Jan 09, 2009.
“If were were to speak about the literature of war with regard to today, I’d have to say that there is no war in Gaza. In Gaza today, all that we have experienced and lived through and dealt with the meaning of, tells us that a war is a conventional army fighting another conventional army. But here the tanks are going against flesh and human beings; bullets and bombs and fighter jets against bodies and eyes, children and women; death before blood and earth. This is no war. What is going on in Gaza, if we are to express it correctly, is state terror.” (Sayyid Najm, an Egyptian novelist and literature specialist on war in literature)
“This is way beyond state terror. We need to look for proper terminology for this US-UK-and-company’s legitimized, slow, systematic and agonizing holocaust that spans over decades.” ( Dictatorshipwatch.com )
Indeed, “This is way beyond state terror”! Lal-masjid ops was state terror. War on terror is state terror. Tank on Tank is state terror. Blowing up wedding parties in Afghanistan is State Terror. Military occupation of Iraq and Afganistan is State Terror. ‘Western State Terrorism’ by Noam Chomsky is capturing state terror. ‘Rogue State’ and ‘Killing Hope’ by William Blum is depiction of state terror. But what sort of hell on earth is this which the Palestinians are being subjected to?
While the Holocaust suffering of the Jews lasted for six long apocalyptic years, the suffering and persecution of many Palestinians has gone on for more than three decades and is no less cataclysmic for the victims, some displaced in 1948 are still living in refugee camps with generations growing up and dying in these camps. With children being born in refugee camps in appalling conditions in the sniper gun-sights of the Israeli soldiers, and dying in the same camps under a hail of Israeli tank shells, never having seen the outside world, and never having entertained any hope of escape from their predicament, in their innocence they ask what makes the Jews suffering an holocaust and theirs merely murder that the world can tolerate as if it was an ordinary street crime? Millions are being held captives in their own homeland with daily humiliations and torture, treatment that one would not met out to a dog. Killing them in small numbers at a time on a daily basis and wounding many more so that they would eventually die off as cripples but not raise the alarm in the rest of the world because numbers seem to define when mass killing is called a genocide and when it isn’t. ( Chapter 3 , http://prisonersofthecave.org )
And it is indeed instructional to learn of the sorrows and calamitous suffering from the perspective of the victims themselves, an oft neglected sin in the West which prides itself in its own articulate description of the World’s victims and in unfurling the crimes of their own hegemonic emperors by writing prolific books and touting their much wonted freedom of speech – to absolutely zero degree of efficacy except more books sold and more prominence gained – rather than listen to the victims themselves with as much credibility lent to their own suffering voices. Somehow, the victim screaming in pain is considered biased, but their victimizers’ description of their plight is academic honesty and intellectual brilliance! ( The Endless Trail of Red Herrings , http://humanbeingsfirst.org )
I want no new terminology, no syntactic sugaring, no collateral language damage, no resemanticising of words, no intellectual brilliance, no proper nouns appropriated for the Palestinians as the Jews did the Shoah.
I want the exact description as noted above, and in the plaintive eloquent words of the Palestinians themselves, not anemic ones like mine, to continually describe the cataclysmic suffering of a people before which, the Creator too, must curse its Creation for permitting it!
A very profoundly religious friend of mine once told me: you know, I think “heaven” must be a very tiny place, and Hell must be vast – its got to accommodate so many peoples! While I am sure he must have been referring to Valhalla, I take it to mean right here on earth!
And therefore, as must be self-evident to many a Palestinian, if not to the West, this 2008 Leap Year threat made by Deputy Israeli Defence Minister Matan Villnai is only disingenuous in that it’s promising Shoah in the future, when it has been ongoing for the past sixty years:
“(the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust”
There will be no end in sight to this Shoah unless these words of Edward Said are realized:
‘Palestine/Israel is no ordinary bit of geography; it is more saturated in religious, historical and cultural significance than any place on earth. It is also now the place where two peoples, whether they like it or not, live together tied by history, war, daily contact and suffering. To speak only in geopolitical clichés (as the Clinton Administration does) or to speak about “separating” them (as Rabin does) is to call forth more violence and degradation. These two communities must be seen as equal to each other in rights and expectations; only from such a beginning can justice then proceed.’