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,
Amaar Ahmad has sent his crisp analysis of the ongoing crisis.
On Monday, Pakistanis from religious and political parties tried to
outdo themselves in condemning Israeli assault on the flotilla
carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians. All decent and civilized
people denounce acts of violence against unharmed civilians. There is
indeed a long history of the Palestinian suffering which hurts us all.
But this swift and spontaneous denouncement also demonstrated the
utter hypocrisy and inhumanity of the Pakistani mullah and the
conservative political class. While Pakistan is burning and its
citizens are being murdered in cold blood by fellow citizens, these
people react with indignation to events in a far away land. Do they
lack the eyes to observe the blood bath in their backyard? Are they
deaf to hear the screams of dying and wounded worshipers ? Have they
lost the sanity to check crimes against humanity within their midst? Continue reading
Salman Latif’s timely comment on the current crisis.
In a vicious attack, defying all humane obligations, Israeli naval forces attacked a flotilla heading Gaza-wards with its 10,000 tonnes supplies of humanitarian aid. The Israeli commandoes descended on the boats while they were still in the international waters, killing some 19 personnel, unarmed and declaredly sailing to Gaza solely for humanitarian activities. Not only was it a breach of international law, it also depicted the violation of human rights by killing unarmed civilians. With yet again another pre-emptive and disproportionate retaliation, Israel continues the now-three-year-long siege of the region, severely disrupting daily life and resulting in many acute problems for the residents.
Back in 2006, when a Hamas-led government was elected by the Palestinians, it was a golden opportunity for the international community to bring the organization into the fold of legal recognition. Not only would it have persuaded Hamas to give up its militant outfit gradually, it’d also have assured the Palestinians that their plight is heard and realized, democratically. But what we witnessed was sheer hypocrisy both from the West and Israel who clearly refused to admit the democratic position of the party and always nudged away from the possibility of accepting it as the elected representative of the people of Gaza. As much as the arrogance of this policy, it was also a huge strategic mistake. Not only did it lend currency to Hamas’ militant tactics and efforts, it also brought them even more mass popularity in the region which is not a surprise since the Palestinians were explicitly told by the international community that there only choices were either to elect the pro-Israel camp or else, take the course they had long followed – Intifada.
Now that the siege of Gaza makes three years, the circumstances are even worse. The Israeli blockade of all movement into and out of Gaza, termed inhuman by many nations and international organizations, continues unabated. The siege has caused severe problems for the residents of Gaza including acute shortages of food and other daily-use items. International community seems to be gradually realizing the rigidity of the Zionist state in denying all human rights to the inhabitants of Gaza. In fact, the attack on Gaza strip in 2008 only re-asserted it, with HR organizations accusing Israel of having used phosphorous bombs during the attack. This policy of pre-emptive and disproportionate retaliation has incurred huge loss of human lives, including innocent children. Continue reading
Today, world editors have written to the government condemning the way a journalist, Matthew Rosenberg, has been maligned without evidence thereby making him vulnerable to being attacked extremists. True, the western media rarely reports without a slant. But unsubstantiated propaganda is plainly wrong and makes us all ashamed. We must practice what we preach. We hope that foreign correspondents are provided protection and better editorial discretion is introduced. As a writer I support freedom of expression but irresponsible allegations can be dangerous in these insecure times.
TO: Qamar Zaman Kaira,
Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan
4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad (16 November 2009)
RE: Nation article about Wall Street Journal reporter
Respected Minister Kaira,
We are writing to register our strong concern at a recent development that has caused alarm among international media organizations working in Pakistan.
On November 5, The Nation newspaper published a front page article accusing Matthew Rosenberg, a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, of working for the C.I.A., Israeli intelligence and the U.S. military contractor Blackwater.
Mr. Rosenberg is a respected journalist of high standing. Not only was the article unsubstantiated, it critically compromised his security and raised questions about whether he can return to Pakistan to work safely in the future. Continue reading
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
Frank Huzur has sent this interesting piece from London where he is busy writing a biography of a famous Pakistani
“… in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquillity will return again.” – Anne Frank
In a grey dapper suit slinking down his robust fifty years old shoulder, denim jeans and a black ray ban slunk over his slender nose, Nic Careem comes across as a blithe spirit, wide in strides and smiles, which occasionally drift into roaring guffaws. His deep, timber voice in London cockney accent is a throwback to ginger streets of Beatles. In his teens days he crooned Beatles’ rhymes and proudly proclaims Paul MaCartney as his bosom pal. So much so when Paul punched in his face over his quip over Heather Mills in an evening bash in London, Nic treated the Beatle blow as undeserving of reaction, as Mike Patel, British Asian tiger businessman would swear by the intense moment of hilarious tip-off. He is a trapeze artiste in swapping causes, noble and aesthetic, by any standards. Among his illustrious list of friends, he rattles out names of all spectrum on the rainbow bow from Barrack Hussain Obama, Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, David Cameron to legendary holocaust survivor and step-sister of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss. Continue reading