Seerah on Gaza: Kindness in face of Hostility
The atrocities in Gaza have continued unabated despite Security Council resolution 2720 passed at the United Nations on 22 Dec 2023. The aid resolution passed with an abstention by Russia and the United States, but it calls for “immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip.” Nevertheless, the number of aid trucks passing into Gaza remains stubbornly far below the requirements needed to address huge numbers of dislocated and formerly housed residents inside Gaza.
The estimated number of trucks passing is only 200, where the normal low is 500, and there are critical shortages in potable water, food, sanitation, medicines, energy, fuel, and commercial supplies. The Israeli authorities are slowing things down due to the need to inspect each and every truck passing through. Furthermore, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) notes, “You cannot deliver aid under a sky full of airstrikes.” According to various sources, in mid-October the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) told the formerly housed Gazan residents in North Gaza to move south where there would be safe zones for them to live.
However, when these internally displaced people arrived in Gaza City and Deir al-Balah, they continued to experience intermittent IDF bombings, shellings, and sniper attacks. If they are injured and travel to hospitals, they discover not only are they over-crowded, but the IDF has also developed a plan to target the hospitals, arrest hospital staff, and even disappear them. A Lebanese doctor, Arnis Germany, told Breakthrough News recently that like many genocides in the past, the enemy is using infectious diseases and starvation as a weapon in their campaign to de-develop and de-populate Gaza.
People cannot survive without clean water and adequate food, and they develop homeless-population-type of health profiles. The IDF are also shown interrogating prisoners who are stripped down more than half-naked and it is also speculated that perhaps the men and children are being physically assessed for another crime that Israel is known for, which is illicit live organ-harvesting. No one knows how many children, babies, adult men and women have been captured and taken to facilities where they are doing live-organ-harvesting surgeries which are indeed crimes. Despite being labeled as “human animals” Palestinian body-parts are still coveted items in Israel’s organ-trafficking hub.
Others perhaps more fortunate, as testified by Gazans living at converted UN education facilities become refugee camps, are being killed execution-style by the IDF, which is rounding up or lining up women and children to slaughter them. No one knows what has happened to unknown numbers of disappeared Gazan residents, arrested hospital staff, and patients.
The viral hate, indiscriminate bombing, and deliberate targeting of journalists (especially from Al Jazeera) has been breathtaking. Due to the number of Al Jazeera journalists and their families targeted, Al Jazeera has filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court. Furthermore this week there will be hearings at the International Court of Justice at the Hague in the Netherlands on the case of genocide brought by South Africa. A number of countries have expressed support including Bolivia, Jordan, Malaysia, Turkey, Maldives, Namibia, and Pakistan, according to PressTV. However understanding the nature of the elite, who have strong representation either at the United Nations (press secretary for the UNSG) or at the World Economic Forum, the outcome is far from certain.
Anyway post-modern constitutional law study is too often taken for exploring ways to invert the meanings and intentions of the original manuscript or to attach new clauses for exceptions or to exploit loopholes found from among the volumes of past rulings. This is why the case of Corporate Personhood continues to be so difficult to overturn; often, even the groups purporting to fight such are taken over, for instance, by Stanford law professor who creates a limited hangout in order to neutralize public involvement and advocacy.
But there is always hope, according to Craig Mokhiber, a former UN official, who was interviewed recently by Electronic Intifada, because so much of Gaza has been documented live around the world. Even if the Israelis want to silence every independent reporter, shut down every alternative news station, arrest every pro-Gaza supporter; censure, blacklist and punish all the protesters; all human rights advocates are alarmed that such pogroms and ethnic cleansing will become normalized under fascistical leadership in their own country.
Protecting the Holy Land from Cancel Culture
In “Beat Swords into Plowshares” the Pope’s Christmas Day message recalled the prophet Isaiah (2:4) who foretold the Prince of Peace:
“He will render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore.”
That is, while it appears that the materialistic capitalist world believes that weapons can pave the way toward peace, and that peace must arrive by vanquishing the enemy, justifying rounds of endless bloodshed and exterminations, that is not the true Christian way. Instead Pope Francis advocates:
“To say ‘yes’ to the Prince of Peace, then, means saying ‘no’ to war, to every war and to do so with courage, to the very mindset of war, an aimless voyage, a defeat without victors, an inexcusable folly. This is what war is: an aimless voyage, a defeat without victors, an inexcusable folly. To say ‘no’ to war means saying ‘no’ to weaponry. The human heart is weak and impulsive; if we find instruments of death in our hands, sooner or later we will use them. And how can we even speak of peace when arms production, sales and trade are on the rise?”
