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The third Monday of January every year has been designated a national holiday in the USA to honour the memory of slain civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. — who was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis. This honour was proposed during the Reagan era in 1986 but it was not recognised nationally until the year 2000. Even now there is still resistance in a few southern states of the USA.

The injustice and cruelty that was meted out to the black Americans for generations was nothing short of inhuman. Let us call it by what it actually was. Abject slavery. But, when you look at the short history of the USA, the blacks in America fared much better than the indigenous tribes who were slaughtered en masse. Some estimates put the numbers at between 10 – 15 million. From the one million remaining, at least 80 tribes disappeared between 1900 and 1957, and 80% of all remaining people had been killed through total wiping out of their culture ,habitat, disease, or murder.

So much for the Land of The Free and Home of the Brave.

Dr King’s intellect, his fight for the right of his people to live a dignified, free life and his capacity to forgive was legendary.

As he so memorably said, “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”

We try, Dr King. We Palestinians try our very best to forgive the cruelty and trespasses of our Zionist enemy against us. But, unfortunately the more we forgive and the more we accommodate the more we are crushed and denied even the air we breathe. This suffocation of human life was recognised clearly by Dr King when he said:

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

In the memory of this icon of civil liberty I beseech all the good people of the world to break that silence and speak up for the people of Palestine.

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.


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One Comment

  1. Thank you — but just to point out that all-important Jaffa is missing on the “Israeli Expansion” map’s Partition part, benefiting Israel. Resolution 181 gave Jaffa to the Palestinians. (It is correct on the “land loss” map from your article “Waiting For A Miracle” a few weeks ago.)