Whenever there is an increase in violence in Palestine, a lot of people who generally do not pay attention to that part of the world suddenly have opinions that must be expressed. In 99% of the cases, these opinions are based on the news stories that are being churned out at the time, which often offer nothing in the way of contextualization or history. So the result is that people are outraged at Palestinians over some “unprovoked” act of violence perpetrated against Israelis during “a period of calm.” This neat, little narrative never bears resemblance to the reality, and it causes great harm to Palestinians because it allows Israel to justify its actions.
I’ve never had as many asks or reblogs on tumblr as in the month of July, when Israel was relentlessly massacring the population of Gaza. Everyone was paying attention then because of the unprecedented levels of violence. The asks and reblogs have since stopped, but the violence hasn’t.
Matter-of-factly, now is the time for all of us to be paying attention. Now is when the groundwork is being laid for the next attack on Palestinians. All you need to do is look at the news coming out of Palestine. The following stories were all taken from the home page of Ma’an News today, October 1, 2014:
Malik Muhammad Abu Dayyah, 12, and his 11-year-old brother Ali were tending to their father’s sheep in the village of al-Manshiya when the ordnance exploded, family members said.
Malik sustained serious wounds to the thigh and Ali sustained minor burns. They were taken to an infirmary in the nearby village of Tuqu and Malik was later transferred to al-Ahli hospital in Hebron.
Israeli military vehicles entered the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday and soldiers opened fire towards Palestinian agricultural areas, locals told Ma’an.
Twelve military vehicles entered Gaza from a gate east of the town of al-Fukhari in the Khan Younis district, witnesses said.
The vehicles reportedly crossed some 200 meters into the Strip, and soldiers scanned the area before shooting towards Palestinian farms in an apparent ceasefire violation.
Israeli forces arrested 21 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight and clashed with locals, sources said Wednesday.
In the Salfit district, Israeli forces detained ten Palestinians.
The Fatah movement said in a statement that six of its activists were arrested in Qarawat Bani Hassan in the district, saying they were detained for protest action during the recent Israeli assault on Gaza.
A group of over 80 Israeli rightists toured the Al-Aqsa compound on Wednesday escorted by armed Israeli police, religious officials said.
The director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque told Ma’an that 84 Israeli rightists entered the compound at 7:30 a.m. via the Moroccan Gate and performed religious rituals…
An official from the Jerusalem endowments department said a group of settlers assaulted Palestinian worshipers and attempted to attack Al-Aqsa guards.
The head of the Jerusalem committee for Islamic cemeteries told Ma’an Sunday that the Israeli municipality had recently created a fake Jewish cemetery on Muslim-owned property in order to confiscate Palestinian land.
Hajj Mustafa Abu Zahra said Israeli municipality workers in Jerusalem had installed seven “false graves” on a piece of land near the southern wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and installed gravestones with a Star of David and a large sign reading “Jewish Cemetery” in Hebrew.
The Israeli provocations never cease. Every single day there are dozens upon dozens of these types of stories that occur all over occupied Palestine. But most are never reported. The western journalists deem these events to be routine occurrences unworthy of attention. But the Palestinian people who experience every single humiliation meted out by the Israelis take a different view. They are fully aware of what is done to them day in and day out. The frustration and anger builds and builds and builds until someone takes matters into their own hands, at which point Israel unleashes hell while the world looks on tut-tutting at Palestinian violence.
If you want to be able to speak up and defend Palestine and Palestinians, then you need to be able to articulate that Palestinian acts of violence do not occur in a vacuum. And the only way to do that is to be aware of what’s happening everyday.
Electronic Intifada, Ma’an News, WAFA, and other sources all provide daily news and analysis. A mere glance through these sites will disprove any claim that what we now have is a “period of calm.” Don’t let anyone get away with erasing what Israeli does. Be informed.