Margaret Atwood, one of the most prominent poets, essayist, author and critic of modern times penned this touching piece for the left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Margaret postulates the most glaring injustices of modern times; Palestinians have been ejected and displaced from their own homes. They have been made homeless in their own ancestral lands. Israel, in its paranoia to keep itself established, has increasingly dehumanized and mistreated the already hapless Palestinians. In order to ensure its survival at any cost, Israel is dehumanizing the people who have lived on the land for centuries that constitute modern day Israel. For Israel to exist, an independent Palestine must exist. Otherwise Israeli paranoia will likely consume itself.
There are signs that world opinion is shifting against the state of Israel. Even many thoughtful Jews are aghast at the heavy handed attitude that Israel has demonstrated by collectively debasing Palestinians and Arabs to a sub-human level. We say enough of the blockade of Gaza; this blockade is killing children and leaving a beleaguered community nothing to hope or live for. Israel must stop the humanitarian crisis that is in play at Gaza for the last few years.
As Margaret puts it eloquently: “Child-killing in Gaza? Killing aid-bringers on ships in international waters? Civilians malnourished thanks to the blockade? Forbidding writing paper? Forbidding pizza? How petty and vindictive! Is pizza is a tool of terrorists? Would most Canadians agree? And am I a tool of terrorists for saying this? I think not”.
Until Palestine has its own ‘legitimized’ state within its internationally recognized borders, the Shadow will remain.
By Margaret Atwood
Published on June 02, 2010
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage,
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
Reproduced from The New York Times
By ANTHONY SHADID
Published: May 21, 2010
BAGHDAD — Report No. 25, dated April 4 and written by Col. Qais Hussein, was clinical, the anonymous survey of an explosion in a city where explosions are ordinary.
“Material damage: significant,” it declared of the car bomb that was detonated last month near the Egyptian Embassy, killing 17 people. “The burning of 10 cars + the burning of a house, which was in front of the embassy, with moderate damage to 10 surrounding houses.”
Colonel Hussein’s report didn’t mention the hundreds of books, from plays of Chekhov to novels of the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, stored in bags, boxes and a stairwell. It didn’t speak of the paintings there of Shaker Hassan, one of Iraq’s greatest, or the sculptures of his compatriot, Mohammed Ghani Hikmat. There was no note of the stone brought from an exile’s birthplace in Bethlehem that helped build the house as a cosmopolitan refuge bridging West and East.
Nor did Colonel Hussein’s report mention that the home belonged to Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, a renowned Arab novelist, poet, painter, critic and translator who built it along the date palms and mulberry trees of Princesses’ Street nearly a half-century ago and lived there until his death in 1994.
This is not a story about an outpouring of grief over its destruction. There were no commemorations, few tributes. As Fadhil Thamer, a critic, said, “People here have seen too much.”
In many ways, Faisal Shahzad has come to epitomize the confusion that Pakistan and its diasporas have had with Islam. Here is an outwardly successful Pakistani American who decided to blow up the very people he was living with. RAND has recently published an important report that calculates the percentage of wannabe Jihadis in the North America. This report finds Pakistani descent Jihadis topping the list. Like it or not, our country has had a hand in some aspect of terrorist acts perpetrated across the globe one way or another. There is absolutely nothing to be proud of hearing these negative headlines about our country; yet if we are not able to recognize our follies, we will never be able to redress them.
Below, we are posting excerpts from two important commentaries and news reports that look at the Pakistan’s confused relationship with armed Jihad that is being perpetrated in the name of Islam. Majority of Pakistanis want nothing to do with killings of innocent civilians in New York, London or Madrid. Yet there is a vocal group within our society that is out to wage a war against the infidels, with special attention reserved for scheming Jews and their benefactor US. At the end, this group needs not more than one person to make its designs known to the world.
Filed under Al Qaeda, FATA, Islam, Islamism, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence
Uri Avnery writing for Outlook India
© 2009 Menassat
According to a Chinese saying, if someone in the street tells you that you are drunk, you can laugh. If a second person tells you that you are drunk, start to think about it. If a third one tells you the same, go home and sleep it off.
Our political and military leadership has already encountered the third, fourth and fifth person. All of them say that they must investigate what happened in the “Molten Lead” operation. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani on behalf of the PTH Team
Congratulations are in order for the US president Barack Hussain Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. We hope that he will now work towards bringing peace to Pakistan and resolving the Kashmir Dispute once and for all. Continue reading
My column in last week’s magazine focused on the need for a Palestinian (and an Israel) Gandhi figure, to renounce terror on both sides and end the destructive “cycle of violence” and mutual fear and distrust:
“…neither side has ever come even close to producing viable leaders committed to non-violence and able to articulate an authentically Gandhian vision for ending the conflict. On the Palestinian side, Yasser Arafat’s approach can be summed up in his warning about having an olive branch in one hand but a gun in the other. On the Israeli side, Yitzhak Rabin, the joint architect of the Oslo Accords, will always be remembered by the Palestinians as the man who also ordered Israeli troops to “break the bones” of protesters during the first intifada.Those considered to be peacemakers fall hopelessly short of being a latter-day Gandhi or a Middle Eastern Martin Luther King. Waiting for such figures to emerge, even in the Holy Land, could be like waiting for Godot.”
Now Christopher Hitchens has emailed me to say that I may be focusing on the wrong role model – it is a Nelson Mandela that the Palestinians need, not a Mohandas Gandhi. He writes:
“Edward Said used to talk and write about the need for a Palestinian Mandela. I think that might lead you – and such Israelis and Jews as will listen – in a better direction than Gandhi. But the ANC wasn’t pacifist in name or in fact, despite the Mahatma’s early input.” Continue reading
The Neo ‘Iron Curtain’ and the loud marching steps of televangelistas.
The latest cultural trend is the sensational rise of televangelist channels in U.K, using tactics which can only be described as ‘emotional and religious blackmail’ and premium rate phone charges to raise funds from devotees, most of these are Nigerian Pentecostal ‘Witchdoctor’ (faith healer potions and exorcisms) TV channels operating from London. Generally the term ‘televangelist’ refers to American evangelical splinter churches propagating to solicit donations for converting poor Africans. This concoction of ideologies is being beamed back to Africa and Asia through satellite. Continue reading
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