To a lot of us who don’t live in a war zone, we think of bullets as a personal way to kill. You sight the enemy and squeeze the trigger and a bullet stamped with his name on it hurtles towards him through the genius of chemistry in order to kill him for various reasons (Queen, Country, God, He took your stuff… whatever).
But not all ways to kill come at the hands of a bullet.
There is something I have wrote about before. It’s the usage of collective punishment in order to cow the Palestinians. We keep saying that Palestine has received aid so should be fine but I keep pointing out that a million dollars worth of grain is not the same as a million dollars worth of technological aid. One lets you survive, the other lets you build a nation.
Palestine is not a nation, it’s a gigantic ghetto that’s been sliced up into parcels of land with the choicest bits going to Israel. Palestinians have a genuine gripe. The same gripe that powered the Native Americans. To the Palestinians a bunch of Europeans and Americans have shown up, taken all their land and are now getting massive subsidies to build stuff and the Palestinians are treated as the villains.
My Jewish flatmate once told a zionist why he did not wish to go to Israel. Because Israel learnt nothing and everything from the Holocaust. The shadow of the Holocaust looms over Israel’s policy and justifies every excess. While hindsight is 20/20 we can clearly see the formation of Israel was a fucking terrible idea.
Palestinians will never be satisfied, if Israel claims the right to return based on a magic ownership of land over 2000 years ago then that would be like Native Americans throwing out every white person in the USA. It’s not how a modern nation works.
But we have already rolled the dice, the best we can do is salvage what we can. And that means not letting Israel get away with crimes that are genuine crimes. For the Massacre of Shabra and Shatilla we stood by. The architect was made the Priime Minister of Israel (Ariel Sharon).
This is another atrocity.
The words of my flatmate come to my mind, because I know this was a practice in Nazi Germany. Cutting off civilian water supply to cow a population. If you are thirsty and if diarrhoea is rife then you cannot really fight the man.
There are 45,000 Palestinians at the Shufat Refugee camp, the suburbs of Ras Shehadeh, Khamis, As-Salam and Anata. And they have had their water cut for the past 3 days. Gihon (Israel’s Water Corporation) slowly cut them off over the past two weeks.
Many people have been without for 20 days.
Water is the life of any people. Schools, Education, Healthcare all are paralysed by the loss of water. As are any attempts to farm. The repercussions are astronomical.
When #notyourasiansidekick trend was going on, I was asked by white nationalists and Zionists (yeah, real dynamic duo there. It was puzzling being accused of guilt for the actions of Nazi Germany through the actions of the Empire of the Sun when your ancestors are from neither group of people) about why Palestinians are so backwards. And here is a simple answer. The aid given to Palestinians has always been to maintain them rather than to uplift them. The Palestinian issue is one of people living out of refugee camps and of displaced people trying to survive. They cannot build the permanent institutions of progress that Israel could under the shelter of Uncle Sam’s vast arsenal and technological handouts. 1 million dollars of wheat vs 1 million dollars of IT aid have different effects.
Also when things like this happens, aid money has to be spent on basic necessities such as water rather than effecting progress. In short? It’s the difference between a scholarship and a food stamp. Both are aids to the poor but one maintains a state of poverty and prevents starvation while the other provides a leg up for a poor person to get the training and skills needed to get a paying job.
So when we wonder why Palestinians are “so angry”, remember this too.