Born on the Same Soil without the Same Rights

Though the Palestinians and the Israelis are born on the same soil, they don’t enjoy the same privileges. Decades of occupation by Israel have resulted in the discrimination and persecution of the Palestinian people.

Image Andi Noor Faradiba
Manager Global Humanity Response ACT

“Occupation” is a word to which the Palestinians have been very familiar. It is a fact that the Palestinians find difficult to accept. After years of occupation by Israel, they have been losing their sovereignty under persecution and apartheid. What is previously known as the land of Palestine is now inhabited not only by the Palestinians, but also Israelis, the “guests” who came there to establish their country on land where the Palestinians have been living for centuries. Now, the people who are born on the same soil of Palestine don’t necessarily have the same privileges since Palestine has been the victim of occupation and discrimination for decades.

Recently, Human Rights Watch published a report entitled A Threshold Crossed on April 27, 2021. The report dissects the very complex history of Israel's occupation of Palestine. This report reminds me of the series of injustices experienced by the Palestinian people, which I heard directly from our partners in Palestine. They told me how Israel manipulates natural resources for their interests, and discriminate against Palestinians and Arabs. One of the examples our Palestinian friends told me is that Israel divert the river flow to leave the Palestinian land barren and infertile.

The people of Palestine have indeed experienced over 60 years of discrimination and experimentation by the Israeli government. The Israelis try to regulate the areas where the Palestinians live so that they can be easily controlled and marginalized. Palestinian settlements are compartmentalized and labeled according to the categories set by Israel.

In its report, Human Rights Watch said about 6.8 million Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians currently live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, an area that includes Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which consists of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. In most of these areas, Israel is the only tyrannical governing power that exercise the biggest authority compared to the Palestinian government whose authority is very limited.

The Israeli authority grants more privileges to the Israelis. The policies, laws, and statements of Israeli officials have clearly shown that their primary goal is to maintain Israel's control over demography, political power, and land.

In pursuit of this goal, the Israeli authorities have deprived, imprisoned, forcibly separated, and forcibly subjugated Palestinians based on their identity in varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, the deprivation is so severe that it draws the attention of many to the practice of apartheid and the persecution of human rights.

When a Palestinian child is born, they already get labels of identity attached to him based on a set of rules created by people whose main goal in life is to erase Palestine from the face of the earth, by any means.

The following pictures illustrate the inequality of rights for Palestinians and Israelis based on their place of birth. This data is the result of an investigation by Human Rights Watch which showed that the Israeli authorities were proven to have committed the crimes of apartheid and persecution.

Relentless support for the Palestinian cause

All forms of persecution and discrimination have deteriorated the condition of the Palestinian people. Land confiscation, denial of the right of residence, suspension of civil rights, and gross violations of the basic rights of the Palestinian people have shackled the Palestinians from various sides. And all of this further exacerbates their poverty and inequality. The global community should understand this alarming fact and strive to help the Palestinian people by advocating to suppress Israeli oppression through humanitarian diplomacy.

That is why we have relentlessly expressed our support for the struggle of the Palestinian people. Aksi Cepat Tanggap as a humanitarian institution provides full support for the Palestinian people through humanitarian diplomacy. We are trying to intervene by providing food and clean water, clothing, decent housing, economic empowerment, health service, and education. This intervention is certainly not a simple endeavor. It is a long-term struggle that requires the involvement of many parties.

To further strengthen our efforts, ACT opens a branch office in Gaza, Palestine so that the humanitarian programs that have been running can continue to reach the wider Palestinian community and strengthen the brotherly relationship between the Indonesian and Palestinian people. []