Israeli persecution: History’s ironic repetition

Published: August 11, 2012
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Is what the Nazi’s did to the Jews of Germany different from what the Zionists are doing to the Muslims of Palestine? PHOTO: REUTERS

A young man – a Palestinian national footballer – lay on a bed in hospital. His weak face partially hidden with an oxygen mask while the machine continues to beep every second, matching the thumping of this heart beat; zigzag lines on the screen drawing each second of life left within him. He is critically ill and fighting for his life.

His diagnosis?

A serious illness caused due to a prolonged hunger strike.

Why was this hunger strike more important than his own health, you ask.

The hunger strike was carried out as a form of protest against his detention at the brutal hands of Israel.

It had been three months – since March 24, 2012 – that Mahmoud Sarsak had been refusing food. The 25-year-old was one of more than 2,000 Palestinians held captive in Israeli jails demanding that Israel ends its abusive use of administrative detention – detention without charge or trial.

When we read through our history books, one country or the other has at least one fact to be proud of. Ever since the State of Israel came into existence, it is hard to think of one good thing the nation has to be proud of, depending on what the nation defines as pride.

Keeping people in prisons without basic rights or even without the right to be freed – either by bail or charge – is one of the most barbaric ways to behave. It just goes to show how low the Zionists are willing to go to silence the Palestinians.

As the clock ticks, bulldozers continue to demolish Palestinian homes. They roam freely and illegally across their lands, building settlements along the way. Powerful leaders, of the Western and Arab world, silently watch the cruelty unfold against these people. The Palestinians still protest for their rights – their right to live in their own country without the fear of oppression or persecution – and as soon as the word of achieving freedom passes through their lips, they are silenced by being concealed from the world.

The right to speak up, protest and fight for freedom is something that is a basic to all humans. To take away such rights is not only inhumane but is against International Law as well. It just goes to show what animals the Israelis have become.

It is quite ironic actually.

Wasn’t it the Jewish community that was robbed of basic rights back in the early 1940s in Nazi Germany?

They were robbed of their own identity when they were forced to wear the stars, identifying their Jewish faith. They were also robbed of their right to life, were they not? Freedom of speech was a privilege they did not have nor could they protest the atrocities that took place in the concentration camps.

Rather than learning from that horrific experience, they chose to repeat it with another nation. Consumed by the hatred they felt and the pain and suffering, they ended up becoming something they once hated and despised themselves.

How is what the Nazi’s did to the Jews of Germany any different from what the Zionists are now doing to the Muslims of Palestine?

The plight of these Palestinians protesting against the mighty Israel may go unnoticed now, but it is for us to remember and for them to never  forget that even the smallest person can change the course of history.

Didn’t David – a young boy – defeat Goliath, a huge giant?

Read more by Aneka here or follow her on Twitter @anekachohan

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Aneka Chohan

The author is a freelance journalist and human rights activist. She tweets as @anekachohan (twitter.com/anekachohan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.