Pop Impulse is gratified to have carried Sameh Habeeb's daily feed from on-the-ground in Gaza during the recent Israeli military incursion and bombardment. Sameh, a photojournalist and a very brave young man, spent time every day documenting individual acts of Israeli aggression. His own blog, Gaza Today, has been a source of information and an anchor to his daily, email feed. Today, The Author is pleased to observe the current cease-fire by publishing the following article, penned by Sameh's father, Dr. Akram Habeeb, a professor and Palestinian scholar of note.
By: Dr. Akram Habeeb
Assistant Professor in American Lit based in Gaza
As an Americanist and a Palestinian intellectual who is not affiliated to any political party in Palestine, I feel that I have to stand up and speak out. I have to speak about the faulty policy which feeds the spirit of hatred and resentment. Almost every man, woman and child in the world knows that the American policy in the Middle East during the two terms of Bush's Administration is distinguished by being biased and double standard. Very few, however, are easily deceived by the glittering rhetoric made by some American politicians, particularly, the most articulate outgoing Secretary of States Dr. Condaliza Rice! Dr. Condi was very smart when she declared at the outset of the most brutal Israeli war on Gaza that it was the Palestinian side which is held responsible for violating the six -month truce. She was even smarter when she concluded her career by signing an MOU (Memo of Understanding), which is completely in favor of the Israelis. It is an MOU which further tightens the siege on Gaza and allows Israel to posses more American WMD to kill more Palestinians.
The most disturbing statement about the situation in Gaza was made by Dr. Rice was when she declared that it was the Palestinian side who violated the truce and subsequently is responsible for what is happening in Gaza. Such a statement is easy to be made by Ms. Condi whose accomplishments in America's foreign policy were spectacular! She promised that by 2008 the presidents vision of two states would be concretized. It seems though that she succeeded in having two Palestinian cantons, one in Gaza, and the other in the West Bank ! So we can easily say that Ms. Rice succeeded in fulfilling her President's vicious vision of having two viable Palestinian states.
Perhaps Dr. Rice was the most frequent visitor to the Middle East when compared with her predecessors. The normal expectation has been that Ms. Rice would have a deeper understanding of the Middle East crisis in general, and the Palestinian side in particular. As Palestinians living in Gaza, we expected Ms. Rice to have done some research about the demography of Gaza. We also expected here to have done some
investigations about the psyche of the true victims living in Gaza. We are not sure if Dr. Rice knows that more than seventy percent of the Palestinians living in Gaza are Palestinian refugees who had been kicked out of their towns and villages in Palestine . We are not certain if Dr. Rice knows that most of the Israelis who replaced the displaced Palestinians had come from far off land, from diverse countries to establish a state on the land of other people. It seems that Ms. Rice is very happy to see the Palestinians suffer under siege; she wants them to sing for peace in a big cage called Gaza, and if they protest by sending home made or ineffective Chinese rockets, she will hold them responsible for the mess!
The most recent MOU signed by Dr. Condi and Ms. Livne, one of the most notorious Israeli war criminals, stipulates that the American government helps in preventing weapons smuggling into Gaza. According to Ms. Condi, the signing of this MOU is only a step in the process towards a permanent seize fire. Of course she speaks about a process which gives the Israeli more time for human cleansing in Gaza; she wants to give the Israeli army more time to kill more Palestinian children and women. However, unfortunately this MOU does not stipulate that the American government stops sending weapons of mass destruction to Israel. The MOU does not speak about the most sophisticated weapons, the American government is giving for free to Israel to kill Palestinian children and women in Gaza. The MOU does not talk about any practical procedure to ban Israel from using DIM and White Phosphorus bombs that kill Palestinian children by burning their little and tender bodies.
The MOU has ignored the fact that the Palestinian living in Gaza are occupied ; they are not terrorist as promulgated by the colonial rhetoric; they are freedom fighters who want their legitimate rights, they are people who want to live in dignity like all the peoples of the world. The MOU has never included anything related to lifting the siege imposed in Gaza by opening crossings for humanitarian purposes. The Palestinians in Gaza do not bank much on the American government but rather on the good American people, the good people who do not want to see the tax they pay used in building the Israeli arsenal of mass destruction which is used to threaten the Arab people, in general, and the Palestinian people in particular.
Indeed Bush's administration has left the soon coming Obama's administration with a heavy legacy; a legacy of anger and resentment against the biased American government which does not represent the American voice which calls for freedom, independence and dignity. It is a heavy burden Obama's administration should waive. We hope, though that Obama's administration follows a different policy , a policy which is based on objectivity and transparency . We hope that Ms. Clinton, Condi's successor would be the one who would improve the image of America in the Middle East and the Islamic world. We are sure that Ms. Clinton would be more objective and realistic when she deals with the Palestinian Issue. We hope that the Administration would follow policy which balances between the nationalistic aspirations of the Palestinians and the divine dream of the Jews, those who totally disagree with the massacres committed by the Israeli army against the innocent Palestinian in Gaza.
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