By Labaran Yusuf, firstname.lastname@example.org
The reckless decision by the Trump administration (that was rejected by most capitals and organizations) to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the settler-state of Israel, a state established on occupation and now the moving of the US embassy to the city with historical, religious and political significance – that has always been a prominent symbol for its inhabitants, the Palestinians and their cause; not to talk of the Arab and Muslim world at large on the day Palestinians mark 70 years since they were expelled from their homes (the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”) is nothing more than what I come to regard as the provocation of the century.
The embassy move clearly shows the US is not and has never been an honest broker to the imaginary two-state solution charade, or what is supposed to be a “peace process” that has only seen the apartheid Israeli regime imposed facts on the ground and continue to systematically use institutionalized violence to tear-gas schools, arrest children, demolish homes, execute journalists, night-raid neighborhoods, and kill and maim the elderly, women and children in broad daylight.
The violence against peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza during the Great March of Return over the past weeks that has killed over 100 with another 12,000 injured is clear example of US-backed Israeli oppression of the Palestinians that has been ongoing for more than half a century.
From Land’s Day massacre (or “Gaza’s Passover massacre” as some people termed it), a fish-in-a-barrel-type spree that saw at least 17 Palestinians been killed by Israeli snipers using high-velocity bullets on March 30; to the Nakba Day massacre that saw an even higher number of Palestinian protesters, no fewer than 60, killed while protesting the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem on May 14. Israel is doing what many analysts compare to what the apartheid South African regime did in Soweto on June 16, 1976 – the killing of scores of unarmed black students who marched defiantly in defense of their freedom, dignity, and land.
As Andrew Mitrovica, an investigative reporter and journalism instructor writes, “Gaza is Soweto revisited. The anger inside and outside Soweto was just and righteous. The anger inside and outside Gaza is just and righteous, too’.
The salt added to the Palestinians’ non-healing injury was not only marking of the Nakba with a new catastrophe but the fact the mainstream media attempted masking Israel’s crimes by referring to the peaceful protests as “clashes”. The mainstream media’s willingness to transmit Israeli propaganda as credible information according to Belen Fernandez (author of the Imperial Messenger) “beautifully underscores the degenerate nature of the ‘news’ industry, which instead of speaking truth to power speaks untruths on behalf of power”.
How on earth could what transpired on the edge of Gaza be “clashes”? When you have one side, the aggressive side with a monopoly on violence – use high-powered weapons from a comfortable distance to kill the other side’s men, women, journalists, paramedics, the old and children – that were armed with nothing but stones, tyres, flags, cameras and their voice.
As Hamid Dabashi, a Professor at Columbia University argued, “To clash is to confront with demonstrably equal force – two swords clash, two punches clash, two armies clash – a live bullet does not ‘clash’ with a defenseless body. A bullet pierces through and wounds and kills (does not ‘clash’ with) a body”.
When will the international community deem it fit to defeat apartheid once again after White South Africa? And also, when will the people of conscience halt the self-styled “Great deal maker” Donald Trump from implementing his megalomaniac so-called “deal of the century”, that is so far marked with chaos, confusion, and bloodshed?
Yusuf is freelance writer and researcher based in Jos.