As you think of others far away, think of yourself (say, “If only I were a candle in the dark”). –Mahmoud Darwish (translated by Mohammed Shaheen)

At the time of writing this article, it has been 40 days since the commencement of Israel’s relentless retaliatory assault on the Palestinian people living in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank. Following the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, Israel’s offensive has resulted in the tragic deaths of at least 11,000 Palestinian civilians, with over 20,000 sustaining injuries. 42 journalists and media workers have lost their lives, and the war has recorded the highest number of UN aid worker casualties in the history of the organisation. Craig Mokhiber, the former Director of the New York Office of UNHCR, who resigned in protest of the United Nations’ failure to intervene and avert the crisis, has described the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe as “a textbook case of genocide.” Yet, if one were to turn to mainstream media, particularly in the West, one would find a very different picture than this grim reality.

Indeed, the Western reporting of the Israel-Palestine issue has been marred by a series of “erroneous Western assumptions,” as Professor Amir Ali of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) called them in a commentary piece for the Economic and Political Weekly. From an ahistorical account of the situation as beginning on October 7, 2023, to the labelling of all condemnations of Israel’s actions as antisemitism, along with the ad-nauseum repetition of “Do you condemn Hamas?” Prof. Ali identifies these assumptions as reflective of “the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the West.” Underneath these apparent fallacies in logic, of course, lie much more deliberate and coercive forces of racism, Islamophobia, and the state-driven race for geopolitical gains.

In light of this active epistemic erasure, many have chosen to turn instead to Palestinian journalists, photographers, and activists, such as Plestia Alaqad, Bisan, Yara Eid, and Ali Jadallah, among others, who have utilised their social media presence to document the harrowing genocide as it unfolds on the ground. “My photos travelled the world, but my feet couldn’t touch my homeland,” reads the Instagram bio of Motaz Azaiza, one such Gaza-based photojournalist, whose photographs have indeed travelled the digital world and exposed the ongoing atrocities of the Israeli state. From highly graphic and excruciating images of dead or injured children to capturing the daily resilience of the Palestinian people, the social media posts of Gazan civilians like Motaz have struck the consciences of millions across the world. Amid active attempts to dehumanise victims of genocide, they have served as an unprecedented tool of personal documentation, humanising the statistics too often reduced to mere death tolls.

The democratisation of information dissemination via social media has brought out the face of a genocide like never before in history. Such is the power of online discourse that many experts have called it “a battle to control the narrative dimensions of conflict and war.” The meddling forces in this narrative battle include disinformation, online propaganda, and censorship by social media platforms. The latter is particularly pertinent in the current context, as numerous activists, journalists, and regular users have accused major platforms of shadowbanning or taking down Palestine-related content. Yet, the sheer magnitude of this online movement is evident in the fact that October saw 15 times more posts on Instagram and TikTok with pro-Palestinian hashtags than pro-Israeli ones, as reported by Humanz, an influencer marketing company founded by former IDF intelligence officers.

On an individual scale, this has translated to what I’d like to term ‘digital-user morality’ for the purposes of this article. Digital-user morality may be understood as a form of individual social responsibility that encourages the socio-politically conscious usage of one’s social media platform, however big or small, to create awareness about issues that matter. Emphasising the complicit nature of silence and ignorance, it calls upon individuals to speak out for what’s right and stand in solidarity with marginalised communities across the world.

The idea here is not to suggest that passive engagement in the form of a single repost or retweet is going to bring about a revolution. Rather, the objective is to harness online support and channel it into tangible forms of dissent and protest movements. With the widespread adoption of the BDS (Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction) movement and people marching in the thousands across the world, it is evident that the line between digital activism and real-world mobilisation is a thin one, and the former has a significant bearing on public sentiment about war.

As we continue to mobilise our voices for Palestine, it is also crucial to be cognizant of the pitfalls of virality and not forget the many ‘silent genocides’ unfolding in other parts of the world right now, such as the Congo and Sudan. Social media is a powerful tool, but it is a tool based on capital, after all. So, when the Palestine issue inevitably dies out its so-called time on social media, just as the Manipur issue did earlier this year and countless other humanitarian crises that seldom see the spotlight, remember not to let your activism be washed away in the transient waves of online attention.

