The last few days have seen once again, the waging of asymmetric violence against the Palestinians by Israeli forces. Such egregious acts of violence as those committed by successive Israeli authorities – acts understood anywhere else in the world as war crimes – are brushed over in media and political debate as acts of Israeli ‘self-defence’ against ‘terrorists’.
This cognitive dissonance masks a deeper problem than simply institutional bias, racism and Islamophobia against the Palestinians. Whether through ignorance, racist negligence or deliberate malice, the demonising of the Palestinians and their struggle has the unintended consequence of dehumanising the dehumaniser. No society, whose media and political institutions characterise the Palestinians’ legitimate struggle for freedom as ‘terrorism’, can claim to be free. What domestic injustices must also be normalised by a press and political class so complicit in the oppression of Palestinians?
Nelson Mandela famously said that, “The United Nations took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system…but we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
It is time that the Global North and those of us situated within it realise that none of us are free and none of the countries we live in will truly be, without the freedom of the Palestinians.
It is time to change – at the very least – the way we talk about Palestine, and demand that our media and political institutions do the same.[ENDS].
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
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