Thursday, October 19, 2006
By Salim Nazzal
(Dr. Salim Nazzal is a Palestinian historian. He has written extensively on social and political issues in the Middle East)
"The important question for Palestinians, if Katzav is discovered after few years to be simply a rapist who takes advantage of his post to rape a young woman, how long will it take the world community to discover the Zionist rape of Palestine which took place 58 years ago? As readers know well I use the rape of Palestine in allegorical perspective, in the political dimension if you will, because if rape means to impose sex on a woman against her well, Zionists impose themselves self on Palestinians by acts of terror and violence. The next important question is, if this young Israeli woman brings Katzav to trial, is that not hope to Palestinians to bring the whole Zionist project to trial. In my view they should do so and according to my perspective a trial for war criminal Zionists is a matter of time.
Therefore to reach the greater goal, we need to throw a small stone in the quiet lake and ask why punishing a small rapist and overlooking a greater rape??? Why justice implemented in minor cases and ignored in major cases?
What made the young Israeli woman endure all the hardships are in her words “the desire for justice”, the question is, are not Palestinians 'literary speaking' motivated by the same desire for justice? More than this, in the simplest form of logic, who is more eager to implement justice, more than the people deprived from justice? Socrates was right, Questions open up cases. Therefore for the sake of justice we need to keep asking questions about justice, to press for specific answers to our questions: from the UN which keep tons of unimplemented resolutions in favor of Palestinians which were never honored by Israel. From the west which backs and stands for the creation of Israel on the ruins of the existing native Palestinians.
Questions should be straightforward, Why the west did so, how can the west legitimize morally and politically and legally the support to the occupation contrary to laws, contrary to logic, contrary to civil codes, and how can the west help Palestinians to restore what they lost? Questions should not pause, why other nations are given UN protection and Palestinian must bear unprotected the brutality of the Israeli occupation? To echo Kant, Palestinians should not give up questions because these questions are part of their existence and part of their struggle towards truth and justice.
As in the following story, the Palestinian old man faced the policy of the (selective memory) with his simple yet powerful question .In the aftermath of the Zionist ethnic cleansing war of 1948 which uprooted around 70 percent of Palestinian from their ancestral homes, an American congressman came to meet the Palestinian refugees to tell them that the USA is ready to help them with food and with other humanitarian needs.
When the congressman finished his speech he asked through the translator if there is any questions, An old Palestinian stood up and told the congressman thank you for offering the help but why do you not help us to return back to our villages because there we can plant corn ourselves, the congressman had no answer, after 58 years the American administration has not or chose not to answer, yet the powerful question is still creating echoes? Such echoes survived simply because the “justice principle” say historians ,is a decisive factor in construction the political realities .The Egyptian film director Yousef Shahen points at the power of great ideas .In his film (Al-Masir, the destiny) the hero says that ideas are like birds with wings, they can fly and reach to remote places. Indeed history demonstrates this: Lincoln was murdered physically but the idea of equality survived and became stronger, Ghandi was murdered but his ideas about peace, love and coexistence became lighthouses for all humans."