Why Aren’t Celebrities Speaking Out Against Injustice In Palestine?

15-rihanna-free-palestine.w529.h352.2xIf it were left up to our Western media we would all believe that everything is right in the world. All we’d be allowed to know is that a plane crashed somewhere near Russia, Israel is defending itself against an enemy more dangerous than Godzilla, and Lebron James is going back to Cleveland. Thank God for the internet and in particular social media! The reality is that we can not rely on our media as a valuable source of information. We’ve known this for quite some time in politics and most other issues, but it’s becoming even more painfully obvious when it comes to coverage of Palestine. Although this is not a new phenomenon as our media has always ignored Palestinian suffering in favor of Israeli government talking points, it’s nothing short of amazing that mainstream media persists today knowing that the internet bears witness against their false narratives. Unless you’re a person who cares more about human suffering in the world instead of what this or that Kardashian is doing and instead seek out unbiased information, how would you know about the apartheid going on under your nose?

Imagine a society where in times like these, people whom we elevate to near god-like status as we fill their pockets, actually did something worthwhile outside of entertaining? Imagine if BeyoncĂ© paused between shaking her booty on the stage and encouraged her audience to get involved? Imagine if Kanye West stopped mid-rant about this or that beef of the day, and spoke out against the bombs being dropped on civilians in Gaza? I mean think about it and I’m not singling out any particular celebrities here, but time and time again, we the consumer go out and make people rich and famous, and though many give back in charitable ways that rarely if ever get promoted, when it comes to the global issues they are silent. This isn’t just about Gaza either. They rarely have a word to say when it comes to politics and barely when it comes to domestic issues as well.

So what should one make of the crickets coming from the privileged sector of our society? Should they even feel the need to use their platform to make their fans and followers aware of human tragedy? Some may argue that it’s not their duty and I’d have to agree. Yes, when I spend hundreds of dollars on entertainment essentially funding our decadence, I’m not asking actors, musicians, etc. to preach to me about social ills. However, what does it say about a person if they know they have the ability to effect change but instead do nothing? We already know politicians long ago sold their souls and though it’s heart wrenching to see our President repeat the tired old talking points reminding us who really runs the country, it should be expected. Truth is a foreign concept in US politic. So expecting more from our politicians is a worthless endeavor. However, should a platform necessitate a need to be used in order to address issues that the average joe cannot? Should celebrity be used in a meaningful way to promote change? Should those who have the ability to reach millions in a single tweet selfishly guard expressing how they feel on real world issues?

Obviously, one can somewhat excuse the cowardice of up and coming celebrities fearing their words could ruin their careers, but what about well established personalities? What’s their problem? Recently, Rihanna for instance, attempted to lead on this front and tweeted #freepalestine a courageous gesture that could have been celebrated and possibly encourage others to do the same, but unfortunately, moments later, she deleted the tweet and lied that it was an accident. In other words, Rihanna like Dwight Howard before her, accidentally advocated an end to Palestinian suffering.

What kind of world do we live in when speaking out against the oppression and slaughter of a people is considered an accident? It’s sickening to know that the mere mention of Palestine has Voldermort-esque properties, making even those who have no fear in posting nude pics of themselves, using sex tapes to fuel their careers, or leaking all manner of details about their hookups public, afraid to go on record stating that they believe the slaughter of women and children is wrong. I’m curious to know how one sleeps at night knowing that with all their influence they remain silent on the cause of our time. How will history judge this period when the world did nothing and even after the lessons of Nazi Germany and Apartheid in a South Africa, we turned a blind eye to the similar conditions in Palestine? How will history view those who had the power to ease that suffering but refused to speak out because they feared the loss of an album sale or an appearance in a a summer blockbuster? What’s left of our humanity, when we fear the mere acknowledgement of senseless violence and destruction against Palestine?

