Eyewitness report spins Israeli occupation

This is in response to Koby Nahmias’ opinions column, “Urgent: Eyewitness report from Palestine” (April 8). Bravo to Nahmias for such an amazing and perfected talent of altering the truth to reverse the role of the innocent and the perpetrator.

I believe Nahmias did not thoroughly read the opinions article he was responding to (“Urgent: Eyewitness report from Ramallah,” April 5). Tzaporah Ryter is an American and a University student who has no visible ties to Arab media, or any type of media for that matter.

So how is it an unbiased, U.S.-bred bystander could be lying? What is it she would gain from this? The other question is this: What does the Israeli army have to hide from the rest of the world?

Nahmias attempts to make the faulty argument that since Israeli soldiers are young, they are incapable of being ruthless. This is not the case. In fact it is very possible from a psychological standpoint that because of their young age, they might easily become desensitized to the “job” they must execute and become a part of police brutality.

The concept that the Israel Defense Force is in the spirit of human dignity and is dedicated to purity of arms is a pathetic excuse, serving an immoral purpose. The Israeli government, army and its soldiers have turned Palestine into a brutal police state allowing for the unjust murder and arrest of Palestinian youth, leaving no trace of their whereabouts to their families.

I am very sorry Nahmias had to witness the rare occasion of a suicide bombing, but the rest of the world has seen much more. I witnessed the brutal murder of an unarmed 12-year-old child, Muhammad Al-Durrah, by Israeli soldiers. You probably don’t remember this story because the U.S. media specifically chose not to air it on the nightly news.

I’ve also seen reports and pictures (taken by European media) of the Sabra and Chatilla Massacre, the Ramallah Massacre, daily arrests of the youth, invasion of Al-Aqsa mosque, refugees scrambling for protection as they see the tanks rolling in – all crimes committed by the Israeli government.

As for the so-called church hostages, I think Nahmais’ sources are conveniently flawed for his purposes. The issue of Palestine is a long and difficult one. Palestinians -including Christians, Jews and Muslims – have a long history of living together in peace. Look at cities such as Haifa.

The Christians who are in the Church of Nativity are not being held hostage, as Nahmias claims. The Palestinians have been welcomed by their Christian brothers and sisters and offered a place of protection from Israeli siege. Regardless of faith, humanity comes first. The Christians living in the Holy Land have witnessed the sad truth of the Palestinian situation. Even so, they have sided with the true victims, not self-styled ones.

Throughout his article, Nahmias repeatedly used the word “terrorist” in describing the Palestinians. He said the battle in the occupied territories is “a battle between the Israeli army and Palestinians terrorists.” This unjust and ignorant statement leaves out the reality of what is really taking place: colonization, suppression, murder and violence against innocent civilians. The Palestinian people are not terrorists but freedom fighters.

I applaud those who are fighting for their freedom – fighting for equality and justice. I hear the silenced cries of children who see no hope in the future while living as second-class citizens under Israeli control. And I extend my hand to the youth who have no means of defense except for the stones underneath their feet.

While the majority of the world is standing silent and witnessing the massacres taking place, there are those whose conscience and pride prevent them from doing that. These are the Palestinian people. So long as there is occupation in the nation of Palestine, there will be resistance.

So long as the youth of the world see genocide, massacre and ethnic cleansing, their voices will not be silenced. Our voices will ring throughout the world, despite lies in the media. Cliche or not, the truth will surface, and freedom will ring true.


Dina Khanat is a political science and global studies senior. Heidi Kader is a genetics and cell development senior. Send comments to [email protected]