From Deir Yassin and to Qusay Hamamra

Qusay Hamamra (Defense for Children - Palestine)

Mona Abu Amara

Mondoweiss /  April 21, 2022

The same settler-colonial project that carried out the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948 is responsible for the killing of 16-year old Qusay Hamamra last week.

About a week or so ago, as I looked back and reflected on what happened in Deir Yassin, I realized that presently we are facing the same establishment that caused the massacre 74 years ago. Decades later, it is still denying the occurrence of the Deir Yassin massacre or any of the massacres that followed, deflecting every responsibility for all of the atrocities it has committed ever since a for their consequences.

But what can one expect from an entity built over the bodies of the indigenous population and the ruins of their homes?

What can one expect when two of the perpetrators of the Deir Yassin massacre wound up assuming the position of a Prime Minister of this settler-colonial belligerent occupation?

What do you expect after the revelation, which was not actually a revelation, concerning a mass grave turned into a parking lot was made? Did Israel open the grave site? Did it even open an investigation? Did it question the perpetrators, or examine their gruesome confessions? “No,” to all of the above.

It is time to end this nonsense, cut the charade, and speak up to save lives, all lives.

Israel is not occupying Palestine because it needs security. Israel occupies Palestine because it wants everything, which is why it needs security.

That is why Israel is hard at work normalizing the torture of Palestinians under the pretext of seeking security. It feels superior, and the Western world backs this notion by shielding it from accountability. 

Every day, while the international community goes on doing business as usual, Israel has the Palestinian people caged in the largest open-air prison in the world. Israel steals Palestinian land, homes, water, and other natural resources. Israel prevents Palestinians from prospering, subjects them to all sorts of humiliations in their daily lives, imprisons them illegally, kills them with impunity, and tortures their kids, women, and the elderly. And Israel refuses to walk the path toward a resolution because it does not want one. Why, you might ask? Well, because it is pretty convenient to claim that its atrocities result from the fear of prosecution, especially when the Western world stands idle to these lies. 

The only obstacle to peace is Israel; the only source of terror comes from its Zionist settler-colonial agenda.

All lives should be equally worthy and precious; however, I have yet to find those in the international community who would courageously and decisively come out to condemn, call out, and demand accountability for the daily atrocities committed against Palestine and the Palestinians. 

We are not lesser people, and our lives are not less valued; they never will be.

Israel needs to end its occupation; there is no excuse for it, and the international community needs to stop its impunity; there is no excuse for that either.

Now allow me a moment to put on my mom hat for a second, a Palestinian mom hat.

I am the mother of a 14-year-old girl, and right now, as I came about some disturbing news, I am fighting the tears.

Emenar, my daughter is 14; she is a child, an artist, a professional dancer, and she creates breathtaking masterpieces when she draws and paints. She loves to play video games, and she is a big prankster. 

As we currently reside in Canada, the world seems to be her oyster. But, because she is a Palestinian, there is always this ingrained fear of a scenario where she might end up in an Israeli jail or, God forbid, be injured by the brutal Israeli forces or even murdered. Again just because she happens to be Palestinian, being a child, being full of talents, or being adored by her family will not shield her because Israel, which occupies our land, does not see our kids as children; it does not see their lives as invaluable, it does not  believe they have the right just like Israeli kids to a safe, secure, and prosperous future.

Qusay, this sweet 16-year-old boy whom I will never have the honor of meeting, undoubtedly, had plenty of talents that the world will never get a chance to witness. He had a future that his grieving mom, dad and loved ones have been robbed of after picturing it and dreaming about it since he was born. 

Qusay was killed because he happened to be a Palestinian child in a land occupied by Israel and nothing more. So please do not patronize us and shield Israel yet again from its responsibility by blaming the victim and claiming they create their own misery! We do not; Israel’s occupation is a disease, and diseases have to be treated, not hidden behind their symptoms! Israel wreaks hell on the Palestinians every minute of every day, and they are left to fend for themselves against a brutal nuclear settler-colonial occupation.

They are left to fend for themselves against a belligerent force that once stood by a strategy of literally using rocks to break the bones of Palestinian youth. An occupation that thought using this method might break the spirits of Palestinian kids and youth. Israel believed it had the right to subjugate those unruly pests to such monstrosity only to send a warning to all others who might challenge Israel’s authority!

They are left to fend for themselves against human rights violations, international law, and state terror. Not made possible just due to Israel’s brutality but also due to the support of every liberal democracy that preaches the importance of a rule-based international order except when it comes to Palestine.

Qusay is dead today, and Mohammad before him and Omar after him, and their moms and other moms will continue to grieve. No Palestinian will know whose child will go next, and this terror and horror will continue unless the international community wakes up from its deep sleep and intervenes to end it.

Parenting is exhausting; you use everything you have in you to see these tiny humans who wholeheartedly depend on you grow and flourish. To achieve that, you would sacrifice everything.

So for these precious beings to end up on a dark day faced with an invading cruel force inflicting terror on the rightful owners of the land. A force that is ordered to not regard Palestinians as human beings. And for those forces to have the final word on whether a Palestinian child who is oh so loved and oh so needed gets to live or die, just for that soldier to excuse this murder with a claim of not feeling ‘secure’!

Does this make sense to you? Would you grasp that if it were your child on the other side of this soldier’s weapon? I did not think so.

If Israel keeps proving time and time again that its claim for security is built on the need to cage and murder the Palestinian population, I guess the world needs to reexamine what that security really sands for!

Palestinians want to live, and they deserve to see their kids enjoy a future that is as secure and prosperous as any other kids in this world would. But Israel, does not want Palestine to exist, and it wants the Palestinians hidden in its shadows, stranded in hundreds of enclaves, dependent on the pity of the international community.
Israel does not consider us as equals; it does not recognize our human rights or national needs. We must be ‘good, occupied people’; otherwise, our extermination becomes an imminent requirement for Israel’s security.

We will not surrender to a de facto occupation, nor will we concede to witnessing our children, women, or men being butchered every day. 

The only way out is through the implementation of international law, and it pains me that Palestine is the party pleading for that while the liberal democracies preaching about the importance of values, norms, and international legitimacy are standing in the way.

No tyrant has been able to keep its terror forever, so sooner or later, Palestine and the Palestinians will be free, but why not prevent senseless deaths that Israel’s tyranny will perpetrate until then?

Stand for Palestinian rights as you do with others, do not shield cruelty and brutality, do not let our kids’ murders turn into another incident, and do not let another mother grieve her baby.

No child deserves to be shot in cold blood, be prevented from getting help and then be left on the side of the road to die, do not let Palestinian children be an exception to that truth.

Mona Abuamara is the Ambassador-Chief Representative of the Palestinian General Delegation to Canada