Image from Al Jazeera America. Read the complete article here
This morning I received a broadcast. It spoke of an orphaned Palestinian child, who when offered a life with a South African family, opted to remain in Palestine. “To protect Masjidul Aqsa.”
The broadcast ended with the usual exclamations of subhanallah (glory be to Allah). An assertion that the Palestinians are ‘chosen’ for this ‘honour’ and a prayer for them and their victory. I felt my light sehri meal rise to my throat when I read this.
I then found myself thinking of the time the Al Quds foundation sent people to our schools to create an awareness of the ongoing struggle in Palestine. Of how our kids chanted after them, “Bir rooh, bid dam, nafdeeka ya Aqsa.”
I thought of that convoy to Gaza that visited town after town some Ramadhaans back, of how the brothers undertaking this ‘epic’ journey were hailed as martyrs and treated like heroes. Entertained in style in every town they visited. How they raised a staggering amount of money. How a comprehensive accounting of this money was never given and of how there was talk of some of it being used to fund the liberation movements.
Offset that against the heart-breaking images spilling out of Palestine this last week, the words, the brouhaha becomes hollow. Cheap.
The blood we promise to sacrifice in order to liberate Al Aqsa (and by extension, Palestine) is not ours. Is not our children’s. Sitting here, on the Southernmost tip of Africa, snug in our homes, our greatest foe, the biting cold, and domestic workers who steal from us, it’s easy to send out a stream of unverified broadcasts and silly emotional platitudes. We are not the people giving birth to children, all the while wondering whether they will be killed by a missile or an IDF bullet to the head, before the age of 18. Our 11 year old sons are not dragged, weeping to Israeli prisons, for the crime of throwing stones. Nor are any of them tied to military vehicles to prevent their friends from throwing stones. Nor are they fed gasoline and set alight by right wing Israelis in revenge attacks.
A Palestinian teenager is tied to an Israeli military vehicle to stop his friends throwing stones. (File photo - presstv.com)
I will always view war, foremost as a human being. I will always view the death of a child as a mother. I will always die a little inside when Islamic media writes jubilant articles on HOW MANY rockets Hamas rained on Israel (resulting in no fatalities and possibly, 2 injuries), while 39 Palestinians die in a space of 24 hours.
I cannot imagine that this is the life Palestinians would choose, had they been given a choice.