A Sickening Day
by Ali Abunimah, October 12, 2000
ali@abunimah.org, http://www.abunimah.org

It is not often that I do not have the fortitude to face the news. Today as I listen to the BBC and read the news wires, I feel physically sick, nauseous. I wish I could go home and hide under the covers from the overwhelming lies and the overwhelming crimes.

With my eyes I read the report of the funeral of a nine-year old school boy, Sami Abu Jazar, who was killed when an Israeli rubber-coated steel bullet cracked his head open like an egg and settled in his brain . His immediate crime is that he was coming home from school. But his unforgiveable, eternal crime is that he is Palestinian.

With my ears I hear Israeli Major General Yarden Vatikai justifying the bombardment of Ramallah today and the "restrained," killing and injuring of thousands, because for two weeks Israel has been "under attack," and has been "terrorized" by Palestinians. These are the lies of sick people, who stand on top of piles of bodies when they make their shameless declarations to the world. Vatikai declared that the Palestinians "have only themselves to blame." When one Israeli commits an act it is the act of one person. When a Palestinian commits an act, all Palestinians are guilty, and all are targets. All must pay the price.

When I woke up to the news that two Israeli soldiers, apparently undercover agents has been killed in Ramallah, it was clear to me that the media, the politicians, the spokesmen would show all the moral outrage, all the concern, and all the hysteria that they failed to display during two weeks while Palestinians were being butchered by the most powerful army in the Middle East. All the world went mad for the two Israeli soldiers killed today, while they ignored Sami and the two other Palestinians who were shot dead yesterday. Small, lead tokens of Israel's love for peace settling in their hearts and heads stopping for ever their dreams.

But then we are reminded that the Israelis are just "defending themselves." Palestinians are not human beings who want dignity. They are merely robots follwoing the orders of their sad, pathetic "leader." The Palestinians are committing the grave crime of wanting freedom, of standing up for themselves, of saying enough of occupation, enough of settlement, enough of ethnic cleansing, enough of lies.

How many times this week have I heard spokesmen say that children who throw stones deserve the death penalty? Also children who don't throw stones, who merely try to exist in their own land. They deserve the death penalty too.

But this should not surprise us. What we are seeing unfold in Palestine is the same murder of children that we have seen in Iraq for ten years but in slow motion.

We have fools and clowns and calculating killers for "leaders."

They call for "both sides" to show restraint, while they pat the helicopter pilots on the back. What restraint could Sami Abu Jazar have shown to stop the bullet entering his head? What restraint could 12 year old Muhammad al-Dura have shown to stop himself being riddled with bullets as he hid behind his father? What restraint could 18 month-old Sara have shown to stop a settler from spraying her father's car with bullets and killing her?

I don't have much else to say. I will save my remaining words for the radio hosts who want to know why Yasir Arafat won't stop the violence.

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