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Two days ago my friend doga, who has contributed several times to this blog, wrote to me to apologize for not finishing an article he promised to write. He was disturbed by the violence in Gaza, and the deaths of innocent children which have been neglected in the Western media. With his permission, I’m reproducing the e-mail he sent me, because it is a cry of conscience that deserves to be heard. I hope that publishing it helps to ease his frustration at not being able to do anything in the face of injustice. For the rest of us, we might ask ourselves how we can sit here, and take images like the one above for granted.

I’m sorry I haven’t communicated with you over the past few days, but I haven’t been able to concentrate. I was on the point of finishing a modest article for your blog, but I lost the energy because of the massacre in Gaza. I saw children whose souls left their bodies right in front of Al Jazeera’s cameras. It was horrible for me to see those images, and the helicopters that arbitrarily dropped bombs on people who were expecting a bomb to fall on them at any moment, all on live television.

When the West revolted against the Church and against injustice in general, I thought that humanity was siding with what is sacred rather than with books, or even with God Himself. When the world stood with the Jews at the time of the Holocaust, and the West compensated them a bit, I thought it was an act that was purely humane in nature!

I saw how Western presidents were proud of hosting or visiting with Nelson Mandela. When the United States waged two wars after 3000 of its citizens died because of terrorists, everyone took the initiative to be against terrorism. Then Israel went to war with Hezbollah because that group kidnapped two soldiers from the Israeli army.

What bothers me isn’t this sort of corrupt, interest-based politics, because despite the fact that I’m expressing myself innocently, I know about this kind of politics. But why do you or I, or others, have to get caught up in it even involuntarily? Why not fight so that human beings are valued as sacred? Otherwise, we have to say that the people of Gaza aren’t human!

You can see why I’m saying that I can’t concentrate, because I’ve noticed that there is a huge force that obliges us to enter into its game. Innocents enter into it, and intellectuals, and human rights activists. We all enter into the game as defined by this force, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

I’ve just understood why there are associations that fight against drug use or street crime by trying to convince people that arbitrary crime and drug use are a danger to daily life. I’ve come to understand that they do this to hide organized crime. I’m almost certain that it’s the same in politics, that money is handed out to associations that talk about human rights in order to try to convince people that the danger threatening their lives can be found in things like preventing a journalist from working for ten years, or throwing someone in jail because he is gay. In the end, the purpose is once again to hide the organized crime that exists within our global instututions.

I remind you once again that it bothers me to be forced to enter into this dirty game, even involuntarily.

— • —

For those who remain largely clueless, as do I, I’ll provide a little context on what was going on in Gaza over the last few days. But let’s not get distracted from doga‘s larger point. Israeli violence aside, or questions of who started it or who is most to blame, we are all part of a corrupt global system. Whatever comfort and security we may have, it is ours thanks to the global policeman that destroys pharmaceutical plants, wedding parties, and families in their sleep, all in the name of “fighting terror.”

Palestine threatened with a holocaust, Electronic Intifada:

    Israeli officials began damage limitation efforts after the country’s deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip with a “holocaust.”
    The comments came a day after Israeli occupation forces killed 31 Palestinians, nine of them children, one a six-month-old baby, in a series of air raids across the Gaza Strip. …
    Speaking to Israeli army radio today, Vilnai said, “the more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”
    A report on the BBC News website headlined “Israel warns of Gaza ‘holocaust'” noted that the word “holocaust”—shoah in Hebrew—is “a term rarely used in Israel outside discussions of the Nazi genocide during World War II.”

Media blackout of Palestinian suffering, Democracy Now:

    Amy Goodman, host: Israeli troops have reportedly pulled out of northern Gaza after days of fighting that killed more than 112 Palestinians in the deadliest military assault on Gaza in years. … The clashes reached a peak on Saturday, after Israel sent in a regiment of ground troops in an operation dubbed “Hot Winter” that killed seventy-seven Palestinians in two days. According to Gaza health ministry statistics, twenty-two children were killed. More than 350 people were wounded. …
    Amira Hass, Israeli journalist: This kind of news is completely absent from the news diet, the journalistic diet of Israelis…. I, for personal reasons, am today in Tel Aviv and not in Ramallah… [and] I can report about how life sixty kilometers north to Gaza, how life is normal, how everybody—except for one demonstration yesterday, that the group of leftwing Israelis held in front of the Ministry of Security… there was one demonstration, and that’s it, and people live their life.


