Sunday, July 30, 2006

Israel/Lebanon. Blame the bigots.

On the insanity going on in Israel/Lebanon, reading through various blogs in The Australian Index I don't see much from a Lebanese/Palestinian perspective. A balanced view is essential if we're to even begin to understand what's happening.

Pre-determined blind prejudice is the root cause of the death and destruction and effectively bars any discussion, any chance of a peaceful solution.

There's a blindingly obvious need for willingness to accept that there are two sides to every argument. Without that there can never be a solution.

So here's some balance, two sides of the same story.

In another blogosphere there have been photos reprinted, including from the Sydney Morning Herald, of Israeli children writing messages on artillery shells prior to them being launched at Lebanon. Their authenticity was questioned (PhotoShopped? asked more than one blogger) and so backtracking was done.

An Israeli blogger tracked the photographer down, then found a reporter who was there. Yes, the photos were genuine, no they hadn't been doctored. But, naturally, there was a background to the photos.

"Kiryat Shmona has been under constant bombardment from South Lebanon since the first day of the conflict. On the day that photo was taken, the girls had emerged from the underground bomb shelters for the first time in five days. A new army unit had just arrived in the town and was preparing to shell the area across the border. The unit attracted the attention of twelve photojournalists - Israeli and foreign. The girls and their families gathered around to check out the big attraction in the small town - foreigners. They were relieved and probably a little giddy at being outside in the fresh air for the first time in days. They were probably happy to talk to people. And they enjoyed the attention of the photographers.

There's much, much more of course, and you can read the whole story here under "Putting things in perspective".

Now here's the comment from the other side of the border, from a Palestinian refugee who'd read the posts:

please stop this. i couldnt even read the whole article i had to skim through it trying to reach the point, and you know what this is a terrible empty excuse for demonic pictures. if the children were unaware of the meaning of such an act, i'm sure the parents looming around in the background are well aware. the parents were simple letting of steam and frustrated after being in shelters for 5 days??? WE WISH WE HAD SHELTERS THAT WE COULD HIDE IN FOR 5 DAYS. 7 of my family were killed, my niece was found in the field next to our house because she was blown out completly ... can you compare what is happening to us to what is happening in isreal, can u even compare??? you are an educated rational logical person, tell me is there a comparsion between what is happening, please enough, kill us, we are dead, but do not take away the peace of death by tormenting us with excuses to make it sound like the isrealis are not to blame... they took my home and my land, they now live on it and call it their home while i am a REFUGEE with no passport no identity no rights no nothing and u say that they r right, they r fruestrated becasue they have been in shelters for 5 days, i have seen my family murdered right in front of my house, they have the whole international worl supporting them, what bulshit what bullshit what bullshit what bullshit u say... this is injustice and God will not let this go, this is our suffering, God will not let this go.

it took us so much time to build our house, we built it with our own hands and everymorning my grandmother would spend hours in the garden, perfecting it, growing tomatoes and pears that were celbrated through all of lebabanon and we had our own heaven on earth with swings and flowers and trees and now it is all destruction with my grandmother lying dead with so many of the hands, my family that built this ruined house just for nasrallla whom i do not even support, after we were kicked out of palestine, when the isrealis took our land, we came here and through hard work we were able to start again and have a new life away from home, but now the isrealis have ruined us again, our second try, and they killed the half of my family that was left after the first time, i am so depressed i do not know what to do with my self or who to tell my story to or who will care to listen when i am a palestinian muslim, i am nothing in the eyes of the west, 2 isreali soldiers for so much destruction that is the balance in the modern world lieave me in my grief i cannot read such utter injustice anymore.

As I said, there are two side to every story.

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