Yesterday was a sad day indeed. After leaving work, I went to my friend N’s apartment. This is when I heard the news about Gaza. A few minutes later, we got sent text messages informing us of a protest in support of Gaza at al-Manara square in Ramallah.
My friends and I met up and joined the protest. We began marching and soon, the organizers decided we should go straight to the Beit El settlement, which serves as the occupying powers administrative base and less than a mile away from Ramallah.
As we got closer to the settlement, a disgusting sight greeted us. The Western-backed Palestinian Authority called in the big guns and were blocking the street. That of course, did not deter the protesters, who immediately attempted to bypass these human checkpoints (4 in total).
The PA police had their batons and rifles ready to strike anyone that got in their way. Luckily, there were many journalists around and I kept hearing their commanders say, “hey, hey, don’t hit, don’t hit.” This of course was for the benefit of the camera. The unlucky protesters were either beat up out of the sight of cameras, or followed home, beat up, and had their cameras snatched away.
I kept thinking to myself, don’t these police officers and “soldiers” have family members who were affected by Israeli colonialism? A friend yelled at them saying, “It’s not your fault, all of you have a martyred family member, a brother in jail, olive trees that were burned by settlers, land that was stolen by the Israeli state. It’s the fault of Western powers who give you a small amount of cash to sell your souls.”
And that’s what it comes down to. How much money can a person be sold for? How much money does it take for Palestinians to turn their guns on fellow Palestinians so they can protect a settlement?
This morning, I pray for our sisters and brothers in Gaza, for our sisters and brothers in Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Iran and everywhere else there is an injustice in the world.