Waiting for Godot

Edna Yaghi’s Column

For more than 15 months Palestinians have bravely and alone tried to resist the increasing brutality of the Israeli government. Each day the situation in the occupied territories worsens. Every day, the dead are carried away to their graves in a line of endless funeral processions. Blood of Palestinian martyrs soaks the streets of the occupied land while mothers, wives, sisters and daughters shed their tears for their deceased loved ones.

It is ironic and even tragic that such savagery against a civilian population continues to run rampant. The Israeli government has no code of honor. It has no respect for human rights, for human dignity, for property, or the decency at least to spare the children from all the carnage that surrounds them.

Recently when a lone young Palestinian resistance fighter attacked a Bar Mitzvah celebration in the Israeli town of Hadera, the world was alerted to a new act of “terror.” CNN interviewed different participants of the Jewish celebration turned tragedy. One of the questions that struck me most was when a CNN reporter asked an Israeli psychologist what the effect would be on those Israeli children who were present during the time of the attack. The psychologist of course said that these children would be traumatically and dramatically affected, perhaps even scared for life.

But no one bothers to portray the siege of Palestinian cities or ask why Israel is free to hunt out and kill any Palestinian it wishes. Palestinian freedom fighters are not given the luxury of being tried in a court of law. They are just murdered in cold blood. The victims are bombed, blown to bits by remote controlled explosions or murdered in their homes in front of their wives and families by the Israeli Defense Force.

It is becoming increasingly evident that every Palestinian is automatically considered a terrorist even if he or she is a newborn baby while the Israeli government is depicted as only an entity out to protect its citizens and fight off terrorism.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has clearly demonstrated that he does not want peace. He does his best to provoke Palestinians into fighting back his war against them though Palestinians are always asked to maintain weeks of calm while under attack. Israeli troops have taken over West Bank towns and villages and imposed a curfew. Israeli soldiers search civilian homes and arrest more Palestinian freedom fighters. Each atrocity that is perpetrated is defined as “carrying out security activities,” but in actuality, it is pure Jewish terror that is being carried out against the innocent. It is not only imperative but also urgent that an International peace keeping force be deployed in the Occupied Territories.

We do not hear CNN reporters ask Palestinian victims how they manage to cope with Israeli incursions into Palestinian territory. No CNN employees seem concerned that Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals and lives are bombed by Israeli warplanes, by helicopters and by tanks. No reporter asks any psychologist what the impact of Israeli brutality will have on Palestinian children. Palestinian children have been shot at, have seen their classmates murdered, have seen their fathers or older brothers killed in front of them and have had their homes shelled in the middle of the night. No Palestinian child is safe from Jewish terrorism. These children will bear the traumatic scars for life of the persecution and atrocities they have witnessed and suffered.

What is even more tragic than world apathy is the apathy of the Arab leaders. There are only a very few who are genuinely concerned about the fate and welfare of the Palestinian people. The fate of any Arab should be the concern of all Arabs. If the Arab leaders had one voice and were united, the ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people could not continue.

As it is, the Arab leaders should hang their heads in shame for allowing the Israeli government to continue its extermination of the Palestinian people. Little Palestinian boys with small stones have more courage than most Arab leaders who hide behind their palaces, extravagant clothes and unwillingness to stand up for what is right.

But waiting for a united Arab front and action that will change the occupation of Palestine is like waiting for Godot and as we all know, Godot never came.