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Is the Intifada over?

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  • World View
    Is the Intifada over? (Reading Chaucer in the Holy Land) By Israel Shamir The Palestinian Intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost - - thus proclaimed
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 7, 2004
      Is the Intifada over?
      (Reading Chaucer in the Holy Land)
      By Israel Shamir


      "The Palestinian Intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost"- -
      thus proclaimed the Jewish American columnist Charles Krauthammer in
      the Washington Post[i] (June 18, 2004). Armed resistance has
      dwindled; there are no attacks on Israeli civilians; the Palestinians
      have been brought to their knees, thanks to the assassination of
      Palestinian leadership and to the Wall that has locked the unruly
      natives in their ghettos, wrote the Zionist stalwart. Is it true? Is
      the resistance over, and has the Holy Land been surrendered to the
      victor? Well, up to a point:

      Palestine can't be separated from the larger context: the battle for
      Palestine began in Jerusalem and Gaza, but now it rages in Falujah
      and Kerbala, notwithstanding the appointment of a CIA agent as a
      ruler of 'independent Iraq'; before coming back to Jerusalem, the war
      against Judeo-American domination probably will spread to Teheran,
      Damascus and even European capitals. But the Intifada in Palestine
      unsurprisingly ran out of steam.

      The military might of the Jewish state knows no rivals in the Middle
      East and beyond. Armed to the teeth, equipped with the latest
      American weaponry and nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of
      mass destruction, it is probably able to take on any army on earth.
      Every Israeli man and woman serves in the Army, and his or her
      military exploits are the necessary requirement for any career, from
      minister to hairdresser. This militarised settler society easily
      overpowered the thoroughly disarmed native population.

      The usual weapon of a Palestinian is a stone picked up on his
      hillside; their famed 'suicide-bombers' were rather manifestation of
      their indomitable spirit than a threat to Israel; hardly more than a
      nuisance from military point of view. Ordinary road accidents kill
      more Israelis than the Palestinians. None had military training;
      cordoned off from the outer world, a Palestinian could not obtain
      arms save those bootlegged by the renegade settlers; no wonder he
      could not defeat the steely rows of tanks and air-to-ground laser-
      guided missiles.

      Moreover, the Jews have a powerful secret weapon at their disposal -
      their readiness to ruin the land. Their well-planned artesian wells
      killed the springs of water and turned the Holy Land into parched
      desert. This week I walked along the watercourse of Ghor (Arugot, in
      Hebrew), formerly a perennial stream. Home to mountain goat and
      leopard, this spring dried up, as the nearby kibbutz of Ein Gedi
      bored a shaft, laid a pipe and caught the water to bottle and sell in
      Tel Aviv. The gentle slopes of Samaria are disfigured by new roads to
      new Jewish suburbs. In the North of Gaza strip, a green land of
      fragrant orchards is turned into black wilderness of Mordor with
      smouldering stubs of burned trees. In the ruined land, the settlers
      prevail over the natives.

      And still Krauthammer's declaration of victory is premature. This
      immigrants-versus-natives confrontation over the sweet land of
      Palestine reminds me the Knight's Tale, this first fruit of Chaucer,
      that tells of two brothers, Arcite and Palamon, madly in love with
      King's daughter Emely, 'fresh as May with blossoms born anew, all
      mild and reverent, her body washed with water from a well'.

      In order to win her hand, Arcite appealed to the God of War, and
      Palamon pled to the Goddess of Love. In the decisive tournament, Mars-
      inspired Arcite defeated the love-stricken Palamon, but he was not
      destined to wed the fair maiden: after his military victory, he
      collapsed and suddenly died. The God of War could deliver victory,
      but only the Goddess of Love could deliver the maiden. The gentle
      King gave his daughter to the defeated Knight, and 'with all bliss
      and joyous melody this Palamon hath wedded Emely', concludes Chaucer.
      Thus the English bard prophesied an event unexpected by the hard-
      nosed Krauthammer: people who love their land will have her, even if
      military victory will be had by their adversaries.

      For the land should be loved as Emely was loved by Palamon, as woman
      is loved by man; and such a love is beyond the abilities of most
      Jews. Some of them see in Palestine a symbol of God's promise to the
      people of Israel or a pledge of Messianic days, but such symbolic
      love is doomed to fail. Likewise, my French socialist friend married
      a Russian girl, for she symbolised Communism and Dostoyevsky, but
      their marriage broke down under the heavy load of symbolism.

