While Razan lost her life, Nikki Haley lost her humanity

First published by the Middle East Monitor on 3/6/2018

Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations votes during a UN Security Council meeting following the United States, United Kingdom and France attacks on chemical weapons positions in Syria at United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on 14 April, 2018 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

Razan died a proud Palestinian full of humanity and will be remembered with the same name she was born with. In contrast, Nimrata Randhawa, will be remembered by her adopted name, Nikki Haley, hiding her Indian heritage. Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

Last Friday, 1 June, a Palestinian volunteer medic, Razan Al Najar, was fasting and tending to the wounded at Gaza’s artificial fence with Israel. Thousands of miles away, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, was scheming on behalf of Israel at the world body. The day ended with martyrdom and glory for Razan and shame and humiliation for Nikki.

Just like she had done since the start of the Great March of Return on 30 March, Razan said goodbye to her family to go to the border, knowing that her skills would undoubtedly be called upon to treat Palestinians planning to march to the fence that artificially separates Gaza from the rest of historic Palestine. They have been marching to exercise their right of return to the homes they and their families hail from and which Israel and its terrorist gangs had expelled them from in 1948 and continued to do since then. Razan’s medical skills would surely be needed because Israel decided to deploy tens of highly trained snipers to kill Palestinians. The number killed has now reached 119, with over ten thousand injured; some estimates put this figure at over 13,000.

File photo of 21-year-old Razan Al-Najar, a volunteer medic in Gaza, killed on June 1, 2018, during the 10th week of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests at the Gaza-Israel border

A post on Facebook whose accuracy I cannot verify says that her last words to her mother were to ask her to cook stuffed vine leaves for her breaking of the fast meal at sunset. She said her goodbyes and left to join her medical colleagues at the fence. Nikki Haley would at that time probably been having her breakfast before heading to the UN to decide how to deal with the 15-member Security Council. It had failed to agree on any statement regarding the events at the Gaza fence since the start of the marches, despite the high number of casualties. The choice for the Council that day was whether to back a resolution tabled by Kuwait calling for protection for the Palestinian people or to back an American resolution condemning Hamas for a volley of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip in response to Israeli crimes.

Twenty-one-year-old Razan was the eldest of six siblings. She had a diploma in general nursing and had completed some 38 first aid courses. Although she had not secured paid work, she volunteered in hospitals and with NGOs and medical organisations, building skills and experience that made her an asset when it came to the Great March.

In an interview with The New York Times last month, Razan explained why she had volunteered to help with the Great Return March, especially as a woman. “Being a medic is not only a job for a man,” Razan said. “It’s for women, too.”

She also bore witness to the final moments of some of those who were fatally wounded. “It breaks my heart that some of the young men who were injured or killed made their wills in front of me,” she told Al Jazeera. “Some even gave me their accessories [as gifts] before they died.”

In a post on her Facebook account on the 16 May, Razan denied claims that she and others went to the fence under duress.

On 1 June, she was shot in the back by an Israeli sniper, the human rights group Al Mezan stated, citing eyewitnesses and its investigations. She was100m from the fence the moment she was shot and was wearing clothing which clearly identified her as a medic. Her blood stained medical vest accompanied her to her grave during what was a massive funeral the following day.

Contrast the humane and selfless acts of 21-year-old Razan, with limited opportunities to bring peace and justice to her people, with the shameful and brazen attempts in the Security Council by US Ambassador Nikki Haley to deny another people, Razan’s people, protection from Israeli terror. While Kuwait had brought a resolution to the Council to call on it to fulfil its responsibility to an oppressed people and ensure their protection, Hayley was bringing a resolution to denounce Hamas for the volley of rockets that were launched into other Israeli controlled areas following the deadly attacks at the fence and bombings of the beleaguered enclave.

Votes on the two texts came shortly after Razan’s death. Haley failed to garner any votes for the resolution except her own, with three countries voting against it and 11 abstaining. A complete humiliation for the US and for Haley personally, leaving observers scrambling through historical records to find another occasion when a resolution only had the support of the country proposing it. None were found at the time of writing this piece.

Palestinians attend the funeral ceremony of Razan Ashraf Najjar, 21, a female paramedic who was shot dead by Israeli forces while healing wounded demonstrators during ‘Great March of Return’ protests in Khan Yunis on Friday, in Huzaa neighbourhood of Khan Yunis, Gaza on June 02, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona / Anadolu Agency]

Hayley was again isolated when the US vetoed a resolution to protect Palestinians. With her Israel proxy, she had turned her back on a largely unarmed Palestinian people, facing the might of Israel’s military, aided by American military hardware worth billions of dollars. She had walked outof a previous Council meeting on Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters when their representative began to speak. It was a clear breach of protocol which brought heavy condemnation.  Given her overall performance as US ambassador, President Trump should, without delay, sack Hayley. She has brought isolation and disgrace to her country; all for the sake of an undeserving ally, Israel.

On 1 June 2018, Razan lost her life while Nikki Hayley lost her humanity defending the terrorist actions of a rogue state, Israel. Razan died a proud Palestinian full of humanity and will be remembered with the same name she was born with. In contrast, Nimrata Randhawa, the daughter of Sikh immigrants will one day pass away to be remembered by her adopted name, Nikki Haley, hiding her Indian heritage. Razan will be remembered for her selfless volunteering while Hayley will be remembered for her astonishing role, supporting and shielding the world’s only apartheid state.

Razan had little power to change the dynamics and bring peace to the holy land, while Hayley, from one of the most powerful offices in world politics, could have helped protect Palestinians and bring peace to the region. If only Razan had such a high profile office, the world would be a better place.

