The power I am speaking of is that of the Zionist occupiers of our land who will not stop at anything to wipe every Palestinian off the face of this earth and erase every semblance of Palestinian life and culture of our ancestral home.
This savage power has been enabled and empowered throughout the last century by various western powers, mainly Britain closely followed by the United States of America. Britain did all in its power through the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to facilitate the establishment of the Jewish state on land that Britain did not own, nor have title to or was even managing. At a whim, British Zionists in the cabinet of Lloyd George championed the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and, as they say, the rest is history. Except it’s not history. It is still going on today.
Meet Lara Alqasem, a 22 year-old American student of Palestinian origin. Lara applied to do her Masters degree at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was accepted. She then applied for a student visa from the Israeli Consulate in Miami and was granted that as well. She arrived in Israel, as planned, to assume her studies only to be met at Ben Gurion Airport with the reality that is the unbridled power of the Apartheid regime ruling over Palestine. Despite producing all the necessary paper-work she was denied entry, detained and put under order to be deported. Her crime? Her name, Alqasem. The Israeli border authorities demanded to know her father’s name, her grandfather’s name, everything about her and finally refused her entry, because at one stage of her youthful existence in Florida she ticked ‘attending’ to a student union function on the Palestinian BDS movement. As we all know, Israel does not tolerate any resistance to its crimes nor any criticism of its Apartheid regime in Palestine.
So why did the Israeli authorities offer her a place a The Hebrew University?
And why did they issue her with a visa?
Was it because they could then stop her at her point of entry, Ben Gurion Airport, bully her, reject her, humiliate her and then deport her?
In their arrogance and the foreknowledge that no one would raise an eyebrow no matter what they did the Israeli authorities foolishly did not consider that this brave young woman might refuse to be deported and might insist on her day in court. Which she did. Last Thursday Lara appeared in front of the Israeli court and is still waiting for the judge’s decision. Meanwhile, she has been taken back to the detention centre at Ben Gurion Airport in filthy, inhuman conditions.
However, unfortunately for Israel, this act of state terrorism on a young woman has hit the headlines and become a public relations disaster for Israel and its supporters. The story is making headlines worldwide, NBC News, the Guardian, NYT, NPR and Associated Press reported
“She has been spending her days in a closed area with little access to a telephone, no internet and a bed that was infested with bedbugs, according to people who have spoken to her.”
Yet, this American citizen, who is supposedly entitled to the assistance and protection of her government got this mealy-mouthed statement from the US State department.
“We are aware of her case. Our embassy is providing consular access. We value freedom of expression, also in cases where people don’t agree with local policies. Ultimately it‘s up to Israel to decide who it wants to let into the country”
You see my friends, Israel, no matter what unlawful or savage act it perpetrates on anyone with Palestinian blood or background will go scott free. Lara was born in America. Her mother, Karen, is an American. She is a product of America. But, the mere fact that she has a father with a Palestinian name and origins is a crime.
Now tell me please what are the values and the way of life that westerners brag about?
Unless and until the so-called guardians of the ‘civilised world’ wake up to the fact that the monster they created in the Middle East is a threat to us all and stop it Israel will continue, unabated, to use its savage power against us. Meanwhile, as Lara has shown beyond a shadow of doubt, we Palestinians are not going anywhere and will continue to fight for justice and our right to self determination.
As that great American, Thomas Jefferson, is quoted as saying:
“When tyranny becomes law resistance becomes a duly.”
Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst, based in London, presently in Perth, Western Australia. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.