Liberation Reparation Proclamation

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‘Why?’ Such a simplistic and juvenile think to ask. ‘Why?’ ‘Why is the sky blue?’ ‘Why are we here?’éWhy are Palestinians being slaughtered like worthless sheep?

We have come to a point nowé a point where we find ourselves unable to ask anything more than ‘why?’ A never-ending inquiry, with never a stable and definite response. It is mid July now. As I sit here and read yet another soul breaking book on the history of Palestine and the Intifada in occupied Palestine, I cannot help but ask myselféwhy? Why will we not put an end to this indiscriminate murder, humiliation, dehumanization, oppression and abolition of human life? WHY? It has been nearly two years since the onset of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Two years of unexplainable suffering, death and misery. We watch the news hourly, daily, weekly, completely and utterly glued to our television sets. It has become a ritual, each of us terrified of what reports we will be hearing coming out of the territories. Every day that passeséevery single day ends with the death of a Palestinian (s). We weep, frustrated and angry beyond any words. Unable to do anything for these people other than be their voice…the voice of the voiceless.

I have been told by many that my views are ‘one sided’ and ‘biased’. A few years ago, this would have been true. I am an American, born and raised in the heart of Brooklyn New York. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict was never an issue that I spoke about very often. Like many other Americans, I did not know the history of this conflict, for I had thought all I needed to know was what I was hearing on the 5 o’clock news. I was sorely mistaken. Upon the onset of the uprising in September 2000, triggered by Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount. I realized that I had no Idea as to why the Palestinian people were seething with anger disgust. As I began to dig deeper into the history of this conflict, the true horror began to materialize right before my very eyes. Sifting through resolution after resolution, condemnation after condemnation, convention after convention

* Resolution 106: “. . . ‘condemns’ Israel for Gaza raid”

* Resolution 162: “. . . ‘Urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”;

* Resolution 228: “. . . ‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank

* Resolution 237: “. . . ‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”;

* Resolution 251: “. . . ‘deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250”;

* Resolution 259: “. . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”;

* Resolution 271: “. . . ‘condemns’ Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem”;

* Resolution 298: “. . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem”

* Resolution 446: “. . . ‘determines’ that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”;

* Resolution 452: “. . . ‘calls’ on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories”;

* Resolution 471: “. . . ‘expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”;

* Resolution 476: “. . . ‘reiterates’ that Israel’s claim to Jerusalem are ‘null and void'”;

* Resolution 592: “. . . ‘strongly deplores’ the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops”;

* Resolution 636: “. . . ‘deeply regrets’ Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians;

* Resolution 681: “. . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s resumption of the deportation of Palestinians;

‘Deplores’, ‘Condemns’, ‘Urges’, ‘Deeply Deplores’, ‘Strongly Condemns’, ‘Deplores’, ‘Condemns’, ‘Deplores’, ‘Condemns’. Thirty-Five years of condemnation and deploring, tens upon hundreds of unfulfilled resolutions, all have been ignored. Human rights do not exist in this case, apparently, neither does international law. Not even the sacred UN Declaration of Human Rights matters here. Its violators are permitted to beautifully and continuously pass ‘go’ and collect $200 with a ‘get out of jail free’ card, circumventing whatever they please.

Then we have the Fourth Geneva Convention, which was specifically designed to protect those who are living under a foreign military occupation. It strictly prohibits collective measures-punishments along with any and all human rights violations.

Article 33:

No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibitedéReprisals against any protected persons and their property are prohibited.

Please keep in mind that any direct violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime.

Article 55:

The Occupying Power may not requisition foodstuffs, articleséavailable in the occupied territory, except for use by the occupation forces and administration personnel, and then only if the requirements of the civilian population have been taken into accountéthe Occupying Power shall make arrangements to ensure that fair value is paid for any requisitioned goods.

Please keep in mind that any direct violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime.

“Special” agreements such as the trap that took the form of the Oslo Accords are null under the Convention: Article Seven:

No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of the protected personsénor restrict the rights which it confers upon them.

Please keep in mind that any direct violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime.

Article 47:

Protected persons who are in occupied territories shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present convention byéany agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the occupied power.

Please keep in mind that any direct violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime.

Article 49:

The Convention prohibits the establishments of settlements in occupied territories. The Occupying Power shall not étransfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

-(In the West Bank alone over 400,000 settlers are occupying illegal settlements.)

Please keep in mind that any direct violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime.

Article 77:

Protected persons who have been accused of offenses or convicted by the courts in occupied territory, shall be handed over at the close of the occupation, with the relevant records to the authorities of the liberated territories.

-(Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza are suspended in limbo in Israeli jails. Their jail sentences are infinite. They are denied trials.)

Please keep in mind that any direct violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime.

Article 147:

Grave breecheséshall be those involvingé extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

-(Since 1967 over 10,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished and destroyed to make room for new settlements, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinian families homeless)

Please keep in mind that any direct violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime.

I am not ‘one-sided’ or ‘biased’. Not any longer.

As I flip through the western news channels I wonder to myself why Palestine is no longer a “popular” story. Why is it that Palestinian lives are being viewed as being worth nothing more than inanimate objects? Day after day tanks roll into the occupied territories; day after day they demolish and destroy; day after day, after day, they oppress and they kill. Why?

BREAKING NEWS

“A suicide bomber massacres six Israelis, including a mother and her babyé”

“A suicide bomber massacres twelve Israelisé”

“A Palestinian Terrorist attacks an Israel settlement..”

