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An Uprising of the Conscience

From the river to the sea, Palestine is free. Perhaps this slogan, which was given for Palestine, resembles the situation currently taking place in the world. There is an uprising of conscience taking place in the world from the Pacific to the Mediterranean.

Millions of people of all nationalities, races, religions and colours stood up and took to the streets in dozens of countries in an unprecedented manner. It is an uprising of conscience against Israel in support of Palestine.

In 36 years, the world has not witnessed such strong protests against Israel, even in the first intifada which began in the refugee camp in Jabalia, Palestine. What is amazing is the diversity of participants in this uprising of conscience.

Sometimes we saw this conscience in the protests of the model Bella Hadid, and sometimes we see it among athletes, such as the Australian basketball player Kyrie Irving, who wore a Palestinian headband in the American Basketball League (NBA), and sometimes we see it in the protests of the brave Spanish Minister Ione Belarra who condemned all European politicians and sometimes we see it in the demonstrations of millions in the streets.

On the other hand, I believe that the recent demonstrations in support of Palestine were like the Great March on Washington, in which Martin Luther King issued a call for freedom for blacks.

Shortly after that, the largest pro-Palestine demonstration in recent years was held in London. It was seemingly a challenge to Washington. It was said that the landmark Big Ben clock has not seen such a crowd in 50 years.

These protests were followed by demonstrations of millions in Malaysia, Pakistan, and Istanbul. What is happening?

Fashion designers decorate the catwalks in the colours of Palestine, musicians enliven the stages with Palestinian songs. Famous journalists resign, saying: “I am not free.” Celebrities, cartoonists, comedians, academics, drivers, and trade union members also came forward.

From every profession and every field; People are revolting, denouncing and speaking out all over the world.

The demonstration in Washington was so massive and effective that Elon Musk shared photos taken from a drone on social media with surprised expressions.

What is most interesting is that these people oppose their countries’ pro-Israel policies. When France banned the Palestinian flag, its colours red, black, and white dominated the streets of Paris. When the German government threatened the demonstrators by accusing them of anti-Semitic crimes; People chanted in Berlin’s famous Alexanderplatz square: “Free Palestine.”

Such joint action, such joint rebellion, spread throughout the world, has not been seen since the global anti-war protests of the 1970s. This is what I call the “uprising of conscience.”

Perhaps never in its history has Israel been protested on such a large scale, by so many people from different nations, nor has the Palestinian people – who have been suffering since 1948 – received such global support in its history.

These protests revealed that some countries are not as brave as their people, and do not have the same conscience. Now, the issue of Palestine is an issue of conscience which includes people of every religion and nationality, and it does not concern only Muslims.

[by Kemal Öztürk in Aljazeera]

Compiled and translated by Faizul Haque

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