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Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Walls of Words Obfuscate Children's Deaths

This morning the Washington Post published Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's resolute and clear op-ed: "Aggression Under False Pretenses."

"We present this clear message: If Israel will not allow Palestinians to live in peace, dignity and national integrity, Israelis themselves will not be able to enjoy those same rights. Meanwhile, our right to defend ourselves from occupying soldiers and aggression is a matter of law, as settled in the Fourth Geneva Convention. If Israel is prepared to negotiate seriously and fairly, and resolve the core 1948 issues, rather than the secondary ones from 1967, a fair and permanent peace is possible. Based on a hudna (comprehensive cessation of hostilities for an agreed time), the Holy Land still has an opportunity to be a peaceful and stable economic powerhouse for all the Semitic people of the region. If Americans only knew the truth, possibility might become reality."

The truth that Haniyeh conveys is simple. Just Say 'No' to Israel, its bloodletting and institutional bigotry and yes to implementation of international law, including Article 13, Section 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

Just as the Apartheid Wall will come down, the wall of words that emmanates from the peace camp that makes money from the suffering of the Palestinians must come down. Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Farewell to Arms "there were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of the places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates."

And so the walls and walls of words that circulate like dervishes obfuscating the concrete deaths of Palestinian children are obscene. And so the walls and walls of words that obfuscate what is central to the resolution of the conflict, what is essential to peace, the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return home, must cease.

Yesterday, according to Palestine Human Rights Center, Gaza, an Israeli Occupation Forces plane fired a rocket at "4 children who were near Hayel Abdel Hamid Secondary School in northern part of Beit Hanoun. They were in an area previously used as soccer field near their homes.The rocket fell amidst the children. Three were killed instantly; and their bodies were torn by the blast. The fourth child suffered serious injures. The dead children are: Mahfouth Farid Nuseir (16), Ahmad Ghalib Abu Amsha (16), and Ahmad Fathi Shabat (16). The injured child is Raji Omar Deifallah (16).

I hope, as does Haniyeh "that Americans will give careful and well-informed thought to root causes and historical realities, in which case I think they will question why a supposedly 'legitimate' state such as Israel has had to conduct decades of war against a subject refugee population without ever achieving its goals."

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