The Voice of Shireen Abu Akhleh Can Not Be Silenced

The Voice of Shireen Abu Akhleh Can Not Be Silenced May 14, 2022

Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was shot and killed while covering Israeli forces’ raid and the second intifada (uprising) in the city of Jenin in the West Bank on May 11. What may be even worse, her funeral procession was attacked by Israeli police, nearly dropping the coffin to the ground.

The Israeli government had attempted to divert the situation by first claiming that the bullet that hit her was fired by the “Palestinian militants”, in the classic ‘blame the victims’ tactics. However, the investigation is ongoing and they have not ruled out that she could also possibly been hit by Israeli forces.

Born in Palestine to a Catholic family, Shireen was a long time journalist and TV correspondent for Aljazeera Arabic network. In many ways, she was kind of the Anderson Cooper for Aljazeera, covering the Intifada, while risking her life. She was asked if she feared being killed covering these dangerous situations. Her response was that she always thought it was possible but a risk she was willing to take to meet her journalistic responsibilities.

There has been widespread pouring of support and sympathy from across the globe, along with condemnation of the Israeli forces to have killed a journalist, who was wearing the vest, clearly showing she was working for the press.

This incidence has brought to light the painful realities of Palestinians living under occupation.

The Coffin gets dropped

TV footage, and other videos circulating on social media shows that the humiliation didn’t end with her killing. The procession carrying her coffin was attacked by Israeli forces, nearly dropping the coffin to the ground.

There are rallies planned in the United States to show support to her cause and to condemn the unprovoked attack. Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali al-Samoudi, was also wounded by a bullet in the back at the scene. He is now in stable condition, according to Al Jazeera.

Al-Samoudi and other journalists at the scene said there were no Palestinian fighters present when the journalists were shot, directly disputing an Israeli statement referencing the possibility that it was Palestinian fire.

“We were going to film the Israeli army operation and suddenly they shot us without asking us to leave or stop filming,” said al-Samoudi.

Here is a video footage from MSNBC.

According to NY Times:

Video showed police officers in Jerusalem beating and kicking pallbearers carrying the coffin that contained the body of the journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, striking other mourners with batons, and forcing one man to the ground. During the commotion, the pallbearers were pushed backward, causing them to briefly lose control of one end of the coffin.

This entire situation is a reminder of the appalling conditions Palestinians are living under. Israeli forces would always claim they are “responding” to some uprising or someone threw something at them. Even if it is true, it does not negate the pathetic conditions Palestinians are forced to live in the occupied territories.

The situation in Ukraine is in sharp contrast. The brutality of the Russian forces is justifiably highlighted. When the Ukrainian citizens speak about fighting for their land to ensure they resist being occupied, they are (rightfully) hailed as heroes. Unfortunately the same is not true when it comes to Palestine-Israeli situation. The double standards have been painfully obvious to those who care about justice, fairness, human dignity.

Hans Kung, the Swiss Catholic preacher and an interfaith worker, helped draft the declaration at the 1993 Parliament of World’s religions

“No peace among the nations
without peace among the religions.

No peace among the religions
without dialogue between the religions.

No dialogue between the religions
without investigation of the foundation of the religions.”

To that we can easily add:

No peace without justice.

No peace in the face of oppression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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