“I do not blame people who think Palestine is Israel, because in the current time, it is believed all around the world that it is Israel and Palestinians are occupying it”
“Palestinians feature regularly in news headlines, but their country is much less known,” said writer Karl Sabbagh and the quote could be seen as summing up the Palestinian cause – a lost cause.
For over 65 years, the country which was once known as Palestine has been neglected, put aside and forgotten about. Up to five years ago, the ongoing situation in Palestine would feature at least once in a while in the news; although briefly, it would still be mentioned. In current times, with all the conflict in the world, it usually takes a major event for Palestine to have a chance of being mentioned in the news; it is as if it has been wiped from the world map and completely forgotten.
When we hear a tragedy has occurred in the United States or Russia, we learn about it the moment it happens, from all news agencies around the world. However, the irony of the matter is the same tragedy happens daily in Palestine, in Gaza to be exact, but do we ever hear about it? And does it get nearly as much coverage and attention as the tragedies occurring in those countries? The answer is no, we do not hear about it. As a matter of fact, children are killed each day in Palestine by the Israeli occupation soldiers and yet we learn about them only from local news stations and solidarity Facebook pages.
Imagine if England were to invade the Republic of Ireland, if they were to fight Irish people with force and kick them out of their country, stealing everything they built, all their wealth, stripping them of even the memories they carry, and from the life they once had. For Irish individuals this is only a frightening nightmare, but for Palestinians, it is their bitter reality.
According to research conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2010, nearly 50 per cent of the Palestinian population live outside Palestine, scattered in different parts of Europe and in many Arab countries, while the other 50 per cent remain in Gaza and the West Bank, in cruel living conditions in Gaza in particular.
Palestinians have lost their country and are dispersed all over the world due to this occupation. Approximately 55 per cent of Palestinians have never been in Palestine before, and the majority of them do not have the choice of ever going back to their land, or even visiting it. The country rich with heritage left by their ancestors is no longer theirs to see. One simply cannot imagine a more terrifying situation.
“I do not blame people who think Palestine is Israel, because in the current time, it is believed all around the world that it is Israel and Palestinians are occupying it. No one hears about Palestine any more, especially the new generation. They have been brainwashed,” said Fatin, a spokesperson for the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Fatin added that one of the main reasons she got involved in the campaign was to show Irish people what Palestine is and how Palestinians are living and how they are suffering under the occupation.
So, what could possibly make a Palestinian remain faithful and loyal to this country? How can a person who has never even seen their land be attached to it? Well, according to many Palestinian citizens, you cannot help but feel attached to the country.
“Being attached to Palestine is not an option; it is something you have inside you, and you always feel it, especially with all these disasters the country keeps going through. It makes you feel honoured to be a part of the ‘country of heroes’,” said Kifah Ajamiah, a 22-year-old Palestinian citizen living in Ireland.
One tries to understand why the Palestinian crisis is being neglected in such a shocking way. Is the daily murder of women and children by Israeli forces not worth getting mentioned? Are those lost lives not worth a minute of our time any more? Have we lost our humanity? Or is there a political agenda at work here?
There is no obvious answer. Each person has their own opinion. However, many consider the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to be an unfair one, as Israel has the support of some powerful countries, the US being the main one, while Palestinians have only their freedom-loving spirits on their side, and that hope of freedom is what they live for.