Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Firas Al-Atraqchi: The Height of Racism

The Height of Racism


By Firas Al-Atraqchi

Events in the Middle East are reaching saturation point. Within the past week, hardline supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have unleashed a barrage of disparaging remarks calling for the murder and deportation of the Palestinian people.

On January 31st, Sharon declared that he regretted not having killed Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Commenting to the Israeli daily, Maariv, Sharon goes on record to say he was “sorry he didn’t liquidate him [Arafat]”. Arafat, incidentally, was elected by his people in elections monitored by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

The fact that 30, 000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians died in the invasion of Lebanon with Sharon’s direct role in the butchering of more than 2,000 Palestinian men, women, and children in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps is ominously ignored. Instead, we are told that Sharon is benevolent and under vicious siege from the Palestinians.

For his part, Arafat laughingly shrugged it off. In a speech televised on CNN, Arafat spoke directly to Sharon: “You had your tanks surrounding us in Lebanon and we did not shudder; now that you have your tanks around us in our own land of Palestine, do you think we will shudder? No way, no way, no way.”

(Israeli tanks are currently positioned about 70 meters from the compound where Arafat remains under virtual house-arrest in the West Bank city of Ramallah)

While Sharon’s remarks were greeted with barely a whimper in the White House (‘Sharon’s remarks are not helpful’) and North American media, European Union diplomats expressed outrage.

"If the remarks correspond to what Prime Minister Sharon has said, I must say that I deplore them and of course they deserve our rejection," said Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

A day later, despite international criticism of Sharon’s statements, Sharon’s political advisor and spokesperson Raanan Gissin called for the hanging and murder of an Arab lawmaker and member of the Knesset who demanded equality between Jews and non-Jews in Israel. Gissin, who is comfortably visible on CNN, told Maariv newspaper "Ahmed Teibi wants a dialogue at the eye-level. Well, he will get a dialogue as such when you see him suspending by the neck…then and only then will there be a dialogue at eye-level."

Teibi had addressed Sharon earlier; "From now on, we shall not accept subordination, subservience and the logic of the victor versus the defeated. We insist on a dialogue of the equals, a dialogue at the eye-level".

In the North America, a man who calls for equality is labeled a hero and may have a commemorative holiday in his honor. In Palestine, if an Arab calls for equality the reward is a publicized lynching.

Hardly the reactions one expects of a so-called democratic state. Calling for racial equality, it seems, is a capital crime in Israel. North American media played mum; no outcry, no criticism – only the delusional rhetoric that democratic Israel is under siege.

In a related incident, Israeli Tourism Minister Benny Elon, leader of the ultranationalist Moledet (homeland) party, threatened to forcefully remove Palestinians from the Occupied Territories.

"We must not fear bringing up again the idea of a transfer and of open discussion of the various possibilities that it offers. The Palestinians must know that if they continue their attacks, they will lose their houses and will have to leave, as was the case in 1948," Elon yelped on public radio.

Elon’s proposal of ethnic cleansing went unnoticed in North American media where the Palestinian people were once again branded the aggressor.

- Firas Al-Atraqchi is a Canadian journalist living on the Pacific Coast

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news