No words, but free Palestine

“PA, WHAT if the Israelis come and bomb us?”

A friend said he was stumped for an answer when his 10-year-old daughter asked this question.

Even for a parent who is used to humouring enquiring minds (How did I get out of Mom’s tummy? Where does God live? Why do food turn into poop?), he couldn’t find the words to immediately answer this one.

“My daughter absorbs a lot of things like the sponge, and for a 10-year-old, she sometimes sees things that I don’t even think about,” he said.

My friend, a teacher, explained what his daughter was worried about.

“How do I shield my daughter’s innocence for as long as I can yet still make sure she knows about right and wrong?

“How do I explain to her that Disney — her favourite TV channel — stands for the bombing of children? I mean Disney, man, they shouldn’t even get involved,” he said.

He said she was thinking about the things being done to Palestinians in Gaza. But she wanted to know why so many people in the world do not see the same things she did.

She also read on social media that bad things happen to people who say anything about Israel.

The kid is not entirely wrong. Although it hasn’t come to bombs yet, people who speak up for Palestinians are paying the price — through censorship, death threats, or being accused of anti-semitism.

On the other side of the coin, you can’t even mention Israel in a bad light or even remotely hint that they are an occupying force crying foul over a people defending themselves.

There’s a list of global brands that unequivocally support Israel, despite the obvious and well-documented genocide and inhumanity it perpetrates daily.

I looked up unequivocally. It means “without doubt”, so if you unequivocally support Israel in the face of its carpet bombing of an unarmed and trapped civilian population. That means Israelis can do whatever it want, break any law of humanity and you would still support and endorse it.

Many of these brands are part and parcel of daily life in Malaysia. You can look up what they have said about Palestine and Israel on record. No need to mention names.

That these brands are standing firmly behind Israel no matter what is a testament to how lopsided their morality is. They are quick to condemn Hamas’ atrocities but are deliberately blind to the sustained bullying and killing by Israel for over 70 years.

In their defence, these companies/brands, operating in places where people are against the inhumanity being perpetrated, quickly disassociate themselves from their corporate headquarters

The only time the world takes notice and wrings its hands is when people die, in large numbers. This happens once every few years and so far the endings are the same.

But with every established order of things, there is a pendulum of fate that governs their rise and fall. All status quo will fall inevitably.

And dare we say it? Are we seeing the dying momentum of the pendulum that has favoured Israel for all these years?

Is there an uptick of people who are rebelling against what their elders have been telling them about Palestine?

From the UK to the USA, we are seeing saner voices shouting to stop the madness, in the exact opposite of what their governments do. Let’s pray for sanity to return to the world.

Justice for Palestinians.

  • ZB Othman is an editor at The Malaysian Reserve.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition