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University of East London - Haim Bresheeth (Dept. of Cultural Studies) praises suicide bombers' "self-sacrifice" in Palestinian Al-Ahram Weekly

Article/book #: 193

Title: The ghetto is calling

By: Haim Bresheeth 

Published in: Al-Ahram Weekly, issue 584

Date of issue: 2-8 May 2002


They keep coming, streaming in through the invisible system of cables, lines, aerials which are so far away from their lit screen. They are in a room shaken by the repeated shelling, bombardments, shooting and the bestial brutality of the occupation forces. Men and women who I know and love are sending their pleas from Palestine on the net -- a far cry from the isolation of Warsaw ghetto, where some of my family perished -- and yet, their story is so disturbingly reminiscent of the ghetto, fighting to the bitter end. But their attackers are the grandsons of those who died in that other struggle. From Ramallah, Gaza, Hebron, Bethlehem -- from all over Palestine, people are writing and asking for help. They are all amazed, and so am I, at the measured calm with which the world accepts their demise and growing catastrophe, their second Nakba (catastrophe). What will it take for a change to occur? The news-readers have lost all interest in what is now called "the cycle of violence" -- as if there is a symmetry between the occupier and occupied -- as if the violence of a mighty army destroying all before it is equal to the despair, hopelessness and anger that forces people to kill others by committing suicide. Those who criticise [sic] the Palestinians for suicide attacks would do well to dwell on what it takes for a person to commit suicide in this way. Israel has persuaded the Palestinians, quite efficiently, that there is no hope for them to live normally in the Middle East. They seem to have heeded this cruel and inhuman message, and some of them, seemingly many (and numbers are growing by the day as Israeli atrocities mount) are prepared to give their life in order to hurt the occupiers of their country. But then, this was always true. Nations around the globe have shown that self-sacrifice is an integral part of an independence struggle.









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