Activists project pro-Palestine messages on AIPAC building in Washington

Activists project pro-Palestine messages on AIPAC building in Washington
A poetry collective is livestreaming poetry dedicated to Palestinians in light of Israel's violence in Jerusalem and in Gaza.
3 min read
15 May, 2021
Poets are using their voice [Getty]
The poetry collective 'Homemade' took political activism to new heights this week, after they projected a livestream of poetry readings and messages of support for Palestinians onto the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)'s building in Washington D.C. to mark the anniversary of the Nakba.

The reading series, which takes place every first and 15th of the month has chosen to highlight support for Palestinians in its latest poetry instalment.

Their latest livestream was posted on the Palestinian Youth Movement Instagram, prompting thousands to write in with support for the poets.

"This is the best thing I’ve seen in a while," one Instagram user posted.

"On AIPAC’s building that is genius," another user added.

Nakba Day or "The Catastrophe" was when the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by Zionist militias took place to create the state of Israel in 1948.

The poetry collective’s activism is a brief light point in an otherwise dark situation, with the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and the violence in East Jerusalem by far-right Israeli settlers attempting to forcibly remove Palestinian families from their homes.

At least 202  Palestinians, including 52 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Monday, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA. Some 5,588 others have been wounded.

Celebrities have used their voices – to mixed effect– to speak on Israeli violence.
Instagram Post

Bella and her sister Gigi Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, have taken to their Instagram pages over the past few days to post content in support of Palestinians, and they have been urging an end to Israeli hostilities.

"Future generations will look back in disbelief and wonder how we allowed the Palestinian suffering to continue for so long. A human tragedy unfolding right in front of our eyes,"  the 24-year-old Bella's post said.

"Politicians stutter neutral words in fear of being reprimanded, whilst the world remains silent to avoid offending the wrong people. History has taught us to speak up. You are on the right side or you are not. It’s that simple."

Malala Yousafzai tweeted a video expressing her "solidarity with Palestinian people".

Actor Idris Elba urged Israel to "stop the bloodshed in Palestine" on his Instagram account.

Not everyone’s messages were well received, however. 

Actress Gal Gadot, who previously served in the Israeli army, said Israel was "at war", and said it "deserves to live as a free and safe nation".

Her message prompted sharp criticism, with people arguing that her framing of the conflict was inaccurate and ignored the disproportionate violence leveled at Palestinians by Israel.

Musician Rihanna’s message was also a source of controversy.

"My heart is breaking with the violence I’m seeing displayed between Israel and Palestine!" the 33-year-old posted on Instagram.

"I can’t bare to see it! Innocent Israeli and Palestinian children are hiding in bomb shelters, over 40 lives lost in Gaza alone, at least 13 of whom were also innocent children!"

Many thought her message was akin to the trope "All Lives Matter", which mischaracterised the Black Lives Matter movement and, many argue, does the same for Palestinians suffering under Israel’s occupation.

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