Saturday, September 5, 2009

A big thank you

By Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada, 4 September 2009

"......Tomorrow we all will go back to the dismal reality in which Palestinian students are imprisoned daily without trial in Nablus, Palestinian children are killed near Ramallah, as also happened today. We will return to the reality of house demolitions as occurred two weeks ago in Jerusalem, of the continued strangulation of the Gaza Strip and the overall dispossession of Palestinians, wherever they are. But today of all days, those of us who happened to be here on the ground saw a light, a very powerful light, illuminating for a very short moment, the horizon of a different reality of peace and reconciliation.

And it was all due to the decision of the Norwegian government to withdraw its investments in the Israeli hi-tech company Elbit (due to the latter's involvement in the construction and maintenance of the apartheid wall). We have to keep a proportional view on this: only one section of Elbit, Elbit Systems, was affected. But the significance is not about who was targeted, but rather who took the decision: the Norwegian ministry of finance through its ethical council. No less important was the manner in which it was taken: the minister herself announced the move in a press conference. This is what transformed for a short while the media scene in the Zionist state.........

This is a clear message for all the good people in the West looking for ways of helping the Palestinians in their moment of nadir. They want to march and sail peacefully to Gaza, they wish to facilitate more meetings between Israelis and Palestinians and are adamant despite all the hurdles to volunteer in the occupied territories. These are all noble actions but changing the public opinion in the West, is what people in the West can do best. And if one government has already shifted significantly the name and the rules of the game -- be it in a very minor decision that may still be revised under the tidal Zionist reaction, others will surely follow. For the time being all we can say is a huge thank you to a brave politician that will enter the pages of history as someone who paved the way to a better future for everyone in Israel and Palestine."

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