Comment from Mounir
Time: March 5, 2008, 16:29

Je suis consterné par ce drame humain de Gaza. C’est malheureux de voir un peuple souffrir et résister depuis 60 ans.
Freedom to Palestine

Comment from Reb
Time: March 6, 2008, 12:40

I am shocked that any Jewish person would want to employ the word “holocaust”- it is frightening how quickly history is forgotten and oppressed and murdered become the oppressors and the murderers (the Zionists not all Jews).

Comment from Dawn Garcia
Time: January 27, 2009, 21:39

About 1,300 Palestinians, including 400 children, were killed in Israel’s 22-day assault, while 13 Israelis died, some as a result of Palestinian militant rocket fire.

Please, take a minute to re-read that fact found on the BBC website. And then, please try and tell me how Israel is still a friend of anyone? I know, our previous Dictator/Fascist, I mean, George W. Bush, went in – guns blazing – to Iraq and essentially did what Israel is now doing to Gaza, but really? If I’m not mistaken, the world shunned us (as well they should considering we left a trail of chaos and corruption and mounting dead bodies behind), and so why is the world backing Israel? Have we become such a crippled lot of human beings that we can’t see the atrocities being committed? Are we really so afraid that Jesus might get down on us for telling the “Holy Land” that what they’re doing is unjustified murder? I would like to clarify that this is not about the Jewish community – this is about the warmongers in Israel that are continually violating international laws to bring devastation and horror onto their neighbors in the east.

Don’t get me wrong, Hamas has done dreadful things. I am not dismissing that and while I personally believe both Israel and Palestine have legitimate reasons for disliking one another, how does that translate into brutal assaults on innocent civilians? Sixty years of the same tired, animal-like behavior has done neither side any good. I don’t like to jump on the Obama bandwagon but he’s onto something when he said:

“Ultimately we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what is best for them. They are going to have to make some decisions,” he said.

“But I do believe the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people. And that instead, it’s time to return to the negotiating table.”

Can I get an AMEN! Ok, it wasn’t that powerful but clearly a firm hand is needed to push these groups into peace talks. How many more children can be murdered and why are Palestinian children less worthy of protection that Israeli children? They are not the chosen people. Not the ones wielding their mass weaponry, anyway. The hand that takes the life of another is not the kind of “religious life” Jesus, or any person with a brain and a heart would dignify.

As I sit here in the comfort of my home writing this, protected by freedoms that I will always appreciate, there are countless others out there looking up, not thankful for blue skies but fearful that death is going to come – fist and fury – down on them in the form of a missile or grenade. Fear that they will be run over by tanks. Children who should be out playing and laughing and being children are hiding and cowering, confidence lost, security never theirs to have. How is that a life anyone should have? Look at the child’s face in the photograph above and tell me how that is acceptable. He was someone’s son – someone’s friend – someone’s brother, nephew, grandson … he is dead. His sweet little smile will never be seen again and he is one of thousands over time that never got to see adulthood; never got to stand up for something great; never got to tell his story or have children of his own. What kind of message are we sending to both Palestinian and Israeli children when massacre is overlooked? How are we leading any kind of decent existence when things like this continue to happen and we allow our government to embrace and support it?

I know some people fight for puppies or whales but I’m fighting for humanity. We have to be better than this! We have to use our voices to speak out against this kind of tyrannical behavior. This happens all over the world and the global inhabitants watch in wonder and disgust and then turn off their Televisions because the images are too gruesome. The sad, awful truth is that the images are real – there are no special effects or commercial breaks or cute weather girls – this is real life for someone out there. Hate is being taught and passed down from generation to generation. At what point do we question what’s being said and find that laughter and kindness go so much further than the weakened hand of hate? Someone is regurgitating this harmful tale. Someone who begs us to save them. What will you do?

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