Friday, March 07, 2008

Slaughter in Jerusalem

Re the terrible events in Jerusalem: We had two text messages from Gaza - from International Media Prize winner Sami Abdul Shafi, who wrote last night to say:

"Absolute craziness here. R u following the breaking news?" And then:
"I am not celebrating in Gaza - even though I see what poverty and desperation makes of an otherwise gentle people."

On the one hand, the Western policy of collective punishment is one that has rarely if ever been used to good effect. It failed with sanctions on Iraq, it is failing now with sanctions on Gaza.
On the other hand - the Middle Eastern tactic of the violent slaughter of civilians has also been a failure. Although it may seem to provide an avenue enabling the empowerment of powerless people, it is too blunt an instrument to use victoriously. Indeed this continued bludgeoning in the form of the killing of civilians has consequences that are as obscene as the original act. Atrocity breeds atrocity. The Moslems say, if you kill one man, it is as if you killed every man ever born - and if you save one man it is as if you save every man.

There are other ways. Passive resistance. Statesmanship. Dignity. But there is little dignity in today's Middle East, just pride - which is a quite different thing.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can I enquire whether a similar condemnation was issued regarding the recent Israeli butchery in the Gaza strip and the continuing policy of collective punishment being inflicted on its inhabitants.
Regards, Ghayth Armanazi

Anonymous said...

Selective condemnation.!!!!.as usual..what about the 300 palestinians who were
massacred by the new nazis who claim to perpetrate a "holocaust" worse than the the
nazi one...I wonder how can you claim credibility whis such flagrant siding ...Is't
really worthy to deplore.....? surely not!!!!

You are in love with me, I shall make you perplexed.
Do not build much, for I intend to have you in ruins.
If you build two hundred houses in a manner that the bees do,
I shall make you as homeless as a fly;
If you are the mount Qaf in stability,
I shall make you whirl like a millstone.

Molana jalaluddin RUMI

From Rashid Ben Aissa

Kassem Mazrani said...

i think that you should have deplored beforehand the huge loss of lives on the palestinian side caused by the heavy handed tactics used by the israeli army unless you consider the blood of the israelis more sacred than their cusins the palestinians.

Brigid Keenan said...

Of course the killing of the students in Jerusalem should be condemned, but I do not recall having any emails from you condemning the slaughter of 120 people in Gaza over the last week. The killing of the students is retaliation for the killings in Gaza which included many children.
The UN spokesman in the region predicted that the misery in Gaza would lead to more attacks on Israelis. We should be condemning the forty-year long occupation of Palestinian lands, the increasing settlement activity, the continued holding of 12.000 Palestinian prisoners without trial, the failure to dismantle checkpoints, and most of all the fact that the democratically elected government of Palestine was not recognised by Israel, the US or EU.despite their offer to keep a generation-long cease fire.

Husam Zomlot said...

Only Palestinian attacks draw your condemnation??????

Did you notice the slaughter of more than 130 civilians in North Gaza in less than a week half of whom were women and children and the creeping annexation and settlement expansion in the West Bank? Or are these acts a cause of concern for you as you indicate in your statements while the killing in Jerusalem is strongly condemned?

While we totally reject equating the victim with the victimiser, the least we expect from an organisation that claims to work towards peace and reconciliation in the Middle East is to condemn all acts of violence let alone one that is perpetuated by an illegal military occupation. Military occupation alone is the most vicious act of violence a nation could endure let alone one that confiscates your land; negates your identity and political aspiration and imprison you in an ever shrinking ghettos and Bantustans.

Non-violent protests were a Palestinian strategy par excellence throughout the decades of occupation until the year 2001. The violent reaction by occupation, numbers speak for themselves during the first Intifada, has been the main strain against such a strategy. And even in the second Inifada statistics show that in the first 100 days of the uprising, it was popular and unarmed but the militant shoot to kill response by Israel caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries and arrests. Israel's disgusting use of force must be addressed first and for foremost.

We are appalled at NCF’s unmistaken biasness and lack of objectivity and would like to express our utter dismay.

Should this unacceptable approach continues, we find it compelling not only to boycott all your activities but to publicly expose this unacceptable conduct.

Husam Zomlot

Palestinian General Delegation to the UK

William said...

Because of recent events we have already this week taken steps to arrange a new NCF delegation to Gaza for which we are currently putting funding in place as this seems an effective way of highlighting their situation.

Brigid Keenan said...

Thank you William. I feel strongly that we should have recognised the Hamas government as being the democratically elected one (mostly because the Palestinians were fed up with corruption in Fata).. I believe if we had recognised them instead of demonising them everything could have been different. We must not fall into the Israeli trap of depicting themselves as the victims when in fact they are the ones in breach of dozens of UN Security Council resolutions and Geneva Conventions. When Yasser Arafat recognised the State of Israel he got nothing in return....Hamas knew that and it is the last card up their sleeve. But they were prepared to have a generation-long cease fire. Why didnt Israel go for the King Abdullah peace plan - seemingly it was everything they wanted. My own belief is that they dont want the conflict to end because while it goes on they can establish facts on the ground that are practically un-undoable.