And I could not remember precisely, when was the first time i heard of the word "Palestine". Perhaps on my elementary school. Cause I read too much at that time. I even wrote about the downfall of USSR in my school magazine and my friends raised their eyebrows.
I was raised as a moslem, in the biggest muslim country in the world. I even remembered someone or a teacher once said something about Jews, and Christians. Yes, there was a lot of racism inside our community too. We're good. They're bad. And sometimes the minority didn't get a decent treatment as they should get.
I was glad I decided not to believe that stereotyping. I was glad I could teach my children that they had to treat others as the way they wanted to be treated.
I had to admit, Rachel Corrie was one the most memorable moment.
I was shocked, not just by the way she passed away. But also by the hatreds she and her family received from Israelis supporter.
In Indonesia, Palestine was always connected with our identity as Muslim. And for some Islamophobics or Zionist supporters in here, Palestinian also identified as terrorists. And the stereotyping went on. So Jews and Israelis and Zionists were the same entity. Just like some said Muslim and Al Qaeda and Terrorist were the same thing.
When I read about Rachel Corrie, I thought: "Hei, she's an American girl. And she's not a muslim. Almost the same age as me. And she's dead defending your brothers and sisters in Palestine."
After that, one by one, I found out about Breaking the Silence from Daniel Bunuel "Don't tell my mom that I'm in The Holy Land" on National geographics channel, October 2008. And then Courage to refuse, ISM, Machsom Watch and Jews Against the Occupation were some of the best sources.
While blogging and reading, I found great thoughts from great people around the world, including Israel. There were Chet, Julia, Leila El Saba and Young Activist in US. Bob Birch and Antony Loewenstein in Australia. Yarra in Israel. And some amazing blogs, from Gaza with love, Oranges and Olives, Jerusalem Syndrom, Raising Yousuf and Noor, Munich and A little bit of everything, Tikun Olam, Mondoweiss and Jews san frontieres. I read "From Beirut to Jerusalem"'s dr. Ang Swee Chai and Palestinian walks's Raja Shehadeh.
Too many to mention.
But from them I knew one thing for sure. That Palestine (or Palestina in Indonesian) was never about religion. It was about humanity. It was about peace, justice and freedom. No matter what your religion was.
Lets face it. This was something that some people here in Indonesia should learn more.
I would finish with some words from Remi Kanazi.
I envision Palestine in my mind
With the “chosen” frozen in time
To realize their morality’s blind
To take back generations of crime
And put an end to Apartheid
How many kids sit and wish
They could be labeled other than a terrorist
To exist is to resist!
Reads the graffiti in their cities
Give them chalk instead of rocks
They’ll use the blackboards
If you let them go to school
Give them chalk instead of rocks
Instead you bulldoze the block
Destroy their homes
Palestine is what you call the “no building zone”
But you can’t bulldoze our minds
Every time we’ll rise through ashes
Like Cassius Clay
We’ll bob and weave for infinity
There is no divinity
In bombing our cities
Setting up committees to treat us differently
We’re from Falasteen
The land where dreams are made
So just remember one thing
One day the bells of freedom will ring
And you’ll see me smiling
Loving life in Palestine
This post dedicated for Blog About Palestine day 2009