Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: John Pilger's Latest Palestine/Israel Power-Peace-Piece ...

21 January 2007

John Pilger's Latest Palestine/Israel Power-Peace-Piece ...

Today we're beginning with an ending.

Below, is the final pair of paragraphs from (multi award winning, international investigative journalist and film maker), John Pilger's latest power-piece published in the UK's New Statesman.

Amira Hass, who has lived in Gaza, describes it as a prison that shames her people. She recalls how her mother, Hannah, was being marched from a cattle-train to the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen on a summer’s day in 1944. "[She] saw these German women looking at the prisoners, just looking," she wrote. "This image became very formative in my upbringing, this despicable 'looking from the side'."

"Looking from the side" is what those of us do who are cowed into silence by the threat of being called anti-Semitic. Looking from the side is what too many western Jews do, while those Jews who honour the humane traditions of Judaism and say, "Not in our name!" are abused as "self-despising". Looking from the side is what almost the entire US Congress does, in thrall to or intimidated by a vicious Zionist "lobby".

Looking from the side is what "even-handed" journalists do as they excuse the lawlessness that is the source of Israeli atrocities andsuppresss the historic shifts in the Palestinian resistance, such as the implicit recognition of Israel by Hamas. The people of Gaza cry out for better.

Now, perhaps this is the most appropriate place to point out that just last week we were personally 'attacked' elsewhere online, and were publicly (albeit entirely erroneously), accused of anti-Semitism. Why? Simply because we had the terrible temerity to type the words 'zealot' and 'Zionist' in a single sentence. Quite a cardinal sin, eh? At least it seems to be in some circles.

Still, never mind. It's not the sort of snide (and stupid), sniping that'll ever succeed in stopping us from saying it as we see it.

Next, read the opening paragraphs of the pertinent piece (from which we earlier appended the ending).

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the warnings of genocide in Gaza, and the suffering of 1.4 million Palestinians living a "life in a cage" as the world looks on. He quotes Israeli journalist Amira Hass on the experience of her mother in a Nazi concentration camp and the Germans who watched, "looking from the side".

A genocide is engulfing the people of Gaza while a silence engulfs its bystanders. "Some 1.4 million people, mostly children, are piled up in one of the most densely populated regions of the world, with no freedom of movement, no place to run and no space to hide," wrote the senior UN relief official, Jan Egeland, and Jan Eliasson, then Swedish foreign minister, in Le Figaro. They described people "living in a cage", cut off by land, sea and air, with no reliable power and little water and tortured by hunger and disease and incessant attacks by Israeli troops and planes.

Clearer now why we wanted the paragraphs read in reverse order?

We hope so, since it should certainly save us all some extra time and trouble.

And because we wouldn't even pretend to be able to put any words together better than Pilger can, we strongly suggest you read the rest of his article for yourself.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for alerting people to this. You may not put words together as well as John Pilger, but then again how many can?

However I will say this, you are every bit as open, honest and courageous as he is.

2:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to respectfully disagree. Yes Israel has done bad things, but I'm sorry they didn't start the fight. Too much is expected of Israel and too little of the Palestinians. The surrounding nations could have solved the problem 50 years ago by absorbing the people who CHOSE to leave Israel and then attack the country. Repeatedly right up to today, Arab countries have tried to eliminate this country.

Yes the UN decision may have imposed an unnatural settlement, but that is a bygone fact. Peace is simple. All it requires is that people say enough. Our children's lives are more important than our desire to get even.

2:59 am  
Anonymous Lesley said...

It boggles the mind that a race of people once forced into concentration camps are building them with impunity.

What the world seems to need is a good psychiatrist.

(I watched Children of Men today and the only thing I could think was human infertility might be a good thing for the planet.)

3:51 am  
Anonymous martha said...

I wonder if Jamie is disagreeing with Pilger's point of view or with Hass's first hand knowlege? Or the 'facts' of the terrible collective (including mainly children) internment punishment for the violent acts of some adults?

