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MATE-Agadir Forum Editorial--JAN 2009

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MATE-Agadir Forum Editorial--JAN 2009

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:26 pm

Dear Colleagues,
this month editorial is by Mr. HASSIM who is an ELT Supervisor in the delegation of Zagoura and a former MATE President.


Action for Gaza/Palestine is needed
By Mohammed Hassim

Some events like the one taking place in Gaza these days force one to rethink many taken for granted terms/notions such as: human rights, international law, tolerance, dialogue, terrorism, equality, etc. These words lose meaning and become mere sounds or scripts that nobody can tell for sure or feel comfortable to explain what they exactly mean.

Eventslike the Israeli’s assault on Gaza and the support Israel receives fromsome superpowers make one feel hopeless towards international law andjustice. Sometimes you feel even skeptic when you hear them speak about peace, tolerance, dialogue, etc. Perhaps they are talking about something we don’t understand well nowadays. The meanings of these words seem to have changed so substantially and dramatically that they need to be redefined or to be replaced by other words that can hold the original meanings.

The superpowers are responsible for all what’s happening in Gaza or anywhere else in the world where similar events are taking place. They are watching over a genocide, holocaust, massacre, war crimes … and act as if it is, and they say it is, a self defense act. What if we say that what Hitler did in the Second World War for the Jews was a self-defense action? Of course all the superpowers and the western world would feel disgusted and would go mad and we would be called terrorists. This is exactly how we feel as peace lovers and justice seekers when we hear them say: Gaza genocide is a self-defense action. Put simply, they are partners of the genocide taking place in Gaza . They are responsible for the growing hatred around the world towards anything coming from the west. The Israeli political, religious, and military extremisms are breeding all types of extremisms around the world. In simple words, the world will not become more peaceful as long as Israel is doing what it does with the support of the west and the superpowers.

Thewest and the superpowers and the seemingly world leader, USA, are helping people in so many places in the world and are providing huge amounts of money in the form of aid to help those countries toestablish democracy, fight poverty, foster human rights, abolish gender discrimination, etc. They are pouring huge amounts of money to NGOs who are involved in this. With what’s happening now in Palestine and with the loss of meaning syndrome that human values terms suffer from, the situation looks almost like when a person grows livestock, feed them, and take care of their needs till they grow fat, then slaughter them or sell them to the people who will slaughter them and use them for their food and consumption. The only difference is that the slaughtered in Gaza and elsewhere are human beings and the human values represented in terms such as the one stated above.

We have been speaking of double standards in international law and international relationships. What’s happening now is even worse. The superpowers give you aid with one hand and stab you to death with the other. I so many times feel perplexed towards the relationships we develop with the western world. We innocently believe in those terms stated at the beginning, then at a certain moment in a different context, we find the same countries get involved in wars where so many innocent civilians are killed and where our initially shared human values are made void of meaning for mere geopolitical and economic interests. There are killing actions of civilians in many parts of the world conducted or supported by those countries or they are supporting countries like Israel doing the same thing or far worse. The big gap between the aid they provide us and the killings they are indulged into makes one think and rethink of the sort of relationship that may exist between the two opposing attitudes. Why do the same countries behave in two opposing ways? The only answer that I could find is the above stated analogy of the livestock and the slaughterer.

When one comes to such conclusion at any moment in history, something should change in our attitudes and actions. It has proven throughout history that there has never been an occupying force/country which has ever given the occupied their rights and withdrawn from their territories except when they are obliged to do so. Since 1948, Israel has committed many massacres and atrocities against the Palestinians. During the last 30 years since Camp David negotiations, Israel has grown even more hostile and greedy for more land and blood. Israel has made benefit from every moment of international intentions for ending the Israeli-Palestinian (Arab) conflict. Israel has always been making attempts to deviate from the original core problem which is simply and plainly the occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories (including Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon). Today they are minimizing the whole problem to Hamas and its rockets (which barely kill anybody) and reducing the whole problem to the security of the Israelis. They are calling Hamas and the military Palestinian resistance terrorists; something that perfectly well could have been applied to the Americans fighting the British in the 18th century, the British/French fighting the
[justify]Nazis during the Second World War, the Moroccans/Algerians fighting the French in the fifties of the last century, etc.

The simple fact is: The Palestinians should have a country of their own with no siege/blockade. The international law/justice as represented by many clearly stated UN decisions and resolutions must be put to practice. There are occupied territories since 1948 and 1967. When and how will this be adjusted? If the war in the Middle East is for Israel security, then what about the Palestinians? ! They don’t even have a land they can call their own country. What sort of justice is this? What sort of international law is this? What is terrorism here? What are human rights? …? ...?

The superpowers and international law have proven unable to preserve justice, human rights, equality … In this case what can we do as people of the world, who have no mass distraction arms, to readjust the situation?

We can do a lot. Yes we can. Many people, individuals and groups, have been able to do it before and we too can do it now. Yes we can. Prophet Mohamed, Gandhi, Mandela …; the Indians, the Algerians, the Vietnamese … all of them could do it before. It goes without saying that we must denounce the Israeli atrocities and voice our opinion to the world. However, we need to have an enduring action plan of resistance and fighting for the Palestinian rights and for shared human universal values of justice, peace and equality.

As educationalists and human values activists, we can:
* teach and explain to our students and people we communicate with what the real problem is and how to resist all sorts of false and deformed facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

* set an agenda of special days and events throughout the year commemorating the atrocities and massacres committed by Israel and keep the passion for fighting and resisting the Israeli injustice alive and strong.

* resist all sorts and forms of relations with Israel and activities that involve Israelis whether directly or indirectly.

* boycott all goods and services that support Israel.

* expose pictures, facts, acts, speeches … that show the ugly face of Israel.

* collaborate with organizations and institutions that fight for the Palestinian rights.

* as teachers of English, prepare language activities that would help students understand the real problem in Palestine and acquire skills to express and get involved in resistance actions.

* organize events and meetings where people can meet to express their solidarity with the Palestinians and contribute financially and morally to help Palestinians resist and fight for their right.

* organize campaigns and ask people to sign petitions to support Palestinians in their fight for their basic rights for independence, security and dignity.

* use ICT as a powerful means to express, show, advertise opinions, facts, feelings… about the real problem in Palestine which is the Israeli occupation of Arab territories and Israeli massacres against Palestinians. etc.

These are but examples of the things that we can do and that can make a difference. We can create many other ways to make our voices heard and our actions recognized, using all legal, civilized, peaceful means
available to us. Our actions should be sustainable, durable and lasting. Israel and its supporters play on time and forgetfulness. Let’s not give them this opportunity and pass over our resistance to the coming generations till the final right and just solution see daylight. There are millions of people around the world like us, including Jews, Americans and Europeans; people who think and feel the way we do. Let’s work together to force the superpowers and world political decision makers to change their minds and sit seriously and urgently to settle the problem in the Middle East.

[justify]Humanity loses a lot; far more than the economic and geopolitical benefits that those superpowers gain now. We shouldn’t lose our human dignity and essence. People without commitment, without reaction and proaction against injustice, without active participation in what’s going on in the world today, won’t deserve to be called humans, but rather walking dead bodies. We are not walking dead bodies. The Palestinian children, women, civilians are human beings like the Americans, Israelis, Europeans … They are like you and me… If it has happened to them, what guarantees it would never happen to you or me? We share the same earth, the same race and the same destiny. Let’s work for a better, just, peaceful and worthwhile destiny. It sounds simple but needs us all to work for it.

Admin
Admin
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Location : Agadir - Morocco
Profession : EFL teacher
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