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July 06, 2007

So; Hamas, Alan Johnson, the mid–east problems and other belly laughs.

After the release of Alan Johnson I asked my girlfriend’s dad (who was a big wig in BBC radio news) if this meant that Hamas was suddenly a good thing. I realised as the words left my lips that this was simplifying the situation and had very little bearing on the complex reality of the situation outside of the media maelstrom. The response that I got was to be expected; to the effect that it was all complicated, internal Palestinian politics. Suddenly, through the media, I understand that our government’s relations with and diplomatic position towards Hamas is a hot topic. I hear it discussed on a special student edition of Newsnight (that is to be commended for tackling some very pertinent issues well) and I read about it on the BBC News website:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6274980.stm
Although I know that the BBC is not considered entirely impartial (by either side of the debate) it just showed that these issues are being approached with the utmost seriousness but the establishment in this country.
One of the sticking points on Newsnight was that, unlike in Northern Ireland, we are not directly affected by the conflict. And yet the same people who say this say that in Iraq it was our duty to the stability of the world to intervene.
Well I think it’s pretty clear that the Palestinian people (who are not as a whole barbaric child murderers or anti-semites on a genocidal level, but are in fact normal people with hopes, dreams, desires and personal agency) are a very desperate people, a people so desperate that they are forced by circumstance to elect a known fundamentalist organisation into power, who they know is likely to be ignored by the international community.
This isn’t an issue of a basic occupation, it spreads like a cancer, both sides terrorising the other and any political group on either side not fighting to improve the world and people’s experiences on the ground but simply attempting to maintain their own power and control. The key is the right of return, a divine right claimed by Zionists but conferred to them by us the British, in that moment we lit the touch paper, even if in good faith. Also at issue is the right of return for the millions of Palestinian refugees and descendents of refugees who live in appalling conditions and who have been taken in, to some extent, by neighbours; which is why Lebanon’s infrastructure was dismantled and thousands of innocents were killed last year.

I read this section of the BBC article and believed the Aids metaphor was being spoken by a prominent member of Hamas, only on a second reading did I realised that this was an Isreali attempt to decipher the Hamas rhetoric:
“Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, the Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev rejected the idea that Hamas was moving along a political track, had implicitly recognised the existence of Israel and would accept a Palestinian state standing alongside it.
He said that while he accepted the existence of Aids, he would still like to destroy it. In other words, Israel believes that Hamas – whatever it says for foreign consumption, is still out to kill Jews.”
But the solution in my opinion doesn’t require Hamas to recognise Israel at all, because ideally Hamas as an organisation would be phased out as the violent urges and desperate opinions that brought them to power are addressed. We only have to look into Israel itself to see that its constitution says it will treat all of its citizens fairly but when one looks at the statistics all one sees is endemic racism. Cancer is a far better analogy to my mind as cancer can be beaten if it hasn’t spread too far whereas Aids is a slow decline until total failure claims the victim. But in fighting cancer both sides have to fight the racism, the belief in the clash of civilisations and the subconscious apocalyptic hallucination that can so easily consume us en-masse.
If the 2-state solution is brought into practice in an attempt to stop oppression, save lives, and create stability in the region and the world; building a platform from which we can progress together as one species on one world, the cultural solution must be bi-national and simultaneously global.
I don’t want to speak for either side and be branded a lefty or a neocon, I only want to speak for myself and the people who are obliged to work for me through our supposed ‘ideal democracy’ and say that we must stop arms sales and pay our price for abandoning the people and their real and complicated issues so we could sit nostalgically on our island of splendid isolation. Perhaps that is the lesson we can learn from attacks on our soil rather than simply alienating our brothers and sisters, whatever their colour, their beliefs or their history through thoughtless, simplified 24-hour media and politics. We must speak out against our highly constructed climate of fear, fundamentalists and power clutching point scorers.

“Nah nah nah, we’re not listening” hasn’t cut it since we were six.

And then Tony Blair wades in and brings his healing hands to bear.
He’s trustworthy and shit:
“Reconciliation, reconciliation, reconciliation.”
Jingoistic cunt.

Wouldn’t the whole thing work out better if we took it out of the hands of the men of these countries and let the women have a go? Oh wait maybe we should test that here first. I forgot, politics is the art of avoiding hypocrisy.
Is it sexist to say they have a better understanding of what it means to lose a child? We don’t even need a God to tell us women are inferior, we have the remnants of a patriarchal and page 3.

Excuse any typos and points of unwieldy opinion or incorrect facts; I’m not much of a proof-reader or a politician. Actually, don’t excuse the incorrect facts, correct them. But allow me my typos. X x


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