28.10.06

Forgetting Gaza

I woke up early this morning at the sound of a persistent rain. I browsed the news. JSF had a post on Gaza. I read it, went to the source article and asked myself: Are we forgetting Gaza ?

We are inclined to forget what bothers us, to clean our memory from painful emotions. This can do some good when it is related to our own suffering, it is salutary. However, it cannot do any good for us when it is related to the suffering of others because our conscience will come back to haunt us. The remorse will transfer what we consider the suffering of others and makes it our own, in other forms, much worse, shame, guilt, what have we done ? What have they done in our names ? This is of course what will happen for those who have conscience, for those of us who consider themselves as part of Humanity.

The whole world has become morally lethargic. The amount of suffering endured by Palestinians in Gaza is unbearable, Gaza is a Warsaw ghetto where there is no income, no electricity, no normal medical care, no food, only bullets and brutality and bombings provided on a daily basis by the zionist state. The world is doing nothing, just as the world did nothing when Jews suffered in the Warsaw ghetto and in Nazi concentration camps. Do we want this tragedy to come back and haunt us like the tragedy of the Jews during WWII and the other large scale human tragedies that happened and are still happening before our eyes ?

I think the more we allow tragedies to happen, the more we become 'tolerant' to the suffering of others, the more we become morally inhibited and desensitisised, loosing our conscience and our humanity. What have we done for the Rwandan tragedy, the Armenian tragedy, the Bosnian tragedy, the south African tragedy, the ongoing ME tragegdies in Iraq and Lebanon, the African continent many tragedies, the Native American tragedy, the black people tragedy, the New Orleans tragedy ? We let them happen.

Tears are springing in my eyes as I am writing. In ten minutes, I will stand and start my day; go to the kitchen, prepare the coffee, eat my breakfast with my family, walk the dog, shop for the week afterward, see my father, have my spanish lesson, dine with friends this evening and Gaza will be forgotten...One of the biggest human tragedy of our time will have the back seat in my memory, for the day. It will return probably at night and then next morning when I will read the news, more bombings, more killings, more suffering and no indignation, just a downward spirale of violence and death inflicted by Israel wrongly in the name of past Jewish suffering.

I wish holocaust survivors can stand united and say: ''Not in our names' . In the present moral and political disengagement of the international community and of individual consciences from Gaza and the Palestinian territories, this will be the most effective thing to do to stop the ineluctable. I guess they don't know what is being done in their name.

''How long will the "international community" allow the slaughter to continue? The cruel repression of the occupied territories, and of Gaza in particular, is one of the most scandalous in the world today. It is the blackest stain on Israel's patchy record as a would-be democratic state.'' writes Patrick Seale. Read the whole article...

23 comments:

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Great article , sadly what we expressed in the July War in Lebanon was only 1% of what the Palestinians are living day by day.

MFL

Martina said...

You are a sensitive and thoughtful writer. Both my parents are Holocaust survivors from Poland, and I read a lot about it. (My father from Kolomeja and my mother from Drogobych).

I wonder if Warsaw Ghetto is appropriate analogy. I think Dublin, Ireland is closer comparison.

The Hamas-Abbas-Israel triangle is complex, whereas Nazis simply eradicated Jews.

In Warsaw Ghetto, there were no shootings or killings between rival factions.

Most Gazans can leave Gaza any time (yes, there are road blocks, but one CAN leave). In Warsaw Ghetto, no one could leave.

In Warsaw Ghetto, people did not have rallies, parades.

In Gaza, Israel does not force Palestinian children into labor, like Jewish children were forced to work for Nazis.

markfromireland said...

"I think Dublin, Ireland is closer comparison."

You've obviously never lived in Dublin and quite frankly given what you've written you'll have to give me leave to doubt whether you've ever even visited Ireland.

I did most of growing up in Dublin I come of a "mixed" family my mother from a loyalist family my father from a republican one. Kindly get a grip, nowhere in the republic even remotely resembles the blood-soaked and quite frankly grotequely racist situation created by the zionist state in Gaza. Moreover it never did.

Moreover speaking as somebody who was heavily involved in the Northern Ireland peace process and with relatives on both sides both of the border and on both sides of the ethnic divide I can also tell you that nowhere in Ulster even remotely resembles what the Zionist state created in Gaza or ever did.

