Palestine - the hinge of our humanity? The Middle East in Flames
3-08-06 Totnes Civic Hall
Why am I here and not making something good in my workshop?
1. Taught to be truthful, a lesson which obviously passed over most of the political class. Being truthful also means speaking out.
2. I cannot stand seeing underdogs kicked around
3. As an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon all my efforts, and those of the good people with me, were devoted to healing tissue and in relieving pain – not in blasting bodies apart.
4. The bombing of the Afghan people by B52s from 32,000ft in the Autumn of 2001 galvanised me; I have not rested since.
5. My central motivation is the love of the child. We have two happy grand-daughters, Isabel and Nel. I look into their beautiful eyes and see the two billion other children on our planet. They are all equally precious; not one should be harmed.
This letter is written and signed by Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter,
Jose Saramago, Noam Chomsky and John Berger,
it has been forwarded to major newspapers.
The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began
when Israeli forces
abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An
incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press.
The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner -
and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the
Israelis - there are
approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails
On the story we almost never hear about—the Palestinian
one—and an anniversary few of us have ever considered
By Sandy Tolan
07/11/06 "Mother Jones" -- --
Under the pretext of forcing the release of a single soldier "kidnapped
by terrorists" (or, if you prefer, "captured by the resistance"),
Israel has done the following: seized members of a democratically
elected government; bombed its interior ministry, the prime minister's
offices, and a school; threatened another sovereign state (Syria) with
a menacing overflight; dropped leaflets from the air, warning of harm
to the civilian population if it does not "follow all orders of the
IDF" (Israel Defense Forces); loosed nocturnal "sound bombs" under
orders from the Israeli prime minister to "make sure no one sleeps at
night in Gaza"; fired missiles into residential areas, killing
children; and demolished a power station that was the sole generator of
electricity and running water for hundreds of thousands of Gazans.
By the age of 58 a country – like a man – should have achieved a
certain maturity. After nearly six decades of existence we know, for
good and ill, who we are and how we appear to others, warts and all.
And though we still harbour occasional illusions about ourselves, we
know they are, for the most part, just illusions. In short, we are
But the state of Israel, which has just turned 58, remains
curiously immature. The country’s social transformations – and its many
economic achievements – have not brought the political wisdom that
usually accompanies age. Seen from outside, Israel still comports
itself like an adolescent: confident of its uniqueness; certain that no
one “understands”; quick to take offence, and to give it. Like many
adolescents, Israel is convinced – and aggressively asserts – that it
can do as it wishes; that its actions carry no consequences; that it is
"Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side."