Palestine is more important

I take note of Tengku Zafrul’s defence of BlackRock, which has strong links to Israel, arguing that it has major shares in Apple, WhatsApp and Facebook. I take note of Defence Minister Khaled Nordin defending the inclusion of Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, both complicit in Israel’s military dominance, in the recent Defence Service Asia (DSA) 2024 expo held in Kuala Lumpur with the argument that Malaysia is a free trading nation. I take note of Anwar’s urge of caution against not participating in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (Rimpac), a US-led maritime military exercise which includes the participation of the Israeli army.

But one thing remains. Palestine is more important.

Zafrul should understand that the deep roots of BlackRock in all major cultural mechanisms of the world is a cause for concern, not submission. Khaled should understand that giving space for those actively involved in the cleansing of innocent souls to put up a booth in our nation’s capitol is indirect endorsement of their practices. Anwar, so vocal with his support for Palestine when a microphone is in his hand, should understand participating in any US-led military exercise, especially with the direct involvement of Israel, makes his supposed support ring hollow. None of these have to do with global participation or the United Nations, whose highest court ordered Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah.

We understand that this capitalist government alongside every other capitalist government we have had bends the knee willingly to the US and it’s allies no matter how many lives are lost. We understand the need for free trade and the intricacies of navigating an unfree world with the conglomerate of NATO nations bullying others willingly. We understand that taking any material step to disrupt the lives of the US, Israel and their military industrial complex is an immense risk for our nation.

Having said all of that, Palestine is more important.

We know this government wants to make political gains against Perikatan Nasional, so every Palestine protest by them is labelled a political ploy. We know Perikatan are also only using this issue for clout, using the issue to further divide Malaysians on the basis of race and religion. We know the mudslinging on both parts is to distract from the real issues people like BDS Malaysia and Gegar are pushing.

We acknowledge all of that. But Palestine is more important.

Have some perspective. There is a genocide happening. There are pictures of children being dismembered. There are videos of bombs raining down on innocent Palestinians. Bombs made by whom, funded by whom? And at this time when the world is divesting, when people around the globe are protesting and day-by-day, though the bombs keep raining down, the will of the Palestinian people remains unbroken. When victory approaches as each material step is taken by those who claim to be allies of Palestine. When necessary military action is taken by all who can over the land Israel occupies. Is it at this time we want to play the card of free trade, global citizenship and national security.

It is time to take some risks. Begin withdrawing from all of the above actions. Send back the US ambassador until the conflict is over. Take some risks because, to us, Palestine is more important. To you?

Arveent Kathirtchelvan
Parti Sosiails Malaysia (Gombak)

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