‘From Jerusalem to Minneapolis: no justice, no peace’

by Roddy Keenan/ PNN- Dublin/

The protests across the United States and further afield reflect the righteous anger at the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His brutal death has united people in horror at the fact that those purporting to defend the citizenry would act in such a vicious and ruthless way.

But, in the name of moral consistency, let alone basic humanity, our rage at this form of barbarism must be universal, not limited by local or national borders.

On Saturday, a 32 year-old autistic Palestinian man walking to a rehabilitation centre in Jerusalem’s Old City, was shot to death by Israeli police, those also deemed to be  the upholders of law and order.

Eyad Hallaq,  who had found communication so difficult with his own father who said he had rarely made eye contact with him, was gunned down for seemingly no other reason than being a Palestinian. Another innocent Palestinian life savagely taken away.

But there will be very little celebrity tweets, no sportspeople wearing t-shirts or armbands in his memory, no protests across the world at his brutal slaying. For Eyad is but one of thousands of Palestinians to have been killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces since the foundation of the Israeli state. The forces of law and order. The state with the self-proclaimed, ‘most moral army in the world.’

One would hope that Officer Chauvin, appropriately named, meets justice for his actions relating to the death of George Floyd. But rest assured, there is little or no chance that those who executed Eyad Hallaq will face any consequences. Israel is an apartheid state, and has a powerful friend in the United States. Consequently, it feels untouchable, as it freely oppresses Palestinian men, women and children.

For too many years to count, the people of Palestine have been abandoned to the ruthlessness of this rogue regime. A time of reckoning must surely come for such lawlessness. One can only hope that George Floyd’s death will spark a wider empathy, anger and support for those around the world who face inhumanity and barbarism every single day. Only then might it be possible to eke something remotely positive out of Mr Floyd’s cold-blooded, tragic and horrific loss of life.

For whether it’s Washington or the West Bank, Minneapolis or Jerusalem, where there is no justice, there will be no peace.