Sunday, 28 June 2015

Third Gaza flotilla: ‘This is about human rights and dignity’


From RT blog - Richard Sudan, is a London based writer, political activist, and performance poet. Follow him on Twitter

I never heard the word Palestine when I was in school. I can't speak for all of my former classmates, nor can I speak for all of my teachers.

But as I first began to write about the Palestinian cause a few years back, and began to understand what was happening, I became increasingly frustrated when newspapers would ask me to be ‘balanced’. On one level I get it. I understand that if a person is talking about a political event, a dispute, or a war, or something clear cut, both sides of the story must be told. The so-called Israel/Palestine question however, is not a conflict.

The Palestinians are defenseless and are constantly attacked by a state which has the unconditional support of the US. The word conflict evokes images of two even sides pitted against one another. Israel/Palestine is not a conflict, nor is it close to war. It's not even David and Goliath. It's more like a heavyweight boxer beating a small child, while people stand around like confused sheep insisting on the boxer's right to exist and defend himself. It's the kind of sickness and twisted psychology we've seen repeated throughout history, at which people gasp at in horror, but yet remains allowed to take place today. When Jews were massacred during WWII, people allowed it because they did not view Jewish people as complete human beings. Today, Palestinians are also being massacred, and people allow it because they view the Palestinians as less than human. This perception must be dealt with.

What do you do when talking about a people who have almost no voice, the Palestinians, and who have been oppressed for decades? How are they supposed to be heard when for the most part the media, and one of the most sophisticated armed forces in the world, are constantly attacking them?

The Palestinians have nowhere to go, and are held as prisoners in what remains of their own land. We must tell the truth about the Palestinians because they are fighting for their very existence. Painful as it may be for liberal ears (and my heart bleeds for them) conditioned by a 24 hour revolving door of bulls**t from the mainstream media, people must accept the truth. Confronting the truth is necessary, and as painful as it may be for some, we owe it to the Palestinians to speak up for them. Like all wounds, there is a chance things can heal if we'd only be honest. Daily life for the Palestinians is like nothing we can imagine in Britain, or indeed anywhere in the 'developed' world. In Britain it was within the walls of the British parliament that Palestinian land was partitioned to a third party. We have a special responsibility to raise our voice for the Palestinians. Silence is no option. To ignore this issue is not the same as to remain neutral. To stay silent on Palestine is to side with the state of Israel.

Right off the bat, I want to address the fairy-tale notion of democracy many people hold, regarding the state of Israel. more

Ambassador: Qatar to employ 20,000 Palestinians


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Qatar is to create work opportunities for up to 20,000 Palestinians, the Palestinian ambassador to Qatar said Saturday.

Munir Ghannam told Ma’an that "practical steps have started to embrace Palestinian workers in Qatar, as the country plans to host the first group of Palestinian workers after the holy month of Ramadan."

Qatar agreed in January 2014 to grant work visas to 20,000 Palestinians, following 20 years in which Palestinians had been unable to apply for work in the prosperous Gulf state.

The first group of Palestinian employees will include 200 Gazans and an unspecified number from the West Bank, and are expected to work in the field of education, the ambassador said Saturday.

He added that the embassy had asked Qatari officials to employ Palestinian refugees living in the Diaspora as well.

Ghannam said that a number of Qatari companies were scheduled to submit applications Saturday asking for permission to bring about 2,000 Palestinians into the country to work for them.

The ambassador said that Palestinian employees will be treated according to Qatari work laws and regulations, adding that Qatari companies and organizations "prefer to contract employees directly without a need for brokers." more