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Sunday, January 11


and yet another....

ok, so here is yet another post. a friend wrote this. what is the efficacy of posting these?

The Art of Indifference Oraib Toukan Jan 11, 09

If anything WWII has informed us is that there is no excuse for indifference- perhaps even more so among a society's intellectual backbone. Today the death toll in Gaza exceeds 850 people, most of them women and children. Three thousand four hundred have been injured, amputated, and handicapped for life, and many more will be, by the Israeli army's use of white phosphorous. Hospitals in Gaza never had the medical capability, with or without this crisis to admit casualties in such numbers. The admitted are being treated on floors often by other civilians and with no medication, utensils, or anesthetic. Images of funerals of families eradicated in their entirety like pests, have plastered the web. Two days ago, Israeli troops advised one hundred and ten civilians to escape and seek shelter in a house they designated. After they were collected there, they targeted that very house. The International Red Cross Red Crescent filed an international complaint at incidents of Israeli troops leaving babies alive, to die at their mothers rotting corpses.

After 2 weeks of continuous bombardment, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) gave the people of Gaza three hours truce time to get water, food, and check on their families. As people rushed through total rubble, destruction, and devastation of their city, homes, and livelihoods, and with water and food supplies cut from all sides, Israel hit right at the third hour with its mightiest fist yet. Several UN refugee bunkers have also been hit and so too have their aid vehicles. So much so, that the UN halted all aid until they were given a formal agreement that their crew will not be targeted. No humanitarian aid vehicles were allowed to go through with supplies irreplaceably damaged.

With both border crossings closed, victims have been trapped with no refugee-intent out. In fact, out of its 1.5 million people on the strip, one million of them are refugees expelled during the creation of the State of Israel. There are truly no words left to describe the act of trapping people already in a ghetto and driving them to their death thereafter. And the problem is that we are talking about people, not statistics, or media images any more, or the Penguin Classic: 'Israel has a right to defend itself'; its people, not cactuses, for example. But people. Persons like any other. Breathing, with a heart, a conscience, and a mind that reasons, now with further passion.

And all that aside, and since November, around two months before this pre-planned attack, Israel began refusing foreign media correspondents' permits into Gaza- so they can strategically cut the world out from precisely this. As of January 6th, 83% of all articles published in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles times, The New York times, The Washington Times, and The Wall Street Journal were in favor of the US and Israel's official talking points. In total indifference, these newspapers continued to splash its readers with images of distressed Israeli civilians (with Gaza burning in the background) or of fatigued Israeli soldiers. This they continue to deem more appropriate than the horrific traffic of images coming out of Gaza, because they are in fact- too gruesome.

Predictably, congress today with all but three representatives fully backed their support of Israel in this horrific 'operation'. Speech after speech Democrats and Republicans alike were mouthpieces for the Israeli Defense Forces. Obama will clearly not be the ugly duckling on this matter at the end of the month, not now, and probably never. Those concerned and waiting for him, might be waiting for Godot. And as they all continue to hide behind their speech podiums, the IDF is dropping more of its leaflets tonight in total black outs from the air, dehumanizing this ghetto with fright, fright of 'further escalation' typed out to them in Arabic. And of course in the process, making the most resilient, even more resistant.

Indeed, a set of affairs all too close to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. As Joseph Massad of Columbia University recollected last week, in its hey day as a symbol of Palestinian resistance, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) laid flower wreathes at the Warsaw Ghetto monument to honor those fallen.

Brooklyn, NY Jan 10 2009




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