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Speech by Jufitri Joha, President of Malaysia Youth Council “Youth Solidarity for Palestine”

In conjunction of International Speech and Debate Competition Opening Ceremony and General SymposiumIn conjunction of International Speech and Debate Competition Opening Ceremony and General Symposium

30 October 2020 / Zooming / 9:00 pm

Organized by : OIC Youth Indonesia

Assalamualaikum and very good evening,

Thank you Miss Chair Astrid,

Fellow speakers,

1.) I would like to praise OIC Youth Indonesia for organizing such an important event tonight. Our duty and responsibility to keep updating and reinvigorating not only the youth in both Malaysia, Indonesia or even the youth in OIC countries but also the rest of the world even though we are facing an unacceptable betrayal from our friends.

2.) In this defining moment I would like to reiterate our firm stand on the UAE-ISREAL relationship issue by rereading our media statement that we issued last two weeks:

“Earlier this week, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel agreed to normalize relations in a landmark US-brokered deal. The agreement, first announced by US President Donald Trump on Twitter, will see Israel halt its plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, according to UAE.

Malaysian Youth Council (MYC) strongly rejects this agreement as it is a betrayal of the wider Muslim World and the Palestinian cause and we are disappointed that UAE decided to ignore the rights of Palestinians all the while Gaza is being under attack for the past 8 days. Although the deal supposedly halts the further expansion of the West Bank occupation, we do not believe it will see the light of day. This however, will only legitimize the illegal occupation and the genocidal war crimes against the Palestinians.

Not only will this deal have any significant impact in the on-going crisis, it will undoubtedly deepen the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict”.

This is indeed unacceptable for us in the midst of our friend facing not only Covid-19 but also continuous atrocities and state sponsored crimes by the Israeli Government. We must emphasize our clear statement tonight that we stand firm against the betrayal and we will not forgive them unless they retreat and make public repentance.

3.) To make it clear, we are not against the Jewish people as we believe there are Jews like Antony Loewenstein, Adam Shapiro and Israel Shamir, who strongly support the Palestinian cause and even boldly oppose towards Zionism aggression. We are against Zionism but not the great Jewish people who would love to witness a peaceful coexistence between Muslims – Christians –  and Jews in the holy land and it reminisce about our Conveventia in Spain. Hence, the point to be taken out from this note is that this struggle is not for Muslims only but it is also a struggle for all and those who uphold justice and human dignity. Allah Taala said: And Indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam..”

4.) It is important to remind young people that this cause is extremely important to be dealt with because, according to the President of International Movement for A Just World (JUST), if you could settle this Palestinian – Israel conflict you can resolve at least 2/3 of the world conflict as it is the mother of all conflict. The thing that we would like to remind our young people in Palestine and outside is to never give up. Our role is to keep fighting and advocating this issue until we gain the final victory. This is a long battle, never surrender, be optimistic and Allah will assess your effort and not the end product. Allah said in ayat 42 Chapter 9 Surah at-Taubah, “Had it been a near gain and easy journey, they would have followed you, but the distance was long for them…”. This is a nature of struggle that will require you to sacrifice your time, idea and energy.

5.) I believe by organizing the International Speech and Debate Competition (ISDC) participated by our youths will bring about new creative ideas to keep finding the best solution for the Palestinian struggle. In the era of technological advance, I believe young people, the Z generation who are technological junkies with full of ideas and creative solution can provide a new dawn for us. With the hope lying  in the hands of the young, I would like to propose for us to organize a Muslim – Christian – Jewish Youth Congress to start a new initiative to discover solutions and build up solidarity among young religious believers of the Abrahamic faith. I propose that OIC Youth Forum (ICYF) could lead this with the support of OIC Youth Malaysia and Indonesia.

6.) Despite the betrayal and constant support from the Trump regime, I believe more support and sympathy are expected from unexpected people and entities regardless of faith and nationality like what we have before from Rachel Corrie and Freedom Flotila. Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American activist and diarist. She was a member of a pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She was killed by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armoured bulldozer in a combat zone in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, under contested circumstances during the height of the second Palestinian intifada. I hope Rachel who is non-Muslim will remain an inspiration for our youths to keep fighting injustice and will never compromise with any acts of betrayal like what Bahrain and UAE did. Rachel proved that defending Palestinian is not a matter of religion but a matter of humanity.

7.) Finally, I urge our young people to use your creativity to become virtual philanthropist, a term coined by Nicole Bouchard Boles, the author of How to be an Everyday Philanthropist. She said in her book and I quoted, “The internet has reinvented the world of giving activism, making it easier than ever to support the causes we care about”. In this regard, Palestine is our cause of action!. With that note I thank you.

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