Efforts are needed to end the Zionist tyranny in Palestine

27 Dec 2023 01:03pm
Pro Palestine protesters demonstrate outside UN headquarters prior to a vote at the General Assembly in New York City on Dec 12, 2023. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) Illustration by SD.
Pro Palestine protesters demonstrate outside UN headquarters prior to a vote at the General Assembly in New York City on Dec 12, 2023. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) Illustration by SD.

At the time of writing, a report from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza states that more than 20,000 Palestinians in Gaza have died as a result of the Zionist regime's bombing. More than 70 per cent of those killed were women and children. The actual death toll is much higher as thousands more are missing and believed to have died under the piles of collapsed buildings. All of the above figures will increase further as Israel's violent attacks against Palestinians continue.

The whole world, except for the Zionists and their supporters, is saddened, disappointed and feels guilty witnessing the atrocities happening before their eyes. They want to do something to stop the Zionist regime from continuing to kill Palestinians but are unable to.

What is even sadder is that most Muslim countries and Arab countries are merely engaging in rhetoric to condemn Israeli atrocities. They are not willing to engage in concrete and significant actions to help the Palestinians. Despite a fatwa by the International Union of Muslim Scholars that states that Arab countries neighbouring Palestine, such as Egypt and Jordan, are obligated to assist Palestinians militarily, they have, instead, chosen to maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.

In the case of Turkey and the UAE, both are also vocal in their condemnation of Israel. Unfortunately, they have also chosen to maintain diplomatic and trade relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia, which previously planned to normalize relations with Israel, now merely suspends the plan instead of announcing its total abandonment.

Alhamdulillah, the Malaysian government has proven that it is different from other Arab and Muslim countries because it has dared to do something concrete recently when the Prime Minister of Malaysia announced the banning of all ships belonging to Israel, including from the shipping company Zim Shipping from docking at any port in Malaysia. Other countries, especially Arab countries and Islamic countries, would do well to emulate Malaysia's example in this regard to stop the tyranny of Israel, which seems so determined to commit a second Nakba by driving the Palestinians out of the Gaza peninsula.

However, Israel's inhumane actions since the beginning of October have opened the eyes of the world community to the fact that Israel is a very oppressive regime that ignores the decisions of the world community. Since 1968, Israel has contravened as many as 32 UN Security Council resolutions.

In 2023 alone, Israel was condemned by the UN General Assembly 14 times compared to only seven times in the case of other countries. Most recently, on December 20, the UNGA condemned Israel for its cruel actions of killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Only the United States and a handful of other countries chose to support Israel.

However, in the United States, there is now a rapid change in attitude towards Israel, especially among the younger generation. A study by the Harris Institute and the American Political Studies Center at Harvard University showed that the majority of American youth aged 18 to 24 not only do not support Israel but also oppose it.

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The study, which involved 2,000 American voters from various age groups, showed that 51 per cent of those age groups believed that the long-term solution to the conflict between Palestine and Israel could only be resolved by ending Israel's existence and handing the country back to Hamas and the Palestinians.

In the case of Israel's attack on Gaza, 67 per cent of American youth support an unconditional ceasefire by both sides in which all hostages are released, and Hamas is allowed to continue to rule the Gaza peninsula. Young Americans are very sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza. In addition, since October, hundreds of thousands have participated in numerous demonstrations in major cities in the United States condemning Israel and supporting Palestine.

This atmosphere is very different from the situation in America before, where most Americans do not know or care at all about the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israeli Zionist regime. Those who care are mostly supportive of Israel and have a very negative impression of Arabs and Muslims. Because of that, there was not a single American politician who dared to defend the plight of the Palestinians.

But now, many dare to speak up to defend the fate of the Palestinians. They include Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The increase in American support for the Palestinian liberation struggle is due to the exposure of actual news about the Zionist regime's atrocities against the Palestinians. Previously, most Americans obtained news about the Palestinian issue only from major Western media such as CNN, ABC and NBC.

But now, many seek news on the situation in Palestine directly from social media, and such news often includes pictures of women and children who died as a result of the relentless bombing of Gaza by the Zionist regime.

Anyone with even a shred of humanity cannot accept the killing of innocent women and children, especially on the scale that is happening in Gaza. Furthermore, the attitude of Israeli leaders who continue to insist on the continuation of the bombardment of Gaza has opened the eyes of most Americans to the murderous attitude of the Israelis.

What also angered the American people was when their leaders decided to aid Israel's tyranny by using the US's veto power in the UN Security Council to block any effort to stop the bombing and killing of Palestinians.

Another essential factor to note is that approximately 17 per cent of Americans are in the poor category and, therefore, need financial assistance from the government. They see American government funds going to Israel to help Israel continue to kill women and children in Gaza instead of being used to help poor Americans.

In addition, many American students face student debt, which amounts to USD1.77 trillion. They need government help to solve this debt burden, especially if they don't have a job. But the American government has not helped them and instead has given help to Israel without much question. It is not a surprise that a large number of college students hate Israel and support Palestine.

The support of the American people, especially from the young, is expected to continue to increase. Of course, this will affect American politicians' and leaders' attitudes and stances. They will be increasingly critical of Israel's actions. It is not surprising if, one day, the policy of the American government changes and no longer sides with Israel when Israel continues to act oppressively against the Palestinians.

The change in the attitude of American politicians happened during the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980s. As a result, the US foreign policy towards South Africa also changed, and it no longer supported it. It was the main factor why the apartheid South African government fell, and black people got equal rights.

When the American government withdrew its support for the South African apartheid regime, all the other countries in Europe that previously supported the South African apartheid regime also withdrew their support, thus contributing to its downfall.

Because the Zionist regime of Israel also has the same tyranny as the South African apartheid regime, perhaps even worse, sooner or later, America will be forced to withdraw support for Israel when its people start hating Israel's tyranny.

What is needed is a sustained campaign to inform people around the world and, especially in the United States, about Israel's atrocities against Palestinians and a call to all national leaders to change their policies to boycott Israel.

Of course, this effort requires energy and sacrifice from all of us. But our sacrifices are minimal compared to the sacrifices of the Palestinians who have given the lives of their children, mothers and fathers in the hundreds of thousands to oppose tyranny and uphold the truth.

Prof Nazari Ismail is the Director of Hashim Sani Center for Palestine Studies at Universiti Malaya. The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sinar Daily.