“A Palestinian Terrorist invadesé”

“A Palestinian Terrorist blows upé”

When a six year old Palestinian boy went to the shop next door to by himself a bar of chocolate and was shelled by and Israeli tank, his life, as it seems, was worth no more than the chocolate bar he was clutching when he died. His killers are not ‘terrorists’. Of course not. Why are they not ‘terrorists’ you ask? Because they are Israeli. On September 30th 2000, millions of people around the world watched as Mohammed Al-Durra and His Father came under severe Israeli gunfire. The world watched as his son was killed with a bullet to his heart and the father critically injured with a bullet to his chest. That was just the beginning and the world watched. Mid March 2002, “Black Friday”. Over fifty Palestinians are killed within a forty-eight hour time span, ambulances are denied access to the victims, yet they are allowed to enter the town of Tulkarem to retrieve the bodies of those who have bleed to death due to Israeli troops’ denial of medical assistance to be allowed into the town. No massacre thereéright? No terrorists here, correct? The death toll stands at over 1,640+ dead Palestinians (and rising) 1,100 of them killed within the past three months, over 200 of those dead are children under the age of 12, 300 and more were under the age of 18, over 30,000+ are injured. No terrorist activity here whatsoever. Nope, no war crimes, no massacres, the Palestinians must be hallucinating!

“The Israeli Army erred when firing into a crowed market place in Jenin”, killing over six and injuring dozens of people trying to buy food. “The Israeli Army erred when firing a tank shell at a group of children in Qalqilya”. ‘We made a mistake’. ‘Oops!’, ‘Mistake!’. After all, they are only Palestinians, right? Well then, feel free to make your “errors”, Palestinians apparently are not worth more than the dirt on your bloodied boots. That, obviously, is not ‘hot’ news. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are living under an asphyxiating twenty-four hour curfew. Can we fully comprehend the scope of what that means? Being held captive in their own cities, their homes now their prisons. Can we fully discern what they are forced to endure day by day? Of course not! We merely watch theméif indeed we are watching. From the comfort of our homes, lavish and secure. But hey, that’s not breaking news, right? I mean, who cares about a thirty-five year long oppression, dehumanization, humiliation and occupation being imposed upon an entire nation? They are guilty of course. What is their crime, you ask? They are Palestinians. That is their crime.

Thirty-five years of unrelenting occupation have passedéwith no apparent end in sight. Settlements increase. Palestinian hope is slowly, however surely, fading, giving way to hopelessness and despair.

‘Peace plan’ after ‘peace plan’ comes and goes. The people are dying.

Leaders meet, leaders return home. The people are dying.

Presidents shake hands and smile for the reporters. The people are still dying.

We hope and pray for new ‘developments’. As an American, I had such high hopes and jubilant expectations of how my government, America the ‘Great’, would respond to this atrocious and horrendous cloud of death and demise which is engulfing the people of Palestine. Our country which is supposed to stand for liberty, the freedom to live, to be freeé

A new president arrives and the old one departs. The occupation remains.

“Peace negotiations” cameéand went. The occupation remained.

Leaders held their summitséthe leaders headed home. The occupation remainséthe tragic legacy continues and continues and continues.

Has the occupation become a deranged legend? Has the most brutal form of raw violence and oppression that mankind has witnessed become etched in stone? Palestinians are condemned to a life of death. They are born under occupation, and they shall die under occupation. They live and die subservient to their oppressorsé.and we have the audacity to condemn their resistance? How dare we? On one bloodied hand we have the Israelis, to whom we give every capability of eradicating the Palestinian people, and on the other hand we have the Palestinians, to whom we give conditional aid every now and again to help them with the incalculable damage inflicted by the Israelis, with our weaponséin effect, giving a Band-Aid to a maimed, disfigured bomb victim who is bleeding to death with pre-conditions of course, obviously caring not for their life.

Our government supports apartheid. We donate billions of dollars (in the form of Military aid) and free weapons to a state that makes a living out of displacing, dehumanizing, Oppressing and occupying an entire people. We also play the role of “equal mediator” between them. Equal mediator? I beg your pardon?

“Peace!”

Peace.

Peace? What is peace? Is peace the security of one nation at the expense of the other? Is that what peace is? No! If this is Israel’s idea of peace, they shall receive everything aside from it.

No justice? No peace.

Justice: when Israel faces up to its accountability for all of the atrocities that have been and are being perpetrated against the Palestinian people. For every mother that has been gunned down for defending the lives of her children, for every child that has been crushed beneath Israeli tanks whilst attempting to protect his Palestine, his land and is freedom, for every Palestinian that has been beaten into submission by the Israeli Occupational Forces for resisting their oppression, for every father, brother, sister, grandfather, uncle and aunt that have been slaughtered at the hands of the Israeli Armed forces and for every Palestinian baby that has died with an American made/Israeli discharged bullet to its head, history shall not forget. Israel is going to accept the fact that Palestinians have their inalienable rights to their land and are not going to ‘vanish’ or be ‘crushed’ beneath Israeli military ‘might’.

“Mansiyané” a Palestinian friend tells me. “Forgottenéwe are forgotten” You are not forgotten, people of Palestine. We are watching and history is recordingéit will not forgive them and it shall never forget.

For the sake of the remainder of our humanityéEnd the occupation now and let their people go.

‘We are lost, afflicted only this one way: That having no hope, we live in longing.’ I heard these words with heartfelt grief that seized on meéKnowing how many worthy souls endured suspension in that Limbo.

Dante’s Inferno; Canto IV, 31-35

‘You shall know the truthéand the truth shall make you mad’ – Aldous Huxley

Amberlynn is a 20-year-old American College student, born and raised in the heart of New York City, currently studying abroad in the Middle East.

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