Read Also: What’s Going on in Gaza and Why You Should Care

Image credit: @motaz_azaiza on Instagram

Sanika Singh
[email protected]

Unpacking the conflict, its roots, and the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

In the heart of the Middle East, a long-standing conflict continues to shape the lives of millions. The Israel-Palestine issue, with its roots dating back over a century, drew global attention again after the last few weeks’ events. The abundance of misinformation available online can be daunting, making it all the more important to form informed opinions and be responsible global citizens, which is necessary in such turbulent times. 

For a very brief background, The 1917 Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish homeland in Palestine to aid persecuted European Jews, sparking tensions with residing Palestinian Arabs. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Israel emerged, leading to the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians, and this day was marked as Nakba (a catastrophe) by the Palestinians. In 1967, Israel occupied Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, areas that had held Palestinians for generations, and established Jewish settlements. UN calls for withdrawal were refused. The Palestinian people saw this as an illegal occupation, and one major group resorting to violence to fight it (for a lack of Palestine’s military) grew in prominence in the 1980s. This organisation was called Hamas, and it took control of Gaza in 2006 after an election win. Israel and Hamas have fought many wars, but tensions have never subsided. 

A sudden escalation of the issue began on October 7, when Hamas launched an attack on Israel, claiming over 1400 lives, mostly civilian, and taking 230 hostages. In retaliation, the Israeli Prime Minister declared war and stated that Hamas would “pay an unprecedented price”. On November 6, The Palestinian Health Ministry said that Israel’s airstrikes have killed more than 10,000 people in Gaza, including over 4000 children. A report was also published detailing the names and ID numbers of every person killed, a day after US President Joe Biden questioned the death toll. 

The world is divided over the topic of Israel’s right to defend itself. It is important to recognize and grieve the effects of Hamas’s actions, and it is also necessary to note that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian cause. The increasing Israeli occupation of Palestine has never been justified, and neither was ever legally sanctioned by the United Nations. From its position of power, Israel has been controlling food, water, electricity, and the free movement of the people in Gaza since 2007 and is currently causing harm to life by having disrupted all of that since the events of October 7. In addition to that, with the enormous backing and financial aid that it receives from the USA, an undeniable power imbalance exists between the two regions that Israel has exploited for decades and is continuing to. Targeted bombings and air strikes in schools, hospitals, and residential buildings have made it clear that the continuous and purposeful killing of civilians is taking place. In discussions all over the world, this is being called a “textbook case of genocide”. 

On October 13, Israel had ordered over 1 million Gazans to evacuate to the southern part of the territory as targeted attacks on Hamas lay ahead. The UN stated that suddenly evacuating about half the population would have devastating humanitarian consequences.

Protecting civilians does not mean ordering one million to evacuate to the south, where there is no shelter, no water, no medicine, no fuel, and then continue to bomb the south itself.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

Moreover, due to how Israel has handled refugee needs in the past, many Palestinians feared they would not be able to return and would be gradually displaced to Egypt’s Sinai, which is near Gaza’s south. The United Nations Human Rights Watch has said that Israel’s siege of Gaza and its evacuation order could lead to the forcible transfer of civilians and be in breach of international law. This is a recurring theme in Israel’s occupation of Palestine, as the refusal to withdraw from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, as well as the setting up of establishments in those territories, have been condemned and labelled flagrant violations of international law.   

To add to the alarming death tolls, there is an extreme shortage of electricity and medicine, and almost half of the hospitals in Gaza are no longer functioning and others are getting bombed. The UNRWA stated that it had to significantly reduce its humanitarian operations because fuel had run-out and the delivery of more had been restricted by Israel in fear of its misuse by Hamas. The UNWFP has said that ‘insane bureaucracy’ has slowed down the flow of aid, as only about 12 lorries carrying food and water are crossing into Gaza per day. This number was 500 before the war began. Moreover, telecommunication has been destroyed by the bombing, making it harder for aid to reach the right places in time. The current humanitarian situation in Gaza, therefore, remains dire.

