It is very hard to live knowing how much suffering there is

26.01.2015 - Pressenza Hong Kong

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It is very hard to live knowing how much suffering there is
Mazin speaking at a high school (Image by Mazin Qumsiyeh)

It is very hard to live knowing how much suffering there is. Our friends in Gaza have no electricity (or 4 hours a day maximum) and no heating and cooking gas. No incomes, no jobs and how they survive is beyond us.

But then again some do not survive.

By Mazin Qumsiyeh*

The most vulnerable are infants and children and several were frozen to death in the past three weeks. But also life is tough among refugees from the civil war in Syria, a war that claimed the lives of over 100,000 and shows no sign of abetting.

We also think of Ukraine and its civil war. I had warned about these situations all coming about because of the hypocrisy of western governments who had to sell their policies of neo-colonialism using the language of human rights and international law but who everyday demonstrate this hypocrisy.

But there is no more blatant demonstration than here in Western Asia. There are dictators they love and walk in their funerals and dictators they loath. Ethnic cleansing they decry (e.g. Christians in Iraq) and ethnic cleansing they support 100% (Christians and Muslims in Palestine).

Over 20 years ago, I warned that there are no winners and losers in this hypocrisy but only losers. I warned of abandoning rationality and continuing down the path of supporting religion-based states (first a Jewish state and then Muslim states then who knows what).

Increased religious fundamentalism is just a sideline. I and real human rights advocates continue to call on the “West” to shed its hypocrisy and this would lead us to a win-win scenario for all humans. It will take decades to reclaim the rationality of the 1960s. It is difficult path but we must try and work on it.

 

* I was born and raised in Beit Sahour, the biblical Shepherds’ Field just on the outskirts of Bethlehem.  My first hand experiences as a Palestinian Christian and my educational background in universities both in the Middle East and the US helped shape my evolving world views.  I was raised under Israeli occupation and my large family still resides in the area.    

 

Categories: Human Rights, Middle East, Opinions
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