Saturday, January 10, 2009

Can This Poison Heal?

Over the pat weeks the world has witnessed a scattered, complicit and futile reaction by a majority of Arab leaders to Israel’s ongoing slaughtering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Arab League continued in its history of inconsequential emergency meetings while leading Arab nations bickered about Turkey’s role in the Middle East while doing nothing themselves. The fragmentation so vividly embodied in the Palestinian experience- today primarily between Hamas and Fatah- are reflected elsewhere in the Arab world; it is the added trial of occupation that bloats ideological differences in the Palestinian case.

Thursday January 1st Israel bombed the house of Nizar Rayyan, along with his four wives and nine children. Rayyan, a prominent Hamas leader had earlier in the day made statements that he and his family would not desert their home despite Israel’s warning to bomb it. Hours later, the entire family of 14 was extra-judicially executed. When Israel began its ground incursions January 3rd it dropped leaflets in neighborhoods in Northern Gaza commanding the civilian population to flee their homes. The Mahmoud family decided if they were going to die, they preferred to die in their home, rather than while they were fleeing in the streets. Four days later on Wednesday January 7th Israel bombed a UN school, just meters away from the Mahmouds home that was being used for shelter by the very civilians that Israel had told to hide for shelter from the Israeli ground incursions. 42 died instantly, scores injured. Raed Mahmoud- father of the family and a harsh Hamas critics- had been walking near the school when Israel carried out the massacre. He stated, “Hamas fired nothing from the area, it is all lies.” Dr Attallah Tarazi, a Christian doctor in the Shifaa hospital in Gaza City disclosed January 6th that every single one of the cases he had tended to that day had been civilians, mostly women and children. Such blatant assault on human beings has brought about outrage across all spectrums of Palestinian society.

In light of Israel’s vast military capabilities, Rayyan’s death as the first and last Hamas leader killed five days into the start of Israel’s military onslaught, revealed Israel’s indiscriminate killing spree in the Gaza Strip. There are reports coming from Gaza of unified Palestinian humanitarian efforts, in this time of death political distinctions are fading away. In recent days pictures have revealed unified Hamas-Fatah funerals in Gaza. Moreover, during the last weeks the world has witnessed unprecedented joint political protests staged in the West Bank- a first in a long time including MPs of all political factions including Fatah and Hamas. The high death toll, injuries and destruction of an entire society is simultaneously a solidifying factor in the Palestinian national narrative that has potential to unify a deeply divided community. In recent days even the West Bank leadership- so deeply opposed to Hamas- has been forced to condemn Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including those carried out against Hamas. Throughout history war and death have been necessary dimensions in the formation of national identities. As Israel attempts to solidify its national narrative, it is unintentionally- its underlying goal remains divide and conquer- uniting Palestinians under its undiscriminating military onslaught on Gaza.

In a recent press conference Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moalim declared that the situation needed to “return to normal” in Gaza. Yet, what is “normal” in Gaza? Was the situation “normal” prior to this latest vicious military invasion? Is 85% of Palestinians reliant on humanitarian aid to survive “normal”? Are sealed borders surrounding a population of 1.5 million “normal”? The world must call for Gaza to live again, to have its borders opened, its leaders recognized. Meanwhile Palestinians need to overcome their political divisions. Maybe the same poison that has so deeply divided Palestinians- Israel- will also inadvertently unite them again. One single source is often the poison that kills as well as the remedy that heals.


Anonymous said...
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Pal said...

The poison cannot heal. The Arab league is falling for the old western trick - divide and rule. Music message for PEACE WITH JUSTICE

northshorewoman said...

you are right to question this 'normal.' Should the people of Gaza-- as well as the Palestinians of the West Bank-- continue to be subjected to 61 years of dispossession and repression? No, I think what follows this terrible crime against humanity occurring in Gaza must be a change in the status quo.

What is the price of all these deaths of innocent children, women, men, families, neighbours? I am appalled by the Israeli aggression--war crimes against disenfranchised refugees and their descendents--and the Western governments' complicity in allowing this to happen. This includes my own country, Canada, whose politicians have SHOCKINGLY supported the "right of Israel to defend itself". I have been active speaking out against this bias and I hope that the world comes to its senses.

May Allah/God protect each Palestinian in Gaza. Our hearts and hopes are with the people of Gaza.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum,
Muslims around the world are fasting in solidarity with the people of Gaza until the offensive ends.
It is expected that the offensive is going to continue for another two or three weeks.
As Muslims, we are responsible and will be accountable for what is happening to Muslims (Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, etc.) around the globe today.
The least we can do is fast in solidarity.
Please forward to all Muslims you know, even if you do not agree.

Anonymous said...

While Hamas and Fatah are perhaps in the extremely early stages of reconciliation, what governmental and judicial role, if any, should Israel exert in Palestine? Does Israel allow the now Hamas governed nation complete political autonomy? We are quick to demand excessive freedoms to nations who have had their civilians martyred. While now hundreds of Palestinians have died, does this grant them complete autonomy? Perhaps these deaths grant them [Palestinians] freedom. One might ask why I wish to enslave Palestinians, one may be extremely upset as to think that the recent Palestinian carnage is not enough to grant the nation political identity, let alone a cease-fire. But I ask you, what is Israel to do with a Hamas controlled nation? Grant them freedom, and run amuck? Perhaps there is a solution that is not so black and white, as for what it is, I do not know.

Anonymous said...

.....the muslim nations in the world are not lifting even one finger to help.....nor are the arab there not a message there?....they all are includeing that sawed off piece of iranian fight israel to the very last lets think about it for a minute...the pals. are the bane of the muslim world...and the jews are the bane of the western world and the eastern one also....why dont these two people finally get together and say f--k you to all their enemys...pull together and make a great life for all.......

Anonymous said...

I don't see the plan

Anonymous said...

your probably is hopeless

DoktahSoose said...

Check out the new song, "A Message From Gaza," from Hip-Hop's favorite son, Doktah Soose. Written from the perspective of a would be jihadi, the track tells a tale of a disenfranchised young adult who sees life as one tragedy after another. Follow him as he explains the feelings and conclusions he's reached as a result of the suffering he's endured at the hands of his Israeli occupiers.


"A Message From Gaza "
Check out Dok's Myspace to hear the track:
"A Message From Gaza"

Anonymous said... the pr war...good now you guys are have all the liberal left on your even have those stupidjews who didnt even know they were jewish...on your say nothing of the eroutrash marching to your put your kids out to be killed...for all that propaganda pics....explain this to me..ole brave is it that that pics always show the parents of these poor dead and maimed children...why arent they dead also or even hurt.....???

Anonymous said...

Where are you TB - Insha Allah you are safe and managing to survive the onslaught of the occupiers. We look forward to your continued reporting and offer our prayers and moral support. PaulRB Doha.