….and no.5 is related to fashion..
Yes, I am aware this is a very sensitive topic that many are afraid to delve into–especially on such a public platform as a blog; a topic that is seen as incredibly complex, unclear, and uncomfortable to talk about. In reality, the situation is quite clear if you’ve done your homework.
First of all, let’s just all celebrate the recent declared ceasefire–this is a huge step in the road toward peace and freedom! But we can’t forget about what has happened, what currently is on the ground, and that justice still has not been served.
Below is a quick list of 5 things that you need to know about the Israel-Palestine conflict, one of the most controversial and heated topics currently being discussed in the world. It’s one of those issues that you should avoid in interviews. Which is why we’re chatting about it today here 🙂
1. APARTHEID EXISTS
Nelson Mandela would know an apartheid regime when he sees one. In the words of the South African apartheid fighter himself, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” Segregated roads; ethnic cleansing of all non-Jewish Palestinians; the lack of right to leave or enter freely, have their own recognized government, or own an airport or seaport; being subject to different laws; and always having chance to be taken from their homes at night and indefinitely prisoned without reason are all daily challenges of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. There are 54 Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinians. Apartheid is defined as “a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on ground of race” (dictionary.com) and the status (or lack thereof) of Palestinians under Israeli law leaves little room for debate.
(source/more information: Human Rights Watch)
2. THE USA SUPPORTS ISRAEL. THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES NOT.
From the 188 countries of the UN, only 9 voted against the recognition of Palestine as a state. The support of Israel should not be, and is not, normalized within greater society. The world is slowly waking up and the Palestinian narrative–which for so many decades has been hidden from mainstream society, is slowly becoming more visible. In fact, the Human Rights Watch as well as several other international human rights organizations are urging Palestine to go to the International Criminal Court for the countless war crimes committed against Palestinian civilians and society.
(source/more information: Human Rights Watch)
3. PALESTINIANS MAKE UP THE LARGEST REFUGEE GROUP IN MODERN HISTORY
1 in 4 Palestinians have been displaced. Since 1947, 85% of the indigenous population of Palestine has been displaced. Today, there are over 7 million Palestinian refugees, making them the largest and longest group of people to have refugee status.
(source/more information: American Friends Service Committee)
4. IT IS NOT MUSLIMS VS JEWS
Contrary to popular belief, all non-Jewish ethnicities are being prosecuted and driven out of Israel–not just Arab Muslims. Many kindergartens in Israel are even segregated–separate (“but equal” — remind you of anything?) kindergartens for African Americans can be found across Israel.
(source/more information: The Daily Beast)
5. IT IS NOT A FAIR FIGHT
Both parties involved have been killing innocent civilians–there is no question about that. The life of no human being is more important than another. But what is portrayed in the media as a fair fight between two equally-armed states, is just not the case. The Palestine Authority receives millions in monetary aid each year from countries around the world, most of which goes into rebuilding housing, hospitals, roads, and other infrastructure destroyed by Israel. And Israel? In just 3 years the US alone has given Israel enough weaponry to kill every Palestinian living under occupation 10 times over. On top of US aid, so many American companies–including fashion brands like Victoria’s Secret and others–donate millions to the Israeli army. So through your shopping habits you could be potentially supporting war crimes (not to mention Victoria’s Secret also uses unethical child labor but let’s not get too off track for once–you can read that story here)
Some argue that Israel is simply acting in self-defense. But self-defense is not destroying civilian homes; raping women; using white-phosphorus bombs (aka bombs that break into several pieces and when in contact with skin creates a sort of indistinguishable fire that burns flesh–this is another war crime, btw); and killing, imprisoning, and torturing children.
(sources/more information: Josh Ruebner | Human Rights Watch)
Simply put, history repeats itself. The atrocities of Israel are reminiscent of genocides and apartheids throughout the world’s history. After everything is over and peace is restored, the world always questions how people could have ever supported the perpetrators. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.
And because I don’t believe in writing about depression-provoking topics without providing some sort of relief, here are a few ways to take action:
For a larger and more comprehensive list of ways you can take action online and offline, check out this handy list HERE.
(oh p.s. I do reserve the right to delete racist/offensive/crude/unproductive comments)
P.S. yes, we had quite a bit of fun with this shoot + location.
P.P.S. If you still don’t feel comfortable talking about this issue in the comments, feel free to note how awesome this abandoned construction site is that we accidentally stumbled upon in Morocco.
P.P.P.S. yes, I almost fell into it a few times.