Happy Birthday

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To that grossly misunderstood Jewish mystic and social revolutionary who was born a couple thousand years ago, give or take five days.

I have a feeling he would be none too happy to watch the “all out war” being waged in his home country at the moment. For those who need yet another (yes, again) breakdown of the grotesque disparity in the news coverage of the casualties in Israel versus those in Palestine, the great art critic John Berger says it quite eloquently here:

We are now spectators of the latest – and perhaps penultimate – chapter of the 60 year old conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. About the complexities of this tragic conflict billions of words have been pronounced, defending one side or the other.

Today, in face of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the essential calculation, which was always covertly there, behind this conflict, has been blatantly revealed. The death of one Israeli victim justifies the killing of a hundred Palestinians. One Israeli life is worth a hundred Palestinian lives.

This is what the Israeli State and the world media more or less – with marginal questioning – mindlessly repeat. And this claim, which has accompanied and justified the longest Occupation of foreign territories in 20th C. European history, is viscerally racist. That the Jewish people should accept this, that the world should concur, that the Palestinians should submit to it – is one of history’s ironic jokes. There’s no laughter anywhere. We can, however, refute it, more and more vocally.

Let’s do so.


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