Preaching about freedom whilst we remain complicit in another oppression

Syria, we have failed you, we have dumped you into the echelons of our memories afraid to voice our solidarity and support for you in your struggle against an oppressive regime. We have used excuses that do not justify the massacre, and remained silent as we preached about freedom.

Approximately 30 Palestinians have been tortured in Syria’s Regime jails in the month of August alone. That is an estimation of a Palestinian a day. A life drained through tactics that tormentors indulge themselves in under the name of allegiance and loyalty towards an effete system. This is the number of Palestinians in a single month. The amount of Syrians murdered has reached almost 200,000 since the Syrian people decided to rise against subjugation.   

Aleppo, Syria
Aleppo, Syria

There was subtle support in the beginning and slowly our numbers began to dwindle, especially on the Palestinian front. As Palestinians we have failed not only Syria but the Palestinians caught up in the turmoil. Our Palestinian sisters and brothers, refugees from their home, were forced to stand alone. We have manufactured excuses to support a regime that hides behind its fabricated support for Palestine. Whilst simultaneously, Yarmouk bleeds as it has bled for 3 years, and we chant about liberation as we forget our very own to bleed, in the diaspora, in besieged camps.

We are complicit in this despotic system that has cost thousands of lives, displaced hundreds of thousands and leaves an entire nation coping with trauma and conflict alone. We caved in to our feeling of helplessness and our fear of voicing our objection towards this regime with our duplicity.  

Assad does not support Palestine, and if we would like to entertain the thought that he does, it should not serve as justification for his oppression towards the Syrian people, including the Palestinian refugees that have been dragged into this conflict. We must not validate the mass murder and unjust incarceration of an entire people under the false pretext that this system once served the Palestinian cause. Not at the cost of the lives of others. We should not, will not, taint our cause with the blood of innocents.

It has been rationalized that the Syrian system prior to the eruption of the conflict has served the interest of Palestinian refugees in Syria. One does not get to acquit themselves of their tyrannical rule simply because they gave individuals their basic human rights. Not only does this rationalization exonerate Assad of his crimes, presenting him as a benevolent Godfather, but it is insulting to the thousands of lives that were lost.

Palestinians in Syria have become refugees once during their displacement by Israel, and once more when we have neglected them as they starved to death in a besieged camp, as they are kidnapped by regime forces only to be tortured as their families spend months with no knowledge of their whereabouts. Only to have a message sent to them, if they’re lucky, that their loved one has died. 

The world has failed the Syrian people, and as Palestinians that have endured and continue to resist against oppression with the world criticizing our very tactics and routes, we have failed to show solidarity with Syria. As Homs, Damascus, Aleppo and all of Syria faced its very own form of a Nakba (catastrophe) we stood idly by. To even proliferate our failure and highlight our shame, Syrians have constantly stood by Palestine and Palestinians in their struggle. Throughout the conflict they managed to send messages of support and solidarity.

Those that preach about freedom, about solidarity and complicity. Those of us that are constantly speaking out against silence when it comes to Palestine have dumped our call in a metal box and into the abyss when it came to Syria.

Our silence is piercing and Syria will never forgive us as we should be too ashamed to even ask for its forgiveness.

To rise up, is to be unafraid. To rise up is to not be selective, it is to care. To remember the names, we don’t even remember the numbers when it comes to Syria to even begin recollecting the names. To rise up, is to stop preaching what you cannot follow.

I am sorry Syria. I am sorry. With every bullet that punctures a soul, comes a silence that exemplifies our position, and it will echo until it pierces our ears.

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