Heightened Senses

Hello. I'm Imraan. This is the only thing I own outright; I write from time to time, in the hopes that free-association might save a trip to a sanatorium.

Tag: Rights

So who again was ‘wiped off the map’…?

EDIT: Read this  –  What Really Happened in Gaza this year.  – funny, eh, that a week after the US elections the Israelis began their assault – no-doubt Netanyahu was banking on a Romney victory, which would have seen a ground-invasion and a massacre of the Palestinians and possibly even an all-out war in the Middle East.

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Am I so ignorant that I should be astounded at the gall of the Israeli Government. As Press TV reports (and I assume this is accurate), in retaliation of the state of Palestine being recognised once more by the UN – and the vote was pretty resounding, with 9 opposed and 41 abstentions), the Israelis are now going to build three-thousand more units in the already occupied West Bank.

(http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/30/275419/israel-to-build-3000-settler-units/)

Intriguingly, one has to wonder whether this wasn’t going to happen anyway – as we have seen in the last few years there has been an escalation in building of settlement blocks and outposts in what is called the disputed territories  – which, to be honest, is only a designation used by the guilty party that has violated every UN resolution on this matter since  November of 1967, when Israel gained (illegally) a tremendous amount of land (it has since only relinquished the Gaza strip, and subsequently moved those settlers to the West bank – Quelle surprise!

But the point is this – that the Israelis to this day do not want negotiations to begin with any preconditions (i.e. following the spirit of UN-242 which divides the land, however unfairly, in Israel’s favour nonetheless), as the Israeli apartheid wall (which I’ve seen) that was allegedly built for defensive purposes already violates that Resolution; taking up at least 10 percent of the West Bank – not to mention the settlement ‘blocks’ of road and water infrastructure which some estimates say will take up as much as forty percent of what (for the moment remains) the West Bank.

Of course the irony ought not be wasted on you that Netanyahu’s remarks at AIPAC and elsewhere suggest that Israel be recognised by the Palestinians as the Jewish Homeland (which of course is a straw-man argument since the Palestinians have actual proof that what is now Israel is where their homeland was up until they were forcibly removed from it, and moreover one-fifth of the Israeli population is of Arab stock) and secondly, that Jerusalem entirely be recognised as her capital – again, in illegally occupied Palestinian territory – East Jerusalem also being the centre for Palestinian economic and social and cultural life (thank you, Drs Chomsky and Benvenisti).

Moreover, for a state that claims its enemies would like to wipe it off the map (among other absurd things), and also is a state ‘committed’ to a two-state settlement with Palestine – Avigdor Lieberman aside (just as a side note the former club bouncer who is now Foreign Minister is a very different breed to the well-educated Israeli politicians that once existed – however unprincipled they were), – one has to wonder why they are so opposed to the UN recognising Palestine as a state-entity – considering that that is their apparent end game again the irony shouldn’t be wasted on you that their actions speak louder than ; the point is that Israel is acting like a spoiled child that knows its guilt but will continue to attempt to emotionally manipulate and bully those that try to curtail her ability to act out.

As we can see, the only way for Israel to retain whatever thread of esteem she might have in the ‘world’ (i.e. the West – the world that actually counts for anything these days) is to decide to define the borders with Palestine, as well as what the Palestinian legal border might actually look at. As we saw at Taba in 2001,  the Palestinian Authority were willing to let Israel keep half of the settlements to that point – which was a tremendously generous offer considering that Israel wasn’t entitled to any of it – recall, it is inadmissible to acquire territory by land and to transfer your population to that land – Israel is guilty on both accounts.

Robert Fisk has often remarked that a two-state solution is now dead (from what I gathered from his interviews on RT and elsewhere), given the vast network that Israel is building – as a colonial occupying power, so long as the Palestinians resolve never to suffer total humiliation, the only way for this settler colony to remain relatively safe is to continue to maintain a presence in the whole of the West Bank – how else will she police those roads built exclusively for Jews and Jews only, or how else will she continue to usurp Palestinian water-rights, or how else will she stop the Resistance from rebuilding and coming back stronger….

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Here’s me musing….

I wonder now, given how the plight of the Palestinians is an exclusively European-caused problem – that if the Palestinians saw themselves as Arabs and decided that because of sixty years of persecution they might return to their ancestral home – (let us say for a second that we ignore the studies that show that Jews and Palestinians are actually of similar genetic origin – that they share a common ancestry), say, Saudi Arabia, an important client state to the US, how that would seem. After sixty years of persecution and the existence of up to seven million refugees scattered to the four winds, many living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as stateless people and in refugee camps, and others in the ‘West’, where is their case for having their own state?

You see, dear sympathisers of Israel, your logic falls here – at this point, the persecution of the Jews historically is rather moot – for they now have their own homeland, the fourth largest defence infrastructure in the world as well as a formidable nuclear arsenal, and moreover are internationally recognised – they are inflicting tremendous and barbaric suffering on the Palestinians whom they continue to subdue out of some sense of historical entitlement to the land which most of their ancestors had left some seventeen-hundreed years before; in exchange, they occupy a land that to this day have Palestinian claimants (these documents do exist) which has been their ancestral homeland continuously for centuries, if not longer .

To suggest these Palestinian Arabs return to say Saudi Arabia or wherever else is a preposterous suggestion – so why do you so gleefully support the right of the Zionists to do the same? Shame on you; may your mothers weep for you.

A brilliant edition of ‘The Stream’ speaking of the cartoons and the rage that followed it; is such a shame that more voices of moderation aren’t given this kind of exposure.

That said, I think the discourse lets-off too easily the greater power-play here – I read it as classical orientalism – a way of subduing the Eastern man because he is quick to murderous rage, necessitating condemnation from Western Governments and schooling in what it is to live in the ‘modern world’ (thank you President Clinton, you very wicked man).

Nouman Ali Khan was particularly excellent – speaking of the moral imperatives as opposed to the legislative ones which are important. And I think that that moral space should be recognised; as a person of ‘belief’, I wonder if it is a failing on the part of the faithful that this has been allowed to be perpetrated; our world today seems to be blinded by the notion of rights that extend even to the bigoted (which is fine in principle), the only problem being that we are so individualistic that we block out moral voices and moral instruction as soon as it interferes with our whims and desires – isn’t the point of morality (and I speak of universals here) that it should be able to shape or control our impulses for wickedness?

It’s an unpopular view to have, no-doubt, in today’s world. What do you think?

The Accidental Theologist

Great conversation on Al Jazeera’s The Stream yesterday:  I was with Lisa Fletcher and Anushay Hossain in the studio — I love her blog Anushay’s Point  — and Omid Safi, Nouman Ali Khan, and Michael Muhammad Knight joined in on Skype.  Plus an excellent video comment from Hind Makki in Chicago, which led to a lively post-show discussion, starting at the 25.15 mark, on reclaiming the narrative from both ‘Islamist’ extremists and Islamophobic bigots.

It’s a good thing Nouman Ali Khan wasn’t in the studio, because I’d only have totally embarrassed him by leaping up to give him a huge hug.  I really do have to figure out how to be cool on TV…

Like I say, hang around for the post-show segment — the silent majority is silent no longer!

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