“Impressions of Gaza”

by Imraan

I know some argue that I am involved in a sort of hero-worship of Noam Chomsky, however I must admit that I thoroughly liked the following piece, which he wrote some two weeks ago, after having visited Gaza at the end of October – as far as I can tell, this is the most accurate picture available on the web (that is, from someone who is sympathetic toward the plight of our Palestinian brothers). 

“Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified….” (for the full text visit Chomsky.info)

Though this is an old quote, so far as I know, I think that this is perhaps the best description of what it means to be a Palestinian living in occupied lands (again, from the same piece):


The purposeful humiliation is also not new, though it constantly takes new forms. Thirty years ago political leaders, including some of the most noted hawks, submitted to Prime Minister Begin a shocking and detailed account of how settlers regularly abuse Palestinians in the most depraved manner and with total impunity. The prominent military-political analyst Yoram Peri wrote with disgust that the army’s task is not to defend the state, but “to demolish the rights of innocent people just because they are Araboushim (“niggers,” “kikes”) living in territories that God promised to us.”

 Again, it looks like there will be a bloodbath in the besieged Gaza – PressTV reports that the death toll now stands at least 100 dead  – for an army with precision-guided missiles, it’s incredible as to how often they manage to shoot at civilian complexes, killing several members of the same family…certainly, I don’t condone Gazan firing at arbitrary targets, but for what is supposed to be the most ‘efficient’ (and they use this term with pride) military machine in the world, it’s astounding as to how often the Israelis manage to miss their targets completely, or use outrageous force at that. 

But of course…they will always carry out an ‘independent internal investigation’. As the Persian saying goes, I think there is something very true about “the arrogance of power“.