What’s happening in Palestine isn’t something new we can ignore
There is a narrow strip of land on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean that is currently witness to the greatest genocide of our times. Every day, fire rains from the sky and soaks the soil in blood. At the writing of this editorial, the death toll in Gaza had officially reached 718. This is a humanitarian crisis, a blight on the conscience of all who are standing by, watching Palestinians die, including the liberal western democracies and the United Nations, who have always professed to uphold the sanctity of life, liberty and justice.
But for Pakistan, it is something more than just the shame of inactivity that is overwhelming most of the developed world. It is also the bond of religion. A brotherhood based on solidarity and shared mutual belief. We call ourselves an Islamic Republic, we thump our chests for flying the banner of Islam in South Asia, our passports say that we do not recognize Israel as a sovereign nation state because of the illegal occupation of Palestine, we are a part of OIC, we aspire to the idea of an Ummah; so what are we doing at a time when this idea of an Ummah is being crushed under the wheels of a military aggressor? What has been the response of the government, and the people?
No special meeting has been called to discuss the issue among the elected parliamentarians, the official representative at the UN offered some verbal condemnations but is doing nothing to advocate a cessation of hostility from Israel. Nawaz Sharif has gone for an Umra and will discuss Gaza with the Saudi leadership, he won’t however, direct any criticism towards the US for its complicit role in the ongoing massacre, or actually offer material support to the suffering Palestinians.
Imran Khan has been vocal in front of the press, but the only long march and tsunamis he will be a part of, will be the ones that try to get him into executive power. He won’t stand with his ‘million-strong’ for Gaza, he won’t put aside political differences to rally for a bigger cause.
Yes, our military is occupied with matters of internal security, operation Zarb-e-Azb is taking up a lot of our financial and human resources, but tragedy doesn’t wait for people to get their own house in order. If after all those years of claiming to represent Islam in international forums and safeguarding the Muslim way of life in the face of imperial onslaught, the political establishment is simply going to turn its back on the Muslim holocaust, then it has all been a waste of time.
The people are faring no better, there have been bigger rallies in London against the carnage in Palestine than there have been in Pakistan. A handful of people spring up in pockets of protest from time to time, but Jamaat-e-Islami is the only organization to actually come out on the streets en masse. Do we want our humanitarian and Muslim conscience represented by a hard-line, right-wing organization? Is that what we are fighting right-wing militancy for?