Shock, disbelief, anger, rage, grief, shame, denial. These are just some of the overwhelming feelings that are flooding my body as I sit here contemplating one question… Why? Why is it that these feelings infiltrate me as a Palestinian? A Palestinian living the brutality of occupation. A Palestinian who witnesses injustice and human rights violation on a daily basis. A Palestinian who now NOT optimistically hopes, but rather resorts to dreaming of a brighter tomorrow.
For as long as I remember, I clearly recall knowing that being Palestinian is much more than being just one of the many identities in the world. Being Palestinian carries so much more weight and meaning. So much more that I cannot even put onto paper. No human words can express, no tongue can speak, and no mind can comprehend.
For so long, unknown pictures, stories, and names were what I read. The anonymous Palestinian who was imprisoned, the anonymous Palestinian who was murdered, the anonymous Palestinian who was evicted. But the “anonymous” was enough for me. It was enough for me to sympathize. It was enough for me feel. But the feeling of sympathy and compassion is fundamental and in human nature. Or at least that is what I naively thought. Now what we unfortunately have is overwhelming desensitization and ignorance.
When I read articles, it is now filled with familiar names and pictures. The “anonymous” has now become more personal. I cannot even attempt to grasp the tragic death of the fallen martyr, Mustafa Abdel Razaq Tamimi who was deliberately killed by the aggressive and heartless Israeli Occupation Forces in Nabi Saleh. The whole crime was captured by photographers and media. The scene in which prevented his sister, Ola from seeing him was documented and published. The tears and cries of help were yelled as UN vehicles paraded the crime scene, not even slowing down in an attempt to help. Even the Israeli aggression against the mourners in Nabi Saleh on the day of Mustafa’s funeral was evident. While family and friends paid their respects and attempted to come to terms with what the fascist Israeli apartheid regime had done, those same fascist Israeli apartheid regime combated them with excessive toxic gas , dirty skunk water, and their soulless blows and punches against courageous activists.
I have been told endlessly that I take “these things too personal” and that I shouldn’t. I take these things too personal. At this point I’m saying the phrase out loud because I don’t understand it. “I take these things too personal.” Nope, it still doesn’t make any sense out loud! I think that everyone should take this too personal. Mustafa should be considered as everyone’s brother, son, and friend. More importantly, every Palestinian, and I mean EVERY Palestinian should be saluting his bravery in resisting the Israeli apartheid regime at the front lines. For Mustafa sacrificing his precious soul for Palestine. Every Palestinian should have a feeling of shame that they themselves were not there with him. At least that is what I feel… shame.
For those who tell me that I take things too personal, I will continue to take it too personal and at heart because I’m human! I breathe, feel, cry, laugh, love and hate. So when someone hurts me, I hurt. When someone tickles me, I laugh. When we mourn the loss of a fellow Palestinian brother and other desensitized Palestinians are watching on the streets, smirking and making ridiculous comments, I will feel fury. When someone steals the life of another comrade in such a brutal and grotesque way, I will grieve. I will grieve… just like others are grieving.
When the international community tells Palestinians to adopt to more peaceful resistance in resisting the ongoing Israeli occupation, that is what we do. Yet, we are met with the same and even more brutal suppression. At this point I do not know what gives me the hope to continue, and I think many will agree. Nothing seems to make sense now. But one thing does make sense. Mustafa Tamimi’s soul has not gone in vain. We will carry him with us in our continuous struggle against occupation. We will not give up Mustafa… and that is for sure!
Dedicated to the brave and courageous Palestinian of Nabi Saleh… Mustafa Tamimi