By Harmony, Marjorie, Amira, Ali, Osama, Raphael, Melissa, and Kali
We are grieved by the recent death toll increasing in the Holy Land and we send prayers for the families who are enduring grief and loss. As of October 20th, 8 Israelis have been killed, along with 1 Eritrean asylum seeker killed by Israeli attackers. 61 Palestinians were killed since the 1st of October, including 14 children, and over 2,000 Palestinians have been injured by the Israeli army and settlers. The numbers grow and grow.
Meanwhile, we are witnessing media coverage that compounds this violence by criminalizing the victims of Israeli occupation as they resist and protest. Truth telling is the sole ethical responsibility of the media. Truth telling means withstanding pressure to omit the truth, and it also means confronting structural violence that, without good reporting, may appear invisible even as it is deadly. While we are distracted by the glinting of knives, thousands of people are injured and killed by gun violence supreme. As advocates of justice and peace we find it an imperative time to rebuke the disproportionate and inaccurate media coverage of the recent events in Palestine and Israel.
We believe that Palestinian lives matter just as much as Israeli lives, and are saddened that these lives have been omitted in the recent mainstream media coverage. We are talking about people like Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Awad, who was shot during a protest in Hebron with a rubber coated steel bullet that struck his forehead. We are talking about Ibraheem Dar-Yousif, who was killed while harvesting olives in Al Janyia village, near Ramallah. We are talking about Rahaf Yihiya Hassan, who was killed with her mother in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike on October 11th. And yes, we are also talking about Mo’taz Ahmad ‘Oweisat, who was killed in Jerusalem by the Israeli military, who claimed he had a knife in his possession.
We know that media distortion is part and parcel of Israeli occupation. Occupation means control of water and other necessary resources such as food, health care, building supplies, and yes–media coverage. It also means control of lethal force, such that one population is completely disarmed while another is armed with the power to determine who lives and who dies. Occupation means oppression, discrimination, racism, displacement, and dispossession. Occupation means you are not able to worship at your holy site, not able to travel freely. It means that when you are killed or injured by a well-equipped, fully funded military entity, your death or injury will go uncounted. It means that if you protest in nonviolent marches, or if you choose to defend your land and people with what is left –a rock or perhaps a kitchen knife– you will be called a terrorist and be misrepresented as the aggressor in what is for you, a final matter of self-defense. The reality of the recent unrest is the reality of an entirely disproportionate struggle.
As allies of people striving for liberation, we cannot accept structural violence, and we cannot accept military occupation. We cannot accept the body count, which rises with every Israeli or Palestinian human being that perishes in the ongoing takeover of Palestinian land.
As nonviolent activists in the US, we call on our partners to respond with immediacy. It is not the time to remain uneducated and wavering in the face of injustice, or to silently wait for discussions about knives and violence to pass.
We believe that Israeli occupation of Palestine is deadly for all.
We believe that it is right to resist. The time is now to maximize solidarity with the primary method at our disposal: Boycott Israeli occupation. Divest from Israeli occupation. Sanction Israeli occupation. Spread awareness about BDS by holding local vigils and peace rallies, or by standing on a street corner with a single sign.
Use the hashtag #SolidarityWaveBDS.
A list of people who did not have their stories told on mainstream news:
1.Mohannad Halabi, 19, al-Biereh – Ramallah. Shot after allegedly grabbing gun and killing two Israelis. 10/3