      My English politician friend has married to obscure his sexual
      preferences; he was tired to explain the voters why he did not marry.
      Likewise, many Jews were tempted to embrace Zionism as they were
      tired of explaining why they have no land of their own. But tiredness
      is a poor basis for marriage, and a real woman and a real land
      weren't made to provide an excuse.

      The worst of all are Krauthammers, the American Jews who believe that
      a land they did not plough and did not seed can belong to them for
      they have the deed, like a summer cottage they rarely visit - they
      know no love, but an impotent sultan's jealousy to his bought-and-
      paid-for slave girl.

      The settlers proved their lack of true love at their withdrawal from
      Sinai in 1980s. Leaving these places after a short sojourn, they
      smashed everything they could lay their hands on, dynamited every
      house and bulldozed every garden and vineyard planted by native and
      imported hands. And now, discussing withdrawal from Gaza, the
      settlers swear they will obliterate all signs of life on their lands
      before surrendering them to the hated natives. This is not the way to
      deal with a loved land: a poet spread his tenderness towards his
      beloved like a carpet under her feet as she forsook him, and wished
      her to be happy with her new man, `loved as much as he loved her'.

      Indeed, Palestinians never damaged their homes and gardens they were
      forced to leave, and beautiful old Arab houses and gardens in Talbieh
      and Ain Karim bear witness to their masters' love to the end. Not
      only their faith in eventual return kept them back from torching
      their trees and burning their houses down before fleeing to the
      refugee camps of Lebanon and Gaza - but their selfless love for the
      land and trees.

      The Holy Land is a common project by Our Lord God and by her people.
      He created her, and they attended to her, built her terraces, dug
      around olives, and worshipped her Lord on her high places. Just as
      the defeated Palamon won his fair Emely, the vanquished will inherit
      the land; while victorious in battle will perish unless they
      surrender to the Goddess of Love, love to the land and her people.


      [i] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50910-
      2004Jun17.html



      A new book of Israel Shamir Flowers of Galilee (in original English)
      is on sale on
      http://www.israelshamir.net/shamirImages/Shamir/Books.htm - help
      this book to find its reader!

      *********************************************************************

      WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE

      To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
      wvns-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
      http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/
    • World View
      Is the Intifada over? (Reading Chaucer in the Holy Land) By Israel Shamir http://www.israelshamir.net The Palestinian Intifada is over, and the Palestinians
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 16, 2004
        Is the Intifada over?
        (Reading Chaucer in the Holy Land)
        By Israel Shamir
        http://www.israelshamir.net

        "The Palestinian Intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost"- -
        thus proclaimed the Jewish American columnist Charles Krauthammer
        in the Washington Post[i] (June 18, 2004). Armed resistance has
        dwindled; there are no attacks on Israeli civilians; the
        Palestinians have been brought to their knees, thanks to the
        assassination of Palestinian leadership and to the Wall that has
        locked the unruly natives in their ghettos, wrote the Zionist
        stalwart. Is it true? Is the resistance over, and has the Holy Land
        been surrendered to the victor? Well, up to a point:

        Palestine can't be separated from the larger context: the battle for
        Palestine began in Jerusalem and Gaza, but now it rages in Falujah
        and Kerbala, notwithstanding the appointment of a CIA agent as a
        ruler of 'independent Iraq'; before coming back to Jerusalem, the
        war against Judeo-American domination probably will spread to
        Teheran, Damascus and even European capitals. But the Intifada in
        Palestine unsurprisingly ran out of steam.

        The military might of the Jewish state knows no rivals in the Middle
        East and beyond. Armed to the teeth, equipped with the latest
        American weaponry and nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of
        mass destruction, it is probably able to take on any army on earth.
        Every Israeli man and woman serves in the Army, and his or her
        military exploits are the necessary requirement for any career, from
        minister to hairdresser. This militarised settler society easily
        overpowered the thoroughly disarmed native population.

        The usual weapon of a Palestinian is a stone picked up on his
        hillside; their famed 'suicide-bombers' were rather manifestation of
        their indomitable spirit than a threat to Israel; hardly more than a
        nuisance from military point of view. Ordinary road accidents kill
        more Israelis than the Palestinians. None had military training;
        cordoned off from the outer world, a Palestinian could not obtain
        arms save those bootlegged by the renegade settlers; no wonder he
        could not defeat the steely rows of tanks and air-to-ground laser-
        guided missiles.