Cause and Effect: The Lies Being Told About The Israeli War

Israel has been occupying Palestine for over 4 decades. Israel controls Palestinian movement, utility, economy, and does not respect Palestinian self-determination or freedom. Palestinians are often arrested and held without charge, harassed, beaten, and denied human dignity regardless of gender or age. Palestinians particularly in Gaza, live in imposed ghettos isolated on every border. Israel has bulldozed homes, raised farmland, orchards, built walls and barriers to claim more and more Palestinian territory with illegal settlement activity. These settlers are often religious extremists who attack Palestinians at will and though their claims to the land is internationally disputed, Israel encourages their settlement through government subsidies and aid. Palestinians live under the thumb of a brutal occupying regime which has no regard for international law, human rights, or Palestinian sovereignty. The Israeli government in essence, is imposing the very same conditions on the Palestinians as Blacks in South Africa under Apartheid or the Jewish people themselves in Europe under the Nazis and their allies.

The question often asked, even by our US President, is what country would stand for rockets flying into their country? This question, which is hypocritical on the premise, ignores the Palestinian people entirely and considers them invalid, subhuman, and not worthy of the same human rights as Israelis or any other people on the planet. Palestine has suffered for decades with no support from any country, whereas their brutal occupier is backed by the entire Western world. The Palestinian oppressor is given billions of aid each year and political backing to cover their crimes. Saddam Hussein, whom then President of the United States George W. Bush routinely reminded had violated scores UN Resolutions, did not violate nearly as many as the State of Israel. Yet, where is Saddam now? This point is poignant when you consider Israel is allowed to do whatever it likes to the Palestinian people and government and their UN violations are never a rallying cry for removal, preemptive war, or regime change. No one ever asks the question, what country would allow such oppression for so long without trying to defend itself, because to do so would be an admission that Palestine has a legitimate right to fight back against the tyranny they suffer. What country would sit back while their lands are stolen from them, their homes destroyed, their people abused, and their rights ignored? What country would sit back as their suffering is ignored by the world, their oppressors are rewarded for their crimes, and their basic liberties discarded at will? The answer from America, the West, and the world, is no country but Palestine.

Palestine is expected to suffer these indignities until Israel decides to stop. Palestinian suffering is at the whim of an occupying force and it’s resolution or final solution will be decided solely by Israel.

Hamas, no matter the level of oppression levied against their people, is wrong. Targeting innocent civilians is wrong. There is no justification for it no matter who the culprit is. However, one has to ask the serious question of whether Hamas exists in a vacuum? People act as if Hamas woke up one day for no reason, decided firing rockets that are ineffective and not even close to the level of a threat as perpetrated by the biased media outlets. But, Hamas nonetheless, is being blamed for Israel’s brutal assault against Gaza, where once again a few Israeli lives and a few days of terror must equal hundreds of Palestine lives and more decades of terror for the Palestinian people, because after all, it should be clear to the world by now that one Israeli life is worth at least 100 Palestine lives. One Hamas rocket in Israel, is worth thousands of tons of bombs and artillery in Palestine right?

What of the West Bank? What of the so-called Palestinian President? They haven’t fired any rockets or killed any illegal Israeli settlers, so why are they still surrounded, cut off from the world, and have their movements restricted and sovereignty ignored? I guess a Hamas rocket has special powers too broad to comprehend.

The sad truth in all this Israeli aggression and criminal, inhumane treatment against the Palestinians, is that it does not reflect the Jewish people or the Jewish faith. The government of Israel enacts a policy that is morally bankrupt, unconscionable by human standards, and evil by most measures. This behavior hurts the Jewish people as well. Israel has successfully used the evil of the Holocaust as political means to guilt the world into allowing them the ability to commit crimes against humanity. They are becoming more and more like Nazi Germany themselves and just as it was when Hitler began his atrocities against the Jews, the world again turns a blind eye to the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people.

What will it take for the world to stop these crimes against humanity this time? Have we not learned the lessons of the Holocaust, Apartheid, and Rwanda? How many more Palestinians must suffer and die before the world says emphatically that enough is enough? How similar must Israel’s abuse mimic Nazi Germany before Jews of conscious retake the banner and take back up the call of never again? Or does none of this apply to Palestinians as they aren’t as human as Israelis?

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