There is no doubt that discussions and opinions should leave room for nuance; however, it should not be difficult to stand for humanitarian rights when needed most. The US, Israel’s major ally, having provided billions in military and economic aid, along with the EU, has condemned the actions of Hamas. Russia and China have not done the same and have stated neutrality. Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group, is a supporter of Hamas and has been exchanging fire with Israeli forces.

The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas and demanding aid access to Gaza. 120 countries voted in favour, 14 voted against (including Israel and the USA) and 45 others abstained. We are yet to see what this step will do for the suffering people of Palestine, but in any case, history will remember. 

Read also: Stop Genocide in Palestine- Sfi Protests at Embassy of Israel 

Featured image source: World Peace Tracts 

Arshiya Pathania

[email protected] 

Students and activists took part in the demonstration to support the victims of the horrific war crimes committed in Gaza, which included the loss of lives of thousands of innocent children. 

On October 23, 2023, a protest organized by the Students’ Federation of India in Delhi took place at the Embassy of Israel in New Delhi. This protest was an expression of solidarity with Palestine and a strong plea to stop the ongoing violence committed by Israeli forces in Gaza. Around 2 p.m. on October 23rd, a large gathering of supporters, including social activists and students from various universities and student organizations across Delhi, assembled near the Khan Market Metro station. Together, they initiated a united march towards the Embassy of Israel.

Upon reaching their destination, the protesters were met with a substantial police force that prevented them from advancing further. The authorities detained the demonstrators, leading to a temporary halt to their protest. An hour later, a second group of students, holding placards in support of Palestine and chanting slogans, initiated another march towards the embassy. They, too, were soon detained by the police forces.

The backdrop to this protest is the ongoing conflict in Gaza, where Israeli airstrikes have resulted in the tragic loss of over 5,000 lives over two weeks. The history of the Israel-Palestine conflict is marked by turbulence and violence. As the attacks persist, people worldwide stand united in their call for an end to the loss of innocent lives and the provision of essential services to the people of Gaza through humanitarian aid.

Our conversations with the protestors helped us get a clear view of their motivations and perspectives on the issue. A student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who joined the protest explained that their objective was to oppose all forms of violence in Gaza and urge the governments to support the Palestinian cause. He emphasized that the march towards the Embassy was a means to convey their message to the media, the general public, and ultimately the government.

What is happening in one part of the world cannot leave us unaffected or detached. It is not right to assume that India and its citizens will remain untouched by the consequences of this conflict.

– One of the supporters present at the march.

The supporters stressed their point by saying,

Humari sankhya kam ho sakti hai, par humari awaaz buland hai

(Our numbers may be small, but our voices are powerful.)

Many protesters were also against police actions and the detention of their fellow participants. They requested the administration to respect their right to peaceful protest. Social activists present at the event underlined the historical importance of mass protests in India’s struggle for independence. They argued that the administration should not restrict their freedom to express their views.

The demonstrators also stressed that the world must not remain silent in the face of such a grave humanitarian crisis. They highlighted the need to stand in support of the oppressed and the innocent in Gaza, as one day India might require the international community’s support in times of crisis, just as the civilians of Gaza do now. The protestors’ believed in the importance of global solidarity and the responsibility of nations to support one another in the face of injustice and conflict.

Read Also – https://dubeat.com/2019/12/01/why-are-israelis-moving-into-a-conflict-zone/

Image Credits – Anshika Sharma for DU Beat

By DU Beat

The conflict of the Jews and Arabs goes back many centuries. Jerusalem and Israel is a sacred place for not only Jews, but for Christians and Muslims also. Thus, this piece of land has been the reason for numerous conflicts and wars. These wars are still going on today, the only difference being that now it is not fought with swords, but waged mentally by starving the enemy of even the basic human rights like education.

