Tuesday, July 3, 2007
By Gilad Atzmon
"..... was amazed to see Turks and Cypriots running grocery shops side by side in Green Lane. My first roommate was a Palestinian M.A. student from Beit Sahour, it all felt natural. It didn’t take long before I fell in love with the town and decided to make it into my permanent home.
At the time, Britain was very different from the place I came from. In my homeland the human landscape was officially reduced into two types. In a manner of crude binary opposition there was always a clear division between the ‘Good’ and the ‘Bad’, the ‘us’ and the ‘them’, the ‘West’ and the ‘East’ or just the ‘Jews’ and the ‘Arabs’. In the place I came from, peace couldn’t even be seen on the horizon. But in the London of the 1990s, there was no such dichotomy. Painfully enough, this has changed. On a daily basis our media outlets repeat the idiotic question: “Why do they hate us so much?” By now it is rather clear, the binary opposition between ‘us’ and ‘them’ has made it into an integral part of the British discourse as well.
When I moved over in the early 1990s, British politics was very boring. John Major was in power. But then, not before long, a young, dynamic, visionary politician removed him from office. This politician is a man who has managed in just ten years to demolish one of the most harmonious societies in the West. Tony Blair, the great new Labour promise, had been running the country for a decade; he managed to drag this country into every possible conflict, and to escalate minor conflict to crisis levels. He has managed to lie repeatedly to his people, his parliament and his cabinet, he has launched an illegal war that cost over 700,000 innocent civilian lives. He obviously failed to see the impact those wars may have on his multi-ethnic society at home......."