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Community Corner: Embraced Hatred

Community Corner: Embraced Hatred


Simply existing as a Palestinian is challenging

I receive hate mail every day.
My friend just got fired from her job.
A man in Texas was just stabbed.
The only thing we have in common is we are Palestinian.

Since October 7, the surge of hate crimes against Palestinian Americans and American Muslims has escalated exponentially. Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old Palestinian American child, was stabbed to death 26 times on October 14 by a landlord who screamed the words, “You Muslims must die.” His mother was also attacked but survived her stab wounds. On November 23, three young Palestinian men were shot for speaking Arabic and wearing the traditional Palestinian Keffiyeh.

These unsettling events echo the Anti-Arab and Islamophobic sentiments that took place post 9/11.

What is even more nauseating is the constant threats and intimidation of Palestinian livelihood. Palestinians in the diaspora risk their jobs, their positions in school, as well as their physical safety just to speak out against genocide. Anytime Palestinians in America express their support for Palestine or are vocal against Israel’s war crimes, they are met with a series of consequences.

Palestinians are in a position of constantly having to defend themselves amid genocide, settler colonialism, and the utter destruction of their homeland. While bombs are raining on Gaza, I have to take the time to explain to Jennifer why my people deserve to exist. This is due to over seven decades of dehumanization and historical ignorance toward Palestinian existence. Due to Western bigotry, Palestinians are subjected to a culmination of racist notions.

Islamophobia is rampant, the infamous image of the “barbaric Arab” perceived by the West and heavily portrayed throughout media and entertainment, is a common trope.

Then layered on top of that is this twisted belief that Palestinians are “terrorists” and “Jew haters” whose entire existence is based on the detriment of the Jewish people.

Apparently, resisting genocide is Anti-Semitic.

Palestinians are expected to be the perfect victims and accept the theft of their homeland and the denial of their existence.

Israel came to us; we did not come to Israel.

Throughout the past 4 months, we have seen Zionist celebrities and politicians deliberately calling for genocide and using genocidal language. “Turn Gaza into a parking lot,” “We are fighting with human animals,” “This is a war against the children of darkness,” “Flatten them, Flatten Gaza.” These are just a few of the disturbing genocidal statements that are said without any repercussions.

Something that genuinely needs to be examined is why Arab and Muslim hatred is so normalized in American culture. Why is it okay to demonize an entire group of people and call for their death and destruction without any outrage or backlash? Over 30,000 Palestinians have been slaughtered by Israel, and we are still debating semantics and whether or not Palestinians have a right to their land, let alone deserve to exist.

Western ideology has posited the Middle East as this region that only knows chaos, death, and destruction. This is where dehumanization comes into play and it is very prevalent when it comes to Palestine.

We have seen Palestinians being compared to Nazis, to Amalek — an ancient Semitic tribe from biblical times that endured genocide at the hands of the Israelites.

Every Israeli accusation is a confession.

Israel constantly uses this method of labeling any criticism of its belligerent war crimes as “Anti-Semitic” to end all conversations and complicate the prolonged suffering of Palestinians. Zionism has become so institutionalized in America that any criticism of the settler state is falsely labeled as “anti-semitic” and “racist.” It completely distracts from what is happening on the ground and what has been happening to Palestinians for 75 years and counting.

There are literal anti-BDS — Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions — laws throughout the country intended to silence and prevent Palestinians and allies from their unequivocal right to boycott Israeli products. Why is America pushing so hard to attack the freedom of its citizens? It should be concerning that our First Amendment right is being attacked for the sake of a foreign country that has a firm chokehold on our government.

America gives 3.8 billion dollars to Israel with the flick of a wrist to provide free healthcare, education, homes, and weapons to a settler colonial nuclear power that continues to commit genocide with impunity. Meanwhile, in America we are dealing with a homeless crisis, student loan debt, no free healthcare, and our education system is a total mess.

Through my time on this earth I have learned that there is a charge for being Palestinian. There is a very big charge that can result in the loss of your career or even the risk of losing your life.

The Palestinian experience is a lonely one, one that can result in being ousted from society and constantly faced with the denial of your existence. The truth is people are so afraid of being labeled as Anti-Semitic but are not afraid to be Anti-Arab or Islamophobic.   


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