Around 535 BCE, Abraham was hailed as the first Jew, and the father of Jewish people. It was at this time that Isaac, the Son of Abraham, was promised that he would inherit the land of Canaan, or the land which we today know as, Israel. Cut to the Middle Ages and we see that the crusades and repeated sieges on the holy city of Jerusalem (The most important city of Canaan and Judaism) left many Jews homeless and thus, they were forced to take refuge in other nations all over the world. The Jew community did face great difficulty during this time, but still managed to rise up and establish themselves as a powerful community with wealth and influence all over the world. 

Palestine History via Pinterest
Palestine History via Pinterest

Coming to the 1900s, we see the rise of Zionism, the movement which gained popularity during the time. The movement’s ideology stated that the only way to save the Jewish culture and Jewish people was the creation of a Jewish state in the holy land of Canaan, which then was an Ottoman province known as Palestine. Then the world witnessed two World Wars during which Jews were subjected to racial and even ethnic cleansing. This resulted in extensive inflow of Jews to the Palestine. It also resulted Ottoman Palestine becoming a battleground for the Jews and Arab Palestinians. There were several clashes between the Jews and the Arabs (who by then had started recognising themselves as a distinct ethnic identity, the Palestinians), seeing the tensions between the two communities, the newly formed United Nations came into action. It offered a Two-State Proposal which would divide the British Palestine (which they had captured from the Ottomans in the First World War) into two Nations, the state of Israel for Jews and the state of Palestine for the ethnic Arabs in the year 1947. The proposal was eagerly adopted by Israel, which declared its independence soon after. But the same was not the case for Palestine, as the Arabs thought of the solution as another attempt of Western imperialism. So, thus started a conflict of ideas, principles and most importantly religion, which we today know as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What followed this were two different wars between Israel and its Arab neighbours, in these wars Israel crushed the Arab alliance and pushed well past its 1947 UN designated borders, capturing all the erstwhile Palestine, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and the Syrian Golan heights and thus, during late 1970s started a mass unspoken and unofficial movement in which a large number of Israelis started shifting to occupied Palestinian territories of West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 

Visualising Palestine.
Visualising Palestine.

This movement, was in addition to politics,  religiously motivated, as the Jews there wanted to established themselves into these areas so that no international force would give these territories to Palestine. Also these territories and areas were religiously very important to Jews. Even though the United Nations, in its 1979 resolution not only condemned this migration, but also declared it illegal. However, the Israeli government did not do anything, instead subsidised these West Bank properties for Israeli citizens, and moreover sent the army for the security of such settlers.

The partition of West Bank as per the Oslo Accords II in 1995. Credits: Vox
The partition of West Bank as per the Oslo Accords II in 1995. Credits: Vox

This resulted in extensive violence and backlash from Palestinians in the face of the First and the Second Intifadas (the Uprising) in 1987 to 1993 and then from 2000 to 2005, respectively. This was followed by a distressing amount of deaths and displacement of the Palestinians, and then a string of peace talks which resulted in practically nothing. 

Even though the Second Intifada resulted in the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (but increasing its activities in West Bank), again it ultimately was a loss for the Palestinians as firstly there was a short civil war between PLO or Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Hamas, which resulted in a split of the unified leadership of Palestine.  Therefore the latter controlled West Bank and the post started controlling the Gaza Strip (Hamas has also been declared an international terrorist organisation by the US and Israel). It was followed by a strict Israeli blockade in Gaza which it justified as Israel claims Hamas to be a terrorist organisation; this gruelling blockade resulted the unemployment rate in Gaza to jump to a startling 40 per cent. 

Thus, today in West Bank we can see a huge void between Israeli and Palestinian neighbourhoods or settlements, on one hand we have highly developed Israeli settlements with scores of world class amenities, but on the other hand we see much worse of Palestinian settlements which lack many basic needs of survival. Apart from that, now Israelis are not just shifting into West Bank settlement for religious purposes, but due to the fact that it has become beneficial for them, as they get government subsidies and world class amenities in these areas. This movement has also been heavily sponsored by not only the Israeli Government but also various NGOs who get funding from the powerful Jewish communities around world.