This Christmas, especially in West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian Christians are comparing their children trapped underneath the blasted buildings of Gaza as “little Jesuses” who will rise from the rubble. Evangelical Lutheran Church Pastor Munther Isaac delivered a powerful “Christ in the Rubble” sermon from the sad heart of Cancelled Christmas 2023 in Bethlehem.
For civilized nations, the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” means forgiving, not taking revenge (Luke 6:31). It includes “Love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another” (John 13:34). The Golden Rule is present in all good religions, even including in Islam.
Islamic Masjid: Duaa (Prayer), Taqwa (Piety), Hospitality (Benevolence)
Good qualities are not foreign to civilized noble-minded religions especially when pursuing a path towards enlightenment. Despite losing loved ones in the Holy Land and Palestinians losing all hope of income, of working inside Israel, of basic daily sustenance, the Imams here in the West have of course been fighting against the overwhelming anguish, anxiety, and depression. As leaders in their communities, they must resolve Western issues such as Western support for ethnic cleansing, for Islamophobia, and false accusations of anti-Semitism (which does not make sense since Arabs are the most Semitic people by blood, language, and race).
From the Masjid, there are calls to share what their perspective of the situation is, calls to pray, calls for justice, calls to believe in martyrs, calls for hope in Jannah, and ways to do political advocacy. These things are not against the law in the United States yet. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are democratic birthrights. Since Palestine existed long before 1948, it must not be a crime to display or wave a Palestinian flag. Any other flag of a club, a state, or republic can be displayed but not in countries where the power of the law has become corrupted. It is wrong to believe that all of one state is a “terrorist state” including all the people and their ethnicity.
For Palestinian-Americans, the rampages and ravages of war inside Gaza are akin to what “Confessions of Japanese Soldiers” documentary video and General Shiro Ishii evokes among Asians. The videos about Unit 731 germ warfare human experiments, and soldiers’ confessions over the delight they experienced in killing are morbid and revolting to normal human beings. The killing-orgy-addiction of sociopaths are still available under a “riben guizi” search posted by Martin on YT. Soldiers, addicted to killing, over time gain a freakish demonic glimmer in their eyes, much like how one might imagine cannibals do while sharpening their knives.
This is not human; it is demonic. And the government that condones or encourages shameless bloodlust and blood-thirstiness and rewards torture and cruelty that cannot be imagined even in Hell need to have their government not just indicted but completely dismantled. Any government that is complicit also needs to be tried in the International Court of Justice, even for supplying weapons, especially in a region where the “Samson option” and “Hannibal directive” are very possible World War III realities.
This is why the Western Umma is so focused on the need for reflection and healing right now. In “Lessons from Seerah on Gaza” Imam Yaseen Shaikh gives hope in so many gems, like stars sparkling in the night sky, part of the eternal cosmos.
He emphasizes that this is a time for people, brethren especially, to mutually cooperate through the times of health or suffering. This way we can be pillars of strength, following the models of the prophets.
He acknowledges the pain of Gaza, of parents having to bury their children, mourning and not knowing where they are even. But Imam Yaseen reminds us that scripture says that they are not dead, but they’re alive; they are in a life we are not aware of.
As martyrs, did they not go through purgatory and suffering already, despite being in Al Quds, the Holy Land, where there is room for all the great prophets who gathered at one time to offer prayer in congregation? Al Quds is the place of holiness and peace, and the environs allow pilgrims to experience humility, tranquility, good consciousness, and awareness, whether inside Old Jerusalem, in the Moslem Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, or outside beyond its walls.
Seerah Wasallam was born in Gaza, so he knows the land of figs and olives intimately, and he was inspired to sit and write sacred prayers, even in Al Aqsa.
Today the environs are being attacked, destroyed, desecrated, so it is a time of opportunity and responsibility. The Umma (meaning Islamic peoples all around the world) must stand by their brothers and sisters because they have the right to freedom of speech, the obligation to speak the truth:
“We are very clear and unequivocal that we do not condone any violence perpetrated against any civilians. We do not condone any Islamophobia. We do not support anti-Semitism either. We believe that every individual should have the freedom to live with dignity, respect and peace. But at the same time we have a duty and responsibility to speak.”
