Thursday, June 01, 2006
Barbero and The Palestinians
I’m finding myself falling into a funk. I look around and see that something is wrong though I can’t put my finger on it. The days pass by and here I sit trying to figure out what has made me drift into this fog of confusion.
I read the articles and hear the stories from the alternative new sites and blogs, and its all the same; Israel attempts to oust Hamas lawmakers, Israeli Occupation Forces continue on with their death squads, and, as usual, the occupation goes on and the outside World remains silent.
As Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made his first official visit to Washington last week, stating that the whole of the region that they have occupied for almost 40 years belongs to the Jews, lawmakers in Washington cheered, as he appeared to make “painful” concessions to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
Olmert stated that he would do all he could to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. He emphasized that his goal was to work with the Palestinians, specifically Mahmoud Abbas (AKA Abu Mazen), to find a viable solution. Thunderous applause erupted on the Senate floor. Olmert was on a roll, and I realized, once again, that Americans had been duped.
Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised over this.
In our heightened stage of fear that is thrust upon us from Bush and Co., we sink back into our protective bubbles of comfort. Sheltering us from the outside World of pain and horror that we have allowed to go on in our names.
The Israeli government knows it can do as it pleases because the US either sits by and allows gross violations of human rights to occur, or is complicit in them directly. Really, what right did the US have to criticize Israel in regards to extra-judicial killings in The Gaza Strip and West Bank, when in fact the very practice that Israel now employs, they learned from us.
But my hat must go off to the Israeli government, for you see, unlike South Africa which went full bore on Black South Africans during their reign of apartheid, the Israeli’s have practiced a slow and steady pace of dehumanization, humiliation, and willful expulsion; maybe an olive tree here, a house demolition there, 9,500 detained prisoners of conscience over there, you get the point.
And all the while when I’ve had discussions with “enlightened” neo-liberals, those who claimed to have marched with Dr. King and been attacked by Bull Connor’s dogs, jailed to protest the injustice of the Negro; these same people tell me that: “Well, its not like Israel is trying to squash everything in sight and give the Palestinians nothing.”
Nothing? You’re right, it’s not nothing, it’s not nothing when:
Whole villages are destroyed in 1948 during the war of independence.
Hundreds of thousands are expelled from land that was in their families for centuries.
There is no freedom of movement.
There are no water rights.
There is no right of return for the untold number of refuges living in the Diaspora.
A giant, so called, “security” wall, a huge monolith that snakes deep into Palestinian territory cutting off farmers from their land, children from their schools, and thus assuring that any viable Palestinian State can never exist.
But still, even they that profess to have a solid World view, who cry out about Bush’s secret domestic spying program, falsehoods about going to war with Iraq, preparations for war with Iran, can’t seem to get their heads around this issue.
One could say that looking to the media is the best bet. But how can you possible trust the corporate whores who constantly repeat the same refrain that everyone else does: "Israel good, Palestine bad."
The Israelis can continue shelling into the center of Gaza City all they wish and one would never hear about it. More women and children could die from Israeli tank fire and not a peep would be announced on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, or MSNBC. But when the next suicide bombing happens, you know as well as I do the coverage will be immense.
Don’t get me wrong; I want the World to know about a suicide bombing and how horrible such an act is. But my frustrations stems from the fact that no one in the US mainstream media reports on the plight of the disposed in Palestine to any extent other than when a suicide bomber takes innocent lives.
To add insult to obvious injury, one need only look to the recent topic that has dominated the news. No it didn’t concern the massacre of innocents at the hands of Marines in Haditha, it wasn’t about Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling being convicted on almost all charges after destroying ENRON and the lives of its employees. No what seemed to constantly pop up in the news concerned a horse.
That’s right, you heard me a horse. Barbero a three-year-old thoroughbred racehorse won the famed Kentucky Derby. From what I understand (and I could care less about the Sport, if you can actually call it that), he was a heavy favorite to with the Preakness and The Belmont Stakes, what is known in horse racing as The Triple Crown.
But sadly, it wasn’t meant to be for Barber. Apparently during the race of The Preakness he broke his leg. Gasps shot up through the crowd that descended to see this poor animal entertain them. News stations all across the country, and the World for that matter waited with baited breath to see if Barbero would pull through his surgery, and recovery thereafter.
I looked on amazed each morning as I turned on the television, knowing full well that no coverage of Palestine would be shown unless another suicide bombing had occurred, and saw yet again local news presenters talking about the race and Barbero’s recovery.
In fact, since the Kentucky Derby winner broke his leg, we have been constantly updated on his status; everything from his x-rays to what he ate yesterday morning, to how frisky he is beginning to get again.
I wonder if this is what its come down to; have we become so thoughtless that the Palestinians can rank lower than a race horse in our compassionate minds?
Are we more concerned that the pins in a 3 million dollar thoroughbred’s leg are going to hold than whether or not a five-year old Palestinian girl receives basic medical treatment.
Are we so consumed about that a racehorse is munching on oats, and jogging back to his stable that we forget whether or not families in Gaza eat at all?
May God forgive us if this is our mindset, because I don’t see why the Palestinians ever should.