2008-11-06

“Their whole civilisation has been destroyed”

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by Neil Godfrey

When will the Palestinians be acknowledged as a people again? How can we accept such a total inversion of the anti-semitism that plagued earlier centuries to dehumanize both Jew and Arab in Palestine today — By dehumanize, I mean perceiving others as either somehow purer and more deserving than the rest of us, or worse than the rest of us.

Mary Robinson has visited Gaza and speaks from first hand observation: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7708670.stm

“Their whole civilisation has been destroyed, I’m not exaggerating,” said Mrs Robinson.

“It’s almost unbelievable that the world doesn’t care while this is happening.”

Why it’s important to take on board what Mary Robinson says, and to explore it further:

” . . . ordinary Israelis did not understand the situation as they “couldn’t possibly support it if they really did”.

Of course the news is quick to broadcast Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel — http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-11/05/content_10312060.htm

And so the black and white perceptions are reinforced.

Compare, for example, the less publicized Palestinian news story that started the recent attacks:
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9937.shtml

If what has been happening to the Palestinians since the 1940’s is not just another form of anti-semitism against the other branch of semites, or is not ethnic cleansing pure and simple, even genocide on a par with the generational genocide of American and Australian aboriginal populations, I don’t know what is.

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  • David Hillman
    2008-11-11 09:36:06 UTC - 09:36 | Permalink

    You put it so clearly. Yet, despite all you say, and the illegal wall snaking round Palestinian villages and grabbing more land, the walling round of Bethlehem, the dearabisation of Jerusalem, the illegal settlements, checkpoints and assasinations (several of my friends have lost brothers who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time), despite the starving of the Gazans where a pretence is made that the occupation is ended though Gaza is just one big prison, despite the growing racism of Israeli society, despite all this and more, the palestinians remain steadfast and welcoming. Each time I visit Palestine, with Jewish, Christion or Muslim friends I hera over and over ” You are very welcome to our country”. I’ve never felt more safe or more welcome. Thank goodness for the many people round the world including many independently thinking Jews who are waking up to the truth. I just wanted to let you know that there are people who agree with your sentiments.

  • 2008-11-11 10:02:59 UTC - 10:02 | Permalink

    Thanks, David. It is always encouraging when anyone speaks out on behalf of the Palestinians and is not intimidated by the outrageous slander that they are somehow supporting terrorists or are anti-semitic.

    Your experience of Palestinians is the same as that reported by several other of my friends and colleagues who have visited the West Bank and Gaza. I have heard them discuss their experiences many times in mixed audiences, but I have never yet heard anyone rebut their facts of their experiences. The attempts at rebuttal are always an attempt to drown out and deny their experiences with arguments for an ideological and/or racial view of the situation. (One of the greatest military powers on earth is always portrayed as the threatened victim, while the weakest, downtrodden and exiled are demonized as the new goliaths; racist rumour and misinformation is nearly always asserted as fact.)

    From the little traveling I have done I wonder if there is more than myth to the claim that the gentlest and most welcoming people are the more destitute among us.

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