I just read the tweeted words “Ask what you can do for Palestine, since Palestine cannot do much for you at the moment” by docjazzmusic. How poignant this statement really is especially after I received some heat from my last blog questioning whether some Palestinians were proud to be Palestinian.
I received favorable and unfavorable responses from my readers. The favorable were very encouraging. Many requested to be added to my mailing list and even suggested others who would like to receive my blogs. The negative reaction came from my Christian Ramallah Family which is typical as most are apolitical. This saddens me.
That apolitical attitude has been inherited by many young adults of Ramallah, a Christian family numbering over 40,000 living in America. While I know of some Ramallah young adults who do write letters to their Congressional representative and write letters to newspapers, there are much more who just do not care about Palestine. Many have adopted the older generation’s mentality and have given up on any hope of seeing an independent democratic Palestinian State.
I have tried on varying levels to change this apolitical attitude to no avail. I have reasoned with their conscience by stating that had our parents and grandparents not been fortunate to receive visas to migrate to the United States, we could have been exiled to Lebanon or Jordan and forced to live in refugee camps. I have tried to persuade them “to do something for Palestine” by attending demonstrations, rallies and activities relating to Palestine. I have tried to post articles on websites in the name of the Ramallah Federation only to have them deleted. How unfortunate that a post about an upcoming Super Bowl Party can be posted but not one of my articles about Palestine.
Has it come to that point in our assimilation in America that our youth want nothing to do with Palestine? Are we that annoyed to receive a message that reminds us about Palestine but we welcome a message about a Super Bowl Party?
There is a tremendous untapped power in all Palestinian youth. The power in the combination of these youth and the various social media on the internet is awesome. The Palestinian leadership needs to harness and harvest this energy for Palestine. Have we not seen how powerful the Facebook and Tweeter were in the Arab Spring, especially in Egypt?
The Palestinian leadership needs to establish a relationship between these social media active youth and Palestine. A love for Palestine needs to be established, not in just feelings, as we all love Palestine, but also in action.
Simple interactive social activities can get these youth to do something for Palestine. A Facebook page can be created whereby Palestinian youth can write their favorite story told by their grandparents. Another page can ask these youth to post pictures of grandparents to give identity to our heritage. A love for Palestine needs to be established in actions but first it takes leadership to harness and harvest our youth.
Actions on the internet lead to education. When we repost videos and images of Apartheid Israeli soldiers holding at gunpoint 8 and 9 year old Palestinian children we educate all the friends. We need to create more actions.
What can you do for Palestine? Post a poem about Palestine, a picture of your home in Palestine, or a simply message saying how much you love Palestine. Keep Palestine alive in your heart and on the Ramallah Federation Facebook sites.
(© Copyright, Fadi Zanayed. Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)