[R-G] ''Objectivity on violence''
info at cinox.demon.co.uk
Tue Feb 3 10:31:11 MST 2004
Tuesday, February 03
''Objectivity on violence''
Dr. Mazin B. Qumsiyeh
Guest Columnist (United States)
On Wednesday Israeli occupation forces killed eight (some reports say 13)
Palestinians in an assault on Hay AzZaytouna (Olive tree Neighborhood) in
Gaza. Among those killed were three teenagers: Sami Badawi (16), Akram
AbuAjami (17), and Sameh Toteh (16). Like many other such assaults, the
mainstream media in the U.S. ignored this event or made cursory mention of
"operations." No mainstream newspaper mentioned their names let alone
described this as terrorism. The next day a Palestinian suicide bomber
killed 10 Israelis. These and other attacks inside Israel are described in
detail and the media never shied from using the labels of massacres and
terrorism in those instances. The net result is that Israeli lives and
deaths become valued while Palestinian lives and deaths are diminished or
erased from our conscience.
According to human rights organizations, four times more Palestinian
civilians were killed by Israeli forces than vice versa. These same
organizations (like Amnesty, B'tselem, and Human Rights Watch) clearly
showed that Israeli forces do target civilians. State sponsored terror is an
organic and natural part and parcel of colonization and settlement of native
lands. The Israeli colonization program over 5 decades has left 5 million
Palestinians as refugees or displaced people and cornered those remaining
into Bantustans/Ghettos being surrounded by high walls and watchtowers.
There are individual acts of Palestinian terrorism but the media does not
report on the more systematic Israeli terrorism or the reasons for all this
violence. Over 530 Palestinian towns and villages were erased completely.
Residents were driven out by careful use of massacres (33 between 1947-1949
and dozens more since then), intimidation, deprivation, land confiscation,
and outright expulsions.
Oppressors always draw attention to the "savagery" of the "uncivilized"
natives: whether natives are blacks fighting against apartheid in South
Africa, Native American resistance to white colonization, or Algerian
resistance to French colonization. Colonizers always justify their actions
by focusing on the extreme examples of the most cruel and violent attacks by
the natives (e.g. burning people alive in South Africa, scalping and killing
white settler women and children in North America, Algerian massacre of
French settlers). Extreme violence and terrorism are the expected tail of a
bell shaped curve of resistance, which continues until its underpinnings are
tackled (the injustices of discrimination, occupation and colonization).
We try desperately to treat the symptoms of diseases that we helped create
and fund while ignoring the etiology of those diseases. Examples are too
numerous to mention. The U.S. government supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq
even as he did his worst atrocities. The U.S. military supported and trained
the Mujahideen in Afghanistan (the group that included Osama Bin Laden)
because they were fighting the Soviet Union. Not learning from these
mistakes, we now funnel $5 billion per year to the Israeli effort to finish
colonizing and ethnically cleansing Palestine of non-Jews. And while we
insist that countries as distant as North Korea stop developing WMD, we veto
U.N. resolutions to protect Israel while it breaks U.S. law by receiving aid
while having the third or fourth largest stockpiles of WMD in the world
(nuclear, chemical, and biological).
In the last couple of years, Israeli occupation forces demolished over 5000
Palestinian homes, rendering over 30,000 people homeless. This is done with
Caterpillar bulldozers made and paid for by the U.S. A colonial state is
slowly finishing the destruction and ethnic cleansing started in 1947, all
using our tax money. Meanwhile, a few who worked as lobbyists and advocates
for this Zionist state are in the highest position in the U.S. government
(people like Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, and Wurmser). And judging by
statements of leading Democrats (except people like Kucinich and Sharpton),
not much would be different under a Democratic administration.
The media intentionally suppresses the peaceful and rational voices of
millions, including thousands of Jews and hundreds of Jewish organizations,
calling for an end to our aid to the Israeli apartheid system until it
agrees to implement international law (including the rights of refugees to
return to their homes and lands and be treated equally). History shows that
only justice brings peace. Apartheid walls, occupation, and oppression
cannot impose peace. The sooner we learn this and act on our knowledge, the
sooner we will stop sacrificing money and precious lives in protection of
racist ideologies of separation and control of other people.
[Dr. Mazin B. Qumsiyeh is a U.S.-based AMW member and chair of the media
committee of The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.]
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