Israel fooled everyone and Dublin fooled me!

Israel fooled everyone and Dublin fooled me. First, Israel claimed with zero evidence that Hamas has beheaded 40 babies and raped hundreds of women on October 7 and even got President Biden to claim he saw it!

Leading Palestinian activist atty. Mazen Rasoul was the key organizer of March 10 rally at Dublin Link Bridge. The Columbus Dispatch file photo date: 10/21/23

When the world heard the news, American, European, and Latin American mercenaries were recruited and rushed to Israel to fight its dirty war. That was precisely the reason why Airman Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire. Because of the feeling of shame and guilt of knowing that his fellow soldiers were secretly on the ground in Gaza participating in the genocide.

Then comes the city of Dublin's publicity stunt. It began on this month on March 8 when I received this email from Brother Imran Malik, local Muslim leader that says in part, "The city of Dublin will light the Dublin Link as Green and White to welcome the holy month of Ramadan for the Muslim community of Central Ohio on Sunday March 10th, 2024, at Sunset. Please join us at the Dublin Link Bridge around 7 pm for a celebrating this communal joy together."

After reading Malik's email, at first, I was delighted to the point I made a sign on a cardboard that read, "Thank you, Dublin, for being Muslim-friendly as a sign of gratitude. Not only that, I decided to write an article about the event for to whom I contribute articles regularly and thought it would be easier to get the article finished before the event, even if I have to modify it later, then send it for publication the day after. So far, so good!

When I arrived shortly before sunset, I was totally shocked and in disbelieve. All what I saw was many of my Arab and Muslim friends from central Ohio protesting at the Dublin Link Bridge carrying Palestinian flags and women came along with their children despite the very cold weather.

One of the event organizers was my longtime friend of mine Mazen Rasoul who was addressing the gathering over a PA system. There were no public officials from the city of Dublin and no police presence for security that we usually see at pro-Palestinian rallies. At that point, I felt a sense of confusion and betrayal, so I laid my homemade sign upside down because I don't want anybody to read it. I was very embarrassed!

The event was not what I thought it would be. I was fooled by the invitation to the event because the invitation never came directly from the Dublin City Council (DCC). It was coordinated between Brother Malik and the city of Dublin bypassing the local Arab and Muslim groups in the city.

Obviously, the city of Dublin was on bad terms with them over the war in Gaza, due to DCC's adamant refusal to call for ceasefire. Never mind the city of Dublin doubled its tax intake due to the large Arab and Muslim residents and businesses in the city.

Mazen Rasoul, who is a local attorney and the main organizer, took the mike and said, "Thank you to the city of Dublin for this recognition of our holy month. However, our community needs much more than ceremonial recognition.

This ceremonial recognition and all the diversity and inclusion programs mean nothing if it fails to recognize our pain and our frustration with the government’s policies that affect our families and loved ones locally and abroad."

Dublin City Council does not value diversity, equity and inclusion for its residents?

Rasoul further said, "If during the time of genocide against our families, our government insists on doubling down on funding and supporting the perpetrators while elected officials from the localities and all the way up to the state and federal governments remain silent, then all these programs mean nothing."

I was not aware that Arab and Muslim residents of Dublin have been trying unsuccessfully for the last 5 months to have DCC pass a ceasefire resolution like many major US cities. With over 30,000 dead in Gaza including 9,000 women and 12,000 children, DCC's refusal to even talk about ceasefire is mind-boggling to me. There are another 17,000 children in Gaza who Israel has turned into an orphanage and DCC does not have the courage to talk about it. That is pathetic! Do members of the DCC feel saving lives is antisemitic?

Rasoul explained the community's frustration and displeasure with DCC for failing to meet with the community by stating, "Even locally, our community, and our students in particular, have been subjected to discrimination, suppression, and harassment while the elected officials fail to take actions to protect our fundamental rights and freedoms as all other members of this society have."

Finally, Rasoul said it eloquently when he stated, "These ceremonial events are proven to mean nothing more than a photo-op to be used when votes are needed. Nothing more. And unfortunately, some members of our community, including those who claim to be leaders, enjoy being part of these photo-ops."

Personally, I am in total agreement with Rasoul. The DCC member are unfit to hold public office because they do not represent the interests of their residents. I'd wager the DCC would have no problem passing such a resolution if the children of Gaza have blond hair and blue eyes.

This king of mentality is very racist and Islamophobic.

It is very interesting to know that the Dublin Link is equipped with multi-color LED lighting system that illuminates the bridge to promote various causes that impact Dublin's community.

One of them is Feb. 24 "Ukraine Remembrance" where the bridge is lit in yellow and blue to show the city's support for Ukraine's people against the Russian invasion. That begs the question, why does DCC treat Gaza differently? Inquiring minds want to know!

As Muslims, our religion teaches us that if any part of a body is suffering, the entire body must act to help it heal. We cannot celebrate even our holiest days while our brethren are being starved to death and bombed into smithereens in Gaza. Sadly, all of this is done with done with our tax dollars and with full approval and support from DCC, State, and federal officials, all the way to the President of the United States! And that is beyond betrayal!

Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a Palestinian freelance writer and retired USA veteran who lives in Westerville, Ohio. He could be reached at: [email protected]

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