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The Israelis Cannot Muzzle Social Media

24 November 2016

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Some 68 years ago, forcible dispossession of their lands often through violent means resulted in a catastrophic cycle that has led to the execution of a relentless and ongoing holocaust on the Palestinian people. Recently, violence has been upped several notches in daylight executions in cold blood of innocent civilians by Israeli forces, especially in Gaza.
Some of this brutality that explicitly shows murderous Israeli activity against Palestinian civilians has been captured on video and widely circulated on social media.

Today, more than 1,200 Palestinian children sit in Israeli prisons. The Apartheid Wall continues to snake its way through Palestinian territory, annexing ever more land and prohibiting the freedom of movement of Palestinians. The siege on Gaza with daily killings will soon render that area uninhabitable and more than 50 discriminatory laws in Israel deprive Palestinian citizens of Israel of their rights. Israeli occupation policies are choking Palestinians. The American Muslims for Palestine recognizes that the Nakba is still ongoing as ''biased negotiations in the past twenty years have resulted in the further de-development of Palestinian society on all levels.''

The American NGO, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), also charges that Palestinians are locked up and locked out. And why? For being Palestinian. Poets are under house arrest for reading poems. Children are in jail for dissenting Facebook posts. Scientists are imprisoned indefinitely under ''administrative detention.'' Internationally renowned nonviolent movement leaders are blocked from leaving the country. The organization that consists of peace-loving activists which include Jewish artists, academics, NGO members, and staff have been organizing around the clock to demand justice for some of the movement leaders such as Dareen Tatour, Omar Barghouti, and Imad Barghouti.

In broader terms, JVP wants to help ''dismantle the status quo of apartheid and occupation that daily visits such injustice on all Palestinians.''

JVP has a fight on its hand. Against the massive machinery upholding Israeli occupation they intend to build strength one by one. Jews and allies, students and academics, artists and authors people from coast to coast coming together to build a movement strong and loud and unstoppable enough to take on the might of the Israeli lobby and win! They have been marching on embassies and calling the US State Department, and meeting with their representatives to bring the plight of the hapless Palestinians to light.

The American Muslims for Palestine group admits that things are bad for Palestinians today, bleak to say the least. But, yet, they still have reason to hope. They contend that ''the global movement for Palestinian justice and self-determination is robust and almost every country has condemned Israeli policies that violate international law and Palestinian human rights. In the United States, the movement is growing like never before. A new Pew Research poll shows that since 2006 support for Palestinians has tripled among those born after 1980, and even the general American population's support has increased 5 percent a modest increase to be sure but one that represents millions of people.''

The role of the United States in how Israel conducts its affairs can never be underestimated. The US bankrolls Israel. It arms them and protects them from censure at the UN. It has argued long and hard against Iran and North Korea's development in the nuclear field yet has remained hypocritically mum on Israel's arsenal of nuclear weapons. While demanding that democratic principles be applied in every other country, the US looks the other way while Israel violates every norm of humane behavior against the Palestinians. This accommodating silence is why Israeli policies of aggression have remained unchecked for so long.

And yet, thanks to social media, the realities of Israeli policies have become increasingly evident to a previously uninformed public. There are more voices rising in support of Palestinian rights across the United States by Americans who have come to know the facts in spite of the smokescreens erected by the Zionist-controlled media.

Moreover, Arabs who are more embroiled in the fight against Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS) and other conflicts must recognize the dangers of the current Israeli policies of expansion and join hands with all those Jews who are standing for justice and equality for Palestinians, and who stand in condemnation of the policies of apartheid that have been executed by the Israelis. Shoulder to shoulder they must proclaim that they are united in the quest for Palestinian justice.

The Israeli spin machine can control mainstream media, but the raw footage of the reality captured on social media cannot be manipulated or dismissed.

The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena


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