2. Fadi Alloun, 19, Jerusalem. Israeli claim of ‘attack’ contradicted by eyewitnesses and video. 10/4
3. Amjad Hatem al-Jundi, 17, Hebron.
4. Thaer Abu Ghazala, 19, Jerusalem.
5. Abdul-Rahma Obeidallah, 11, Bethlehem.
6. Hotheifa Suleiman, 18, Tulkarem.
7. Wisam Jamal Faraj, 20, Jerusalem. Shot by an exploding bullet during protest. 10/8
8. Mohammad al-Ja’bari, 19, Hebron.
9. Ahmad Jamal Salah, 20, Jerusalem.
10. Ishaq Badran, 19, Jerusalem. Israeli claim of ‘attack’ contradicted by eyewitnesses. 10/10
11. Mohammad Said Ali, 19, Jerusalem.
12. Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Awad, 28, Hebron. Shot at protest by rubber-coated steel bullet in his forehead. 10/11
13. Ahmad Abedullah Sharakka, 13, Al Jalazoun Refugee camp-Ramallah.
14. Mostafa Al Khateeb, 18, Sur-Baher – Jerusalem.
15. Hassan Khalid Manassra, 15, Jerusalem.
16. Mohamed Nathmie Shamassnah, 22, Kutneh-Jerusalem.
17. Baha’ Elian,22, Jabal Al Mokaber-Jerusalem.
18. Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahra, 27, Bethlehem. Hit with a live bullet in the chest during a demonstration.
19. Ala’ Abu Jammal, 33, Jerusalem.
20. Bassem Bassam Sidr, 17, Hebron.
21. Ahmad Abu Sh’aban, 23, Jerusalem.
22. Ibraheem Dar-Yousif, 46, Al Janyia village Ramallah( Killed while harvesting olives)
23. Fadi Al-Darbi , 30, Jenin – died in Israeli detention camp.
24. Eyad Khalil Al Awawdah, Hebron.
25. Ihab Hannani, 19, Nablus.
26. Fadel al-Qawasmi, 18, Hebron. Shot by paramilitary settler, Israeli soldier caught on film planting knife near his body.
27. Mo’taz Ahmad ‘Oweisat, 16, Jerusalem. Military claimed he ‘had a knife’. 10/17
28. Bayan Abdul-Wahab al-‘Oseyli, 16, Hebron. Military claimed she ‘had a knife’. 10/17
29. Tariq Ziad an-Natsha, 22, Hebron. 10/17
30. Omar Mohammad al-Faqeeh, 22, Qalandia. Military claimed he ‘had a knife’. 10/17
31. Mohannad al-‘Oqabi, 21, Negev.
32. Hoda Mohammad Darweesh, 65, Jerusalem.
33. Hamza Mousa Al Amllah, 25, from Hebron, killed near Gush Atzion settlement near Hebron.
34. Odai Hashem al-Masalma, 24, Beit ‘Awwa town near Hebron.
35. Hussam Isma’el Al Ja’bari, 18, Hebron.
36. Bashaar Nidal Al Ja’bari, 15, Hebron.
37. Hashem al-‘Azza, 54, Hebron.
38. Moa’taz Attalah Qassem, 22, Eazaryia town near Jerusalem.
39. Mohamed Khalid Ighnimat, 20, Sourif
40. Ahmad Mohamed Sa’eed Kmiel, 17, Qabatyia
41. Danyia Jihad Irshied, 17, Hebron.
42. Sa’ied Mohamed Yousif Al atrash, 20, Hebron
43. Raed Sakit Abed Al Raheem Thalji Jaradat, 22, Sa’eer – Hebron
44. Eyiad Rouhi Ihjazi Jaradat, 19, Sa’er – Hebron
In the Gaza Strip:
45. Shadi Hussam Doula, 20.
46. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman al-Harbawi, 20.
47. Abed al-Wahidi, 20.
48. Mohammad Hisham al-Roqab, 15.
49. Adnan Mousa Abu ‘Oleyyan, 22.
50. Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20.
51. Jihad al-‘Obeid, 22.
52. Marwan Hisham Barbakh, 13.
53. Khalil Omar Othman, 15.
Harmony demonstrating #SolidarityWaveBDS.
54. Nour Rasmie Hassan, 30. Killed along with her child in an Israeli airstrike. 10/11
55. Rahaf Yihiya Hassan, two years old. Killed along with her mother in an Israeli airstrike. 10/11
56. Yihya Farahat, 23.
57. Shawqie Jaber Obed, 37.
58. Moahmed Ehmeed, Age unknown.
59. Ahmad al-Sarhi, 27.
60.Yihyia Hashim Qarirah, 20.
61. Khalil Hassan Abu Obeed, 25.
This article was first published at FOSNA Voice.