Students oppose ethnic cleansing in Gaza
This was a speech given to a forum hosted by the Resistance – Young Socialist Alliance student club at the University of Western Sydney on August 7.
As I speak now, the people in Gaza are facing death or dispossession while other Palestinians are living under harsh conditions imposed by the apartheid state of Israel.
The most recent atrocities committed by this ruthless occupation is the bombing and shelling of the Gaza strip for the past three weeks which has claimed the lives of 1967 Palestinians, 80% of them are civilians, 371 are children and the death toll keeps rising.
This suffering is not something new to the Palestinian people as they have been suffering from oppression for decades now.
It all started with the colonisation of Palestine in 1948 by the Zionists who wanted to create a Jewish only state at the expense of the Palestinian people who inhabited the land.
This colonisation was backed by Western imperialist powers and resulted in the displacement of 80% of the Palestinian population from their homeland.
The rest of the Palestinians who remained on their land were, and continue to be, subjected to the harshest, most inhumane conditions which are imposed by the Israeli occupation. They are subjected to unlawful detainment, electricity stoppage, blockades and worst of all killing at the hands of the Israeli forces.
Palestinians in the Gaza strip have been subjected to siege and frequent bombing since 2005 and the conditions intensified in the last month when the Israeli forces started bombing the area under the excuse of self-defense from the Palestinian resistance — Hamas.
How could firing tons of bombs and rockets on an area of only 360 square kilometres be justified under self-defence?
This is a weaponry which has targeted civilian infrastructure such as hospitals, UN schools, civilian houses and even four kids innocently playing soccer on the beach.
It is part of the genocidal war against the Palestinians, specifically the people of Gaza who are unoccupied by Israel. This war is intended to kill and uproot as many people from Gaza as possible so that they are replaced by Israeli settlements.
The Israeli government has been frank about this ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, which is evidenced by a member of the Israeli Parliament, Ayelet Shaked, who called for genocide against all Palestinians including the mothers and children.
Moshe Feiglin, the deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament, said the correct targets have been hit and “that Gaza will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews”.
Here one human group is being denied their human right to life because of their religion or ethnicity, while another group is made privileged based on the same criteria.
This is injustice at its best and calls for the humanity inside us to stand up and say “no”.