10:13 am  
Anonymous max said...

This always a delicate subject and I try to avoid arguments about it. I don't know if I'll be classed as a looker from the side for that. But I do know that anyone calling the Old Brit an anti-Semite is dead wrong. It was right here on Brit's blogroll - over a year ago - that I first heard of Uri Avnery and Gush Shalom. I can't see an anti-Semite promoting an Israeli movement - not for the life of me. I think Brit's accuser has either missed this fact or maybe classes Avnery as one of those 'self-loathing' Jews Pilger talks of.

10:29 am  
Anonymous Mo said...

Why do you hate the Jews?

11:47 am  
Anonymous xxx said...

Why do Jews hate Palestinians?

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an very intersting site for whose interest properly in Palestine + Israel events.

Palestine Monitor

5:16 pm  
Anonymous also_anon said...

I see old Brit's not the only antisemite here.

Birds of a feather flock together.

5:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This link is to a Lebanese refugee, she writes very well about the need to reclaim 'the narrative' : One that's been in exclusive moral control by Israe.

6:08 pm  
Anonymous Tom V. said...

You are right on the money Richard, and Max it is exactly because it is a 'delicate subject' (as you put it), we need to be couragous to speak-out, and let ourselves be intimidated no more.

The horrible slow death sentence given to the Palestinian People, isn't inferior in severity in comparison to what happened with the Askenazy 'Jews' during the second WW, even if the methods are less organized and more calamitous than the original.

I don't care if I will be blamed for blasphemy, I became numb and crusty by all the brutality and the cowardly lying and cover-up of others, that I can't take it any longer!

For me what happening in Gaza, is but a repetition of the conditions in the Warsaw ghetto, ie. vile, inhuman persecution of people, (this time against, real Semitic people) by their most sadistic and out-of-control enemies.

There. Let God judge me, or my enemies, according to who is telling the truth, and who isn't!

7:07 pm  
Blogger bootlian said...

I'm almost too ashamed to admit but I too was "looking from the side" for a long time. Not any more though. I do what (little) I can, through a couple of charities.

8:43 pm  
Anonymous Louis said...

I'm another who sat for too long looking from the side.

Then last Thanksgiving I saw this post by Richard.

It still haunts me.

1:38 am  
Anonymous Lesley said...

For all the anonymous posters who make accusations of antisemitism, I'd just like to say that there are many Jewish people who are as appalled by their government and military and there are Palestinians who are fed up with the BS of their overlords. If ordinary citizens got together (and they sometimes do), they could overthrow the warmongers on both sides and live in peace together.

8:46 am  
Anonymous Pissed off Palestinian said...

I am Palestinian and therefore a semite.

To those of you defending aggressive Israeli actions against my people: Your views against my people are rascist, fascist, inhumane- in essence, Nazi-like.

This makes you ANTI-SEMITIC!

5:12 pm  
Anonymous kiwi said...

It's not just Pilger either. See this from the Independent.

Israeli separation barrier is cutting off Palestinians from their livelihood
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem and Anne Penketh in Herziliya
Published: 23 January 2007

A British government-funded report says the route of Israel's separation barrier is trapping 250,000 Palestinians in enclaves designed to protect Jewish settlers in the occupied territory.

It says that creation of the enclaves cutting Palestinian communities off from the rest of the West Bank "almost totally ignores the daily needs of the Palestinian population" and is "focused almost exclusively on the desire to maintain the fabric of life of Israeli settlers".

The critical report ­ which says the existence of some Palestinian communities is threatened by the barrier ­ was produced by the Israeli planning and rights organisation Bimkom. The research was jointly funded by the New Israel Fund and the British Embassy in Tel Aviv.

It says the barrier is cutting employment for Palestinians and isolating farmers from markets, causing "particularly serious damage" to residents' health-care needs and undermining social and family life

More at link.

8:50 pm  

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