Lucky Again

March 7, 2008

I’m just sitting on the couch in the living room, surrounded by my “therapy group” (Lizzy, Harry, Rosy, Min Ki) and playing some chords on my guitar. The last days were a bit rough. First a leaking water pipe made it necessary to replace half of the water installation – meaning lot of drilling and chiseling and dust and plaster everywhere. Then a severe storm damaged the roof. The meadows around the house are littered with roof tiles. The cleanup work is not finished and will continue for at least two weeks because the utility company will now replace the old power poles with a below ground cable and so there has to be some further drilling and chiseling to install a connection from the new service entrance to the fuse panel.


All that should be no reason to complain. I’m undoubtedly better of as the many Gazans whose houses are damaged by Israeli air strikes. And I should not even compare my plight to that of the many Gazans who moan their loved ones. Some 130 Palestinians were killed in the last days by Israeli military operations, including many women and children.


I’m so lucky that I’m not a Palestinian and not subject to constant suppression and humiliation. Israel has set up 580 checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank, which limit access to schools and medical care and destroy the economy. The Gaza Strip is completely isolated, the main goods crossings are shut. The economy has broken down and people live in dire poverty. Palestinian merchants cannot export their products and when they sell to Jews they are duped and not payed anything.


I just hear that a Palestinian killed eight students in a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.


I’m saddened by the senseless bloodshed and for me nothing justifies violence, death and destruction. Though my point of view is clear, I wonder who are the villains and who are the heroes in this tragedy. Does it make a difference weather the killing is done by a AK-47 bullet or a F-16 missile strike? Are the F-16 fighter pilots heroes, when they trigger the missiles?


Maybe history can give me the answer:


In 1946 Menachim Begin masterminded and carried out the bombing of the King David Hotel, 91 Arabs, Britons and Jews died there. In 1953 Ariel Sharon commanded the massacre of Qibya. Forty-two houses as well as a school and a mosque were dynamited over their inhabitants. 75 women, men and children were killed.


Begin and Sharon are regarded as heroes and as founding fathers of Israel and they both later became prime ministers.

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