For the past month, the globe has had its vision scoped on the ongoing conflict between the apartheid state of Israel and the Palestinian people. Since attacks on October 7, 2023, carried out by the militant political entity Hamas, Israel continues its ethnic cleansing campaign to rid Palestine of its non-Jewish population, or as the state would call it, defending itself.
The far-right Israeli government, under Benjamin Netanyahu, is committing war crimes daily. From destroying infrastructure, with 20 of 36 hospitals reduced to rubble or shut down, cutting off of resources like electricity, food, and water, to the upwards of over 10,000 Palestinian civilians that have been brutally slaughtered… there seems to be no boundary the state will not cross. Innocent citizens: women, the elderly, premature children in need of neonatal intensive care, fathers, mothers and children were all stripped of their lives for “the rightful existence of the Israeli state.” This is genocide. Gaza and the West Bank have been relentlessly bombed for weeks. Israel has used more tons of explosives than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Seems reasonable, right?
While I agree that the Jewish population has a right to its own home just like everyone else, this does not justify the damage and displacement of Palestinians who have peacefully co-existed in this region for decades. The state of Israel is an apartheid state, meaning it is historically a settler colonial project state, much like South Africa was. The Palestinian people have existed in Palestine for centuries before the state of Israel was conceived in 1948. Ever since then, Palestinians have been subjugated to segregation, state brutality, and suppression of their values and beliefs. During Nakba, from 1947–1949, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, comprising around 80% of the Palestinian Arab inhabitants of what became Israel, and the same racism is being expressed today towards the Palestinian people. The fascist campaign never ended.
Israeli officials refuse to call for a ceasefire as they push their agenda forward. Not only does Netanyahu refuse to acknowledge the horrors he and the state are committing, but they have been backed by the United States of America, The United Kingdom, Australia, France, Norway, Austria, Germany, India, Canada and Spain, among other countries. I find this completely absurd. Being a Canadian born and raised on the East Coast, I am disgusted to say I live in a country that supports genocide. My disdain is immeasurable. Canada claims to be one of the world’s most accepting, progressive multicultural countries. How then can we possibly not only justify, but support these disgusting acts of violence. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the destruction. As US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said in her recent statement on November 7, 2023, “I cannot believe I have to say this, but Palestinians are not disposable.” Tlaib, being the only person within the US Congress with an ethnically Palestinian background, is now being condemned by her colleagues and censured by the US government. This is unjust.
The silencing of Palestinians’ voices is, in part, an effort backed by the Israeli state to spread misinformation and propaganda through the fog of war. What can be done to put an end to this far-right coalition? As Canadian citizens, we can become more educated, read and learn instead of taking every piece of information our government and mainstream media give us. We can push back the narrative in the right direction. Palestinians, just like any other ethnic group, have a right to exist peacefully, and what Israel and the countries backing it are supporting is illegal genocide.
I would like to conclude by advocating for an end to the apartheid state of Israel, not the destruction of Israelis or Jewish people at large. The state of Israel is an illegal settler colonial project which has unjustly oppressed and displaced thousands of people in the region. Palestine is meant to be a state where Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, regardless of their ethnicity, can co-exist in harmony as it was long before the birth of Israel. This is what I believe we should all be fighting for.