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Voting Uncommitted

I haven’t posted here in the five months since the Israeli government stepped up their attacks and began carrying out a full on genocide in Gaza. But I have been posting about that daily on instagram, facebook, and twitter. About atrocity after atrocity being inflicted on the Palestinian people.

I’m a GenX Lebanese-American who grew up in Minnesota. In the U.S., the Cold War dominated the news and pop culture when I was a kid. But I was more concerned about the Lebanese Civil War (1975 — 1990). And the ongoing plight of the Palestinians. The First Intifada happened when I was in junior high. Around that time I was learning more about apartheid in South Africa. And reading whatever I could about Nelson Mandela (who was on the United States Terror Watch list until 2008). Before long I became involved with Amnesty International. That led to a lifetime of activism in social justice movements.

In the decades since, there have been attempts to realize a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel. But here we are, in 2024, with a right-wing Israeli government openly carrying out a genocide with the whole world watching. And doing nothing because our shitty government keeps blocking any concrete actions. The Israelis are attempting to ethnically cleanse Gaza with the goal of taking over the land and resources for Israelis. And now, as the Presidential primaries are happening, Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a watered down speech about a temporary 6-week ceasefire in Gaza. How about a permanent ceasefire? It is Super Tuesday in my state so I requested a Democratic party ballot and cast my vote for Uncommitted to hold this administration accountable.

Just the weekend before everything kicked off on October 7th, Mizna held the 17th annual Arab Film Fest in the Twin Cities. It was unusually warm that weekend and the final film was shown outside. Ironically, it was a dark comedy from 2022 called A Gaza Weekend. The plot? “A British journalist tries to escape Israel after the UN imposes an embargo from land air and sea due to the spreading of a virus. Gaza becomes the safest place in the region.” The film highlights the harsh realities of living as a Palestinian (treated as separate, definitely not equal) under Israeli rule. A similar film is the 2015 documentary, Speed Sisters “…the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. They’re bold. They’re fearless. And they’re tearing up tracks all over Palestine.” While the women are practicing in an open area, young Israeli soldiers casually open fire near them, because they can and with no consequences.

A projector showing Mizna 17th Arab Film Fest Sept 27 - Oct 1, 2023 at the Main Cinema

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