The world has just witnessed a most extraordinary turn of events in the longstanding conflict in the Middle East. The Palestinian people, victims of an historic injustice that they recall every year on May 15 as the Nakba (catastrophe), dehumanised out of a right to defend themselves even in the face of a brutal occupation, and demoralised after four years of the Trump administration in Washington that saw America treat its long-held, legitimate demand for a homeland with disregard bordering on disdain, somehow managed to rise up once again in the face of Israeli aggression. And somehow, this time they managed to bring the whole world with them.

Make no mistake: Israel's biggest nightmare - its loss of control over the narrative- is coming true right before our very eyes, and it appears helpless to stop it.

How did we get here? Along with the military, political, demographic and civilian events we are used to witnessing, new elements on the scene indicate that this may be the beginning of a historic turning point in the conflict. Israel and the word "apartheid" are now routinely mentioned together in discussions around the region and the world.

All of Israel's military might, by far the strongest in the region, will be helpless in the face of an anti-Israeli apartheid global struggle that would mimic the mobilisation that ended the white South African apartheid system three decades ago.

Recent Israeli and international reports by the Israeli group B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch verified Israel's apartheid system that many have only hinted at to date. The apartheid word was used because of Israel's systematic and institutional discrimination against Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, live under its occupation, or have been refugees in exile since the creation of the state in 1948.

This week's popular demonstrations supporting Palestinian rights stretched right across the entire world, and they look set to gather greater global support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by Palestinian civil society to pressure Israel non-violently for its persecution of Palestinians. The Palestine issue has been elevated in the global popular political consciousness alongside some of the other big international issues - climate change, Black Lives Matter. It was notable in Tlaib's speech in Congress how she was able to relate what Palestinians face today to what Blacks in America have often faced.

Another new development was that Palestinians appeared in the global mainstream media, often after gaining prominence through social media, to tell their own story and show the world how the Israeli state practising ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem. This perhaps had the biggest impact in winning hearts and minds of the other side. One can go through an entire life shielded from injustice. Once you've seen it though, whether you were made to or not, you can never again unsee it.

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