A ceasefire is a moment of genuine relief for Palestinians who have lived without an iron dome for 11 days at the mercy of airstrikes. Now the cameras will be leaving Gaza, let’s count what they are leaving behind; at least 232 dead Palestinians, including 58 children. Many of the 1,300 wounded Palestinians, will need to adjust to their new lives, many now without limbs, loved ones, or homes. Entire families have been killed from the youngest to the oldest without warning. Local media left without offices or equipment, schools destroyed, sewage on the streets, electricity generators destroyed, the only covid testing centre bombed, the biggest book shop bombed, charities bombed, administrative buildings bombed, businesses bombed, families homeless, children orphans, Parents childless. The 73rd year of the dispossession of the Palestinians remains as cruel as many before it.
Yet the ceasefire has to be seen without illusions. Gaza is still under siege for the 15th year in a row. All of historic Palestine remains occupied. The Refugees have not been allowed to return. Israel continues to practice apartheid. Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, and the West Bank are still being ethnically cleansed and Al Aqsa remains at the mercy of threats from settlers and raids from the Israeli police.
The Demonstration this Saturday remains even more urgent than before because Israel believes it is unaccountable. That as soon as it stops bombing the world will stop paying attention and it can go back to dispossession, occupation, and apartheid. We have to prove that things have changed and that this time so many people have joined the movement to #Freepalestine that we will change things at every level of society and politics.
We will boycott collectively and effectively. Divest and make sure our and others’ money isn’t supporting the occupation, whilst committing our money to those who work against it. Call upon, convince and compel those in politics to impose sanctions on Israel. Failing to support the Palestinian struggle for liberation is a reason to organise against politicians no matter their party.
Let us all remember this, what happens to the Palestinians matters to everyone in the UK, as it shows us how we would be treated by the rest of the world if our country was occupied and our people turned into a mixture of refugees and resistors.
Muslim Association of Britain
20th May 2021
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