For the last two weeks or so, it is difficult for anyone to not talk or discuss the Gaza crisis. There are those who are outraged over the aggression on the Palestinians and there are those who believe that the aggression by the Israeli forces on the Palestinians is nothing more than a valid act of a sovereign State defending itself from acts of terrorism.

The rationale of the establishment of a sovereign State which leads to conflicts between States often prevails over the life and hope of the individual person and which will inevitably result in the death of thousands and millions of innocent civilians. This begs the question as to what then is the value of a life?

One can continue to debate on who is right and who is wrong or who the real terrorist is and so forth but what should not be debated upon or disputed is the death of thousands of innocent civilians and sufferings of millions more who are still alive. Most of us (myself included), feel helpless and to a certain extent, guilty as we are here in the comfort of our homes while millions of Palestinians are left out in the cold with no real humanitarian help from the bureaucratic international bodies or organisations such as the UN Security Council, OIC and the Arab League. Concrete and viable short and long term solutions are crucially required. What is to be done then? What can be done?

As a start, it is important for us to understand the nature of the conflict. What is the underlying reason for the never-ending conflict between the Zionist regime and the Palestinian authority? Who are the real culprits behind the atrocities? Hence, on 9 January 2009, the Malaysian Bar together with the Malaysian Social Research Insitute (MSRI) and Cakap-Rakyat Group will be having a public forum on the Gaza issue, titled “MYTH AND REALITY IN OCCUPIED PALESTINE – NOT JUST ANOTHER WAR”. This forum will be held at the Bar Council Auditorium and will start at 8pm.

This forum aims to give an overwiew, historical and current perspective on the issue and at the same time dispel the myths and false premises which have created a flood of analysis on the so-called ‘Israel-Palestine’ conflict.

Four eminent and prominent speakers have been invited to share their views and opinions on the topic and they are:-

1) Dr Rosli Omar;

2) Hishamuddin Rais;

3) Dr Farish A Noor; and

4) Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar.

The forum will be followed by a candlelight vigil. For more info please go here.

And for those who wish to further assist the Palestinians, there are several organisations that are giving aid, food and medical supplies which are critically needed at this juncture. You can do your part by donating and contributing to these organisations:

Feel the pain and suffering of the innocent civilians and please pass this message around. Let us break the vicious apathy cycle of sitting around and doing nothing.

Salam Kemanusiaan!

The writer was supposed to be a reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Hang Jebat, Bruce Lee and Nocurnto Beasto (a black metal dude from Bergen, Norway) rolled into one. Due to the highly...