To be in Solidarity is to be Human
By admin November 30, 2016

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Tuesday marked the United Nation’s International Day for Solidarity with the Palestinian People. From Yemen to Syria to Russia and Ukraine, there are struggles for power and domination taking place around the world. World powers and international organizations are stretched thin as they work to manage the political, economic and humanitarian effects of these situations. Linguist and scholar, Noam Chomsky says the following about states, “state formation has been a brutal project, with many hideous consequences. But the result exist, and their pernicious aspects should be overcome.” If state making is indeed horrible, what is it the Palestinians are fighting for then? Humanity. Dignity. Recognition. Legitimacy. Peace. Prosperity. Life. Security. Nutrition.

The Israeli-Palestinian struggle/stalemate/conflict/occupation has persisted for sixty-eight years now, a lifetime for some. The politics of this situation rife with haunts from the Holocaust, the harsh legacies of a colonial past, and the pervasive way by which Western entities view their Arab brothers and sisters mean world powers have the task of constantly crafting the “proper” words and policies to address this issue. But why leave this issue up to states to solve when they have been unwilling and unable to do so for close to seven decades?

The answer to this question involves a serious look at what it means to be in solidarity with something. Individuals from countries around the world have taken it upon themselves to go to Palestine to see what our televisions do not show us. These individuals seldom have any ethnic, cultural or religious ties to the Palestinians, but what they share is humanity. Sharing humanity is solidarity. When we think about how our actions affect others in the world we are exercising solidarity and fulfilling the true qualities of being human. While those of us reading this have the ability to do so because we are fortunate enough to have access to technology, to the English language and to education we should realize we constitute a miniscule percentage of people on this planet who have those capabilities. In this world, the majority of people have experienced overarching tyrannical or colonial oppression and occupation. They struggle for food each day and go many days with none. This is hardly an issue about religion, or terrorism, or one that is even as complicated as our leaders have made it out to be. We can all judge what it means to be human and thereby offer another human being the same respect we would want and expect for ourselves.

When author Mourid al Barghouti said “politics is at the dinner table, it is about who presents themselves at the breakfast table” he was recognizing the enveloping way by which the framework of politics dictates everything, not just what concerns the government. Politics means that many of us shy away from even discussing what is the issue with Palestine and Israel because people think it is offensive, or anti-Semitic or too complicated. On this day though, if no other, think about the following; in 2009 a British-based organization Viva Palestina organized an aid convoy to Gaza. With the help of Italian activists and their counterparts from around the world, they boarded a freight ship headed for Greece full of trucks, medical supplies, food and materials for reconstruction. An Irish activist told reporters that people often ask him why seven Irish men, with no apparent ties to the Palestinian people, drive thousands of miles to deliver goods on behalf of the Irish community. His answer was straight from the heart, “the oppression suffered by the people in Palestine is what happened to the people of Ireland under British tyrannical rule 150 years ago. The people of Ireland have resisted foreign occupation and therefore feel strongly for the plight of the Palestinian people.”

His remarks highlight how many people can work tirelessly for justice for another people for no other reason than because it is in our human duty to do so. This is solidarity. We all need our respective governments to grant us our citizenship and to protect our rights, but when these governments fail to protect us, we have to make sure we care for one another, in a way no intangible entity can or will. With the help of individuals, young and old, liberal and conservative, the Palestinians have hope that their injustice too will end with consistent advocacy for justice and human rights because that is solidarity in its very essence.

For more information:

The Convoy Sets off–Diary Day 1

British Convoy Enters Gaza

Noam Chomsky and Solidarity

United Nations Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Europe’s Solidarity with Palestine

Norm Finkelstein and Solidarity with Palestine

Thanks for sharing !

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