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Oppressed And The Oppressor: The Story Of Palestine

According to Merriam Webster the word “oppressed” means burdened by abuse of power or authority, whereas an “oppressor” is any authority (a group or a person) that uses its power unjustly to keep people under control. These definitions make it look so easy to identify an oppressor but in reality identifying them has become so difficult in case of the ongoing violence against Palestinians. It requires a sense of humanity, something a lot of us lack in present times.

From the Marxist viewpoint, the world is composed of oppressor and oppressed. As Marx himself states in The Communist Manifesto, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

And according Paulo Freire’s theory the difference between the oppressor and oppressed is that the oppressors are those who ‘have’ – in contrast to the oppressed, who have nothing. And this is exactly what is happening in east Jerusalem right now as the Palestinians are being oppressed and denied basic human rights. Israel is acting as the oppressor. The story of this injustice goes down to the independence of Palestine yet a lot of people around the world choose to call it a conflict. It is not a conflict because a conflict is between two equal sides. This is an occupation by a powerful military state, armed and supported by the West, against an impoverished, stateless and displaced people. 

For over 70 years, Israel has subjected Palestinians to systematic human rights abuses, severe discrimination, and deadly military force. About four generations of Palestinian children are being brought up in refugee camps, in chronic poverty, denied the right to return to their family homes. Over a million Palestinians suffer discrimination over access to public services, land and employment. Israel’s siege of Gaza has condemned its 1.9 million inhabitants to poverty and psychological violence. 

And Israel’s separation barrier, which Israel said it built for security reasons but 85 percent of which falls within the West Bank rather than along the Green Line separating Israeli from Palestinian territory, cuts off Palestinians from their agricultural lands and isolates 11,000 Palestinians on the western side of the barrier. This along with the enclosure of Jordan valley has caused hundreds of Palestinians in these areas and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to be forced out of their own land as a result of home demolitions and imposition of other coercive measures.

In the past few days Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians, including nine children all innocent and bombed the one of the holiest sites in the world, the Al-Aqsa mosque and in the blessed month of Ramzan all with the purpose of carrying a planned genocide.

Many people refuse to speak up on the issue on the fact that it is complex ,that their maybe 2 sides of the stories. However there are no two sides.

It is all based on the Zionist ideology to maintain a Jewish majority in Palestine by ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that is carried out over the years through ruthless laws such as Jewish only settlements illegal evictions, bombings, military checkpoints, denying basic rights to Palestinians making them second class citizens in their own country. Some about 2 million people have been under siege in Gaza since 2007 this siege enforced by Israel and Egypt from its border with Gaza backed up by the US. It denies Palestinians access to food, water, medical treatment as well as operating power stations  (households in Gaza receive power between four and five hours a day on average during most of the year) and sanitary facilities. In 2012, the UN released a report predicting that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. In 2017, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities stated that the “unlivability threshold in Gaza has been passed quite a long time ago.”

Since 1967, Israel has imprisoned or detained more than 800,000 Palestinians from the occupied territories. It is said that about 70% of Palestinians have at least one relative detained, most of receive inhumane treatment and are tortured, some 200 have been killed in these actions.

Ray hanania,a former political reporter from Palestine remarks aptly “There have been so many Palestinian deaths over the years that the world has become desensitized to them”. Along with this desenstivity is also the lack of awareness as mainstream media has been totally silent on it and most news is manipulated and changed to deceive people. On social media stories and posts related to  Israel and Palestine  are heavily censored. Many countries remain silent in order to maintain their bilateral relations as they are Israel clients for military merchandise.Israel is the world’s eighth-largest weapons exporter, with India, Azerbaijan and Vietnam its three largest clients Israel is the world’s eighth-largest weapons exporter, with India, Azerbaijan and Vietnam its three largest clients.

Some 30 countries including Pakistan (most of the Muslim )refuse to recognise Israel but  in 2020 four Muslim countries i.e,the united Arab emirates ,Sudan morocco and to a lesser extent Bahrain recognised Israel motivated mostly by narrow interests—including the promise of either advanced weapons or diplomatic favours from the United states. For Palestinians, of course, this amounts to more tragedy and betrayal.

The tale of opression, however does not end with Palestine. It continues in other parts of the world such as war in Yemen, concentration camps where Uighur Muslims are kept, atrocities in occupied Kashmir. Back home we see glimpses of it in the form of illegal evictions, forced settlement, enforced disappearances. Violence and oppression have no geographical bounds.

American lawyer Clarrence Darrow quotes that “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.” Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and so as long as Palestine remains oppressed, the world is devoid of justice.

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Naya Daur