Kindly make your excuses for what the Zionist state is doing in Gaza without reference to countries that for all their faults have never behaved in such a barbaric way towards their own citizens.

Behemoth101 said...

"In Gaza, Israel does not force Palestinian children into labor, like Jewish children were forced to work for Nazis."

Fewer shootings allowed, fewer demonstrations allowed, fewer people allowed to leave... methinks Gazans / West Bank residents are indeed becoming ghettofied.

Sophia said...

Martine,
Obviously you don't read the news.
Here is on an article on Palestinian children forced to labour by Israel
The rest of what you affirm is equally not true, you just google it I don't have time to put here al the links for you.
Your comparison to Dublin Ireland insinuates that the misery of Gazans stems from fight between inside rival factions. The Warsaw ghetto was used by Israeli strategist to describe their strategy in Gaza.

Your whole comment is a denial.

I would like to know what your parents think of what is happening in Gaza.

Sophia said...

martina,
I checked also your entry on my sitemeter. You are part of these zionist trolls invading my blog and your parents being holocaust survivors is probably a lie to enter my blog under another identity.
This blog is not for trolls and liars, please go.

Sophia said...

Behemoth,

This is a poweful post from your friend Desert Peace. THanks for giving us the link.

Sophia said...

Mark,

Glad to see you back. I think the Ireland analogy was meant to show that Israel's role in Gaza's internal fighting as the UK in Ireland.

All zionists attempts are always to reduce Israel's case to any other normal state.

It is also a hidden attempt to show the gazan tragedy as if it were the making of gazans themselves.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Dear Martina

Where would the Palestinians leave? Remember the 1948 exodus that banished a whole nation out of their homelands

MFL

Naj said...

I wonder ... how about a counter attack on the zionzealots?

For years, the common line of attack on Palestinians and Arabs has been that instead of engaging in dialogue they resort to violence. Every act of resistance is branded as terrorism; the helpless outcry for justice is dismissed as an undemocratic cachophony of the lesser civilized.

Why not give the enemy a chance to expose itself, why not hold to them the mirror, why ot let them disintegrate themselves? Let me be cynical for a minute, and let's ask why didn't the White house prevent 911 from happening?

Before I came face to face with the cyber-terrorists in this E-room, I did not know what I m up against. To give Martina a chance to expose her/his/its disinformation gives markfromireland to counter Martina's illusions or propaganda.

Of course, this is your home Sophia, and you don't need to open the door to all of us. But I am grateful for the opportunities of learning that your passionate work provides; and also grateful for the chances of encounter with the "other", in the safe house of a friend.

Behemoth101 said...

Martina is employing the "moral equivalent" side of Zionist schizophrenia in her argument:

Israelis are no better or worse than anyone else! - martina's point

If you OBSERVE CAREFULLY - Israel is clearly outnumbered by people who conspire against it.

I mean, just look at the expression: "Hamas-Abbas-Israel triangle!" Clearly, Israel has two threats to deal with, and Israel is just one entity (albeit with split personalities)!

Sophia said...

Dear Naj,

I am taking your suggestion seriously. I am caressing a project of an anti-zionist group blog, something like a demolition machine for faulty zionist arguments and propaganda and a fact checker. This needs however time and people committed.

On another subject, you seem to be inclined to let them speak their mind. Read my latest comments in 'A hard day's night' against free speech for all and tell me what you think of it.

Anonymous said...

Behemoth101 says: If you OBSERVE CAREFULLY - Israel is clearly outnumbered by people who conspire against it.


Behemoth101 - i am not sure i understand the significance of this. Yes, Israel has ALWAYS been heavily outnumbered by enemies, probably a 100 to 1 ratio. Since its very creation.

Naj said...

Dear Sophia,

I think your fact checking project is a splendid one. As our educational institutions and our media sseem to be under reign of Zionism, alternative media needs to fill in the gap of fact-checking.

Regarding my inclination to let the other speak his mind ... I have to admit I am a believer of free speech for all. I think by avoiding the risk of "desensitization of our moral sentiments" we might fall into a mirror trap of doing what the Zionists themselves have been doing: censorship of any debate about Holocaust because of the emotional indignation of the survivors.

I think the clashes in the world are the clashes of these emotional indignations; the intellectual ones and the financial ones are rather easily settled. Look how proudly has the Germany returned to the league of nations!

