Categories: Middle East

What a Difference Half a Dozen Makes

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.


The war against Gaza has entered its sixth month, and no end is in sight. Over 33,000 souls — men, women, and children — are dead. Thousands of housing units have been destroyed. And millions of Palestinians are facing imminent famine and utter starvation.

Notice that I said “the war against Gaza” instead of “the war against Hamas,” an Islamist resistance organization. Why did I say this? Because the vast majority of the dead are non-combatants. Thousands are children. Are we to believe they were Hamas babies?

The hatred Israelis feel towards Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular is beyond the pale. But this conflict is more than racist and more than merely political. It is both existential and territorial. It is a settler-colonial conflict that covets the land of Palestinians. It could care less for the people. Doesn’t that explain the naked carnage of the war? Doesn’t that explain the average of 5,000 deaths per month?

One need look no further than the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) killing of three shirtless Jewish hostages speaking Hebrew. As the saying goes: “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” If you’re in the territory, you’re a target.

And then the killing of seven World Central Kitchen helpers happens, and liberals go bonkers. Israel gets rapped on its knuckles. “Bad dog. Bad dog.” Really? Really? Some 33,000 Palestinians get slaughtered, and the virtual silence is deafening.

Dr. Franz Fanon, in his classic work “The Wretched of the Earth,” said that colonial conflicts are between two different species. The colonizers are deemed human. The colonized are less than human. For being unfree, they are non-human, because only humans are free.

The liberals call for a ceasefire. Why not go to the core of things by demanding an end to occupation? Don’t Palestinians deserve freedom? Don’t Palestinians deserve a right to exist? Don’t Palestinians deserve statehood? Or are these things only for Israelis?

Perhaps I’m not being fair. Perhaps. But then I think of the words of an Israeli diplomat, the ambassador who was discussing peace with Palestine. Danny Danon, Israel’s United Nations ambassador, in an op-ed piece for the June 24, 2019, edition of the New York Times wrote that Palestinians need only do two things to establish peace: A. Commit (his words) national suicide, and B. Surrender. Think of that. A French imperial colonial couldn’t have said it better.

The U.S. is neither a fair nor impartial arbiter. It is deeply biased and arms apartheid Israel with weapons, not of defense, but of offense. The IDF stands for the Israeli Death Force.

So let us begin with a call: Cease the occupation!

With love, not phear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

April 15, 2024

Mumia Abu-Jamal (guest author)

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Mumia Abu-Jamal (guest author)

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