Monday, 19 November 2012

Tanks In Our Bedrooms

You feel a helpless fury and incomprehension, you don't even want to see or hear any more news when this is the image you went to sleep with.  It's not rocket science - excuse the terrible pun - to work out that the hugely disproportionate - and brutally predictable - response of Israel is going to lead nowhere except hell. 

I came across this Granta essay from 2009 by Libyan writer Hisham Mater. He has also tweeted that: 'Most US newspaper/magazine articles I've read dwell on Israeli suffering whilst keeping any mention of Gaza brief & incomplete'.

Also read this sobering piece from the Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish who lost three of his daughters in 2009.

And this from Yasmin Alibhai Brown in The Independent on Britain's culpable role in the first place.

When you can't comprehend you turn to the words of others:

Here is Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish via Sarah Irving's interesting blog.

At weekend was dipping into Mourid Barghouti's I was Born There, I was Born Here which I got for Christmas last year. He says:  Many western journalists who mantain a studied and malign blindness to the Occupation have asked me whether the Palestinian people are really ready to coexist with the Jews and I reply that we coexisted with them for hundreds of years in Palestine ...What is asked of us today, however, and has been ever since their military occupation of our land, is to coexist with their tanks in our bedrooms! Show me one person in the world, I say to them, who can live with a tank in his bedroom.'

And my publisher Scott is kindly sending me up his copy of Israeli writer Amos Oz' How to Cure a Fanatic which someone gave him and he has just finished.

* Izzeldin Abuelaish speaks about Gaza 9.30 mins into this Radio 4 programme (19/11/2012). And Mehdi Hasan,  speaks about the importance of context when reporting on Israel/Palestine conflict.

** Journalist Sherine Tadros speaks about difficulty of impartiality in an unbalanced conflict.

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