It is a special day at the United Nations headquarters today. November 29 marks the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a holiday of remembrance codified in a 1977 General Assembly meeting. Altruistic in nature but relatively unpublicized, this Day of Solidarity promotes public awareness and remembrance of a Palestine that once was. For others, however, it serves as a grim reminder of Palestine as it stands today.
Two weeks ago, a website leaked personal information of over 200 Israeli military officers involved in Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of the Gaza Strip. It read:
The people listed here held positions of command at the time of the attack therefore not only did they perform on behalf of a murderous state mechanism but actively encouraged other people to do the same.
The site was closed down and the information was scrapped but not before it was transferred to another more elusive web domain. With the home addresses of dozens of Israeli lieutenants, generals, and captains made public via cyberspace, individuals around the world are sending them reminders of their actions. The most notable reminder involves a photograph of a dead Palestinian child sent to Colonel Bentzi Gruber’s front doorstep.
Shamefully, he was disgusted more at the fact that an angry letter had found its way to his home than at the fact that the image represented just one of the many children killed during his army’s operations. But even though he felt disgust for the wrong reasons, he was among many Israeli military officers that were also reminded. Gruber wasn’t the first to receive such a reminder nor has he been the last.
Because I don’t expect someone like Gruber to willingly participate, much less acknowledge, today as a Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, I find comfort knowing that he and his cronies have since been forced to partake in the remembrance of the Palestinian people, particularly those killed at his command. They may not even know this day of solidarity and remembrance exists but at least they’ve taken part in it, albeit unintentionally.