Occupation fuels violent reaction

Occupation fuels violent reaction

The U.S. media coverage of the Middle East’s latest developments could not be more biased against the Palestinians. As a Palestinian-American, I feel compelled to share with you the other side of the story.

A little bit about Gaza, which is a 5-by- 12-mile coastal strip of land inhabited by 1.7 million Palestinians. It’s the world’s largest ghetto. Those born there cannot leave. Those who have left cannot return. Israel only allows 15 tons of food into Gaza per day, but the population needs 60 tons. In December of 2008, Israel massacred 1,400 Palestinians, ironically enough, three months after Israel’s defense minister vowed to put the Palestinians through a “holocaust.” The Gazan’s were left without electricity, running water or telecommunications for nine months because everything was destroyed. Not to mention Israel refused to allow humanitarian organizations until after the mess was cleaned up.

My fear is that this will happen again, and I am writing to inform you that it’s probably going to.

Recently Israel began another assault on the Palestinians in Gaza. They demolished the international media headquarters there, and destroyed all communications infrastructure. The goal is to cut Gaza off from the rest of the world so the atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli army will not be heard. Over 102 Palestinians have been murdered, including many children.

Ask any supporter of Israel and they’ll tell you that the Palestinians have brought this on themselves because they are “terrorizing” Israel. But they have it backwards: the reason there is violence is because there is an occupation. The cause? The Israeli military occupation of Palestine. The effect? A desperate resistance against that occupation, in a struggle for freedom and justice. Place yourself in Palestinian shoes, as an American. Would you sit on your hands if Canada invaded and did the same to us? Probably not.

The Palestinians have been stripped of their civil rights and dignity for 64 years. Enough is enough. End the occupation of Palestine, and there will be peace.

Hanna Kassis, Chicago

The writer is a Girard native currently attending The John Marshall Law School.