Saturday, April 01, 2006
Some 'Comforting' Voices Amid the 'Desolation'
Professor Saree Makdisi in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Lieberman wants to distance [Palestinians] from our borders," writes Levy; "Olmert and his ilk want to distance them from our consciousness." Racism, Levy concludes, is the real winner of the 2006 elections.
The question is whether this represents some new development, or merely a sign that Israeli politics are becoming truer to the nature of Israel itself -- a reminder that the quest for ethnic purity, no matter how it's dressed up, is inherently ugly.
Prime Minister Isamil Haniyeh in the Guardian
Olmert's unilateralism is a recipe for conflict. It is a plan to impose a permanent situation in which the Palestinians end up with a homeland cut into pieces made inaccessible because of massive Jewish settlements built in contravention of international law on land seized illegally from the Palestinians. No plan will ever work without a guarantee, in exchange for an end to hostilities by both sides, of a total Israeli withdrawal from all the land occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; the release of all our prisoners; the removal of all settlers from all settlements; and recognition of the right of all refugees to return.
Professor Karma Nabulsi in The Guardian:
For Palestinians, this week - like the week before it and the year before that - has been an act of war. The Israeli electorate are united in one thing only, and that is certainly not reconciliation with the Palestinians.
On the March 30 1976 Israeli security forces shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel who were protesting against the expropriation of their land. Land Day, now in its 30th year, is a day of resistance and remembrance. Thousands of olive trees will be planted in demonstrations all over occupied Palestine today, a timely reminder to the Israeli electorate, as well as to the media, of how to resolve this conflict.
Journalist Laila El-Haddad in the Guardian
When pressed, the spokesperson was unable to provide examples of how soldiers convicted of other crimes were punished. Instead, he told me:
The fact that the IDF conducts criminal investigations during intensive conflict is testimony to the high level of professionalism and morality embodied by the IDF. [We] have an entire unit in the army that is devoted to teaching and instilling an ethical code within its soldiers and commanders.
Let us hope the investigation into Nayfa's death does not end again rewarding the perpetrator ala the Iman al-Hams, nor perpetuate the impunity within the Israeli army and become another statistic on the ever-increasing left-hand column.
Leigh Brady in Electronic Intifada (not mainstream)
After hundreds of deaths of Palestinian children, and hundreds of urgent appeals to the international community falling on deaf ears, it is easy to acquire that dangerous “what’s the point in trying?” attitude. As mentioned above, Israel feeds on this. The Occupation thrives on the millions of people, inside the OPT, inside Israel, in Europe, in America, in the rest of the world, saying to themselves or others, “Yes, this is clearly wrong and unjust but what’s the point in trying to do anything to stop it if mass efforts so far have not been able to put an end to it?” While this may be a normal reaction, it is also normal, and necessary, for human beings to find fresh motivation to keep on trying. I appeal to politicians to review the motives behind their inaction and bystanders all over the world to fight against the numbness and banality of seeing or hearing about child after child being killed. We must keep trying to achieve justice for Palestinians. As U.S. human rights activist Rachel Corrie wrote in one of her diary entries, just months before she was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in March 2003, “This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop.“
Anne Seldon Annab in the New York Post
The real fifth column in America is not composed of Palestinian professors who dare question the right of Israel to exist as an exclusively Jewish state.
The real fifth column is not even defined by religion, although it works to create a religious war between Islam and the West.
Israel wants to build walls of hate; it wants to divide and conquer.
The real fifth column is political Zionism.
It is a secular and religious ideology embraced by Christians, Jews and idiotic fools who believe that Israel is more important than America.
And that institutionalized bigotry may be our future.