Imam tells us truth can be an opportunity for sharing the faith of Islam, while exposing the facts behind the horrific violence and starvation taking place inside Gaza. In the name of “eliminating terrorists” thousands of West Bank Palestinians are also being arrested. This cannot be ignored or sidelined, no matter the push to trivialize and fetishize the Muslims, particularly inside of Gaza. The evils taking place are systemic in the IDF, just like at CIA black sites. (Jay Parker has reported extensively about satanic ritual abuse (SRA).)
“There are battles taking place on many fronts of course…But around the world there are many different battles taking place, and the battle that is taking place, that is heating up on our turf, on our grounds is the PR battle, and of course in the online space as well…”
Imam Yaseen urges his audience to have hope because this is a time that Western people’s opinions are shifting, and their understanding is increasing: “There are good people good conscious people that are neutral that have good hearts and it is a battle of the hearts and the minds; this is also where we have to exert a lot of effort…be united amongst ourselves.“
In the time of the Seerah, he also was persecuted and his sect underwent several years of severe persecution by the Quraysh, but eventually Seerah won the hearts and minds of the Quraysh and prevailed. This is exactly why Muslims must not give up hope, but must keep trying to nurture themselves and grow. The lesson today is that they take a courageous stand together to advocate with the good folks in their Western communities, to advocate with them and to call out for peace, and for a ceasefire:
“It’s time to call upon our Interfaith friends; those who stand with us in our communities, who work with us, who communicate with us, to also advocate for peace, and for a ceasefire.”
From the advancement of world peace perspective, there are many alternatives to develop the Middle East without having to resort to wholesale slaughter. China and India are developing their infrastructure without having to conduct genocide, and in fact, many of China’s remote regions were delighted to be hooked up to the high-speed rail system, now in it’s tenth year of progress. The success of the high-speed rail has even sparked new transportation corridors through Pakistan, India, Central Asia, and around the world, there are now many countries eager to to establish port development contracts with China which include connections to high-speed rail systems.
However as long as war takes place, all the people in that region are bound to continue to suffer both economically and humanistically. As the Schiller Institute has noted, there are ways to productively address the Middle East’s core problem of chronic water shortage through an Oasis Development Plan, particularly taking advantage of vast solar energy exposure capabilities to generate the energy to pump water through desalination plants, and power new electrical systems.
In the meantime, the present diplomatic whitewash offered by the Biden team focuses on post-Gaza reconstruction. But in the presence of a missing intermediate step, called an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, there is a causeway missing into the forseeable future. Palestinians immediately need vastly improved border access so ten-fold increases in water, food, fuel, sustenance, medical help, building materials, and immigration into Israel proper can be provided around the clock.
Since the top U.S. and Israeli diplomats are not willing to listen, worldwide demonstrations are continuing almost every week. For instance, ANSWER Coalition’s next big protests are scheduled for Saturday January 13, 2024, sponsored by the American Muslim Task Force for Palestine. Events calendars are also posted at Samidoun.net, and U.S. Campaign for Palestine Rights (USCPR.org). Educational films are being presented by the PeoplesForum.org often with experts offering introductions and follow-up discussions.
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movements are growing officially and unofficially even if there are resolutions against that because, simply put, nobody can really tell anyone where they can or cannot invest, especially if they are no longer interested in investing in Israel. The original BDSMovement.net founder, Omar Barghouti, still has an office based in Ramallah in the West Bank of Israel. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Saleh Hijazi and Aly Etape of BDS explained why they believe that boycotting is effective, and how it awakens the public discourse around the realities of apartheid. Once the BDS Movement reaches a critical mass, for instance, local governments and state governments can be canvassed to support government-wide BDS proposals, ending new company buildouts in illegal Palestinian territories (such as many Western technology companies have done).
A recent convenient smartphone program is “No Thanks” app developed by Ahmed Bashbash, a Palestinian recently relocated to Hungary where he put his talents to good use. “No Thanks” is quickly downloadable and allows one to scan or text-in questionable companies to see if they are a pro-Israeli company, how, and to what extent. For instance, even though Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream was officially ending their sales in illegal West Bank settlement areas, it is still marked for possible sanction because its distributor refuses to comply. If you do not want to use the camera or scan portion of the app, the textlinks are very helpful even when you do not have your wifi turned on.
As long as there is no ceasefire, many more actions will be planned, including for younger protesters, such as for those considering joining the PalestineYouthMovement.com.
Poster provided by Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU.org)