Malala speaks out for Palestinian children, angers social media

Malala speaks out for Palestinian children, sparking support and anger on social media
3 min read
13 May, 2021
The Nobel laureate tweeted and posted a video which garnered mixed reactions.
The Nobel laureate tweeted and posted a video which garnered mixed reactions. [Getty]

Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousufzai appealed to world leaders on Wednesday to help end the human rights abuses against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Nobel laureate tweeted a video which garnered mixed reactions.

"I want to express my solidarity with [the]Palestinian people. After a decade of oppression against Palestinians, we cannot deny the asymmetry of power in the brutality," said Yousufzai in the video posted on Wednesday.

"People around the world including Muslims, Christians and Jews, are calling on leaders to protect Palestinians' human rights. I especially call for childrens' safety. A Palestinian child should be sitting in a classroom, not in rubble.

"The violence in Jerusalem - especially against children - is unbearable. This long conflict has cost many children their lives and their futures. Leaders must act immediately - there is no peace when children and civilians are not safe," she tweeted on Monday.

Some believed Malala's choice of the word "conflict" - to describe Israeli attacks on Palestinians - was wrong.

"Too disappointed with Malala. I wrote a whole essay abt her when I was 16, bought her book when I was 15 and admired her back then. Now she referred a whole genocide as ‘conflict’," wrote one user.

"What conflict? sugarcoating oppression and terrorism is just like being a sellout."

"Greta thunberg and Malala's statement is a true indication of who they really are, even when given a voice of power. Absolutely disappointing," another user said.

Others supported Malala's gesture, who won a Nobel Prize after fighting for women's education in Afghanistan, leading to her being targeted by a gunman.

The choice of language used by media and public figures when discussing Palestine has come under close scrutiny by activists.

Some called on journalists to be more mindful of their language when covering Israeli violence, prompting a wider debate about media coverage of Palestine.

Speaking to CNN, Mohamed El-Kurd, one of the Palestinians who is facing expulsion from her home in Sheikh Jarrah, took no time to correct the anchor when he said she faces "eviction".

"It's not really an eviction. It's a forced ethnic displacement, to be accurate. Because, eviction implies legal authority, while the Israeli occupation has no legitimate jurisdiction over the eastern parts of occupied Jerusalem, under international law," he explained.

While the term "clashes" has become ubiquitous media coverage of Jerusalem, some have argued this does not truthfully portray events.

"Dear mainstream media, this is the so-called 'power differential' you love to talk about. It's not a 'clash' if one side has guns and advanced weaponry and the other side is armed with stones," wrote journalist Kareem Shaheen on Twitter.

"It's amazing how the same media outlets that managed to stir up outrage in themselves and readers of every day whenever Trump farted are too scared to say 'Israel kills children in airstrikes' or are so craven they call being beaten and shot at by occupation soldiers 'clashes'," he added.

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