By Dr. Elias Akleh
I could not hold my tears while watching on TV the fifth commemoration of the attacks of 911, listening to the names of the three thousand victims recited solemnly, and listening to families remembering their lost ones. My eyes shed even more tears for the Palestinian victims, who are being murdered daily in 911-like attacks against their civilian communities by the most militarily advanced Israeli army. The murders of these Palestinian victims are rarely reported on the news, and their ongoing tragedies are totally ignored by the political international communities in particular by those, who claim to uphold and defend human rights, freedom and democracy. In his speech President Bush, the self-proclaimed fighter against global terrorism, had never uttered a word about Palestinian terror victims.
While the US has experienced only one “911” terrorist attack, the Palestinians are still experiencing “911” terrorist attacks daily. In fact terror attacks had been inflicted on the Palestinians for the last fifty nine years; starting from 1947 until today, making it the longest terrorizing period in modern history.
While few American buildings were destroyed, tens of Palestinian cities with their thousands of buildings – including family homes, mosques and churches, factories, farms, office buildings, government buildings, and clinics – had been completely obliterated, and replaced by illegal Israeli colonies. This destruction is still going on every day in the forms of bulldozing and aerial bombardments of family homes, destruction of factories and office buildings, and razing and confiscating farm lands. While Americans can and are rebuilding, Palestinians are deprived from this healing process.
Once a year Americans are commemorating their tragedy and honoring their victims by reciting the names of the three thousand victims. Palestinians, if allowed, would need every day of the year to commemorate their numerous tragedies, and to finish reciting the names of all their hundreds of thousands of victims.
While Americans are still free to pursue their freedom, prosperity, and happiness, the whole Palestinian nation has been deprived of such pursuance, millions of them live in Israeli-made ghettos surrounded by high wall, and other millions had been forcefully evicted from their homes and from their lands by the Israeli Terrorist Army, and are now living in the slums of poor refugee camps scattered in foreign lands.
While Americans sympathize with the hundreds of children of their victims, who lost their fathers before they were born, and who, according to President Bush, “still long for daddies who will never cradle them in their arms”, there is nobody to sympathize with the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children, who lost their fathers before they were born and who are also longing for their daddies to cradle them.
While American rescuers – firefighters, medics, and everyday normal people- are celebrated as heroes for their rescue operations, and for giving up their own lives to save the lives of others, Palestinian rescuers and fighters, who gave up their lives to protect the lives of other Palestinians from the Israeli Terrorist Army, are called terrorist instead of heroes.
While Americans were allowed, and were given the right, to seek justice (revenge) and were “justified” in destroying Afghanistan, murdering hundreds of thousands of civilians, leading illegal war against innocent Iraq, destroying most of its cities, murdering more hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, and declaring a perpetual war against what they labeled “global Islamic terrorists”, Palestinians were deprived even from the right to defend themselves and to protect their own lives. Such acts are labeled terrorist acts. Palestinians, like Afghanis, Iraqis, and Lebanese, are expected by Israel and by Bush/Cheney administration to thankfully accept the terror inflicted on them, and bless it as freedom and democracy.
While Americans are still enjoying life moving freely within their country, Palestinian communities are isolated from each other and are imprisoned within a (25 feet high by 786 km long) cement jailing wall. Gaza Strip, with its 1.2 million citizens, is surrounded by this wall making it the biggest concentration prison in the world. This Israeli wall reminds me of the fascist Rodolfo Grasiani (Mussolini’s military general in Libya in 1929), who built a wired wall 300 km long, 2 meters high, and 3 meters wide containing horrific concentration camps (such as Al-Agaila camp) in the Libyan desert, where he imprisoned whole Libyan communities of estimated 125 thousand civilians, of which 80 thousands of them had died out of hunger, thirst, sickness and hanging. In Gaza Strip Palestinians are under financial and economic siege, and are daily and routinely murdered by Israeli military snipers and their homes are bombed by Israeli American-made planes.
While all world nations –including Palestinians- had prayed for and sympathized with the 911 American victims, and had denounced this terrorist attack, very few dared to express their sympathy with the Palestinians victims, or to denounce Israeli terror for fear of the wrath of the American Bush/Cheney administration, the unconditional protector of the Israeli state terror.
While the identity of 911 terrorists are still questionable since Bush/Cheney administration did not really offered any tangible and legally accredited proofs that “Islamic terrorists” were the real villains, the Palestinians, on the other hand, do not have a shred of doubt that the Israeli army, is the terrorizing tool of the Israeli government, that perpetrate all the murders, all the kidnapping and imprisonment, all the civilian home demolitions, and all the Palestinian land razing and usurpations.
While President Bush, in his 911 speech, had accused “a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam (Islamic fascism): a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent”, and whose goal is “to build a radical Islamic empire”, he ignored the Zionist Israeli terrorist state, which is prescribed to a prejudiced god with an ultimate racist religious belief of “God’s chosen people in God’s promised land”, and whose goal is to build “Great Israel” or the “New Zionist Middle East” that has no tolerance to any other human race or to any other religion. Israel is the terrorist state and is backed and supported by the Bush/Cheney administration.
-Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent, born in the town of Beit-Jala and lives in the US.
© Amin.org (September 17, 2006)