Yousef Ikhlayl and Trayvon Martin – They Were Both Seventeen

9 April 2012

Article from the Palestine Telegraph

Kuwait, (Pal Telegraph) – The Palestinian struggle once again relates to oppression of others, this time the case is the murder of Trayvon Martin.

for those whom are unaware of Trayvon’s case, Trayvon; a teenager of African American origin was found on February 26th dead from a fatal gunshot wound in Sanford, Florida. George Zimmerman whom shot Trayvon tells the police that he had acted in self-defense, Zimmerman was armed with a handgun while Trayvon had a bottle of ice tea and skittles.

The police took Zimmerman’s words and did not arrest or administer a drug/alcohol test and he is left to go back to the comfort of his home, immediately we begin to see similarities between the oppression of African Americans in America and the oppression of Palestinians by Israel, The notion of self-defense is misunderstood; self-defense should be when you are the one in danger and in-need of drastic measures to ensure your safety.

Yet it seems that when you are oppressed, the oppressor is free to commit murder even when he has the balance of power on his side and is armed.

Ever since the murder of Trayvon, the African American community has had to protest heavily in order to ensure justice is served and it still remains ambiguous if that will happen, what we are forced to understand, is that justice is not served unless it is demanded that of-course being if you are oppressed, while many do not like to elude to the case of racism, it is impossible to not do so, Trayvon Martin was seen as a threat to the community by Zimmerman even using racial slurs when he called in the shooting to the police.

Oppression of African Americans in America, still exists, actually racism in America has never died except it has been hidden, instead of being direct, it has become covered and subliminal.

The lines of comparison grow stronger when the case of Yousef Ikhlayl is presented as the Palestinian narrative, Yousef a Palestinian teenager the same age as Trayvon, was shot and killed by settlers on January 28th 2011 while farming with his father in the village of Beit Ommar, Yousef was killed from a fatal gunshot to the head, after the shooting occurred and Yousef was rushed to the hospital, the settlers roamed freely in the area shooting at residents and youth whom were throwing stones at them.

During the clashes between the settlers and the residents of Beit Ommar, Yousef’s father took pictures of the settlers in the area and identified individuals that were closest to him and Yousef, when Yousef was shot.

Yet even with all the evidence that is present, the killers of Yousef and Trayvon roam free, ensuring the truth behind the allegation that racism still thrives, Yousef was killed because he was a Palestinian and Trayvon was killed because he was African American.

Oppression anywhere is oppression everywhere, We Palestinians demand justice not just for the killers of us, but we demand justice against all forms of oppression, near and far, local to our land and foreign, we demand that a child, teenagers and adults murder be handled justly without racism being a deciding factor on whether that justice is served. We demand justice for Trayvon, We demand justice for Yousef.

{According to B’Tselem, “Since the beginning of the [second] intifada, IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] soldiers have killed at least 1,656 Palestinians who took no part in the fighting. Of those killed 529 were children. Many of these deaths result from changes in the Rules of Engagement, which now allow soldiers to open fire on Palestinians in a variety of non-combat situations, even when the soldiers are not in danger… Over the past four years, the IDF conducted only 89 military police investigations into the deaths and injuries of Palestinians. Of these investigations, only 22 resulted in indictments. To date, one soldier has been convicted of causing the death of a Palestinian. Thus in the vast majority of cases, no one is never held accountable.” See: “Rules of Engagement and Lack of Accountability Result in Culture of Impunity for Civilian Deaths,” B’Tselem, November 24, 2004.}

{Author: Yasir M. Tineh / Click Here To Visit Blog}