Boycott or protest, solidarity, support is not just a word, but a life you choose, a decision you make & that costs you a lot in life, Those activists standing up for Palestine or Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan today, goes to great lengths to remain steady on what they are chanting for. In the west where racism, Zionism, ignorantly supporting wars on Eastern lands is a norm, standing up for the right thing literally crushes opportunities in life.
Even celebrities face smearing & character assassination & a lot more, one recent example is British Actress Emma Watson after she posted an image on her Instagram showing a photograph of a pro-Palestinian protest with the banner “solidarity is a verb” written across it. It was accompanied by a quote about the meaning of solidarity from the intersectional feminist scholar Sara Ahmed. She was instantly labeled antisemite, staunch Palestine supporter Singer Roger Waters or Susan Sarandon, and many more know what it’s like.
Many activists who speak for Palestine, they’ve difficult times finding jobs or treated with impertinence at work or even in the streets, particularly those who carry it out, wear it on them, show it visibly, those wearing the traditional scarf of Palestine “keffiyeh”, the keffiyeh was first worn by the fallahis , the native Palestinian peasants, to protect themselves from the scorching heat & dust, later in the 1930s, it became a symbol of resistance when the natives revolted against the illegal rule of British occupiers.
Continuing that tradition of standing up against the illegal occupation by European settlers, the activists from all over the world wrap it around them, carry it everywhere they travel. And many of them face criticism for representing the Palestinian tradition and symbol of resistance
Above all, the labels of antisemitism are destructive, and Palestinian activists are smeared by these labels, there are many who have to protect their families and identities, private lives, as they feel unsafe due to their experiences. An activist, no matter a social media warrior, using his/her platform to raise awareness, fighting for the cause, or a fighter on the streets with banners and play cards, put a lot at stake.
I, Came across these words of an American author Kelseyleigh Reber.
“When we stand up for what we believe in ,for what’s right,there is always a chance that we risk the very things we fight for: our safety, our lives, our freedom. But if we stand down, the risk is definite“
Absolutely, at least at the end of the day, their hearts are at peace knowing that they’re putting some effort out there, standing down should never be a choice.