Sunday, January 04, 2009

An International POV on Israel and Palestine

MEDIA MATTERS--all of us should be willing to explore different POV's....truth is hard to know if you only view it from one angle....especially if that one angle is tailored to a corporate media's POV. So we are lucky to have other avenues to get our news. Now that international journalists are able to go to where the silence is in Gaza I extend my thanks to these brave souls who are risking their lives to bring us a picture of what is really happening to the civilian people in Gaza.

Hopefully you will read this journalists words and seriously think about what the USA is doing in the Middle East.

While the Israeli military again bombs the starving and imprisoned population of 1.5 million Gazans, the world watches their plight live as Western media scrambles to explain and, in some cases, justify the ongoing carnage.

Even some Arab outlets have attempted to equate Palestinian resistance - and homemade rockets - with the might of the Israeli military machine.

However, none of this is a surprise; the Israelis just concluded a global public relations campaign to gather support for their assault, even gaining the collaboration of some Arab states.

An American periodical once asked me to contribute to a discussion on whether terrorism or attacks against civilians could ever be justified.

My answer was that an American journal should not be asking whether attacks on civilians can ever be justified. This is a question for the weak, such as the Native Americans 150 years ago, the Jews in Nazi Germany, and the Palestinians today, to answer.

Terrorism is a normative term which is used to describe what the 'other' does, not what 'we' do.

Powerful nations such as Israel, the US, Russia or China will always describe their victims' struggle as terrorism.

However, they fail to acknowledge as acts of terror the destruction of Chechnya, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the repression of Tibetans, and the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Normative rules and what is legal and permissible are determined by the powerful. They formulate the concept of terrorism in normative terms and make it appear as if a neutral court derived such definitions instead of the oppressors.

For the weak to resist becomes illegal by definition.

This excessive use of legal jargon actually undermines the fundamentals of what is truly legal and diminishes the credibility of international institutions such as the UN. The law becomes the enemy of those who struggle.

It becomes apparent that the powerful - those who make the rules - insist on legality merely to preserve the power relations that serve them or to maintain their occupation and colonialism. (Source)


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