Monday, 4 June 2018

Honour murdered Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar by boycotting Israel

Sometimes the sheer wickedness, the unfathomable cruelty, of Israel's crimes leaves one grasping for words.
Razan Ashraf Abdul Qadir al-Najjar
The murder of 21 year-old Palestinian volunteer medic Razan al-Najjar by an Israeli army sniper isn't the first unspeakable act committed by this heinous state. And we surely know it won't be the last. 

129 civilians, including 15 children, have now been killed, and over 13,000 more shot and injured, since the start of the Great Return protests in Gaza. The International Committee of the Red Cross has now dispatched "two teams of war surgeons and medical supplies to Gaza to shore up a healthcare system it said was on the “brink of collapse.”" The ICRC say 1,350 gun shot victims now require complex multiple surgery.

Like those medics, Razan was committed to saving, rather than taking, lives.

Unlike conscientious people like Razan, Israel's 'first response' is to murder and maim rather than assist and heal. This 'most moral army' is engaged in acts of merciless state terror, killing relentlessly, systematically, without compunction, mowing down unarmed people at will. 

This is a regime not only impervious to world opinion, but able to brush aside futile statements of 'international concern', knowing that, without any prospect of serious legal or political sanction, it can continue to murder with complete impunity.    

The killing of Razan as she and other medics ran, hands in air (see video), to give medical attention to a wounded Palestinian is not just the criminal act of one cowardly soldier. It's another high war crime committed by a state on the rampage, slaughtering and terrifying in brazen defiance of every international law and convention, all aided by the criminal complicity of its key allies and a media obfuscating the truth of Israel's villainy.

Thus has the BBC consistently hidden Razan's and other Palestinian killing behind the spurious headlining of "Gaza violence" and "Gaza border clashes", rather than as acts of wilful state murder.

Multiple other media reports have followed the same whitewashed narrative of 'violent clashes', 'deathly confrontations', and Israel's 'promise to investigate'

Disgracefully, here's how the Guardian headlined Razan's murder: "Palestinian woman shot dead during protest near Gaza fence."

The cold brevity of such words: the decontextualising of a state crime; the dehumanising of an imprisoned people; the depersonalising of a young woman, a daughter, a sister, a mother, a friend, a giver of aid, a saver of life, a precious human being.

This is all too typical of the standard, anodyne referencing of Palestinians, an Orwellian violence of language in itself, serving to deflect and anonymise their existence, their suffering, their deaths.

Even media use of 'conflict' here is a power-serving distortion, playing all too easily into the default liberal, and Israeli-preferred, 'two-sides' narrative. 

This is not a 'conflict'. It's a one-sided mass assault on a continually oppressed people, an ongoing ethnic cleansing, an unremitting settler-colonial project, an inhuman subjugation. There is no 'conflict' here. There's an illegal occupation, an illegal siege, an illegal imposition of settlements, an illegal apartheid wall, and, as we've seen in Gaza, more illegal slaying of civilian lives by one of the most heavily militarized states in the world. 

Alongside all the predictable denials and mitigation over Razan's murder, there have also been disgusting words of 'condolence', such as this shameless statement from Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland (CoFIS facebook page): "This is a very sad loss of this brave lady's life. must be made to stop inciting these riots. They - Hamas - are causing loss of life, damage of property, unrest, violence ..."

Yes, it's always Hamas. One can only think of what Razan's bereft family will make of such words. Like other parts of the rearguard Israel lobby, CoFIS can only but affect 'regrets' over such indefensible killings. Frustratingly, they can't find anything with which to blame Razan herself. And, of course, they would never countenance blaming the actual killers, the Israeli state, and calling for its prosecution. But they will always find a way of invoking the 'controlling hand' of Hamas, even though it had no formal role in the calling of these protests, even though this is so obviously an historic movement of Palestinians freely massing in desperate protest at their inhuman incarceration.

The lobby know very well that Razan lived and died as the very embodiment of that duty-driven demonstration, coming to the aid of her fellow people in their demand for justice. But none of that can ever be admitted.

Here's what CoFIS's associate group, Glasgow Friends of Israel, had to say about the murder of Razan al-Najjar (at their facebook page):

That's right, nothing. Zero. A blank space of silent evasion.

But Razan's death too, no doubt, falls under the same relentless GFI claim that such killing and suffering is all the fault of Hamas, and that all actual evidence to the contrary, from international observers, medics and human rights groups, is part of some contrived "Pallywood" act. It really takes some kind of special mendacity and perverse insensitivity not only to deny and deflect Israel's crimes, but to blame the victims and scoff at Palestinian suffering.

Another measure of GFI's twisted evangelism and racist inhumanity can be seen in this (GFI facebook) comment:
"Israeli children are taught to love. Sadly Palestinian children are only taught to hate."

Again, it's hard to comprehend what kind of mindset could produce such ugly fabrication and racist branding - all part of GFI's consistent protection of Israel's apartheid state. And to think that CoFIS/GFI had the audacity to join - shamefully, uncontested by its organisers - a recent Stand Up to Racism march.

Just as there will be many more state-instructed killings, so too will come more zealous lies and concoctions from Israel's Hydra-headed lobby, more crass denials, more spurious excuses, more hollow words of 'concern'. 

There will also be more high political hand-wringing and fake media context, a negation and marginalisation of Palestinian life as 'unworthy other'. 

As Razan's family grieve, as we try to comprehend the callousness of her taking, remember that there can never be proper justice for her and all those other murdered and maimed Palestinians without meaningful action to stop this barbaric, apartheid state. 

All those elevated words of condemnation are futile unless they are matched by resolute decisions to oppose, indict and boycott Israel.


Beautiful Sakura said...


John, that is Exactly how I felt..And the Real main reason I had to Fly the Palestine flag in Dumfries on saturday with the AUOB march

I watched a video of Razan's Mother showing the vest with Bullet Holes..Shot in the Back

Thank you for this Humane, thoughtful Piece

John Hilley said...

Thanks, Beautiful Sakura. And good to hear you were showing your support for Palestine at the Indy march.