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June 3, 2010

The Gaza Flotilla-Take a stand against Israel's attack!

Mohamed Kahiye

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If there is a single event that should change the dynamic Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it took place when Israeli naval commandos attacked the Gaza Flotilla in international waters carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians, killing 19 people and injuring numerous others.

This should be a turning point, I’m just not sure it will be.

Years of neglect by the Bush and Obama administrations regarding the situation in Gaza situation makes me wonder if the U.S. just hopes this crisis passes quickly so they do not have to make any judgments.

In December 2008 the Bush administration turned a blind eye to the 23-day Israeli attack on Gaza that killed more than 1000 Palestinian civilians and wounded thousands. Who is to say that the Obama administration won’t also turn its backs on Palestinians in their time of need?

But we cannot wait for the U.S. to make a decision; action needs to be taken immediately, and Israel needs to be held accountable.

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, said today during a press conference in Kampala, Uganda: “It is vital that there is a full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place. I believe Israel must urgently provide a full explanation.”

Today, I ask people to take a stand: “Are you against injustice or are you for it? I ask you to take off your blindfolds and look at this situation with open eyes.”

What Israel has done is outrageous, and I for one cannot stand by and watch the continued oppression of Palestinians.

There is no moral grey area when it comes to oppression. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, said it best: “All those who preach freedom, justice and democracy are required now to move, and to act to break this siege, so the blood of these free people does not go down the drain.”

Let’s make sure the hundreds of thousands of lives taken throughout the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict don’t go unheard.

Today is our chance to change the course of this conflict and stand up for the truth. The truth does not change; only our awareness of it does.

Mohamed Kahiye is a Canadian undergraduate university student.

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