Rest in peace Razan Al-Najar, you are worth more than a million Nikki Haleys.

112 Palestinians were killed in #Gaza by Israeli forces from 30th March to 15 May 2018

Read more: ow.ly/wwyF30k7j4A

MEMO infographic by The White Canvas …

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UK Parliament debates Palestinian child prisoners 

UK Parliament debates Palestinian child prisoners 

Labour MP Sarah Champion secured a debate in Parliament on 6/1/2016 on Palestinian child prisoners. This was held in West Minister Hall, not in the main chamber and attracted around 50 MPs. Sarah had recently visited Palestine with CAABU and MAP and gave an excellent, authoritive and in places shocking speech. 

Israel commits war crimes on an industrial scale.

  
The debate unfortunately demonstrated that the U.K. Parliament has a number of MPs who will defend Israel regardless of the issue being discussed or the gravity of its criminal behaviour. Their hatred for Palestinians was evident, ignoring the occupation and arguing that Palestinian incitement was to blame. Unfortunately, nothing will change their views, which come straight from the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s manual.

Here is a link to the debate

Report about the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Lobby of Parliament

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9/9/2014

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Lobby of Parliament for Gaza took place on the 9th of September. The main speaker at the briefing was Dr Mustafa Barghouti, who gave a first hand, moving account of the situation in Gaza following Israel’s terrorist attack which left over 2,000 Palestinians dead, mostly civilians. His talk can be accessed here.

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Dr Mustafa Barghouti reported on what he saw in Gaza
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Israel dropped Explosives barrels in Gaza, so much for surgical strikes!

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Hundreds then went to meet their MPs and there was a rousing rally in the evening.

I reminded the attendants that Britain had a moral duty to right the wrong of the Balfour Declaration. The speakers also called for lifting of the siege and an end to arms trade with Israel.

Grahame Mortis MP Chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East announced that Back Benchers had succeeded in securing a voting debate on 13 October, to recognise a Palestinian State.

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Text if motion for voting debate on 23 October 2014.

The Lobby was covered by the media. Aljazeera report in Arabic can be viewed here.

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Packed Committee room for Rally for Gaza.

Update 28/9/2014

Here is a link to Dr Barghouti’s eyewitness account from Gaza

If only the rockets would stop, there would be peace, claim Zionists

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‘It’s the rockets’, if Hamas stops firing rockets there will be calm, Zionists claim. Wrong, it is the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, the denial of their rights, the siege on Gaza,the settlements and the lack of the implementation of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Listening to the Israeli and pro Israeli commentators and analysts this week you could be excused for thinking there was no problem in Palestine / Israel until 10 days or so ago when ‘Hamas fired rickets’. No mention of the Nakba, the dispossession, the expulsion of Palestinians through Jewish Zionist terror. No mention of the siege on Gaza, the Apartheid Wall, the checkpoints, the house demolitions, the abductions of children by the IDF, the racism, the humiliation and the inequality of treatment of Jews and non Jews. If I had a penny for every time I heard “If Hamas (Khamas) stops firing rockets, Israel would stop its attack”, I really would be a rich person!

What drove me to write this piece was an interview on the BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast show on 14/7/2014. the interviewr, Nicky Campbell is a fair interviewer. Appearing at the same time was a journalist from the Jerusalem Post, whose name I did not get.

In response to Nicky’s first question I asked whether any of the 160 -at the time- Palestinains that had been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza was responsible for the abduction and killing of the the three Israeli settlers, near Hebron. I was taken aback when the Israeli speaker said that Palestinians always try to take the argument back in time, as if the two incidents are not related. I thought that a journalist, not a spokesman for the Israeli Government, would at least answer my question but no. Life starts whenever the Israeli narrative, necessary at the time, determines. In this case when the first batch of Hamas rockets flew out of Gaza.

Those of us that want to see the end of death and terror continue to argue that unlike my Israeli counterpart, we see it as essential that the underlying reasons for the recent crisis are the lack of a political solution. Sixty seven years on, Palestinian refugees languish in refugee camps across the Arab World, some within sight of their homes or land in historic Palestine. forty seven years on, the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza continues and Israel continues to build on this occupied land, strategically, with the aim of making a contiguous Palestinian state impossible. Most recently Netanyahu, in his press conference, on Friday 11/7 should have finished his remarks with a declaration that there will be no Palestinain state, because that is what his individual remarks, taken together amount to.

Both the Palestinain leadership and the key players, including Secretary of State John Kerry, should analyse Netanyahu’s comments carefully. Netanyahu was not posturing because this has been his stance since he uttered his first few words as a serious politician. There is a need to look at other options and not to continually claim the two-state solution is the ‘only game in town’. The referee has blown the whistle on that particular game and there is no extra time. The recent crisis was the ‘penalty kicks’ in which real human beings have died in Gaza and others cowered in air raid shelters, where they exist.

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Picture via Chris Gunness, UNRWA

Please do not compare the rockets with US made one tonne bombs. One causes fear, the other death. One fired in a general direction and the other fired by a pilot who can see someone’s home through his Cross hairs and deliberately presses the button to kill people in that house. He knows the bomb will not distinguish between a militant father and his non militant wife, son or daughter but still let’s it go.

Those of us who want to see peace will continue to argue that the underlying causes must be dealt with or we can guarantee that there will be a return to death and destruction some time after the forthcoming ceasefire. It really is not about the rockets, it is about a just peace and reconciliation.