Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Occupation 101

I just finished watching a GREAT documentary on Palestine called Occupation 101. But man, it left me depressed.

We sit around in our villas and apartments, with our couches and TVs, eating popcorn and chugging down cans of soda while watching people living a couple thousand miles away suffering in places like Palestine.

Their houses are being demolished, they're getting shot at, their culture is being eroded, and their children are suffering so much that psychologists are only beginning to understand the toll living under occupation and constant threat is having on them.

In the comfort of our secure homes and prosperous cities, it's hard to connect to something like that.

But connect we must. Because that's the only way we can feel enough empathy to help people who don't have the luxuries most of us have because we happened to be born in a particular place and time.

I know we might not be able to save the world at this very moment. But we can talk about wanting to save it. And if we do, maybe we can inspire others to do the same. With each additional voice, we'll get louder and louder. Loud enough, maybe, to actually make a difference.

1 comment:

Nicholas Karavatos said...

I wish people the world over weren't so selective with their identitfication with injustice. I support your call for connection.

Tibet might seem a world away, but it is the same planet. Is the popular silence here because Tibet is a Vedic-oriented culture rather than an Abrahamic-oriented culture? I hope not.

No one here that I ever hear expresses sympathy for the West Saharans under Moraccan occupation (backed by the Arab League). Why?

Over 100,000 East Timorese died under the Indonesian occupation. Was the Middle Eastern silence I remember because Indonesia is the world's most populous Islamic nation? I hope not.

And then there are the Kurds and Kurdistan. I have never heard anyone here agitate on behalf of their fellow Muslims the Kurds or their right to have a homeland. Why?

In the argument about an independent, distinct cultural/ethnic identity deserving of their own homeland, the Kurds are far more deserving historically than Palestinians - yet, here it's always and only Palestine (the Roman word designating the territory of ancient Israel that they crushed for rebelling against their govenorship). Is it because we're dealing with Jews who won't be "dhimmis"? I hope not.

I know this is offensive to say here. Sorry. But the longer I live in the Middle East the more I wonder: What about the Kurds? What about Kurdistan?

Why don't people here wave the Kurdish flag and shout, "Long Live the PKK"?

A "Kurdistan Awareness Day" here at AUS would be a good start.

Now, thinking globally, being interconnected, who will join me in ending the United States' occupation and annexation of the Hawaiian Islands?'US-occupiers'.html

Al Jazeea English TV recently did a great program on the Hawaiian Independence Movement.