Tuesday,21 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1132, 24 - 30 January 2013
Tuesday,21 November, 2017
Issue 1132, 24 - 30 January 2013

Ahram Weekly

Waiting for Palestine

Al-Ahram Weekly

It is a cause that has consumed our lives from birth to the grave. So it was with Palestinian national leader Yasser Arafat who, among many others, lived and died for a dream. Has the dream become even more remote following the recent Parliament elections in Israel? The state of uncertainty has undoubtedly been raised.

It was a well-meaning group of American and European gentlemen, who determined to right a wrong, partitioned the state of Palestine in two, giving birth to Israel. In the fog of war and the confusion of the aftermath, Hitler’s crimes weighed heavily on the hearts of those noble men. Shortly after the establishment of the United Nations Organisation, they resolved to absolve one man’s crime, by committing another. The logic that Jews lived in the area 2000 years ago  cannot apply, or a global dismantling of many countries and continents would occur, leaving hundreds of millions homeless and destitute. Such is the case of the people of Palestine and still they dream.

For over six decades a nation awaits justice from the world community. Will the new Israeli government prolong the wait or totally remove it from the realm of reality? Who among the Arab people remains optimistic? The much maligned George W Bush believed in a two state solution which was never realized; the newly re-elected Barrack Obama fared even worse. And still we wait!

It is rather ironic that an endless wave of criticism descended on the President of Egypt following his somewhat demeaning remarks about the Israeli people, calling them descendants of apes, yet never a letter was written or a peep was heard when Arabs and Palestinians are regularly and mercilessly maligned by Jews and Gentiles alike.

Politicians, leaders and statesmen, Jews and others, have consistently used demeaning, if not vile language against Palestinians and have never even been reproached. The perpetrators hide behind the shield of anti-Semitic bias, leaving the Arabs exposed and defenseless, forgetting the glaring fact that the Arabs too are Semites. The shower of Arab abuse is relentless.

Yehiel Hazan, Israeli member of Parliament, openly declared on the floor of the Knesset that “the Arabs are worms. You find them everywhere like worms, underground as well as above.” He went on to describe them as “murderers and terrorists”.

Raphael Eitan, former Israeli Army Chief declared that Palestinians should be treated aggressively and their freedom of movement should be narrowed until they will be like” drugged cockroaches in a bottle.”

Ze’ev Boim, former Deputy Defense Minister wondered if Palestinians bore a genetic defect that defies explanation.

Moshe Feiglin, a Likkud activist, stated to the prestigious New Yorker magazine: “You can’t teach a monkey to speak and you can’t teach an Arab to be democratic. You are dealing with a culture of thieves and robbers. Mohammed their prophet was a robber and a killer and a liar.” Where is the outrage from the press, the media, the editors or the critics? Has an Arab ever uttered a negative word against David, Moses or Abraham? They are revered holy prophets in Islam, and the Jews are ‘the chosen people’ according to the Koran, Islam’s holy book. And so the nefarious attacks persist, tenacious, relentless and pitiless.

Such negativity and worldwide propaganda is sure to travel with accelerated speed, especially where Jews live and Jews live everywhere. The US media has been quick to echo such cynical sentiments, so has France, the UK, Denmark, and the rest of Europe reaching as far as Australia.

A report by Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission said that more than two-thirds of Muslim and Arab Australians say that they have experienced racial vilification since the September 11 attacks. Such terrorist attacks have not helped the cause of the Arabs, the Muslims or the Palestinians. However, rather than condemn the whole for the crimes of a few, is it not time for those wise and noble peacemakers to find a remedy to the rotten root of the problem rather than condemn the symptoms.

Hollywood has been a major player in distorting the image of the Arab, thus influencing world opinion, better, faster and sharper than any other means of communication. Godfrey Cheshire, critic of the New York Press wrote: “The only vicious racial stereotype that’s not only still permitted but actively endorsed by Hollywood”, is that of Arabs as crazed terrorists. Paul Clinton of the Boston Globe in his critique of the movie “Rules of Engagement”, (2000), wrote : “at its worst it’s blatantly racist, using Arabs as cartoon-cutout bad guys”.

Unfortunately the whole of the Arab world still pays good money to watch their race being vilified by pre-dominantly Jewish Hollywood. There was a time when the villain in Hollywood movies was the fat, grotesque, greedy Jewish merchant. They were still being made by Jewish producers, but those were the days when Jewry was hidden and filmmakers wished to appeal to an influential WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) audience. Half a decade later, Jews have gained more power, prominence and wealth and control the Economy, Trade and the US media.

The Jew, has been gradually replaced by Blacks, Native Americans, Mexicans and Asians, but this is the era of the Arab super villain.

In such an incendiary atmosphere, where, as they say, “the only good Arab is a dead Arab”, is there any hope for sympathy, for peace, for Palestine? We wait!

 

Injustice never rules forever

Seneca (c.60 BC-c.37 AD)

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