Free Palestine Melbourne - Freedom and Justice for Palestine and its People.

Struggle between justice and violence

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Dr Adel Yousif wants more done for Palestine ‘I THINK it is true that the fate of the world depends on the people of Israel,” the Canadian psychologist and “anti-woke” self-help guru Jordan Peterson told a cheering Jerusalem crowd in October.

Peterson’s affection for Israel, which is shared by Republicans in the United States, former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, and our very own former Liberal senator Eric Abetz, who described Israel as “an oasis in the desert” (The Mercury, Dec 4, 2022), has become a theme of conservatives around the world. This is in spite of Israel’s well known record of brutal colonisation, disposition of indigenous Palestinians, extrajudicial killings and arrests, administrative detention, home demolitions, apartheid, racism and daily incessant violence against Palestinians.

In the meantime, progressives have been mobilising in solidarity with the Palestinian people. In January 2022, more than a hundred artists withdrew from the Sydney Festival over its decision to accept funding from the Israeli embassy. In August, the University of Melbourne Student Union, citing “the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians”, called on the university “to participate in an academic boycott of Israeli institutions, researchers, and academics to be in harmony with the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) as a contribution towards upholding international law.

In October (2022), B’Selem, Israel’s largest human rights organisation, published Not a “vibrant democracy”. This is apartheid. According to the report, both Jewish and non-Jewish Palestinians throughout the whole of Israel and the Occupied Territories are governed by a single regime that “operates according to a single organising principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Israelis of the Jewish faith – over another – Palestinians.” Israel practices a permit system that restricts the movement of Palestinians very similar to the pass system of the former apartheid regime in South Africa. Controlling the lives of the Palestinian people with 101 different permits for business, study, religious purposes, spouses, access to hospitals, funerals even family visits. Furthermore, Israel is non-compliant with over 40 Security Council resolutions, and 100 UN General Assembly resolutions, making it the most reprimanded country in the history of the United Nations.

In order to separate the Palestinians from the city centre, Israel has built a 202km “Separation Barrier” through the heart of Jerusalem (the Berlin Wall was 155km).

While those on the Israeli side of the wall live in a cosmopolitan paradise of wine bars, shopping malls and hot yoga studios, those on the Palestinian side live in over-policed ghettos, where the air is permanently polluted with the fumes of uncollected burning rubbish, sewage flows in streams across potholed roads, and dilapidated classrooms are frequently filled with over a hundred children.

When Eric Abetz describes Israel as an oasis in the desert, and Jordan Peterson presents a segregated holy city as a model upon which the world depends, they are peddling a future of walls and militarised borders in which those displaced by colonisation, violence, dispossession, racism and apartheid are criminalised by those who perpetrate this injustice upon them.

The American civil rights activist and philosopher Angela Davis in 2019 stated: “Black people, especially, owe a great deal to Palestinians, who have been struggling for decades and decades and refuse to give up.” When asked why she supported the BDS boycott of Israeli government and institutions, Angela said “They are an inspiration to people who are fighting for freedom everywhere on the planet”.

Like the fight of the indigenous people of South Africa against apartheid, the struggle for Palestine is a struggle between justice and violence, apartheid, racism on the other.

Australia has had to face its own dark past of colonisation, and has justly endeavoured to address the related intergenerational effects, still felt to this day by the Indigenous Aboriginal people of this land Lutruwita (Tasmania). It is therefore a wonder that Eric Abetz will not see clear to show heart, compassion by the denouncing or at least dissociating himself from Israel. Dr Adel Yousif, Palestinian Hobart Academic

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Article source: Hobart Mercury

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000

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