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QUDS DAY: Palestine and Donbass–two peoples suffering under a similar occupation

Today is Quds Day, an event organised by The Islamic Republic of Iran to demonstrate support for the Palestinian people who since 1948 have suffered under occupation in the once and future multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation of Palestine.

Many in the wider world are in shock and awe at the fact that it took and still takes a non-Arab nation to highlight and agitate for the plight of an Arab peoples who have for almost a century been subjugated to illegal occupation, discrimination and oppression. The illegal occupation of Palestine is not only the fault of the western former/current imperial powers who aid the occupation, but is also the fault of the cowardly Arab nations who have sold Palestine out as though it were cheap, meaningless and inconsequential.

Judas Iscariot is remembered in The Bible as the man who betrayed Jesus Christ for fifty pieces of silver. The exponential amount of silver that has been lavished upon Arab nations for selling out Palestine for far less in terms of immediate or long-term tangible benefit, is that much more.

But there is another contemporary lesson to be learned from the tragic plight of the Palestinians.

Since 2014 and in many ways since before that, the people of Donbass and in fact all of Novorossiya have been under occupation from a regime representing a state that is as synthetic if not more synthetic than that which is currently occupying Palestine.

READ MORE: Nationalism without a nation and the origin of the Ukrainian conflict 

The people of Donbass have been starved of water and food, their schools and churches have been bombed. Homes have been destroyed by missile attacks, prisoners of conscience have been taken and a people whose only desire is to be free are suffering under an attempted subjugation by a foreign regime whose crimes are either ignored or encouraged by the western sector of the international community.

What is more is that except for Syria, all contemporary Arab states have abandoned Palestine, so too has the government of the Russian Federation largely abandoned the people of Donbass to their own fate.

This is why those whose hearts bleed for Palestine ought also to bleed for Donbass. Both peoples are being tormented, killed and starved by an occupying power backed by the primary imperial aggressors of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Both Palestine and Donbass are highly educated places, they are broadly secular places but with religious traditions dating back many centuries. Both places have shown that they have the ability to function peacefully, yet both have been sold out by the countries that one would expect to protect them.

The hero of South Africa, President Nelson Mandela once said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. The same can now be said in respect of Donbass and Palestine.

Donbass and Palestine face similar challenges, similar injustices but most importantly they strive for a similar goal.

What is the goal? In a word: freedom.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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