Monday, November 26, 2012

Palestine, Birth 2012 and more

The latest military upheaval in Gaza has reawakened a passion in me—my indignation at Israel’s continued oppression of Palestinians— and, worse, my government literally aiding this brutality by sending weapons to Israel. Of course, Israel’s action is called “defense” while retaliation by Gazans is called “terrorism.”

My recent writing on this bias in our government and media was published in the St. Cloud Times on Saturday.
I argued that American media don’t give the Palestinian side and I gave some facts leading up to Israel killing Ahmad al-Jabari. Israel wins the propaganda war by playing the victim surrounded by hostile forces, thus cleverly blaming the real victims, the Palestinians. In this way it justifies its brutality and humiliation of Palestinians, which our biased media do not report to Americans. 
The Times included my wish that Hamas would stop trying to win justice by military means and move to non-violent protests, but it did not include my reference to the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s, which awakened the conscience of Americans. Such an awakening is needed if justice is to come to the Middle East, and we all know that there can be no peace without justice.

Besides writing, I pass on many articles that come my way. Seeking background for those who do not follow the dire conditions in Palestine—Gaza’s children are malnourished and stunted—I found this written in 2011, before the latest explosion, and showing the U.N.perspective. It explains that humanitarian relief is welcome but a long term solution must stop Israel from undermining any progress toward economic independence for Palestinians.
Unemployment (at 30%, and 43% for under-30s), manufacturing and agricultural decline (despite a recent upturn), large-scale revenue losses, "dire" humanitarian conditions, worsening socioeconomic indicators—all these issues and more are linked explicitly and repeatedly to the political situation.
More cheerful news emerges from another passion of mine, the shift in global consciousness that we are living through right now. The evidence that we are is presented in this analysis by retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong. I passed it on to my personal email lists of politically interested. “It is really excellent,” responded my friend Sondra. “His historical framing of shifting attitudes is like looking through a microscope that is a little out of adjustment, a little fuzzy, and bringing it into really sharp focus.”
I appreciate Spong’s sharp critique of religion’s role in “the birth pangs of this new consciousness.” He understands that, “No new consciousness is raised without rampant anger from those being displaced.”

Finally, I recommend the incomparable S. Joan Chittister speaking about women oppressed. I love her for her eloquent expressions of outrage and her forthright criticism of religious oppression.
I do not stay silent and take as my reward the responses I get to letters in National Catholic Reporter, pieces in the Times, and my posts here. Thank you.

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