Thursday, November 19, 2009

Horror and mental anguish in a photo

This posting is not about how US 'dismay' at Israeli wrong-doing would ever straighten up anything, because it would not. The US can express dismay till the cow come home, and Israel would not even blink - they know it is the game of politics as usual.

This posting is truly to get you to put yourselves in the shoes the poor man in the photo.

Think for a second what may make you steal from you own brother, or kill the future of your own children?

Think what kind of mental torture would let you promote death of you own nation, or strangle what you and everyone around you have been dreaming of every moment of your lives.

Think what poverty would make you sell your soul to feed your children?

Think... what would make a praying Palestinian Muslim earn a living by building homes in an Israeli settlement on the land of capital of Palestine - his own homeland, the settlement designed to kill the nationhood of his fellow Muslim and Christian Palestinians?

I feel pity on the poor man - it is as if he is building the scaffold to hang his own flesh and blood.

As for those who created the situation we are witnessing: those who steal the land, strangle the people into despair, and take comfort in thinking that God sent them as light unto the nations. How would you describe them?

And do you really think they are shaking in their boots because the US expressed dismay at their deeds?


Post publishing note:

Initially I just wanted this to reflect my emotions towards the horrible situation symbolised by the photo, but to give it context and factual background for some viewers, see this article from the BBC with real life stories


  1. Have you ever actually interviewed or talked to any of the Palestinians who work in the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank? There must be thousands of them, and yet, the PA doesn't outlaw those complicit in this.

    The settlements deep into the West Bank are strategically problematic, but Gilo is really close to the 1949 border and are in south Jerusalem. It is one of those places that all sides to the conflict know that if a final status agreement is reached, Gilo would definitely be part of Israel proper.

    Lastly, you are misusing the "light unto the nations" phrase.

  2. Have I "interviewed" Palestinian construction workers? Michael- what do you think I am? the Washington Post??
    No I have not but Heather Sharp of the BBC (and many others if you care to research it yourself) have done it for me. ( for an example)

    And the conclusion does not change: Palestinian workers do not like it (surprise surprise!!) more than a rape victim likes being raped, or forced laborers liked it in Stalin's Russia, Cultural Revolution China or Nazi Germany force labor camps. Of course if you read the propaganda from labor camp public relations office, you are informed that their laborers appreciated being there and the care they are getting.
    I am sure you have seen German concentration camp photos with very emaciated, yet smiling and 'apparently happy' Jewish prisoners. Yet, I do not need to interview them to know that they were not happy of enjoying their 'free room and board' there. I am even sure that interviewing them while they are still under control of the Nazi's would yield any truth about how they feel anyway.

    As for the 'complicit' Palestinian authorities: read the above article for some info about the helplessness they are in thanks to the 'lovely friendly' land-grabbing and controlling neighbor. But again, even of they do not outlaw it, it is like one parent not doing much about the other parent abusing the children - it still does not mak it right.

    "Gilo is one of those places that all sides to the conflict know that if a final status agreement is reached, itwould definitely be part of Israel proper" - Whaaaaaat????
    Michael: where have you been recently???.
    the American have not accepted that (they are actually expressing 'dismay' for what it is worth.
    Palestinian authority does not accept it (read Arab and Israeli papers).
    Palestinian people definitely do not accept it (every inch of their pre-1967 Jerusalem is not negotiable)
    Arab countries are complaining as much as they can about it. Arab peoples would not give it up.
    And even leftist, and liberal, and progressive and even moderate Israeli's do not accept it (Read Israeli Haaretz and even Jerusalem post).

    Now as to "Light unto the nations" : I am NOT misusing it. Read my post again, and read many JEWISH web sites as I did about the phrase and its and meaning. I am using it in the context it is appropriate for. If think otherwise, please enlighten me.

    Your comment above is more like a 'defense lawyer tactic': casts doubt, make blanket generalities and yet sheds no light. that is because in an adversarial court system like ours (i.e in the US), that is all it take to get acquittal: putting doubt in the mind of one juror.

