Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Arrogance and Desecration
By NICOLA NASSER
"The Israeli arrogance of being the regional military super power, unequivocally backed by the U.S. world super power, is dictating a kind of politics that deals trivially with the national and religious grievances of Israel's geopolitical neighbors, whom the Jewish state is supposedly aspiring to live with in peace and as a regional integral part, while at the same time she is pursuing policies that antagonize those same neighbors to preclude altogether whatever potential is left for peace......
However the Israeli arrogance of power, from previous experience, is betting on the Arab, Islamic and peace-loving roaring protests being without teeth and that they would as in past similar cases subsidize, of course after the usual falling of Palestinian "martyrs!".....
Whatever name you give to it -- being "construction," "modernization," "renovation," "Judaization" or "archeological excavations" -- a process of cultural cleansing of Jerusalem has been going on in the Holy City since Israel occupied it in 1967.
Islam's third holiest site in Jerusalem is the heart and soul of the Arab and Palestinian national, religious, historical and cultural heritage and the symbol of their more than 5.000-year uninterrupted existence on the land, long before the Hebrews swept into Palestine through the blood of butchered men, women and children of the completely destructed Jericho, according to the Old Testament. Destruction of Al Aqsa Mosque would, God forbids, crown the Israeli cleansing of the Palestinian cultural structure after obliterating their existential infrastructure.
Robert Bevan, author of "The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War," should have visited Jerusalem or at least should have got access to the Holy City to update his book with the latest example of cultural cleansing in modern history: "The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then you have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was," he wrote in an opening for the second chapter of his book, quoting from Milan Kundera's The Book Of Laughter and Forgetting.
A reviewer of Bevan's book, Abe Hayeem, (an architect and member of Architects & Planners for Justice) wrote on 3 February 2006: "Israel's otherisation' of the Palestinians by the building of the Separation Barrier, while destroying thousands of houses, trees and farms, and creating what are in effect vast prison enclaves, has ironic echoes of the ghettos that European Jews experienced." Hayeem missed upgrading his review by how the Israeli occupation has changed Jerusalem's landscape, including renaming its historical sites and even streets......."