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Equality in Martyrdom
Of course, by now the Israeli Occupying Forces are getting more and more innovative in their humiliating procedures. Stripping a man naked on a wet and cold day in Nablus was the latest of these measures. Over and above he was forced to crawl in the mud like an animal and bark like a dog while the soldiers were amused. Many of you have seen this photo which was widely circulated on the internet and in our local papers. If it reflects anything; it is how sick and dehumanized these soldiers have become in the process of oppressing and humiliating the Palestinians for the last thirty-five years.
Last night a 95 year-old woman, Fatimah Sarahneh, was shot dead by the Israeli Occupying Forces inside a van at the JAWWAL crossing near El-Bireh. This came shortly after a deaf man Ashur Salem was killed under the rubble of his home which the Israeli Occupation Forces demolished in Beit Lahya in the Gaza Strip. He did not hear the alert, and the Israeli army refused to allow members of the family to check him out on the sixth floor of the building.
The first thing that came to my mind was another form of equality; equality in "Shihadah" (martyrdom). Activists, policemen, school children, laborers and farmers; passivists, elderly people, men, women, and babies. All have joined the long list of "Shuhada" (martyrs).
A martyr is somebody who is willing to suffer or die for his faith or principle. But all those people have earned their "shihadah" for being victims of a brutal occupation which very often considers these victims as "collateral damage." Even at the age of 95, Fatimah was deprived of the privilege of dying in peace in her own bed.
In this Holy Land, holy to the three monotheistic faiths, this is now the Advent season for the Christians and Chanukah for the Jews. But how will the Christians be receiving Christmas when Bethlehem, the city of the birth of Christ, is under curfew, and the memory of those dear ones who were shot dead by the Israeli Occupying forces is still fresh and very painful. At the same time many Israeli families will be missing dear ones as they light the Chanukah candles. My only hope is that those families will remember that their dear ones and our dear ones would have been spared had Israel not chosen to be an occupying military machine for the last thirty-five years. All of this has been against the wishes of the occupied Palestinian population and in defiance of United Nations resolutions.
Let us hope Jews, Christians and Muslims of this Holy Land will soon be able to celebrate their feasts in peaceful times where both Palestinians and Israelis are liberated from this brutal occupation which is "killing us all." Happy Eid, Merry Christmas, and Hag Sameach.