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Zionism is Racism Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Today, Aug. 29th, Palestinian newspapers reported widely about the Anti Racism Conference, which will start in Durban, South Africa on Friday, Aug. 31st. A headline says, Today, opening ceremonies begins with the hands of US president stained with Palestinian blood.
Indeed, Palestinians inside the occupied territories are watching the TV screens broadcasting events in Durban, South Africa. Oppressed Palestinians are seeing more than ten thousand people in the local stadium of Durban chanting, Free Palestine. ・ush our hands are covered with Palestinian blood.
President Arafat has made it clear that he intends to attend the conference. Many other world leaders including Castro are going to join as well.
The USA refuses to join or it may send a low-key representative. America is fearing that Arab states may use the conference to condemn Israel and to equate Zionism with Racism and ethnic cleansing. The state department declared that Powell would not attend.
What an irony? Pwoel as an African American, whose people have suffered racism and slavery for so long, declines and contradicts his heritage and his self. At this time, the memory of the great thinker, philosopher and freedom fighter Malcolm X comes alive again. Because what he fought for is timeless. Malcolm X went through major self examination and reform to arrive to the world stage in the 60s and gain an international recognition in the fight for his people and promote the cause as an international human rights issue. Malcolm X resented black Americans like Powel.
The ever articulate and eloquent speaker Malcolm X described past slaves as of two kinds. One kind is the field slaves. The other is the 妬n house slaves. For Malcolm he hated and resented the 妬n house slaves more than anything. He said they were the ones who hold PHDs and speak and act like their masters and love their masters more than the master loves himself. Pwoel, in the eyes of Malcolm X would undoubtedly qualifies as an 妬n house slave.
For Pwoel refusing to join such an important conference manifests that the US has failed to solve its racial problems. And that in turn reflects on its policies of dealing with other people of different races and civilizations. The Palestinians are paying a heavy toll from such racist policies coming from top levels in the White House. Otherwise, how do we explain the US insistence on not equating Zionism with racism? What does occupation mean? What does it mean to support an occupying power against the will of a civilian population whose dream is simply to live in peace and dignity? What does it mean to subjecate half the Palestinian population to live in miserable refugee camps for the last 50 years? A refugee lives in Gaza can see his original town of Majdal (Ashqalon) only 20 KM away but totally denied his right to return to his house where a Russian Jew for example can arrive today and lives there.
A local prominent leader of the Arab minority in Israel, Dr.Azmi Bshara has fought racism and discrimination inside Israel for long years. In his words, he described the state of Israel as the state of apartheid. He said, the state of Israel is supposed to be for Jews, made for the Jews, planned for the Jews and only for the Jews. He added, it is a separation system of every single daimention of life.
In Hebron City, a local story became famous. A Palestinian father asked for an ambulance to take his daughter to the hospital. She was injured accidentally inside the home. The Israeli soldier refused to let the father take his daughter to the ambulance. A standing by Palestinian shopkeeper told the soldier, what you're doing is like what the Nazi Germans did. The soldier replied, they are Germans but we are Jews.
To this very moment, Israel's conduct in the occupied territories is an embodiment of racism. Imagine 1100 settlers living on 40% of the total land of Gaza strip. The rest is barely enough to move for the 1.2 million Palestinians. Those 1100 fanatics along with the Army destroy homes, uproot trees and terrorize commuters on the road. Today, Israeli tanks have separated Rafah City from the Khan younis in the south of Gaza Strip completely. They simply sent in 18 tanks positioning themselves on the road and threatening people from going to their homes. Also, the town centers of Bit -lahem and Beit Jala are taken over by tanks in the West Bank.
After one week from today, the conference in Durban will announce a declaration. Palestinians hope along with the rest of the conscientious humans that Israel will be singled out as racist. And the Palestinians have the right to resist occupation.
Here, in the occupied territories, under the fire and sounds of machine guns, American F16s and Apaches, missiles, tanks shelling etc, we reach out to the brave conscientious souls in Durban, South Africa and salute you for your firm stands. For Free Palestine is not only for the Palestinians alone but rather for a free humanity for the triumph of the human spirit in its relentless quest for dignity and freedom. All the best of luck.
Aug. 29th. 2001
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