I am of the personal opinion that we are all entitled to our moralities, and we have the right to be passionate about them. But if I am entitled to my passion, so is my enemy; and I do not believe any peace will be attained unless my enemy and I are disarmed of our passionate distrust of the other.

The Zionism survives on the foundation of emotional indignation. Opponents and proponents reinforce the emotional foundations of this block of injustice.

You have clearly marked the rules of debate on yor web site:

A debate is possible when people share the following:
Good will
Reconising facts but differing in their ideological position
A capacity to empathise with other people
A real desire to make concessions on some, but not all points
A good knowledge of the situation they are debating
Honesty


And I believe, the misinformed intruders' Good Will, Fact Recognition, Empathy, and Knowledge is perhaps misplaced. I don't believe all zionists are villains, I believe many of them are victims of propaganda. And the desire to make concessions is something that will come when the emotions are toned down.

Anyways, I am just offering my personal opinion; because I want to be able to go to a Zionist blog and give them a significant amount of emotional $#!t or intellectual kick and not be censored.

Sophia said...

Dear Naj,
I think you have made a strong case for free speech. However, let me explain myself:
Emotional indignation is useful to set the rules for respect in a debate and not to censor. The zionists were using it to censor any debate because they deny emotions and suffering to others while they inflate theirs.
I strongly believe that free speech for all is good as long as it does not conflict with our dignity as human beings but this assumes that we are all equal and that we can al understand what dignity is for the other. The rules of free speech are therefore corrupted by the fact that hateful words issued by weak persons and directed at a strong and well considered person will not have the same negative impact as when they are issued and directed in reverse. Clearly this is the case of the hate campaign against Muslims. 'On ne marche pas sur quelqu'un qui est déjà per terre.'

Zionists know very well these rules and they are exploiting them in a scandalous way. As my fellow blogger behemoth said: They claim moral privilege on other people for some of their actions and moral equivalence with others for some other actions. How can someone deal with such inconsistency ?

I adhere to Old Europe's position on free speech. In Europe, many intellectuals believe that hate words can actually kill. I have witnessed such such a surge of violence in france at the time when Jean_marie Le Pen , the facist politician was inflaming france's public opinion about immigrants. Jean Baubérot said that by allowing hate to flow in the public space we are walking on a road lined by two precipices and we are walking backward from the first precipice (regulation of free speech) just to fall in the other, an exacerbation of social tensions directed against a specific group.

naj said...

Dear Sophia,

Yes the words of hate can kill ... but the words of hate uttered by Jean-Marie Le Pen cannot be compared to those of a desparate anonymous reader, who is even incapable of grammatical correctness, let alone intellectual or political one.

I think there exists a fundamental difference between actual activisim and virtual acivism. In our blogspots, we are all anonymous. We belong to the cult of ideas and opinions and information. We are in these glassboxes because we seek a global solidarity for a global cause to satiate our existentialis hunger for humanism, for justice, for truth. We are here to be informed, formed, informing and even informant.

And we are here because it is safe, because this blog and what is said in it, will not kill us, will not strip us of our job, will not land us in jail, will not have us kidnapped or murdered. Thus we expect to not be censored in this world as we would be in the "real" one. This is our resistance to the restraints of the reality. Or at least this is how I romanticize the possibilities of this digital village. I think of it as a simulator. They teach pilots to fly simulators before they let them fly in the sky. I want to think this simulator teaches me the simulated consequences of uttering hatred. Perhaps then, I will be less bold in going out into the real world, uttering nonesense. Because if there are intelligent anonymized people who can stand to the bigot virtually, they are likely to stand to the bigot in the actual world too.

A silenced bigot will never learn the proper manner of speech.

Sophia said...

Hi Naj,

''And we are here because it is safe, because this blog and what is said in it, will not kill us, will not strip us of our job, will not land us in jail, will not have us kidnapped or murdered. Thus we expect to not be censored in this world as we would be in the "real" one. ''

I am not sure of this. My husband keeps saying: 'when are you going to stop your virtual activism ? I am worried that some day we will be taken to a special area in airports and interrogated''

I think he is right. Our liberties, even in our western democracies have never been so fragile and so volatile.

Also, I am really unconfortable being anonymous. Actually, to many regular readers of this blog I am not. Moreover, the vortual world is less private than the real one. I can have the most sophisticated software on my computer, actually Ia have a rudimentary one, tracking vicitors, the kind of computer they use, of interface, the country of origin, the time of their visit, etc...

