Dear Israel (the government, not the people):
There is this not-so-old, not-so-poignant quote that goes something like this: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Yes, a Spider-Man reference, but it should be taken seriously. Because I will not hit a child who, in his rage, pours juice on my new shoes. Sure, I might kill an annoying fly or two — but the Palestinians are not flies, they are humans and must be treated with justice and truth.
Dear Israel, your land is blessed and aged, steeped in blood and earth. Was it not a couple millennia ago that your children sought refuge from the tyrannical Pharaoh?
The one who murdered and maimed the children of your children? The one who segregated your flock and forced them into labor?
Was there not a man who came to Pharaoh, begging him to end his tyranny? Was there not a man who said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go?”
Surely, Pharaoh has not returned. Because if I squint my eyes, Pharaoh bombs the Palestinians, incinerates their children, tears apart a mother from a son and a father from a daughter, rips a family from its land like a farmer rips weeds from the earth.
But this time, there is no man to beg Pharaoh to let his people go, because there is nowhere to go. Pharaoh has learned from his past mistake. Pharaoh has built walls and Pharaoh has allies.
The Palestinians are alone, suffocated by segregated roads, suffocated by segregated wells, suffocated by segregated healthcare, suffocated by segregated laws, suffocated by a segregated existence — as they are bombed into inexistence slowly, slow enough to count the dead, slow enough to count cloth that once kept babies warm, slow enough to watch your cold implacable gaze and ask, “Why?”
“Am I not a fellow human who has hopes and dreams? Am I not a fellow human who enjoys the company of loved ones? Why am I expendable?”
Dear Israel, you do not have to be Pharaoh. You can always turn back. You can always free the Palestinians. You can do what Pharaoh was incapable of doing — you can swallow your pride.
That is the great responsibility.