Thursday, August 5, 2010

' Hope and Change ' for Palestine

As many of you no doubt heard, the "Peace Flotilla" to end the siege in Gaza was stopped and the Turkish MV Mavi Marmara attacked by Israeli naval commandos with at least 9 killed and dozens wounded. First of all, Inalilahi wa Inalilaihi Rajioon...our thoughts and prayers go for the dead, the wounded, and their loved ones. But hopefully the story doesn't have to just end here with this tragedy.

Hopefully all of the countries involved with this humanitarian mission (esp. Turkey) will now not only take some concrete actions to protect THEIR sovereignty (including upholding the right to travel in international waters unmolested) and ensure the safety of THEIR citizens (including seeking justice for any transgressions threatening their well-being), but will also help fulfill the aspirations of their brave wounded and fallen countrymen to lift the siege of Gaza.

Hopefully we will see increased diplomatic, economic, and maybe even politico-military pressure on Israel to end both the siege and the occupation from all freedom loving nations of the world.

Hopefully their brave example will inspire millions around the world to finally "walk the walk" and actively take up the cause of Gaza and the Palestinian people. Hopefully, we will see the divestment movement expand. Hopefully the people of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Gulf nations will come together to help ease the suffering and pain of the millions of Palestinian refugees within their borders. Hopefully the people of Egypt will be sufficiently inspired by the staggering courage of these activists to stand up to their dictatorial government and demand and end to its complicity in the submission and starvation of their neighborly brothers and sisters in Gaza (and to fight for their own emancipation from autocracy and tyranny in the process).

In the long run, hopefully the people of powerful Saudi Arabia will begin lobbying their government to take a more active role in ending this six decade long conflict. Hopefully this will be the spark that finally ignites the same type of people power that decisively yet peacefully overthrew British imperialism in South Asia, dismantled the apartheid regime in South Africa, and demolished segregation and Jim Crow in the US.

We might even see more peace convoys than ever before; more ships manned by peace activists from around the world trying to break the siege of Gaza than the Israeli navy has ships to stop them...Insha'Allah their courageous sacrifices will not go to waste.

Hope, not blind hatred from our sense of outrage and righteous moral indignation, is our best anesthetic and weapon now and today she "Hope and Change" mantra rings truer than ever for plight of Palestine and her people.

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