It's been a hot summer, but I am not talking about the weather. It's been a summer, full of events that brought people together. People of different ethnicities, different backgrounds, people with different beliefs and life goals. What we've learned so far is that the one goal is the same in anyone's life. We all would like to be treated with respect, and we all want our rights to be protected.
I was blessed to be able to meet a lot of passionate people, and they helped me to put this piece together. In order to protect them, I will not disclose their identities; I will just publish their stories.
There is no other place in the world, where basic human rights are so violated, as Palestine. For many people around the globe the problem has ended the moment two sides signed a peace agreement. Not for the Palestinians. They are left on the sidewalk of the world arena, alone with their horror and burned to the ground houses, with no place to run, no place to hide.
The same way Michael Brown was left dead on the sidewalk in Ferguson, Missouri.
People watched for 4-5 hours, a child of their community being decomposed on the hot ground in the Missouri sun. To the point, when they had to scrub his body off the pavement. It's really messed up.
Sometimes you talk to the people with a college degree, sometimes you talk with someone who never graduated from high school, but they are all the strongest, most passionate and intelligent human beings, I've ever talked to. They all want this solidarity to happen. When we say "the time is now, the moment is here," that is actually true. For once people are reaching out to each other.
Those young people on the streets are actually ready to die for this. And they are not saying that to just be dramatic, but they are actually willing to give up their lives for the justice. They don't really have a lot to lose. They've already lost friends, members of the family.
During two weeks after the shooting, many of them found themselves in a situation when they thought they were going to die. Policemen using tear gas on them, shooting, people being hit by bullets, from age seven to 70. Being beaten by the police, pushed to the ground, being told "I will fucking kill you if you move."
The people of Ferguson are honest, they are not liars. This was their tragedy. It was their community, their child. People were protesting from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with no food, no water. This is what the passion level looks like down there.
Doesn't this sound familiar? Young people in Gaza and West Bank face the same attitude from Israeli soldiers, and they too, have nothing to loose.
After the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2150 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 73 Israelis (mostly soldiers), Israel managed to annexed another 1500 acres of West Bank land, detained at least 127 people across the West Bank, including a seven-year-old boy in Hebron and two children, aged seven and eight, taken from the courtyard of their house in Silwad. Should I continue? Or it is enough to just hear that a seven-year-old went to jail?
It is a common practice - to kill our children, destroy them both literally and morally, so they will not be able to fight for their own future.
A lot of people that are on the streets that you hear about getting killed are kids. The damage of property and things like that - these are all tactics they know how to use. And no one is speaking the truth. Palestinians have no control over land, they don't control water, they don't control air, don't control borders. They do not have control over anything. It is not about a number of people killed. It is all about destroying the spirit, and it's about convincing people that they are failures, that they could never win.
Media, politicians, you name it - most of them are trying to separate people from each other. No wonder the generation we have now got a "Generation Me" label. No one really needs a strong community; no one really wants people to stand up for each other.
There is a system set up here, to make sure we (Afro-American community) are in jail. What is going on in Gaza - same here. You see shelters, filled with families. Homeless. It is all to break the spirit. When you have nothing, where do you go? The 16-year-old is being arrested for the dumbest thing ever. You got a report, but you don't have a metro card to go to court, you have no money. So you get a warrant. And that's when the cycle starts. He knows no way out. This system is really old.
I believe that only by standing together we can prevail. People are not asking for some miracle, or for something that can not be archived. Everyone deserves a future, where you don't have to be afraid of being shot in the middle of your own neighborhood, where you can send your children to school without thinking about missiles landing on their heads. Where police and soldiers are protecting you, instead of pushing you around.
To be continued...