Friday, January 23, 2009
world's turning point? Sharpeville 1960, Gaza 2009
Wissam Nasser, Ma'an photo.
I am in Fort Frances as I write this, sitting at a beautiful Bed and Breakfast on Rainy Lake. My room overlooks the lake, I see the sunrise, the field of snow covering the lake ice and the silence of beauty surrounds me. I took a photo of the serenity in which I am enveloped, of this white and blue wonderland kissed by the glow of the rising sun. Others in the world, like Wissam Nasser, are not so privileged. His heritage and home is Palestine. He is enveloped in death. Nasser and other photographers in Gaza have had the grim task of photographing the sheer opposite of what I live: they are documenting death, archiving the Palestinian lives and bodies sacrificed because of the world's support of Israel. Their photographs are shocking, troubling, saddening, angering, and heart-wrenching. Wake up, world leaders and ignorant masses. Trouble yourself to see the truth of Palestine. Don't let your silence support the murderers of Palestinians. Speak out against the apartheid state of Israel.
Sharpeville 1960, Gaza 2009
Dr. Haidar Eid, The Electronic Intifada, 22 January 2009
Please take the time to read Dr. Eid's full article. I've excerpted some of the questions he has for us below:
The 2009 massacre in Gaza will be for international solidarity with Palestine what the Sharpeville massacre was for the international solidarity against apartheid in South Africa."
"Subhi's [who lost 17 family members] words echo the harsh reality of all Palestinians in Gaza: alone, abandoned, hunted down, brutalized, and, like Subhi's grandson, orphaned. Twenty-two days of savage butchery took the lives of more than 1,300 Palestinians, at least 85 percent of them civilians, including 434 children, 104 women, 16 medics, four journalists, five foreigners, and 105 elderly people.
Are there any other 10-year-olds in the world who are asked to carry this experience [of watching his family die of bombardment] around with them for the rest of their lives? Of course not -- this "privilege" is reserved just for Palestinian children because they were born on the land that Israel wants for itself. But it is these traumatized children who will deny Israel what it wants because their very survival is a challenge to that apartheid state. It is these same children who will surely inherit Palestine: it is their birthright and no assault can change that fact -- not today, not ever.
Amira, Muhammad, Rashid, Subhi and the more than 40,000 families whose houses have been demolished know differently. Those people who rushed to the cemetery after it was bombed and found the body parts of their dead relatives exposed to the elements know differently. They know that they were deliberately targeted because they are Palestinian. All the rest is propaganda to appease the conscience of those with Palestinian blood on their hands -- those who are both inside and outside Israel.
For 22 long days and dark nights, Palestinians in Gaza were left alone to face one of the strongest armies in the world -- an army that has hundreds of nuclear warheads, thousands of trigger-happy soldiers armed with Merkava tanks, F-16s, Apache helicopters, naval gunships and phosphorous bombs. Twenty-two sleepless nights, 528 hours of constant shelling and shooting, every single minute expecting to be the next victim.
Archbishop Desmund Tutu of South Africa said, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." The UN, EU, Arab League and the international community by and large have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Apartheid Israel. They are therefore on the side of Israel. Hundreds of dead corpses of children and women have failed to convince them to act. This is what every Palestinian knows today -- whether on the streets of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank or refugee camps in the Diaspora.
Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza 2009, like Sharpeville 1960, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it. This is the only way to ensure the creation of a secular, democratic state for all in historic Palestine."