One of my fellow bloggers, Sabbah, have acess to statistics concerning the income range of the household of origin of the computer visitig his blog (information is not on each individual, it is rather on a group).

I am not as optimistic as you as to the capacity of your ordinary blog troll to learn respect and as to the capacity of present day society who believes everything they are told even if they are plain lies. Your optimism is good for an enlightened society and we don't live in enlightened times.

naj said...

Perhaps my optimism is that of a naive one who dreams of an enlightened society. But I am of the firm belief that I must act as if I live in an enlightened society, at my own peril, if so it may be.

A few weeks back, I heard in one of my classes of a student who was saying she is so self-conscious about the ubiquity of security cameras that she no longer makes graffities on the walls of the campus.

My question to her was, if she means to "act", and if she means to protest, then why would she not be willing to let the camera see her, the security to arrest her, the CTV news to report her, the university to expell her. Would those not also be acts of activism, the going to prison, the being hanged, the being expelled?

I think freedom is one of those things that can be discussed only when it is limited. I am going to assume that my civil liberties are recognized by my country's consttution. And if they are violated, then I will protest. In the mean time, I don't care who collects what kind of statistical data on which of my activities. I will act and react when the information is put to improper use.

Of course many of us in these blogs do know eachother, by name and by face. But to be here, and to be nameless and to be faceless is also liberating. What I like about these blogs is that one is not obliged to introduce oneself, one does not need to have an dentity, that one can be abstracted into just an idea.

Anyways, we should have these discussions in a different blog or over a cup of coffee. I don't mean to digress from the topic of importance in this blog. But you know that I have experienced repression first hand; and from that experience I have learned that even the most unlikely trolls are transformable.

Forgive my blabberings.

Sophia said...

Naj,

I know very well the why of your position but you have lived undwer extreme censorship. I am not talking here about censorship. Not every restraint of freedom is censorship. I am talking about honest debate and respect. I also had to endure censorship. I was 17 when my father told me one day that if I don't burn some of my books, my brother's lives will be at risk and so I did.

Always in the subject of censorship, freedom should be taken and not given. My preferred author Ismail Kadare lived, worked and thrived under the Ever Hodja regime. His books are a clear condemnation of this opressive regime but he was able to covney his message in a very intelligent and powerful manner.
My other example is Iranian cinema" This is the most creative cinema I have ever seen despite the restrictions the Mollahs exerted on this industry.
When I say that freedom of expression should be taken and not given I am saying that we deserve this freedom only if we know what it means.

naj said...

Sophia,

On the topic of Iranian Cinema ... what we see here is that which is given permission by Mullah who have rendered the subject matter in no conflict with their boundaries of freedom ... hmm boundary of freedom is somewhat oxymoronic, isn't it?

Also, what we see and admire here is not that which has much of a political impact in Iran. The films of Kiarostami do not present any serious threat to the oppressive regim. Simply, because very few people care to see them. So why censor Kiarostami when he can bring cultural prestige back home? (Instead, they censor Baizai, whose metaphore roots in history, whose style moves, whose critique is uncompromising, and whose work is attractive enough in so many different levels that it brings not only the intellectual elite but the average man to the same theater.)

That said, nowadays fanatics who used to beat up the reformist students in university have joined the ranks of filmmakers in Iran! (they wear sporty sunglasses, straw hats, and if you don't know their name, you would think they have dropped off from the hills of Beverly!) Who knows, maybe they too will transmute like Makhmalbaf into some respectable filmmaker. I tell you Sophia, trolls do not stay trolls for ever; they learn if you overpower them with culture! (Well I don't know, that's a Persian myth :) )

Okey now we are totally off the Gaza stripe. Please feel free to not publish this. I am just sharing my thoughts with you. I don't mean to argue about censorship.

Cheers

Sophia said...

Naj,
Trolls cannot be converted, they are propagandists.
I don't call propaganda free speech. think this is a very dangerous confusion des genres we are reinforcing by defending the right to free speech of propagandists.

naj said...

Sorru Sophia, I think you lost me here ...

I don't know what you mean by "defending the freedom of speech for propagandists".

Of course I don't know what you mean by propaganda either.

Sophia said...

Naj,
By propaganda I mean the persistent dissemination of false, unchecked and unverifiable information in order to influence opinions

 
Since March 29th 2006