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Hanan Ashrawi: When the Bully Whines

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  • ummyakoub
    A TRILOGY OF DYSFUNCTION Hanan Ashrawi, Media Monitors Network, 8/2/03 http://www.mediamonitors.net/hanan40.html When the Bully Whines Whenever hard line
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2003
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      Hanan Ashrawi, Media Monitors Network, 8/2/03

      When the Bully Whines

      Whenever hard line Israelis and their American apologists decide to
      discredit and discount Palestinian suffering while exonerating the
      abuses and oppressive measures of the Israeli occupation, the first
      charge levied against Palestinian spokespersons is that of "whining."

      How often have Palestinians seen Israeli and American officials alike
      sigh in obvious exasperation, roll their eyes in sheer ennui, and
      indulge in an obvious stage whisper: "The Palestinians are whining

      Hence the people under occupation are not only supposed to "grin and
      bear it," but also made to feel guilty and undeserving for seeking to
      give voice to their suffering.

      The opposite, however, is true of the Israeli occupation.

      As Israeli tanks roll through Palestinian villages, towns, and
      refugee camps; as Apache gunships shell homes and assassinate their
      human targets; as Palestinian land is stolen and Israeli settlements
      are expanding; as Israeli prisons swell with abducted Palestinians
      and the apartheid wall turns all Palestinian areas into prisons and
      isolation cells; Sharon whines incessantly.

      He pleads "self-defense" and runs to Washington with more demands:
      Iran after Iraq, Syria (and Libya, if possible) at any time, the
      Palestinian factions at all times, and more money, more settlements,
      more walls, more facts on the ground.

      When Sharon complains of Palestinian violence ("terrorism"), it is
      presented as an act of will and gratuitous cruelty, entirely
      unprovoked and totally unrelated to the fact and brutal policies of
      the Israeli occupation.

      When he addresses the requirements of the Roadmap, Israeli "security"
      becomes the sole objective and rationale of any initiative, while
      conditionality and forced sequencing are imposed on the Palestinians
      who are constantly on probation, constantly made to demonstrate "good
      behavior," and constantly denied as worthy of any form of "security"
      or even human consideration.

      Yet nobody tells Sharon to "stop whining," and nobody rolls his/her
      eyes in exasperation and exclaims in disgust: "here we go again!"

      On the contrary, even with the American presidency trying to maintain
      minimal compliance with the Roadmap, some "holier than thou" American
      voices rush to Israel and attempt to outdo Sharon and his extremists.

      The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse

      Armed with more zeal than common sense, with more messianic fervor
      than political wisdom, with more millenarianism than moral values,
      House Majority Leader Tom DeLay gallops to Israel on his high horse
      and threatens more fire and brimstone should any Israeli dare to
      contemplate pursuing the path of peace and reconciliation.

      Heaven forbid! The only roadmap recognized by born-again Christians
      and other heirs to the absolute truth and divine dictates is the Old
      Testament (in particular the Book of Revelations and other
      apocalyptic texts).

      Palestinians (be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheists, or
      agnostics) are dispensable since they stand in the way of the
      fulfillment of the prophecies.

      Peace, however devoutly wished for or sought by both Israelis and
      Palestinians, is not to be condoned since it does not meet the
      requirements of Armageddon and other doomsday scenarios.

      Such a spirit of generosity—a willingness to sacrifice the lives of
      countless Palestinians and Israelis for the sake of a unique brand of
      Christian fundamentalism—is one we can do without.

      The most appropriate joint Palestinian-Israeli response to the
      fanaticism of DeLay and his ilk is in a greater commitment to a just
      peace and the requirements of inclusion and tolerance.

      Palestine has always been a pluralistic land with a multiplicity of
      faiths and cultures and yet with an authenticity of identity that
      never denied the other.

      The solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must emanate from a
      spirit of tolerance and sharing, not one of blind hatred and

      The doctrinal dictates of extremist evangelicals and their brand of
      apocalyptic solutions do not belong to the three monotheistic
      religions that saw the light in this part of the world.

      Rampant Racism

      Exclusion and a unique type of racism were recently exhibited by the
      Israeli Knesset in its mad drive to create a "Palestinian-free"
      society in Israel.

      The Bill preventing Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens (mainly
      Arabs) from acquiring Israeli citizenship or permanent residency was
      passed by a majority of 53 votes to 25.

      The tragic humanitarian consequences of such legislation would tear
      apart whole families and lead to tremendous hardships of displacement
      and loss of domicile.

      More significantly, the mentality of racism and outright
      discrimination (the law does not apply to Israelis who marry non-
      Palestinians) is quite ominous for Israel as a state and for future
      relations between the two states: Israel and Palestine.

      Along with the snaking path of the apartheid wall, the sinister plans
      of Effie Eitam, the Israeli minister of housing from the National
      Religious Party, to increase settlements in East Jerusalem and
      achieve a "demographic" shift in the occupied city complete the
      racist circle.

      Had these phenomena taken place elsewhere, and had the "marriage
      bill" been passed by any other country to exclude a specific
      minority, the world would have been in an uproar.

      It is time that Israel is treated like any other state, made subject
      to a global rule of law, and its actions scrutinized for such
      outrageous policies and practices.

      However, with "whiners" like Sharon, "friends" like DeLay,
      and "racists" like the Knesset and Eitam, Israel seems to be set on a
      suicidal course indeed.



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