I have struggled to feel confident to write an article for Her Campus, but nothing has motivated me to do so as much as recent events in Palestine. Acts of colonialism occur all the time, but every now and again certain incidents attract attention, and the world is reminded of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the state of Israel.
Zionism is an ideology that calls for the establishment of an entirely Jewish state. The establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine began on 15 May 1948, also known as Nakba Day [Catastrophe Day] when the state of Israel was created. It has been 73 years since and Israel continues to steal Palestinian land, restrict their movement, deny them access to resources such as clean water, and enact violence.
On 2 May 2021, Israel ordered six Palestinian families to leave their homes in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem to allow for Jewish settlers to move in. This sparked protests in the neighbourhood, and across other areas of Palestine. Israel is not known for reacting reasonably and has carried out violent attacks against Palestinians. What has been especially horrific about these attacks is that they started during the holy month of Ramadaan, celebrated by many Palestinians. Its attack on worshippers at Masjid Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam, on the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr [Night of Power] is still unfathomable.
The crisis in Palestine is commonly referred to as the ‘Israeli-Palestine conflict.’ Referring to what is happening as a ‘conflict’ implies that they are somewhat equal in power, and responsibility, when that is far from the case. Palestine has no army, no navy, no air force and no military budget to defend itself. It has citizens and rocks. Israel, on the other hand, has a ground force of 513 thousand personnel, a navy of 20 thousand, an air force of 89 thousand, and access to the most advanced military equipment, including nuclear weapons. In addition, it receives an annual $3.8 billion in US military aid. It is not a conflict between Israel and Palestine. It is the oppression by Israel of Palestine.
The ‘Israel vs. Palestine’ narrative is abused whenever Hamas [Islamic Resistance Movement] strikes back as they have recently, firing rockets into Israeli territory. People tend to excuse Israel’s actions with “but Hamas” this, and “both sides” that, as if Israel is not the aggressor. Palestine is simply showing resistance, which they have every right to do.
Social media has been flooded with updates on Palestine, especially Instagram and Twitter. Bella Hadid has been praised for the amount of support she has shown for Palestine, whereas other celebrities, like Rihanna, have portrayed a “both sides” narrative. Riri made false claims that both Israeli and Palestinian children are hiding in bomb shelters. Palestinians do not have bomb shelters.
While sharing information on the devastating experiences of Palestinians is good, sharing images and video footage of the injured and deceased should be avoided. These people deserve dignity, not to have their mutilated, lifeless bodies broadcasted for the whole world to see. It is better to share updates in text form – by sharing infographics you are still raising awareness. Also, amplifying Palestinian voices is a great way to do so.
Amplify Palestinian voices on the ground:
Palestinians in the diaspora:
Palestinian & Jewish organisations:
Donate to Palestine:
Gift of the Givers
Islamic Relief South Africa
Meca for Peace
Salaam Foundation Gaza Ambulance Campaign
FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE WILL BE FREE