Watermelon has become a symbol of solidarity for Palestine amidst the conflict with Israel. Currently, netizens around the world use watermelon images or emojis in every post on social media as a form of support for Palestine.
Why is watermelon a symbol of support for Palestine? Here’s why.
1. The color of the watermelon is similar to the Palestinian flag
When a watermelon is cut, the fruit will show four different colors, namely red, green, white and black. These four colors are also considered similar to the colors of the Palestinian flag.
2. Watermelon is part of Palestinian culture
Watermelon is a fruit that grows abundantly in Palestine, from Jenin to Gaza. Reporting from the Bonappetit website, many Palestinian recipes include watermelon in them. Various types of salads with watermelon are common in Palestine. One of them is halloumi salad as written in the recipe book by Rawia Bishara, a Palestinian-American chef and founder of the Tanoreen restaurant in Brooklyn.
Not only salad, there is also a food called fatet ajer which is quite popular in southern Gaza. This typical dish features slices of raw watermelon, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes grilled and stewed. All these ingredients are then served on bread with a mixture of olive oil. For these two reasons, watermelon eventually became a symbol of support for Palestine. This watermelon symbol has actually been used for a long time along with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which has been going on for years.
According to the Time page, the use of the watermelon symbol began after the Six Day War in 1967, precisely after Israel took control of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. At that time, the Israeli government considered that raising the Palestinian flag in the West Bank and Gaza was a criminal act. Not only flying the flag, Israel also prohibits anyone from painting or drawing the Palestinian flag. In fact, the colors representing the country’s flag are also prohibited.
It is because of this prohibition that Palestinians end up using watermelon as a symbol of their identity. The reason is that the pieces of fruit are similar to their national flag. Since 1993, Israel has lifted the ban on flying the Palestinian flag, but Israel continues to show its rejection of the flag and anything that depicts Palestine.Instead of using flags, until now the world community still uses watermelon as a symbol of support for Palestine in order to avoid censorship or blocking on social media.