Saturday, September 9, 2006

Israel’s Barrier to Peace

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s note: In this Dig, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” examines the way Israel’s security wall has ripped a mortal gash in the lives of Palestinians living in its shadow, and argues that there can be no hope for peace in the Middle East as long as America continues to aid Israel in its dehumanizing practices.

"But this branding of these militants as something less than human, as something that reasonable people cannot hope to understand, is possible only because we have ignored and disregarded the decades of repression, the crushing weight of occupation, the abject humiliation and violence, unleashed on Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel because of our silence and indifference. It is the Israeli penchant for violence and occupation that slowly created and formed these frightening groups.

The failure by the outside world to react to the years of brutal repression, the refusal by the United States to intercede on behalf of the occupied Lebanese and Palestinians, gradually formed and galvanized the radicals who now occupy the stage with Israel, answering death for death, atrocity for atrocity.

Those inside these zones of occupation pleaded over the years for help. We refused to listen. And once they burst through these barriers, enraged, bloodied, bent on revenge, we recoiled in horror, unable to see our complicity. We asked them to be quiet, to be reasonable, to calm down, and when they did not, their blood heated by years of abuse and neglect, we condemned them to their fate.

We watch the woman. She is keening slightly. People are being destroyed by the serpent’s teeth of the wall, springing up from the soil of the West Bank like the evil warriors sown by Cadmus. This for me is the story, not the amount of concrete or coils of razor wire or razed olive groves and villages, but what all this is doing to human souls."

A long article, but well worth reading by one of my favorite writers, Chris Hedges.

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