Another world is possible….

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I am constantly amazed at how much cruelty and goodness there exists in humanity. On the Internet, people now have a chance to see so many things previously difficult to see. For example, Israeli soldiers act like Nazi guards in various situations. These incidents, occurring everyday in Palestine, go unreported tens of thousands of times. Israel is forced to say "they will investigate" when these cases get documented by video but invariably, the army drops the "investigation" after the media interest wanes or finds itself innocent (surprise, surprise!). But the sheer scale of suffering leaves little room for doubt and no amount of spin can get rid of the facts of thousands of Palestinian children killed, tens of thousands of civilians hurt, tens of thousands of homes demolished, 530 villages and towns depopulated, an entire civilization targeted etc. The mountain of documentary evidence makes a mockery of Israel’s pathetic excuses. Anyone with a simple search engine can find examples of demanding Palestinians at checkpoint play violins for them or slap themselves in the face [1] to shooting a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian young man [2] to breaking into homes killing a woman inside [3] to unleashing their dogs and their soldiers on innocent civilians [4] and thousands of other well-documented cases. The criminals who get away with this are usually young men recruited and brainwashed and then put in situation of authority over entire people that they reach a point of total disrespect for life of the hated/dehumanized "other".

But I also see acts of kindness everywhere I travel. Wonderful people of various religious backgrounds who take it upon themselves to address injustice, to take care of the needy, to say kind words to those afflicted, and to donate of their time and money for good causes. People like Jewish American Anna Baltzer [5] or the producer of this "IfAmericansKnew" video that garnered 1.8 million hits on YouTube [6] or George Galloway’s brave work for Palestine [7] or the million of other people doing great acts for justice and peace. In Palestine, I myself met hundreds of Internationals and Israelis who came to support the just struggle for freedom and against a colonial apartheid system. And in any given day in Palestine, anyone with interest to look can find hundreds of acts of beauty and love among Palestinians themselves (and yes cynicism and despair if one chooses to focus on those). And as I left Palestine for a short visit to Jordan and the US, I witness similar acts of love and beauty everywhere.

Here in CT where a few good folks showed up to demonstrate against the planned home demolition of Salim Shawamreh home (for the fourth time). Decent people include President Jimmy Carter who just visited Gaza and described how residents are being treated like animals [8] (I would disagree with Carter on this. I say many animals being treated far better including dogs adopted by soldiers at checkpoints and the way Israeli activists worry about cats and dogs far more than Palestinian citizens of the state). They include Dr. Jeff Halper stood in front of Bulldozers and Rachel Corrie who lost her life standing in front of such a bulldozer [9]. They include friends who donate to countless charities (some don’t like their names known) or leave cushy lives to go to distant parts of this earth to help the oppressed.

And it is not just individuals doing good work but human rights and other organizations. A Joint statement on 2nd anniversary of the Gaza blockade stated that "We, United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organizations, express deepening concern over Israel’s continued blockade of the Gaza Strip which has now been in force for two years…". [10]. One can also cite the hundreds of reports by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem etc on Israel’s persistent violations of basic human rights. And the way Human Rights Organizations have challenged some governments/states that attack and try to delegitimize UN human rights experts. [11]

But neither horrific acts of brutality, nor the good acts of good people will make it to a mainstream media dominated by a Zionist agenda. So to fill the time, we hear and see reports on President Obama killing a fly and some people outraged at his cruelty against flies [12]! So it is left to us, average people, to speak-up. Thanks to the power of the internet, we cannot claim we don’t have venues to do that. Any one of you could get this message, his message, or any other message to hundreds of thousands of people in internet chat rooms, in web sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, and in simply emailing thousands of key people (politicians, media pundits, decision makers, religious figures etc) whose emails are all over the internet. I believe that, more than anything else, will be ultimately how the destructive ideologies of racism that lead to wars and oppression will be defeated. And we are encouraged by the logarithmic growth of the Movement for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (http://bdsmovement.net). That is the hope that sustains us in Palestine. That is the struggle that shows us the brilliant colors of the feathers of the Phoenix rising out of the ashes. That is what convinces me, like Arundhati Roy, that: "Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Let us work together to open the doors and welcome her in.

Notes:

[1]. http://pursuingjustice.blogspot.com/2009/
06/heres-video-that-captures-in-mere-43.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EsVsHvKRac

[2]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIX9zGmgh_g

[3]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1-_JmXQt0

[4]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq1fkQdiHz8

[5]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rCBJjCiLGc

[6]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynWjYHP91gA

[7]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIpvrOJQ0J0

[8]. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/
story/0,23739,25648930-5012764,00.html

[9]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC6C-cAc240

[10]. http://dci-pal.org/english/display.cfm?
DocId=1169&CategoryId=1
60 Second Video on the Gaza closure from Gisha
http://www.gisha.org/2years/

[11]. http://www.article19.org/pdfs/letters/
hrc-open-letter-on-mandate-holders.pdf
http://www.ifex.org/international/2009/
06/15/un_rights_council/

[12]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S7m3mogl_s

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