It’s just before midnight on New Years Eve as I write this post. What am I doing? Blogging. Why? Because last December 27th Israel changed my life and the lives of so many others worldwide. Weeks ago, as the Anniversary of the Gaza Genocide loomed, I had grand plans to make a video about the children killed in Gaza, write a great post or say some wise prophetic words to the world. It never happened. I don’t know why, perhaps I was a bit down thinking of the massive “Blitzkrieg” inflicted on Gaza 365 days ago, and wondering what had changed, seeing no change, seeing no chance for change. No major world power stepping up to the proverbial “Humanity Plate” to make a stand for all of mankind. No one willing to tackle the plague of quick war for profit and political needs, or the death and destruction left in the wake of such wars, or the helplessness felt by humanity who abhor these wars and want them to stop. Nothing.
But I’m feeling rather pensive tonight, so I will write my post now, because I’ve discovered something phenomenal out of the despair. More proof that good can come of evil. You see, I was mistaken all these depressive weeks I was thinking about the looming Gaza Anniversary. I was mistaken dwelling on only what the eyes can see taking place on the ground. What I failed to look at was what cannot be so easily seen with the eyes, what is not concrete, what you cannot touch with your hands.
In fact, much HAS changed, and here’s my rundown of things to be thankful for during the year 2009 after the Gaza Genocide:
Millions of people turned to the internet, looking for people to connect with, looking for people who shared their outrage, and most importantly, looking to get to know more about Palestinians. What they saw when Israel murdered so many innocent children was not the faces of strange unknown people they could not identify with, but rather Israel allowed with their killing in Gaza, for millions worldwide to see with their own eyes that those “different” people are actually just like us. People began to wake up from the politics of fear. Their children could be our children, their tiny wee faces screaming in fear and pain and sadness needed no translation from Arabic to English or any other language. That was a change.
Then we saw millions raise their voices in outrage, demanding justice, demanding freedom for Gaza and Palestine. That was a change.
Then, right when the world needed it, we saw the first Convoy to break the siege, Viva Palestina. It arrived at Rafah and after some days entered to a cheering crowd. How many of us cried along with the grown men who kissed the ground of Gaza? That was a change.
From that convoy others were born, The Hope Convoy in May, Three more Viva Palestina convoys and many other smaller ones, rarely covered in the media. But, that was a change.
It was all of our collective voices, protesting on the streets at Israeli embassies worldwide calling for BDS on Israel. We had some victories, some companies pulled out of their dealings with the rogue state. Universities cancelled events and speakers. Israeli officials were hounded and shouted down when they appeared in countries around the world, even in America. That was a change.
We then saw people band together in a joint effort to hold Israel accountable under International Law. To ask the UN to hold Israel accountable under the Geneva Convention. And again, it was our collective voices and pressure on our governments via protests and outrage that forced through the decision to have Richard Goldstone and his team to investigate. That was a change.
We then, again through our collective outrage began a “War Criminal” watch. And soon Israeli’s were afraid of travelling outside their self made prison, for fear of arrest. Even Livni was forced to cancel her visit to England. And today, every one who served in the genocide lives in fear of being hunted down outside the protective walls of their prison called Israel. Afraid if they travel and are forced to land in some strange little country they could find themselves under arrest. That is a change.
Recently we have seen thousands come from around the world to Egypt in an effort to break the siege on the Code Pink Gaza Freedom March and show solidarity with Gaza. And this takes place one year later, which shows we are still going strong for our cause. And despite the refusal of Egypt to allow them in, they have instead done an unexpected thing. They have helped to expose the collusion between Egypt, US and Israel, and to illustrate the role Egypt plays in supporting Israel and strangling the Gaza population by refusing to open the border which is supposed to belong to Egypt, but by way of collusion, belongs to Israel instead. That is a change.
And as we celebrate the New Year around the world in our respective countries, somewhere between Jordan and Syria sit another viva Palestina convoy of Aid yet again attempting to break the siege. Instead of spending the holidays with family and friends, they are going to Gaza to deliver aid. This is a change.
And lastly I’ll leave you with this thought. We continue to call for a Free Palestine, and we continue to cry for Gaza. But we should not cry for Gaza, because Gaza IS Free! It is the only part of Palestine that actually IS free. Because once you jump through the Egyptian/Israeli hoops and enter Gaza, you are free. NO Israeli checkpoints, no Israeli road blocks, no Israeli illegal settlements, no Israeli army on the streets. Gaza, my friends is FREE! And it was THAT fact along with the changes above that took away my sadness.
So, on the Anniversary of the Gaza Genocide, I refuse to be sad, instead I will celebrate ALL the good things that I have written about above. I will celebrate the spirit of the people of Gaza and Palestine. I will celebrate the good and decent people I have had the good fortune to meet this year and to call my friend. I will celebrate what next year can bring if we keep focused and keep working to bring freedom and justice to Palestine. And Miracle of Miracles, it just turned 12 midnight. Happy New Year
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