        Moreover, the Jews have a powerful secret weapon at their disposal -
        their readiness to ruin the land. Their well-planned artesian wells
        killed the springs of water and turned the Holy Land into parched
        desert. This week I walked along the watercourse of Ghor (Arugot, in
        Hebrew), formerly a perennial stream. Home to mountain goat and
        leopard, this spring dried up, as the nearby kibbutz of Ein Gedi
        bored a shaft, laid a pipe and caught the water to bottle and sell
        in Tel Aviv. The gentle slopes of Samaria are disfigured by new
        roads to new Jewish suburbs. In the North of Gaza strip, a green
        land of fragrant orchards is turned into black wilderness of Mordor
        with smouldering stubs of burned trees. In the ruined land, the
        settlers prevail over the natives.

        And still Krauthammer's declaration of victory is premature. This
        immigrants-versus-natives confrontation over the sweet land of
        Palestine reminds me the Knight's Tale, this first fruit of Chaucer,
        that tells of two brothers, Arcite and Palamon, madly in love with
        King's daughter Emely, 'fresh as May with blossoms born anew, all
        mild and reverent, her body washed with water from a well'.

        In order to win her hand, Arcite appealed to the God of War, and
        Palamon pled to the Goddess of Love. In the decisive tournament,
        Mars-inspired Arcite defeated the love-stricken Palamon, but he was
        not destined to wed the fair maiden: after his military victory, he
        collapsed and suddenly died. The God of War could deliver victory,
        but only the Goddess of Love could deliver the maiden. The gentle
        King gave his daughter to the defeated Knight, and 'with all bliss
        and joyous melody this Palamon hath wedded Emely', concludes
        Chaucer. Thus the English bard prophesied an event unexpected by the
        hard-nosed Krauthammer: people who love their land will have her,
        even if military victory will be had by their adversaries.

        For the land should be loved as Emely was loved by Palamon, as woman
        is loved by man; and such a love is beyond the abilities of most
        Jews. Some of them see in Palestine a symbol of God's promise to the
        people of Israel or a pledge of Messianic days, but such symbolic
        love is doomed to fail. Likewise, my French socialist friend married
        a Russian girl, for she symbolised Communism and Dostoyevsky, but
        their marriage broke down under the heavy load of symbolism.

        My English politician friend has married to obscure his sexual
        preferences; he was tired to explain the voters why he did not
        marry. Likewise, many Jews were tempted to embrace Zionism as they
        were tired of explaining why they have no land of their own. But
        tiredness is a poor basis for marriage, and a real woman and a real
        land weren't made to provide an excuse.

        The worst of all are Krauthammers, the American Jews who believe
        that a land they did not plough and did not seed can belong to them
        for they have the deed, like a summer cottage they rarely visit -
        they know no love, but an impotent sultan's jealousy to his bought-
        and-paid-for slave girl.

        The settlers proved their lack of true love at their withdrawal from
        Sinai in 1980s. Leaving these places after a short sojourn, they
        smashed everything they could lay their hands on, dynamited every
        house and bulldozed every garden and vineyard planted by native and
        imported hands. And now, discussing withdrawal from Gaza, the
        settlers swear they will obliterate all signs of life on their lands
        before surrendering them to the hated natives. This is not the way
        to deal with a loved land: a poet spread his tenderness towards his
        beloved like a carpet under her feet as she forsook him, and wished
        her to be happy with her new man, `loved as much as he loved her'.

        Indeed, Palestinians never damaged their homes and gardens they were
        forced to leave, and beautiful old Arab houses and gardens in
        Talbieh and Ain Karim bear witness to their masters' love to the
        end. Not only their faith in eventual return kept them back from
        torching their trees and burning their houses down before fleeing to
        the refugee camps of Lebanon and Gaza - but their selfless love for
        the land and trees.

        The Holy Land is a common project by Our Lord God and by her people.
        He created her, and they attended to her, built her terraces, dug
        around olives, and worshipped her Lord on her high places. Just as
        the defeated Palamon won his fair Emely, the vanquished will inherit
        the land; while victorious in battle will perish unless they
        surrender to the Goddess of Love, love to the land and her people.


        [i] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50910-
        2004Jun17.html



        A new book of Israel Shamir Flowers of Galilee (in original English)
        is on sale on
        http://www.israelshamir.net/shamirImages/Shamir/Books.htm - help
        this book to find its reader!

        *********************************************************************

        WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE

        To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
        wvns-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

        NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
        http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/
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