Ben & Jerry’s is unapologetic, are you?
Is our empathy and humanity limited by our Western point of view?

It’s been 114 days. Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tonnes of bombs on Gaza. Together, these explosives are heftier than the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Israel has killed more than 25,000 civilians, has rendered 1.9 million people homeless, has destroyed 20 hospitals, and has rescued zero hostages. Oh, and Hamas still exists. That’s one of the most “advanced” militaries in the world for you, folks!

While Israel kills newborns and desecrates cemeteries, people continue with their everyday lives. It’s been three months and certain people still have not said a word about what’s happening in Gaza, despite posting condolences to social media about similar atrocities that took place in Ukraine not so long ago (I’m looking at you, Kylie).

But it’s not just celebrities. Companies like Starbucks and Amazon donated thousands of dollars in aid to Ukraine in 2022 and publicly expressed their sympathy for Ukrainian civilians impacted by the war. Yet, those same companies remain silent when it comes to Israel’s bombing of houses, hospitals, mosques, churches, and schools in Gaza.

The hypocrisy and double standards don’t stop at Ukraine, though. Celebrities, corporations, and educational institutions continue to expose their one-sided humanity to the world by sympathizing with certain humanitarian causes while ignoring others. Some of us may be guilty of this, too.

For example, why do we declare that “Every Child Matters,” yet remain silent when Palestinian children are shot in refugee camps by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF)? 

Why are we enraged at the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, yet remain silent when Israeli forces abuse Palestinians, such as the diabetic Arafat Hamdan who was jailed, deprived of his medicine, and placed under the sun for hours with a bag on his head until he died?

Why do we flood social media with pleas to release Israeli hostages, yet not put up similar posts pleading to release the 7,200 Palestinian detainees—including hundreds of children—who were imprisoned without trial or charge? 

Why do we condemn the gas chambers of the Holocaust, yet remain indifferent when the IDF shells Palestinian civilians with white phosphorus gas, a chemical that causes severe skin burns and is declared illegal under international law? 

Why do we hold a national day of mourning for the thousands of Indigenous children who were murdered at the hands of residential school keepers, yet fail to mourn a single one of the 8,000 children in Gaza who were killed in Israeli bomb strikes over the last three months alone? 

Where are the world’s feminists when women in Gaza don’t have access to proper sanitary products, and when mothers in Gaza have to undergo c-sections without anesthesia? Are Palestinian women not women too?

Is our humanity one-sided? Do we only mourn when the West wants us to mourn? Do we stand up for justice only when the West deems it “politically correct” to do so? Are Palestinians the wrong culture, race, or religion to feel bad for?

While certain people’s silence speaks volumes, others do not hesitate to declare their unwavering sympathy and support for the people of Gaza. Huda Khattan is one example. Khattan, a social media influencer and founder of the makeup brand “Huda Beauty,” has taken to her X account on multiple occasions to condemn Israel’s massacres in Gaza. In one post, she says, “I know you’re exhausted talking about Gaza, but the tipping point is here […] don’t stop.” Khattan has also donated $1 million to humanitarian organizations in Gaza.

Vermont-based ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s is another advocate for Palestinian rights. Earlier this month, they stated that they call for “peace, and a permanent and immediate ceasefire.” The company also posted on its website that it will “end sales of [its] ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” When asked why, Ben and Jerry’s stated that selling its product within an “internationally recognized illegal occupation” would be “inconsistent” with its values. 

The list goes on. From celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Kyrie Irving, to companies like Kayali, influential bodies around the world continue to stand for Palestinian lives, no matter what the cost. 

What about us? Where does our humanity stand? “It’s too complicated” isn’t a good enough answer. We need to hold ourselves accountable before another nation of people is erased completely, leaving only a brief presence of them in history books.

Staff Writer (Volume 50) — Maryam is a third-year student completing a double major in English and Professional Writing & Communication. She started her journey with The Medium in 2022, where she’s written articles for News, Opinion, Features, and Sports. In her spare time, Maryam enjoys painting, cooking, and finding creative ways to educate people about world issues that matter to her.

One Comment

  1. “Why are we enraged at the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of police,…”
    >> Murder? Coleman Hughes has reviewed the matter and reports what many had thought but too intimidated to say out loud:

    “Are Palestinians the wrong culture, race, or religion to feel bad for?”
    >> Palestinians are Arabs: Egyptians / Jordanians et al. Gazans are to Egyptians as Manitobans are to Ontarians. There is no cultural difference.
    The culture in question is the Muslim culture. Many look at the hand that Muslim culture deals to women in Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, Malaysia, North Eastern Nigeria, and many other Muslim jurisdictions and says, “No Thanks”.

    The Muslim religion/superstition is derived from the content of the Quran and the hero-worship of Mohamed. When one examines those two aspects there is a lot that is quite reasonable to find distasteful. There just is.
    As for ‘Islamophobia’ Chris Hitchens was prescient:

    Perhaps write a piece on how the Hamas Muslim non-democratic theocratic autocratic jurisdiction is viewed simply as another incarnation of the Islamic State and non-Muslims and many Muslims know what a horror show that was. If Palestine were to be created from the river to the sea, the Islamic State would rule the roost there within a very short while, and Egypt would probably declare war against them. Happy days, eh?

    What Israeli Arab woman would want to switch from living under a secular Israeli jurisdiction to a Muslim theocracy under Hamas where their liberties would be curtailed and forced under a sharia boot?

    “We need to hold ourselves accountable before another nation of people is erased completely”
    >> There is no genocide. Israel dismantled Jewish homes in Gaza and left. After which the Hamas regime murdered their Fatah Muslim brothers to take autocratic control. After which they spent enormous sums and effort building tunnels and frequently firing rockets into Israel hoping to kill any Israeli baby or pensioner – in their effort to complete their aim to genocidally eradicate Israel.

    A great many Gazans support the Jihadi disposition of Hamas, which is why Hamas have held power so long with no intention of allowing Gazans to vote.

    Open your eyes and look at the industriousness of the Jews in that area and how they have transformed it. Arab countries can learn and emulate some of that for the betterment of the well being of Arab lives.

    Unlike millions of Muslims abandoning Muslim regimes/jurisdictions and heading for the West, no Muslims are abandoning Israel seeking asylum in the West. Says it all.

    Thank you.
    (Former contributor to the Medium)


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