Saturday, June 07, 2008

"Slow Death in Gaza"

Margaret Kimberley has written an excellent article entitled "Slow death in Gaza" in The Electronic Intifada
(6 June 2008). She condemns the US's role in supporting Israel's apartheid suppression of Palestineans in Gaza, but she also points fingers at the rest of the world who remain silent and distant from the horror.

Kimberley begins her article by saying:
"Each American claim to moral authority becomes a foul excretion in light of US complicity in Israel's barbaric and illegal treatment of the Palestinians. Washington deploys its superpower apparatus to smother dissent against its Middle East policy in Europe and elsewhere, leaving former president Jimmy Carter and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu as lonely defenders of Palestinian human rights. No change in American policy is on the horizon, as "the rot in America goes beyond this administration, and so does the rot in Israel." The "abomination," as Desmond Tutu describes it, against 1.6 million people in Palestine shows the hypocrisy of American and Israeli pretenses to civilization."
Tutu states further, as pointed out by Kimberley, that: "This is not something you want to wish on your worst enemy."

Tutu is right.

There is hardly a leadership voice in the West that has the courage to step up and confront Israel. To do so would risk falling on the wrong side of the US and being labelled an anti-semite and/or supporter of Islamic terrorism.

It is past the time that thinking activists everywhere should have been compelled to stand-up and contest Israel's apartheid oppression of Palestineans.

There can be no moral ground for silence and complicity at any level, including that of the individual.

One of the strengths of liberal democracy is its belief in the power of the individual to speak truth to power.

A big part of the truth of liberal democracy is its interest in universal human rights.

How, then, can any Obama or McCain supporter ignore their candidate's complicity in the US's obsessive habit of ignoring the human rights of Palestineans?

This question should ring particularly loud for the Obama crowd.

Obama supporters, however, seem more comfortable ignoring or downplaying the serious implications of his recent speech to AIPAC?

The problem is that the fate of Palestineans is like a distant flickering light in the political sight of Obama supporters.

Some want to care but can't, and won't, really relate beyond their own immediate interests.

In all, those who support leaders who are complicit in the oppression of Palestineans are no better than their leaders, and must therefore, accept the brutal consequences as an intrinsic part of their lives and their doing.

There are no innocent oppressors anywhere.


Credit: Margaret Kimberely's article first appeared in Black Agenda Report.


Shus li said...

In this country, as you know, Americans are deprived of any news or analysis of any news. I have been surprised, for instance, when I mention Rachel Corrie and your average American doesn't know who she was or what she was doing (and that was even ture in Portland).

Still, that is no excuse for not being aware of the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel, and therefore by the U.S.

It makes me sick. I can't stand seeing these children being treated this way.

I went to a new therapist a couple of weeks ago wearing a Palestinian flag bracelet handmade in Palestine. My therapist is Jewish. She was somewhat taken aback, maybe, but I explained how the children in Palestine are shot at by IDF on the ever-encroaching borders.

I am thankful for having lived as roommates with Joy, who works in Palestine to help walk children to and from school so they aren't so terribly harassed by the IDF. Her blog is

Peace to you Brother Rid

Ridwan said...

Thanks for your comment sista Shusli.

The sad part about being manipulated by the government-media complex in the US is the fact that people are strikingly uninformed.

An outcome is that most of the average folk assume that supporting Israel is part of the stand against so called Islamic terrorism.

But I think we must also see the racism that is at the center of the manner that the US devalues brown and Black life.

If the Palestineans were Europeans this would be a very different issue.

AIPAC and the larger Jewish lobby have been very successful to use US racial imagery and mythology to position Israel as a white state surrounded by crazy brown Arabs.

Part of that doing was the interest to make make Jews white in the US (this began after WWII and is documented in the literature on race and racism).

The historical and political components of what I am merely pointing to here are, of course, a lot more complex.

But, American foreign policy is racialized in terms that reference and support the domestic racial system.

And Brown Palestineans and brown Iraqis are just not important enough to make much of an impression on the American electorate (and I include those who are not white).

I am always interested in seeing how the US calls Mugabe out and yet he cannot be justly described to be so ruthless as Israel has proven itself to be over 6 decades.

When the white farmer issue was raised in international terms the US passed the Zimbabwe Democracy Act (Bush made this a priority for his first administration).

There were about 4000 white farmers the US sought to protect.

What about the 1.6 million Palestineans in occupied Gaza?

Peace to you,