Palestinian children are taught resilience and resistance at a young age. We are taught our history and our culture. Our grandparents have taught us what life was like in Palestine pre-occupation. We are taught to love our country, to live for our country and to fight for our country. We are taught to never give up hope and to stand up the rights of every human.
President Donald Trump held a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Feb. 15, where Trump falsely claimed that Palestinians are taught hate at a young age and that we have to get rid of it.
“I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they are taught from a very young age. They’re taught tremendous hate. I’ve seen what they’re taught. And you can talk about flexibility there too, but it starts at a very young age and it starts in the schoolroom. And they have to acknowledge, as you know, they’re going to have to do that,” said Trump.
But is it completely out of the ordinary to hate our oppressors? Is is so wrong to hate the illegal settlements that have occupied our land? Or the apartheid wall that separates families? Is it not normal to hate the ethnic cleansing of our villages and peoples?
President Trump believes it is unacceptable to hate these things.
Palestinian Americans decided to mock President Trump’s comments and started a trend of writing Facebook statuses and tweets about what we were taught to hate as children using the hashtag #PalestiniansHateOppression.
“I created the hashtag #PalestiniansHateOppression during the joint press conference yesterday with Trump and Netanyahu because Trump said the age old myth and stereotype that Palestinians learn to hate from the womb. As a Palestinian, I wanted to mock his assertion by saying “yeah there are things that I do hate including pickles and Israel’s oppression of my people”… but c’mon who wouldn’t?,” said Palestinian-American Izzy Mustafa.
Other posts included hatred for having to explain our names and our nationality to classmates and strangers. But most importantly, posts shared the hatred of the occupation, illegal settlements, apartheid wall, checkpoints, the denial of our existence, the lack of human rights, no right of return and other results of the occupation.
As a Palestinian American living in “Trumps America” the comments Trump made did not surprise me. It’s unfortunate to say we are used to hearing it, but it doesn’t change the impact we feel. But as Palestinians living in the U.S., we continue to organize and advocate for human rights for our people and the end of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. And we continue to hate the oppression of our people.