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The Occupation in Palestine: The Questioning of Humanity

By: Rana Khatib (rkhati2@uic.edu)

Although the recent conflict in Gaza has reached a cease-fire agreement with Israel, there is an important perspective about the conflict that questions media intentions and the loss of humanity in understanding the suffering of Palestinians.

More than 100 hundred killed and over a 1000 wounded. Missiles flying everywhere, homes smoldered to the ground, babies burned to death, parents separated from their children. No medical aid, lack of air condition, scarce food and water. This is Palestine.

Gaza, Palestine went under attack Wednesday, November 14 by Israeli forces. However, this isn’t the first time it has been struck. And though a ceasefire has been announced on Thursday, it’s not safe to assume issues are resolved and the Gazan people feel relief. Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador was quoted in a CNN article as saying, “We assumed it would take a while for the cease-fire to take hold…I understand now that it has taken hold. There hasn’t been fire for a while and, of course, we are not firing, so there is a cease-fire.”

Why is Oren speaking as if it should’ve taken this long for a ceasefire to take place? And how is it he has the audacity to say there hasn’t been a firing for a while? The news is biased; it’s one-sided and the truth will always end up missing when it comes to defending America’s wrongdoing.

How is America playing a huge role in this crime? Our tax dollars are aiding Israel in its atrocious acts. According to a website called, If Americans Knew, $8.5 million is being sent for Israel’s military aid, while Palestine receives nothing.

I had a conversation with a friend of a friend via Facebook about this massacre occurring in Gaza. Our conversation seemed to quickly mold into a fiery argument that stemmed from his attempt to justify that what’s happening in Palestine is the Palestinians’ fault. Unfortunately, he’s not the only person who sees it as Israel’s form of defense.

Palestine has been occupied since 1948 by Israel, so to say that Palestinians deserve to be attacked is another form of terrorism. There are so many acts of violence imposed on Palestinians that the news doesn’t show. Airing an overflow of news articles and segments when Gaza fired a basement made rocket is an example of ignorant people are of the situation.

A pro-Palestinian protest took place Monday the 19th that started at Federal Plaza, moved to Michigan Avenue and ended at federal Plaza. This protest accumulated more than 1000 protesters who included not only Palestinians, but people of various races, ethnicities, and religions. ABC news aired a clip of only a couple minutes out the two and a half hour protest, which showed people holding signs and protesting against this crime.

The streets were filled with people who expressed their anger towards the situation in Gaza. There were a few people who spoke throughout the protest, one of whom was a Jewish Rabbi, and who stated that, “Zionism is not Judaism.” It’s important to note the difference between Judaism and Zionism- just because someone is a Jew, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re a Zionist.  There was also a representative from Puerto Rico that expressed his siding with Palestine.

This protest demonstrates that the violence occurring in Gaza isn’t just an issue for Palestinians, but an issue of humanity. The massacre and bloodshed can’t be dismissed. Mark Steel, a writer for The Independent said in an article, “A report yesterday morning began with the sentence: Rockets have continued to be fired from both sides…” Then, to illustrate this, we saw a demolished building in Gaza in which 11 people had perished, and a woman in Israel standing next to her car with a smashed windscreen. Which goes to show everyone’s suffering, what with three generations of a family getting wiped out on one side, and a woman having to ring Autoglass on the other.”

His article clarifies that we need to rid of this mentality that Palestinians are the guilty, while Israel’s are the victims in a situation of inhumanity and crime. In the words of activist and philosopher, Noam Chomsky is quoted, “Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army…and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.”

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1 Comment

  1. Powerful Chomsky quote at the end. reminds me of this

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