Fall from grace: Malala’s ‘immediate ceasefire’ call for Israel-Hamas clash leaves many livid
In the midst of a heated online debate wherein celebrities and prominent figures are being chided or celebrated for the side they align with, activist Malala Yousafzai released a statement on the one-sided “clash” between Israel and Palestine.
“I join the call for an immediate ceasefire,” began Malala in her statement on X. “As I have processed the tragic news of the past days, I think of the Palestinian and Israeli children caught in the middle. I was only 11 years old when I witnessed violence and terrorism. We woke up to the sounds of mortar shells, saw our schools and mosques destroyed by bombs. Peace became something we could only dream about.”
The youngest Noble Prize laureate continued to state, “War never spares children – not those kidnapped from their homes in Israel, not those hiding from airstrikes or without food and water in Gaza. Today, I am grieving for all the children and people longing for peace and justice in the Holy Land.”
The statement was received with a mixed response from her followers, admirers, fans, and naysayers. Some were glad that the peace-loving activist chose the path of least resistance and called for an “immediate ceasefire.” However, others noted that Malala had done a huge disservice to Palestinians by “both-siding” the issue, i.e.; claiming that both sides must cease aggressive action. This automatically downplays the significance of the power imbalance present between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“Calling for anything less than the end of the occupation at this moment means you’re siding with Israel. Plain and simple. Should’ve just stayed quiet instead of spewing this both sides garbage. What a fall from grace,” said one X user. “Using children as a prop to conveniently erase out the massive asymmetry of power that exists between the two sides and the highly unequal history of atrocities committed for decades is just…sad. Would’ve been better to just not have said anything,” said another.
One X user noted, “There comes a point in time, especially in certain situations, where it matters what kind of platform you have and how you need to word things to make the absolute most of your position in society. The statement below is an example of the complete opposite.” Another asked, “Has there ever been a Nobel Peace Prize winner who, after winning the award, did not disappoint when it came to standing up for the cause of the oppressed?”
One user of the microblogging site noted, “Given that she’s been a survivor of war, one would expect that she would understand how crucial it is to fight back against people invading your land and stop a literal genocide. I can also see how diplomatic she’s being. I’m a little disappointed.” Another stated, “What’s pissing me off is everyone is talking like everything was peaceful before this and that Palestinian kids and women included weren’t getting killed and abused every day. Why didn’t this amount of people whose voices get heard talk about the oppression Palestine [is] facing for 75 years?”
One user of the site formerly known as Twitter remarked, “I think at this point all of us know that you went through a war. And also that you are also wearing Ralph Lauren gowns to attend the Academy Awards. So you know. Some perspective on what is happening in Palestine would be great.” People even pointed out the difference in her response to Ukraine as opposed to Palestine, sharing a screenshot of her own past post. “While she explicitly condemns Russian war, [while] both-siding Israeli aggression,” penned the user alongside.
There were those who defended her, however. “Malala’s help for Palestine goes beyond customary tweets and statements. Her help is the kind that makes an actual on-ground impact. One can like or dislike her tweet but to label her a ‘Western agent’ or ‘foreign stooge’ only shows jealousy and hatred of petty irrelevant people,” said one X user. Another said, “The haters are never going to stop. She was literally bullied for being shot. It’s easy to target her, but so, so hard to acknowledge what she actually does. She’ll sadly forever be held to a higher standard than actual elected officials with actual powers to do something!”
As the situation continues to unfold, the world is watching, keenly peering at leaders and influential figures to weigh in on the situation. The world seems to be divided between those who support Israel and those for whom the Palestinian cause is one of great significance.