Saturday, July 21, 2007

Holy Land Foundation and (alleged) "terrorism"

(Scroll down to the post of July 15 to read background on the trial)
During the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, we will hear a great deal about “terrorism.” Lina Jamoul, in an eye-witness account, describes one of the “terrorisms” that we will hear very little about, the terrorism of the Israeli Army against Palestinian civilians:

It’s the start of the week—Saturday morning—and a group of [Palestinian] students, about 20 of them, are walking up the hill in Asira valley to get to university. We encounter them while we are looking for the checkpoint, which had moved again. “Are there any soldiers?” they ask nervously. We don’t know. We all walk to the edge of the road and start to look around for the soldiers. Suddenly we hear shots. I hate the sound of gunshots. I’m not experienced enough to be able to tell what direction they’re coming from, or worse, what direction they’re aiming at. All you hear is the deafening sounds of snipers amplified by the hills in the valley. There’s nowhere to shelter from bullets in the beautiful open space of Asira valley. We quickly step back from the edge of the road and look at each other. No one is quite sure what to do. Standing still and waiting for a bullet to hit you doesn’t seem like a good idea. We walk briskly and silently, 20 university students and three internationals. They’re firing again. We stop and I’m scared. I’m scared even now, safely tucked away in London at my desk. I remember what snipers sound like and it’s frightening. Plain and simple, this is down to a couple of soldiers, terrorising a group of civilians trying to go about their lives. It is not just the indiscriminate violence that could and does result in innocent people’s lives being suddenly and randomly cut short. It is more than that, it is the terror instilled in every single person that it could be them or their loved one at any one time. In London, the news tells us we should be on the alert, that we are certainly under a terrorist threat. I feel no terror in London. And yet in Palestine, where everyday is literally full of terror, the news is silent. Terrorism is indeed frightening. State-sponsored terrorism with the silent acquiescence of the entire international community is a crime against humanity beyond all proportions.”

Surely, if this trial is about supporting “terrorism,” then all of us ought to be on trial. “We The People,” through the actions of our chosen leaders, have been supporting “terrorism” since at least 1967, without ceasing.

You can read this entire account in the journal article:

“Palestine—In Search of Dignity.”
By Lina Jamoul
Antipode, Volume 36, Number 4, September 2004 , pp. 581-595(15)