Dear Palestine, I am sorry

Over decades, successive Israeli govts have methodically executed genocide, with explicit support from Western powers

Arhama Siddiqa October 31, 2023
The writer is a LUMS and Warwick alumna and a Policy analyst focusing on the MENA region


In the shadow of Gaza’s relentless siege, a deafening silence blankets the world as the global fixates on Israel’s annexation of yet another piece of historic Palestine, ignoring the injustice unfolding. This is nothing new. Over decades, successive Israeli governments and their complicit settler militias have methodically executed a campaign of genocide, with explicit support from Western powers. What is distressing is the world’s inclination to maintain Palestinians as refugees rather than stand resolute against the violence.

From Gaza, harrowing scenes and sounds reach us, undeniable evidence of a relentless occupier, determined to obliterate the remnants of a land already ravaged, and to indiscriminately claim the lives of weary, vulnerable souls, women, men and children. An ongoing genocidal campaign by the Israeli state is wrongly dubbed “a war between Israel and Hamas”, dismissing 75 years of occupation and oppression preceding the present strife. The word “Palestine” itself carries a weight that unsettles Israel on the global stage, symbolizing universal victimhood and countless narratives of oppression and subjugation. Israel’s public relations efforts crumble with each mention of this term; no wealth can cleanse the stain of Palestinian blood from its hands.

In the words of the late Palestinian-American scholar, Edward Said, Gaza remains the “essential core” of the Palestinian struggle. For 16 relentless years, this resilient land has borne the weight of a suffocating siege, a trial that has tested its people but never vanquished their unwavering spirit. Throughout this period, freedom of movement has been denied to Gaza’s inhabitants, and the blockade has pushed its economy to the edge of collapse. Presently, nearly half the population grapples with unemployment, with the burden soaring to over 60 per cent among the youth. Scarce food supply is further limited, as Israeli authorities meticulously monitor calorie counts to narrowly avoid malnutrition, all while restricting access to essential sustenance.

Furthermore, a dire energy crisis plagues Gaza, with fuel bans severely limiting electricity to just 13 hours a day in 2023. The blockade’s toll extends to medical facilities, where hospitals struggle to secure supplies and infrastructure, leaving them ill-equipped to care for the chronically afflicted. Additionally, Israeli military campaigns persist, justifying assaults as pursuing Palestinian fighters but systematically targeting civilians and essential infrastructure. This relentless hardship takes an immeasurable toll on the psychological well-being of the youth, leaving them with heightened hopelessness and profound mental distress.

The deep trauma of the Nakba in 1948, during which 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly exiled, remains etched in the collective memory. In Gaza, where many hail from families displaced in 1948, the Israeli government knows the historical facts, yet employs evacuation orders as a smokescreen for mass atrocities, falsely accusing Hamas of using human shields. Today, a looming uncertainty overshadows the world’s apparent indifference to Palestinian suffering. The current ‘Nakba’ unfolds before our eyes, bearing a sense of impending finality. What transpires in Palestine transcends mere genocide or ethnic cleansing; it is a sweeping campaign of obliteration. Each Palestinian today has faced the cruel reality of being made stateless and homeless, or awakening to the notion that their ancestral homeland is seemingly fictional.

Though words cannot encapsulate the ongoing sufferings, for me writing is the best way to channel emotions.


“Through ages past, a story etched in time,

A people’s history, in every rhyme,

With scars inherited, a yearning for home,

In quest of justice, they ceaselessly roam.


Colonial powers, conflicts, and the tears they shed,

Shaped the land, where pain and hope have wed,

Injustices deep, casting dignity aside,

A timeless struggle, where courage abides.


Yet in this tale, we can’t neglect to see,

The shadows lurking, where secrets may be,

An information war, and covert deceit,

As actions concealed, in shadows they meet.


Heinous crimes committed, in shadows they lay,

Leaving hearts heavy in an endless maze,

The world must know, for justice to prevail,

The truth about their suffering, we must unveil.


Dear Palestine, I am sorry for the immense injustice that has befallen you.

You did not deserve this, not the suffering, not the pain, not the loss.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2023.

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