All of this has resulted in a very pick-you-your-situation as it has become more and more difficult for any sustainable peace proposal to be formed. Due to this increasing number of Jewish population in the West Bank area, the community at the pinnacle of this conflict is the Palestinians’. Ask them how the peace talks work now living in a country wherein they are subjects but not citizens. Israel will never accept them and chances of their own independent state of Palestine are not great. So now they live with an internal question of whether they want their identities as a Palestinian to be saved, or they want a chance to live freely but as Jewish citizens of Israel.

“You can either be a Revolutionary or be a Caged Bird who had a chance to fly but it didn’t.”

– Abraham Lincoln
Feature Image Credits: Scopio

Aniket Singh Chauhan 

[email protected]



Jamia Milia Islamia students were protesting against Israeli Participation in a Campus Event, when two of the protestors were allegedly manhandled and beaten up by the guards. No action has been taken against the guards, while the students have been served show-cause notices by the Proctor. 

On 5th and 6th October, the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics at Jamia Milia Islamia University organised the ‘Global Health Zenith: Confluence-19’ on Medical Infrastructure Planning, with  Israel as the country partner.

Unhappy with this, a protest was called on 5th October, 2019, against this Israeli participation.

“We, the undersigned, appeal to the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics at Jamia Millia Islamia University, to not have Israel as the country partner for the 2nd Global Health Zenith Confluence… If the university proceeds with the program in association with the Israeli embassy, it will be complicit in whitewashing Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights and international law,” said the Joint Statement released by the students of the University.

At the protest, two students of Jamia Millia Islamia, Abudarta Khan, and Anas Jamal, have alleged they were manhandled by the university’s security guards. While the protest itself happened peacefully, after the protestors had dispersed, the two were allegedly isolated by the proctorial staff. They were, then, thrown into an official vehicle while being beaten and manhandled, and were locked inside the proctor’s office compound. “One person was being picked up by four guards. The Proctor himself pushed me inside the car,” said Abudarta Khan to DU Beat.

“They assaulted us physically. Our hair was pulled and phones were broken.” The students were then allegedly locked inside the proctor’s room. “Even inside the room, we were surrounded by 17 guards who pushed, slapped and kicked us. Our fellow protestors were outside and the same guards tried to snatch their placards,” added the student.

The rest of the protestors came back demanding that the two students be released, which led to a scuffle between them and the proctorial staff. A guard allegedly tried to intimidate a student following which he and other students near him were pushed and grappled by the guards.

The Press Release by the students says that in the discussion between the proctorial staff and the students, the Chief Proctor, Dr. Waseem Ahmad Khan, denied that the two students were forcibly detained or manhandled, and justified all the proctorial team’s actions by accusing the protestors of not taking permission for the protest. However, the students strongly demanded that action be taken against all the staff who had attacked the students. The proctor verbally agreed to conduct an inquiry into the incident and to allow two students to review CCTV footage of the site of the detention of the two students and the proctorial compound, so that the aggressors could be identified.

However, the Chief Proctor allegedly went back on his word and refused to let the students watch the CCTV footage of the site of the detention.

The students haven’t lodged a police complaint, as they were promised by their University administration that proper action would be taken against the guards after checking the CCTV footage. In a turn of events, the Chief Proctor has refused to take any action and has now served show-cause notices to six students, including the two who were forcibly detained, falsely accusing them of manhandling the security staff.

In conversation with Okhla Times, the Chief Proctor said, “ Students were not beaten by guards as being claimed by a few protesting students. On Thursday we called a few students and showed them the CCTV footage of the incident as we had promised them earlier and there was no such footage of university bulls manhandling students as claimed by them.”

But, according to the Press Release released by the students, “The chief proctor had also blatantly lied in a statement to Okhla Times news portal that a fair inquiry was conducted and that the students were allowed to see the footages of both the sites.”

Feature Image Credits: College Duniya

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]