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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dead Palestinian children have names too

As a father of five children, my heart breaks every time I hear or read about the brutal death of any child, Palestinian or Israeli, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or of any background. A child represents innocence, joy, and mercy.

When Israel imposes, for more than three years, a complete siege on the Gaza population of 1.5 million and turns it into a large ghetto or prison, it certainly harms children.

When HAMAS responds to that siege by sending primitive home-made rockets into Israel, it surely endangers children.

When Israel carries out collective punishment on the Palestinians by dropping tons of huge missiles and bombs into densely populated residential areas, it most definitely kills children. So far, close to 30 children have died as a result of these bombs and hundreds more have been maimed and disabled.

Every time an Israeli child is harmed, the whole world mourns, and rightly so. The whole world is informed of that child's name, his or her parents' agony, and the tragic circumstances that caused this death.

However, when a Palestinian child is harmed, no one in the world seems to care. No one is told of his or her name. No one is informed about the pain of the parents, siblings, and grand parents who loved him or her. The zionist propaganda machine has succeeded in dehumanizing Palestinians. Palestinians are portrayed as terrorists, murderers, radicals, or sub-humans. That way, it becomes much easier not to care about such a people, no matter how many of them are turned into refugees, how many of their homes are demolished, how much of their land is confiscated, how many of them are imprisoned, and how many of them are killed or wounded.

The Palestinian people, the indigenous people of historic Palestine (today’s Israel and Palestine) are, like all people, a nation that wants freedom on its own land. And they have continuously shown the world their willingness to sacrifice everything they have to live with freedom and dignity.

And, yes, dead Palestinian children (as well as living ones) have names and their parents love them too.

Below are the photos and names of a few Palestinian children killed in the last few days.

Haya and Lama Hamdan killed by an Israeli missile.

Haya Hamdan finally put to rest (probably not in the way her parents envisioned).

Little boy, Yahya Hayek, under rubbles. Our U.S. government recently supplied Israel with a fresh supply of heavy-duty missiles called bunker busters. It seems the Bush administration wanted to assist Israel in the humane and swift killing of Palestinian children without prolonging their pain.

Yahya Hayek's grandmother was asked to identify the body of her grandson. He was among the fortunate ones whose body was still identifiable. She will send her thank you note to the Israeli leaders for their kind and humane gesture.

A boy shot by Israeli soldiers in a demonstration in the West Bank

A father weeps the death of his five daughters, including a 14-month-old toddler.


The five Baalousha girls. Can they at least rest knowing that their killers will be put on trial for war crimes?

At the funeral of one of those five girls, Deena Baalousha

What's Deena thinking now? Her beautiful angelic face tells a million story. Is she wondering why the world allowed Israel to starve her and her four sisters for three years and then watched as the F-16 sent the missiles to take their lives?


Deena can finally rest in peace in her own piece of land. This must be the peace that Israel keeps talking about.


A young Palestinian man carries a little boy who died before making it to the hospital. I am sure he has a name too. I am sure he has, or had, parents who loved him too. It might come as a surprise to many Israelis, but Palestinian parents name their children and love them too.

His crime is that he is not Israeli; so no one would care.


Three killed boys; three less targets for Israel.


Photos: Aljazeera Satellite Television and other news outlets

7 comments:

Serene Wafai said...

Wow, Hussam, what a well-written article. May Allah help the Palestinian people, and punish those at fault for innocent deaths. This is (and has been) such a tragedy that breaks our hearts. Good for you for providing true information and opening people's eyes. We must all keep praying for the victims.

cafeintifada said...

This is beautifully written, Hussam. Thank you so much for your continued message of peace and of our universal humanity.

-emma

Karin said...

Husam - reading this makes me cringe, puts tears in my eyes, increases my already sky-high feeling of helplessness! I am a mom myself ... what a horror these people are forced to go through - what ongoing nightmare!!
BOTH SIDES have to stop - immediately!!! Hamas KNEW how Israel would respond, sooner rather than later - WHY did they give them a reason to do so? WHY did they trigger this MASSIVE onslought with these damn qassams???

And Israel - the Israeli army is known for no mercy .. for overkill, for disregard of life DESPITE their ongoing dogged attempts to emphazise they woud do "everything" to spare civilian lives! How will that end?

I have dear friends in Gaza and suceeded to talk to them only day before yesterday, a family with eight children, among them three married and a grandchild .. they said they were "ok" - I guess they meant "still alive"! All the want is to LIVE .. PEACE! To have means to buy enough food, give good education to their children, have a decent life! They are not interested in Qassams ... they want PEACE!!!

Children are children just like people are peole ... we all feel pain when hurt or loosing a loved one, we all need food to eat, we all want to live!

I feel HORRIBLE for my friends in Gaza, in Jebalia and a number other places ... and for those on the Israeli side who are exposed to these rocket attacks! NOBODY has to live this way!!

I wish ALL POLITICIANS, Israeli and Palestinians, could be locked into a room and would be forced to work things out among themselves ... they can kill one another if they wish - I couldn't care less! Just leave the PEOPLE in peace!!!

I wish you PEACE Hussam .. we need to work hard, we MUST achieve it!

Thanks for a wonderfully composed article!!

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a very well written article Hussam. Not only did you depict and emphasize on the murder of harmless children, but you also reminded the reader about the bias towards Israel and the origin / history of the issue. Not sure if this article is published or not but I sure do hope so. We need to open up peoples' eyes and this article absolutely does this job.

Regards,

Mohamed

Anne Vis said...

With you on this ... just heartbreaking. I find so many people just do not know what is behind all this, thinking it is just two equal parties quarreling ...
Great blog!

Elisabeth said...

Dear Hussam,

I should be working but can’t help going back again and again to the internet reading more comments condemning the outrage committed by Israel in the Gaza strip, as I feel so frustrated!

I have too small children, the same age as some of the pictures of little Palestinian victims you showed in your article. Thank you for calling attention to the way in which Israeli victims are treated as people, while Palestinian victims are treated as statistics.

I have been frustrated about the bias towards Israel in media coverage throughout the world for years. Nothing compares though, to the bias in the American media that I witnessed while studying in the U.S. a couple of years ago. (The media in Israel itself allow more critical voices!)

Pro-Israeli propaganda is even cunningly integrated into pieces that do not seem to deal with the Middle East conflict at all: I still remember for instance, a seemingly innocent article in the Washington Post. I was about the experiences of an African American guy who had traveled through Israel some 20 years earlier and who had written an account of it, also already a while ago. So you wondered why it was suddenly necessary to quote his experiences in the Post. Until you noticed that is, that although the parts selected for inclusion in the Post formed no coherent story at all, they all had one thing in common: They all functioned to impress on Black people that Israel is not a racist country!

God forbid if African Americans would take too much notice of the clear parallels between Apartheid and the treatment of the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories!

Just to let you know that there are still people out there who are not fooled by all the propaganda, who are outraged with the injustice and cruelty that the western world fails to condemn as long as it is committed by Israel.

Elisabeth

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to support your article. It is important for everyone to put names and faces to the numbers. And I am pleased that you do not belittle Jewish people, as I'm sure you're aware many are against this senseless violence. But I will say that your unflinching reporting of the very painful truth is something all those who blindly support Israel should see.