Cloud of Gloom

The reason for a separate homeland for the Jewish people does not lie entirely in the persecution they have faced; rather, it lies in the land itself.

By Fathima Sheikh | November 2023

To fully understand the Israel and Palestine conflict, we must delve into the history and divinity of the holy land. In recent history, Palestine was a former Ottoman territory that, after the First World War, came under the British mandate by the League of Nations in 1922. While it remained a mandate, there were massive Jewish migrations from Eastern Europe, and the land began to become heavily populated by Jews.

This led to an Arab resistance, causing the 1937 rebellion, and after WW2, the issue was passed over to the United Nations. The UN axed the previous mandate and divided the region into two parts: one for the Jewish homeland, which gained independence in 1948 under the name of Israel, and the other for the Palestinian Arabs, inclusive of all religions, predominantly Muslims. Upon its independence, later called the First Nakba, Israel annexed Palestine further and began to control most of Jerusalem.

Thereof, tensions remained in the region, but it wasn’t until 1967, the Six-Day War, when Israel further seized the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, that severe displacement of Palestinians began. Between 1987 and 1993, also known as The First Intifada, there was further land grabbing by Israel as rebellion on both sides grew— Israel, aided by the US, and Palestine, backed by Syria and Egypt, sought to be assisted by Russia, levied violence on each other and Israel further grasped more land within the Palestinian territory. The Second Intifada began with peaceful Palestinian protests that resulted in the Israeli Defense Force shooting civilians and began a tirade from 2000 till 2003. After this, there was a momentary ceasefire; however, between 2008 and 2014, numerous wars in Gaza resulted in more land grabbing and evacuations of Palestinian homes. The frequency of Palestinian uprooting began to rise drastically in 2021 when the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood came under attack, and parallel to all this, the IDF continuously restricted access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, known as a Holy site for Muslims.

However, recently, in October 2023, one day after Yom Kippur, the Israeli army claims there was a ‘massive surprise attack by Hamas’ that has led them to retaliate aggressively and unveil the violent warfare they have begun against the Palestinian civilians. Israel has, up until now, murdered approximately 5,000 and dislocated about 1.2 million Palestinian civilians. It has also evacuated almost all Palestinians from the North of the Gaza Strip to take control and vowed to seize the entire territory of what is left of the country. While Israel tells you it’s being attacked, Palestine shows you the massacre as it unfolds before our eyes. Bloodied Palestinians with terrified children, wounded women, and dead men are visible across all social media platforms, portraying a reality far from the narrative fed to us by the pro-Zionist agenda. Scenes of war that are unimaginable, distraught children who have lost siblings and parents are normalised under the illusion that Hamas is just as powerful and violent as the IDF when, in fact, the power imbalance is visible. Israel has a stockpile of 80 and 400 nuclear weapons and inhabits one of the world’s strongest armies and allies. Unfortunately, the Palestinians only have insurgents, activists, protestors, and no substantial weapons or allies. Their courageous struggle to voice injustice and suffering is the only power that has become a de-sensitised and fetishised cultural reality everyone taps into when they feel necessary.

In recent news, Sari Bashi of Human Watch has claimed that ‘Israel is bombing refugees who have nowhere else to go,’ globally, on X, the hashtag #CeaseFireNow is trending number one; Jewish people across the world outside Israel have condemned these atrocious war crimes and people, in large numbers across the United States, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan and many other countries have flooded the streets to protest Israel’s continuous bombing. How much more visible could war ever be? Who is on the wrong side of history? How can these Zionist Jews claim to be ‘God’s chosen people’ when they behave in the most ungodly manner? Who is to attain this mass ethnic cleansing? These anxieties linger against the violence and silence.

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