Rana A., Staff Writer

By definition, the word genocide is the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a specific ethnic group or nationality with the objective of exterminating that nation or ethnic group. The number of war crimes and international law-breaking committed by the IDF (Isreal Defense Force) is too many. In the attacks from 2008 to 2009, 2012, and 2014, the IDF killed over 2,000 Palestinian civilians.  Every year, Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, and the third holiest site for Muslims, is raided with tear gas, guns, and soldiers. They do this during the holy month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Every year, during this holy month, people pray at the sacred mosque; every year, the Israeli soldiers are there, throwing tear gas bombs and shooting people with rubber bullets. That is exactly what happened this year. As Muslims were getting ready to break their fast, the mosque was raided and tear gas was thrown in through the windows, which shattered them and caused massive amounts of damage to the holy site. In October 2021, Israel tore down and ripped apart a cemetery with Palestinian graves in order to build an amusement park. Sarah Leah Whitson, director at Human Rights Watch states, “Whether it’s a child imprisoned by a military court or shot unjustifiably, or a house demolished for lack of an elusive permit, or checkpoints where only settlers are allowed to pass, few Palestinians have escaped serious rights abuses during this 50-year occupation”.  

On May 11, 2022, Shireen Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old Christian-Palestinian reporter, was murdered in cold blood by the IDF. Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli soldiers who shot at her and her coworkers while reporting an Israeli raid on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The problem with this is that not only did these soldiers unjustly take another human life, but Abu Akleh was wearing a dark blue vest, which read “PRESS” in big, bold, white, lettering. According to The Nation, “In a statement that has since been removed, The New York Times deceived its readers by claiming that Al Jazeera said the slain journalist died amid ‘clashes between Israeli military forces and Palestinian gunmen,’ despite Al Jazeera’s direct reports that Israeli gunfire killed Abu Akleh.” Abu-Akleh was shot in the face with an exploding bullet while wearing a vest and a helmet. This shot was fatal because the only other place that was exposed was her face. On top of all this, the Israeli Prime Minister spoke out about her murder and blamed it on Palestinians even though the Palestinians loved and admired her. 

It’s important to stand up for Palestine because supporting the IDF is not just supporting the occupation. It’s supporting apartheid, racism, ethnic cleansing, murder, and the genocide of the Palestinian people. As reported in Forbes, from 2008 to 2020, 5,590 Palestinian civilians were killed in comparison to 251 Israeli civilians, according to statistics compiled by the United Nations. If we stay quiet, we could be the reason another ethnic group is exterminated from their land. So many Palestinians will fight to survive and might eventually become history. To help the issue, many have been organizing Free Palestine protests. The more people attending, the more of a difference we’ll make. Post on whatever social media platforms you have to raise awareness. The more educated people are about the topic, the more we can fight this systemic oppression. Every night, Palestinians go to sleep wondering if they’ll wake up the next day. So now, I ask you to wake up. Open your eyes. We must not stay silent because silence is complicity. 


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