Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The content of the Wall
Last week the Muslim Student Union argued for justice in the Holy Land, speaking out about the unjust Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, whether Christian or Muslim. An example of this was the incredible cruelty perpetuated by the checkpoint system, which has made the West Bank a virtual open-air prison, while contributing to the many unnecessary deaths of newborn infants and mothers, who are denied access to hospitals and give birth while waiting for security clearance.
What was shocking to see, however, was that supporters of the Israeli state called grave injustices such as these "unfortunate" rather than condemning them - in fact, blame was shifted from the oppressive policy of Israel to the democratically elected government which "refused to raise the conditions of their people." The Muslim Student Union here at UCI condemns with the harshest terms the senseless killing of innocent civilians, especially children, no matter what side that they happen to be born. However, Israelis stop short of criticizing just one policy of the Israeli government and instead point the finger right back at the Palestinian government. This is blatant hypocrisy on the part of the Zionists.
Another common argument we heard by Israeli supporters was that the information posted on the mock Apartheid Wall was false propaganda. Did they think the pictures of the children with bullets through their bodies were misportrayed? Did they think that the stories of the children dying on their way to school were made-up? Did they think there were fake pictures of Americans from the International Solitary Movement killed by racist Israelis? No, obviously the information was there for everyone to see - but most Zionists were blind to the facts, most of their hearts did not move, most of their tongues could not utter a single word of criticism of the Israeli government.
Finally, we received a lot of positive feedback from many students who thanked us for shedding some light on the issue, and we are proud to say that we will continue to speak out against injustice wherever it may be. Yet some said that the wall and the whole theme of the week was simply to curse the Israelis and did nothing to promote Palestinian culture. The purpose of the week is simply to educate the students who do not receive any kind of fair and balanced news coverage of the dire situation in the Holy Land. It is to have students start to challenge the status quo of what is around them, and to tell them that there are many people out there who are not afraid to speak out about the apartheid occurring in the Holy Land. It is to tell them that sadly, apartheid and all its racist policies IS the Palestinian culture that is being forced upon them.
The Palestinians are living where culture, freedom, and movement is suppressed and terror is an everyday emotion. When the Palestinians are finally recognized as equal human beings to the Israelis, then that is when there will be freedom in the region where Jews, Christians, and Muslims will live together in peace just as they did for hundreds of years prior to the establishment of Israel.