As we enjoy the feeling that comes with it being Friday night, we should be less content when we switch on the television and see the children’s bodies being brought from the rubble. As we listen and read about the children suffering malnutrition and trauma who are being found clinging to the dead bodies of their emaciated mothers, as we try to come to terms with the fact that Israel is bombing UN schools with civilians inside them, try to come to terms with the fact that this is Israel that’s doing this, Israel of all people, Israel.
10 Israeli's dead - - 4 civilians
900 Palestinians dead -- 300 children -- - 3-4 thousand wounded.
The figures above ensure that Hamas grows stronger; they will lead the Palestinians after this is over. The Palestinians who are suffering are those refugees and friends and families who were ethnically cleansed when Israel was created, it has effectively been occupied since then by Israel it’s land, sea and air space controlled by the occupiers, many Palestinians still carry the key to their houses which were occupied by Israel when this crime happened. You will hear from the Israeli’s about rockets and terrorism from Gaza, what you will not hear about is the prisoners, the other occupied territories, the state sponsored murders, the apartheid wall, the refugees etc. etc.
I used the quote from Conrad because the book and the film inspired by it “Apocalypse Now” goes into the territory of what man is capable of, we look at past horrors and we shudder, we distance ourselves from them, we try to label the perpetrators as sub human and by doing so we absolve ourselves, but they are not sub human, they are us, the human race at it’s worst.
Two years ago I sat with a group of people discussing these matters and speculating about whether we, in this case the British could do such things. I had accepted a long time ago and said that not only could we do such things but we already had, and with great relish, the group were a mixed bunch who barely knew each other and some were outraged at my suggestion. I was supported most eloquently by an old retired communist Welsh miner who lectured the group on the great civilisation that was Germany and the outstanding artists and scientists which they had produced before descending into barbarism, a barbarism which the Jews and Israeli’s could tell you about like no other people.
That conversation took place while on a touring holiday as we sat on the grass in the warm sunshine drinking cold beer, approximately 50 yards from the main gates of Auschwitz death camp in Poland, we had done the tour and we were all very serious, that conversation remains fresh in my mind and probably always will. While touring the camp I deliberately paused at what were; for humanity; some particularly shameful exhibits, I did so to gauge the reactions of other visitors. All emotions were displayed some balked at some of it and hurried past, some stood stunned and wept, some gazed and gazed shaking their heads, the most common phrase was something along the lines of “how could they” “they were inhuman” “to women and children as well” we find ourselves saying the same words again today, we seem destined to carry on saying them in the future as well.
A line from a song springs to mind at these times from “where have all the flowers gone” by the great American singer and writer Pete Seeger, that line is “when will they ever learn, oh! when will they ever learn” can we learn ? is it too late to stop what is going on in Gaza, the Holy Land. The UN and Britain and the rest of Europe will some day have to stand up to America and put a stop to their roll of world bully, make no mistake about it this would stop immediately if America gave the word, do we have to wait 12 days for Obama ? can he make that leap ? the world needs him to do it, the first black president could become the one who brought lasting peace to Palestine.