    The lawyer's goal is not to seek truth or justice - only to cast doubt on the other guy's story to get his client/defendant out.

    The Palestinian issue is not a case for jury trial. It is about justice, and defense lawyer tactics are not the best tools if justice is our goal.

  3. Great response Khaled. These people are just ignorant. They have no idea about what is going on and most of these people have not even been out of their own state. We all know that Israel is a bully nation with nuclear weapons.

  4. "I am sure you have seen German concentration camp photos with very emaciated, yet smiling and 'apparently happy' Jewish prisoners."
    Actually, I haven't. The pictures I have seen usually show survivors with almost every bone in their body showing because of starvation.

    I didn't say that Palestinians workers liked building settlements.

    "Palestinian people definitely do not accept it (every inch of their pre-1967 Jerusalem is not negotiable)"
    That's new. I thought trading dunam for dunam from both sides of the Green Line was always on the table. When both sides have less to sacrifice, more likely a compromise would be reached. Have you looked at the map? Gilo is right next to the border, and supposedly built on land bought by Jews years before 1948. You might find a Meretz supporter there, or a non-Zionist Ultra-Orthodox family living there.

    About the "light unto the nations" phrase, I've only heard liberal Jews use that phrase, and Sami the Bedouin (almost every other day), and of course, you on more than one occasion. I doubt settlers use that phrase hence you aren't implicating them with what you hate, but those unconnected to the conflict. And of course the Iranian regime backing Sami the Bedouin who writes for uses that phrase almost like you do, except he attaches every Jews-control-the-world conspiracy theory unto it.

    I oppose the settlements too, but what's the point of fighting over Gilo? You might as well fight over Tel-Aviv.

    When you use that phrase, you associate every Jew on the planet with the settlements just because it is a well known phrase from Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). I'm not talking about Gilo. I'm talking about the Hebron settlements, those deep in the West Bank. Those guys actually have something in common with the Palestinians. They both hate the IDF for kicking them out of their homes.

    I'm not a lawyer, just an engineering major. I can't imagine what you would have thought of Dreyfuss' lawyer. I learned a few things from your comment.

  5. One more thing, think of Judaism (and the phrase in question) as one on definition for a "way of being". The phrase doesn't mean being superior, it is just a commandment from God (mitzvot). It is no different than Muslim obligations described by their faith. And these obligations aren't easy to follow. In one sentence you acknowledge Jewish opposition to the settlements, and in another you characterize the settlements as the Jewish expression.

  6. Sorry, one more comment.

    Above is a link to an audio interview with the author that wrote:Judaism: A Way of Being.

    If you would listen to it, perhaps you would understand why you shouldn't use the phrase in question (light unto ...) because the way you were using it only bring malice, unless malice is your goal.

  7. The final borders will have to be settled by negotiations. No one except Israel thinks that establishing more and more Jewish settlers on Palestinian land is going to be automatically accepted (even the EU, and US government are not on the side of Israel in this case, not to mention the rest of the world).
    It is just the usual 'coercive negotiation' tactic by Israel: steal a thousand hectares, claim them all and even annex them, then agree to negotiate the return 10 of those thousand you stole, and expect praise because your are flexible!!!!
    Typical pattern for several decades.
    Land bought by Jews pre 1948 did not grant Jews sovereignty over the land. That argument is so stale and devoid of any logic. a lot of the land in Manhattan is owned by Jews: does that give the Jewish people claim of sovereignty over Manhattan to build an independent nation?

    Light onto the nation has other ways of usage than how YOU want it to be used. If I agree with progressive and Liberal Jews in how they use it, I will do that. The world does not run according to your wishes, especially when you seem to be missing the point of my using it again and again.

    As for your reference to Iranians and 'Sami the whatever...', I have no clue what you are talking about, but it seems like the usual throwing of 'big scary words' implying horrible intentions on my behalf.

    If you are paranoid enough to see malice everywhere, that is your concern not mine.

    As for my intentions, that is my concern, and not yours.