Monday, 12 July 2010

Truth, What Truth?

When a Massacre is not a Massacre

When a truth is not a truth

I don't write poems but, in any case, poems are not poems.

Long ago, I was made to understand that Palestine was not Palestine;

I was also informed that Palestinians were not Palestinians;

They also explained to me that ethnic cleansing was not ethnic cleansing.

And when naive old me saw freedom fighters they patiently showed me

that they were not freedom fighters, and that resistance was not resistance.

And when, stupidly, I noticed arrogance, oppression and humiliation

they benevolently enlightened me so I can see that arrogance was not arrogance,

oppression was not oppression, and humiliation was not humiliation.

I saw misery, racism, inhumanity and a concentration camp.

But they told me that they were experts in misery, racism, inhumanity and concentration camps
and I have to take their word for it:

this was not misery, racism, inhumanity and a concentration camp.

Over the years they've taught me so many things:

invasion was not invasion, occupation was not occupation,

colonialism was not colonialism and apartheid was not apartheid.

They opened my simple mind to even more complex truths that my poor brain could not on its own compute like:

"having nuclear weapons" was "not having nuclear weapons,"

"not having weapons of mass destruction" was "having weapons of mass destruction."

And, democracy (in the Gaza Strip) was not democracy.

Having second class citizens (in Israel) was democracy.

So you'll excuse me if I am not surprised to learn today

that there were more things that I thought were evident that are not:

peace activists are not peace activists, piracy is not piracy,

the massacre of unarmed people is not the massacre of unarmed people.

I have such a limited brain and my ignorance is unlimited.

And they're so fucking intelligent. Really.

By Ghassan Hage, professor of anthropology and social theory at the University of Melbourne.


Rod Cox said...

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Maha said...

Dear Mr. Cox

I am simply writing to tell you God Bless you for your efforts in bringing to the attention of the world the plight and misery of the people of Gaza. Indeed this is both a noble and humane thing and I hope to God that other Westerners learn from you.

A voice of truth is always gladly heard and heralded and I do believe you have made an enemy of the zionists for revealing their true color.

Again God Bless you in your humane endeavor and keep you safe.

max said...

Amira Hass, Gideon Levy and the other 16 Jews of conscience still living in israel should be airlifted to safety. Then Israel should be attacked with napalm and high explosives and destroyed forever. It's no longer possible to feel the slightest sympathy for them. 'Death to Israel' must be the rallying cry of all Jews and non-Jews of character worldwide.

The idea of the Israeli "people" living in harmony with anyone is preposterous.

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