Palestinians roam the world with Palestine in their heart, they speak of her to all whom will listen, and try to do what is within their power to help the people there. This is understandable, she is their home, their roots and their essence, for them to sacrifice of themselves is to be expected. It is when non-Palestinians, and especially non-Arabs scarifice of themselves for her that I feel the need to salute them.
The friends of palestine society at my university would not have existed without the dedication of Malaysians, Englishmen, Welshmen, Pakistani and Lebanese nationals. Their enthusiasm for the events that were organised was as humbling as it was touching, but it did not stop there.
It the tiny town where I lived in England, I met no less than two women who have travelled to Palestine to help the people. They work with the IWPS (International Women’s Palestine Solidarity) group, and they take part in olive picking, prevention of house demolitions, demonstrations, attempting to aid people through checkpoints. Their presence is important, they may not be able to prevent the house demolitions, but they can delay it, maybe even give the family a chance to collect some belongings. In olive picking their presence deters the settlers from opening fire at the Palestinians, and can also result in the israeli army protecting the pickers from the settlers. Yes, they are not likely to be targetted to kill, but their visit is never a safe one, just think of Rachel Corrie who was run over by a bulldozer or Tom Hurndall who was shot by a sniper while saving small children in Gaza. They risk alot, and their bravery is given as much credit as I think it should… but still we must ask why?
Why risk your life for a country that is not yours, for a people different to you? Why leave the comfort of your home, for the bullet ridden, water starved homes of a foreign land? Why swap the easy journeys, and polite company for checkpoints and humiliation?
Whatever it is, it is amazing, amazing that there exist in our cynical, capitalist, selfish world, those who care for others, and practice ‘do unto others as you would done unto you’.
Filed under: Palestine