Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Bush Lectures Palestinians on Courage
"It took political courage to make that decision," Bush said of the [Gaza] pullout."And now it's going to take political courage by the Palestinians and ... Abbas to step up, reject violence, reject terrorism and build a democracy."
Bush’s latest lecture to Abbas to engage in an action that would most assuredly lead to civil war comes because of a recent suicide bombing in Israel which wounded two.
Instead of Bush lecturing Palestinians about courage, he should look to them for lessons in courage. It takes courage for every Palestinian man, woman, and child to keep from blowing him/herself up when Bush is compelled to take Abbas to task while they endure the slings and arrows of outrageous functionaries who bleat on cue as did Sean McCormack, State Department spokesperson, regarding the murders the night of August 24 of two resistance fighters and three kids in Tulkarem: “Israel has a right to defend itself.”
It takes courage for Palestinians to endure the occupation of one hundred percent of their historic homeland to which they are indigenous while at the same time demonised in the west as terrorists, as mothers who train their children to be suicide bombers, as people who murder Jews just because they’re Jews, and as anti-Semites.
It takes courage for some Palestinians to find some part in their hearts to feel empathy for the Brooklyn Jewish colonists who were for pure tactical purposes compelled to leave their comfortable houses in illegal colonies in Gaza.
It takes courage for Palestinians in refugee camps to have withstood relentless and brutal Israeli bombings, invasions, and arrests for years on end. In just one of them, Balata, four hundred Palestinians have been gunned down in their own neighborhood since September 2000.
It takes courage for Palestinians to continue to maintain that they are an entity, a cultural entity, a national entity, when the enemy maintains that Palestine was a “land without a people for a people without a land,” and that there is “no such thing as a Palestinian.”
It takes courage to insist upon one’s rights in one’s own lands when the a brutal occupation is enforced by the fourth largest military in the world, supported by the superpower of the world, and one hundred percent of its Congress.
It takes courage to write letters to newspapers in a desperate attempt to convey the Palestinian narrative to citizens who are brainwashed by an irresponsible media who finds details of oppression tedious but stories of war criminal colonists newsworthy.
It takes courage to write to Congressmen who one already knows will write back insipid responses that Palestinians must eschew terror and stop the incitement to hatred in its textbooks when it has been disproven that the textbooks incite hatred, as if Palestinians need to read a textbook to have a reason to hate the depravities to which they’re subjected.
It takes courage for Palestinians to see Israeli children’s deaths receive headline or first paragraph coverage in the New York Times 125 percent of the time, whilst their own children’s deaths, which in the first year of the intifadeh were five times greater than Israeli children’s, received a paltry 18 percent.
President Bush, who is obviously not moved by Palestinian courage, might consider a fellow American exemplar of courage, former CIA analyst Kathleen Christison. Christison has embarked on a lonely mission to illuminate Americans, ninety percent of whom she reports think that the Palestinians are occupying Israel. In "Can Palestine Be Put Back Into the Equation," she writes poignantly, "Palestine and Palestinians are terrorized and murdered in darkness. No one helps them, few note their dying." Obviously, the New York Times does not note their dying, nor does President Bush, nor does the US Congress. If President Bush ever speaks of the terrorization that the Palestinians have endured, if President Bush ever speaks of the murders that Palestinians have endured, if President Bush ever speaks of the dispossession that Palestinians have endured, then maybe, he will have the moral authority to give one of his little lectures on courage.