As the 300-foot spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris tragically came tumbling down on live television, my thoughts ventured to Nuseirat Refugee Camp, my childhood home in the Gaza Strip. The very media that covered the news of the Notre Dame fire seemed oblivious to the obliteration of everything we hold sacred in Palestine as, day after day, Israeli war machinery continues to blow up, bulldoze and desecrate.
Palestinians participated in the Great March of Return because they understand their centrality in their struggle. Their protests are a collective statement, a cry for justice, an ultimate reclamation of their narrative as a people – still standing, still powerful and still hopeful after 70 years of Nakba, 50 years of military occupation and 12 years of unrelenting siege.
Muffling the voices of civil society rarely works over long periods of time, and the anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign, now penetrating the very heart of US government, is bound to eventually resurrect a nationwide conversation. Is protecting Israeli Apartheid more important to Americans than preserving the fundamental nature of their own democracy?
The fact is the Central American refugee crisis is similar to the plethora of Middle East and Central Asian refugee crises of recent years. Mass migration is almost always the direct outcome of political meddling and military interventions.
Although ties between Washington and Tel Aviv are stronger than ever, Israeli leaders are aware of a vastly changing political landscape. The US' own political turmoil and the global power realignment - which is on full display in the Middle East - indicate that a new era is, indeed, in the making. Unsurprisingly, this new era involves China.
During her relatively brief stint at the UN, US Ambassador Nikki Haley further diminished her country’s struggling reputation, entrenching US isolation in the world’s most vital international political body.