“The occupation makes it very difficult for us to live.”
I take a deep breath as I see this text in a Google translator, inputted there by my teacher.
I look at him, I nod.
I tell him that I understand – as much as a white foreigner from Eastern Europe can.
Our language capabilities are too low for us to talk about Palestine with the depth it deserves, but this basic translation does it. It’s a painfully good summary.
It’s also a summary of why the protests in and outside of Palestine continue.
Because not much has changed.
Nothing has improved.
It seems like quite the opposite.
The election of Israel’s far-right PM Naftali Bennett, him breaking the ceasefire with Hamas, and the “Death to Arabs”/Flag March: how can this be seen as any kind of progress? If yes, we must ask: progress for whom?
In my previous podcast episode, I talked about impunity that surrounds what we’re seeing in Palestine. Here, impunity is not a ‘side effect’ of certain policies; it IS the policy.
In the past weeks, we’ve seen so much violence all over Palestine. Well, the violence is always here – how else can a military occupation be sustained? – it is the seeing part that might be new.
We’ve seen kids killed by Israeli forces.
We’ve seen residents of Sheik Jarrah attacked.
We’ve seen Palestinians forcibly removed from Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.
In short, colonialism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, military occupation, and a siege continue.
Because of all of this, I encourage you to continue speaking out against Israel’s actions.
To share posts, articles, sign petitions, and boycott companies that benefit from this occupation.
And if you can do it from the comfort of your home, with no foreign army policing your actions, I hope you choose to do it.
Because, remember, the occupation makes it very difficult for us to live.
Because, to use the language of some hashtags you might have seen and hopefully used,
Sheikh Jarrah is not saved.
Lifta is not saved.
Beita is not saved.
Silwan is not saved.
Jerusalem is not saved.
Palestine is not saved.