I have recently been travelling –” once again –” in Gaza and the West Bank. I have seen how the Palestinians are being humiliated on a daily basis, know the terror to which ordinary citizens are regularly subjected. And I have sensed the shock amongst Palestinian citizens when innocent people were brutally murdered in Netanya.
On Monday, December 5th 2005 I was in the school of a small town in the northern part of the Westbank.
The girls showed me where IDF-snipers had shot through the school’s windows. And told me of their fear, when IDF-jets would cause sonic booms deep in the night. As they also did that very morning while I was in the school –” shattering two windows in the classroom.
At 11:30 hrs the murderer of Netanya struck ….. Killing 5 innocent people. And maiming many more. The children, the teachers were shocked. “We don’t want this! We’re against such horrible crimes!” –” was the spontaneous response.
A reaction which I have –” over the past few years –” heard time and again from the many people I know (and some of which –” today –” I may even call “friend”) in Palestine.
But, my friends, that is not good enough. It is high time all of you stand up –” and be counted!
Today, the world perceives Palestinians as bomb-throwing individuals. People, who are 100% supporters of Hamas, Jihad, Hizbollah, or whatever …With fear-inducing demonstrations, funeral processions, promises of hatred and violence. As is shown nearly daily on BBC, CNN, Deutsche Welle or other channels.
The world does not know that there is such a thing as a “peace-loving Palestinian”. That not everyone in the Westbank approves of these sick suicide bombers, who are being misused by cold-blooded and power hungry individuals.
The Palestinians know, like no one else in this world, that these barbaric actions always lead to more hardship, suffering. And strengthen the radicals on either side. The ordinary Palestinians know –” because it is they who are hardest hit!
Sometimes –” I think there is a plan: whenever there is a peaceful, quiet period –” someone is sure to commit another atrocity, to blow him- or herself up, killing and maiming countless innocent people. The radicals rejoice. And the hardliners in Israel use such an action as a pretext to impose further suffering on the ordinary Palestinian citizens: closures, checkpoints, harassment. Or the IDF blows up some houses in Gaza, killing women and children…
And the world looks on –” and says: “Yes –” they are only defending their people, the citizens of Israel.”
Because all we see on our television sets and read about in our newspapers are the killings in Israel, the bloody Bar-Mitzvah of young boy, or the flashing lights of ambu-lances, when another cafÃ© or another young people’s hangout has been blown up. And the funerals of assassinated leaders of “terrorist” movements in Gaza, Rafah, Khan Younis –” with thousands of people chanting slogans, where violence and death and martyrdom is praised by seemingly violent radicals.
We are NOT shown the suffering of the Palestinian people, the daily humiliations they have to endure, the poverty, the hopelessness. And also not this new Wall, slowly creeping across the land of the Palestinians, separating framers from their fields, children from their schools, families from their relatives.
And another murderous and barbaric killing happens somewhere in Israel –” and the world says: “Yes –” they are only defending their citizens, the people of Israel.”
It is time the Palestinian people get out on the streets –” and say: “Enough is Enough!” You need to say this loud and clear, every one of you who is opposed to such murderous atrocities. And you need to repeat it, many times. You must tell THEM (and the world) that they do not have YOUR support, that you do not condone these murders. “Enough is Enough!”
In Leipzig in Germany, some 15 years ago, the ordinary people were fed up, had had enough –” and walked on the streets of the City. Every Monday evening. For weeks and months. First –” there were 100. Then 500. Soon, 1,000, 10,000 –” and then hundreds of thousands. The dictators understood – that the people had had enough! The world could see that the people had had enough. And the Wall came down. Not a single bullet was fired.
Since 1989, this has been repeated time and again –” in Beirut, in Ukraine, in Georgia. Wherever adult and educated people decided to take on responsibility for their own fate. When will it happen in Ramallah, in Nablus, in Jenin?
Do not wait for your leaders, for the politicians. They have not helped you in 50 years (but some have helped themselves). They have to balance interests and consider opposing factions, they are politicians and diplomats, they are powerlessly intricated in a web of interests –” and they NEED YOUR HELP. Go out on the streets –” and call upon your leaders to join you!
Do not say you cannot do anything: YOU have the real power –” if you use it, if you empower yourselves!
Do not say you are afraid –” because if you walk for peace and against violence, nobody will dare harm you.
Do not say you have no chance –” when the world wakens up and learns that Palestinians, too, are just humans who want to live normal lives and reject violence –” then the world will support you!
Above all –” do not fall into that trap of the “blame game”! God does not permit a crime –” merely because others commit such a crime. You are not responsible for what “they” do –” but can only be held accountable for what is done in your own name, in the name of the “Palestinian struggle”. For years –” you have been rationalising murders committed in your names with “their” crimes. That was wrong. It has gotten you nowhere. And it will get you nowhere!!
Instead – stand up and say: “Enough is enough!”
I wish you all a better New Year.