Stories about Palestine

No Israel, you cannot use rape as a war weapon

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has brought out what seems to be the misogynist, the racist and the overall hate in everyone. There are people who have asked Hitler to return and then there are people like Bill Maher who recently called Gaza ‘a crazy woman’. Then there is the Israeli professor who says the best way to fight wars is to rape women. How I wish that was a line from The Onion. How I wish it was a politically incorrect joke made by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live. Or something some crazy extremist had said somewhere where they were still flogging women in the streets. Unfortunately for ...

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Should Malala be blamed for Gaza too?

Consider this: Pakistan is in the midst of a war on terror. Swat is in control of Maulana Fazlullah, who is now the chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Radio is banned, schools have been forced shut and a barbaric (read: Taliban’s) Sharia law has been imposed. In all this, a brave 12-year-old risks her life to tell the world what girls like her are going through. Fast forward two years. Her blogs on BBC and activism for the cause of education infuriates perpetrators of terrorism who attempt to assassinate her. She survives against all odds, and has now won many accolades and awards for her work and ...

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6 Pakistanis who think Israel is their problem

I feel bad and a little guilty saying it, but I’m not interested in the Palestinian crisis. There, I said it. * Exhale * I don’t understand this outpouring of emotions for Palestine on Facebook. How come there weren’t any well designed posters shared on Facebook when 10 people were shot by police forces in Model Town, Lahore? Why wasn’t Facebook overwhelmed with emotional anti-Taliban visuals when they attacked Karachi airport? Were we sleeping earlier or are we just tuned to only hate Israel? Do things going kaboom in our backyard not make us flinch? Or are we afraid of criticising the Taliban because they might be ...

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Palestine cannot agree to a Jewish state

For months, US Secretary of State John Kerry had been involved in the strenuous task of achieving the famous ‘Two State Solution’. This meant the co-existence of a Jewish democratic state alongside a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem being the shared capital between the two. Unfortunately, and quite predictably, this project exceeded its announced deadline, and we were left with another stalemate of a situation with no end to the hostilities and a severe political deadlock. One of the fundamental demands by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) outright rejected ...

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Glorifying Hitler will not help Gaza!

The death toll of the latest Israeli military operation in Palestinian Gaza has soared to 121 Palestinians. These Palestinians aren’t the ‘terrorists’ Israel is aiming to target; one of Israel’s airstrikes hit an NGO working for handicapped Palestinians, killing three handicapped patients and a nurse. While, of course, Israel will justify this latest crime by claiming it only ‘retaliates’ for the 680 rockets it says have been fired from Gaza. In fact, in a new level of incredibly twisted politics, the British prime minister, David Cameron, and US president, Barack Obama, have made statements of irrevocable support of the Israeli operation, with Venezuela and ...

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Are we supposed to stop caring about Palestine?

Blood seeps from a man’s face, his features rendered unrecognisable by the beating he took from that merciless iron rod a few days back. A baby is snatched from the arms of his mother and mercilessly killed under the pretence that he might have ended up becoming a ‘terrorist’ in the future. Fathers are slain, brothers are tortured and mothers, sisters and daughters are raped. This is how an average day looks like for a Palestinian. And now, their land is being trampled upon by a bully of an establishment that is bombing it continually and endlessly. What was once a glorious country has ...

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Israel, Palestine and a lifetime of violence

The past few weeks have seen a sharp rise in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, following the tragic death of three Israeli teenagers and the consequent revenge killing of a Palestinian teen. The ultra nationalist zeal instigated by these recent events has led to a potentially catastrophic situation with a looming threat of an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza strip. By Wednesday, Israel had carried out close to a hundred airstrikes that had resulted in the deaths of over 80 Palestinians. Similarly, Hamas had fired over 300 rockets into Israel during the same period and called all Israelis “legitimate targets”. As the escalations increase ...

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Every Jew is not a Muslim foe!

At the very outset of this blog, I would appeal to the readers to be open-minded. To label, without any basis, all Jews outspoken in favour of tolerance to Muslims or vice versa, of having some hidden agenda or being sponsored by vested interests, is similar to a non-Muslim making such a generalisation for all tolerant Muslims. Being an Indian Hindu, writing on this topic, I ought to clarify that I am far from being an Islamophobe, nor am I an uncritical admirer of the Israeli state. I have written this article only out of a commitment to world peace. Some say that ...

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Lessons from Abbas Town: Stick together, whether you are Shia or Sunni

In a town where Shias and Sunnis had lived together peacefully for years, worshipped just down the street from one another, played cricket and often sat together in the evenings to chat, a sign survived amongst the rubble which read in Urdu, “A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim.” It symbolised the brotherhood of the town’s Shias and Sunnis. It was such a town in Karachi, home to outspoken women and communal harmony that was struck by terror one year ago today. “It looks like Israel bombarded Palestine,” exclaimed one man from Abbas Town as residents had approached Hamid Mir with one heart-wrenching account ...

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Shahzaib Bajwa: More than just a name in the papers

A few months ago, I wrote a piece that appeared on this site about my experience as a Palestinian, in Chitral and how my view of humanity had changed for the better. Not only did I have the chance to explore an area of the world that not many Pakistanis have been to – much less foreigners – the way I viewed the world drastically changed and that is not a minor thing. The time I spent in Chitral changed my life and I will be forever thankful for the experience. My objective for writing this blog, however, is because one of ...

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