Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alice Walker and Torquemada Tutu

Alice Walker bravely declares her solidarity with the one party, mysogynistic, homophobic, civilian-targeting, supremacist monocultural regime in Gaza, but her penetrating and morally pure gaze somehow misses the bloodbath in Syria just a few hundred kilometres further north, the Kurd's 40 year struggle for autonomy and the Turks ruthless repression thereof, the ethnic displacement of Tibetans by Han Chinese and Chinese domination of the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang "autonomous" region, the plight of the Saharawis in Morroccan claimed Western Sahara  the Russian dismemberment of Chechnya and a dozen other disputes around the world.
Yes I understand these conflicts - despite the fact that they have taken more lives and arguably caused more suffering than the Israeli Palestinian conflict - aren't as sexy in the West, and a fading intellectual has to ensure he/she remains relevant,  Or perhaps it is not a blatant populism that motivates the acclaimed novelist, but rather that she went to the same seminary as Bishop Tutu,  her grandstand stance underwritten by the assumptions that Tutu suckled on from the missionary breast that fed him - that Jews must and always are intrinsically guilty of some extraordinary misdeed. But perhaps, Ms Walker, the myopic focus on the Palestinian issue is what has allowed the other opressions to continue largely unchecked in the background - dictators and demagogues have long used the "blame the Jews" strategy as a way of distracting from their own machinations and destructive agendas. 
Since its creation in June 2006 the so called UN Human Rights Council"  has criticized Israel on 27 separate occasion. Obsessed with condemning Israel, the Council in its first year failed to condemn human rights violations occurring in any of the world’s 191 other countries. In its second year, the Council finally criticized one other country when it “deplored” the situation in Burma, but only after it censored out initial language containing the word “condemn.” It even praised Sudan for its "cooperation." 

The Council’s preoccupation with Israel is not limited to resolutions. Israel is the only country listed on the Council’s permanent agenda, and Israel is the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that examines the actions of only one side, presumes those actions to be violations, and which is not subject to regular review." For detailed information on the pathological obsession with Israel see UN Watch 
Yes Israel is a stumbling democracy where the rule of law is being savaged on a day to day basis, and where increasingly fear and resentment of the other has come to dominate national discourse and strongly impact on policy. Yes Israel hangs in the balance as a democracy. Yes there is no proper separation off synagogue and state in Israel. Yes Israel has a poor track record of service provision to its Moslem citizens, and of discrimination against Conservative and Reform Judaism. Yes Jewish supremacists murdered an Israeli prime minister because he sought a historic compromise with the Palestinians. And yes Israel has the freest press in the middle east, the most minority group and female representatives in the Knesset and High Courts, the largest and freeest gay community in the middle east, and many other wins that some western democracies still have not achieved.
And yes, Israel's enemies are not democracies, do not extend the hand of peace to Israel, do not acknowledge the validity of Israel's narrative, and do not talk the talk or walk the walk of co-existence. And yes Israel's neighbours - including the Palestinians both in Gaza and in the West Bank (the biblical Yehuda and Shomron) supress difference and dissent amongst their own poulation with a savagery and furiosity Israel has never adopted.
Examine your own unconscious predjudices Ms Walker! And on your grand imperial tour of Gaza, please skip across the border to Sderot and Nachal Oz and Kfar Aza and Mefalsim and Gevim and Ashkelon and the other tens of towns and villages where children spend their days cowering in bomb shelters to try and stay safe from the Hamas missiles and mortars aimed indiscriminately at schools and hospitals.


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