As long as there is hope of Palestinian children being free and having a brighter future, we must continue to fight. We must not give up. This is far from over.



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