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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

If Medea Wills It, It Is No Dream

Medea Benjamin writes at Common Dreams:

While I was being tackled by security guards at Washington's Convention Center during the AIPAC conference for unfurling a banner that asked "What about Gaza?," my heart was aching. I wasn't bothered so much by the burly guards who were yanking my arms behind by back and dragging me-along with 5 other CODEPINK members-out of the hall. They were doing their job.

What made my heart ache was the hatred I felt from the AIPAC staff who tore up the banner and slammed their hands across my mouth as I tried to yell out: "What about Gaza? What about the children?"

"Shut the f--- up. Shut the f--- up." one staffer yelled, red-faced and sweating as he ran beside me. "This is not the place to be saying that shit. Get the f--- out of here."

What makes my heart ache is thinking about the traumatized children I met on my recent trip to Gaza, and how their suffering is denied by the 6,000 AIPAC conventioneers who are living in a bubble-a bubble where Israel is the victim and all critics are anti-Semitic, terrorist lovers or, as in my case, self-hating Jews.

There is a strange equation at work when we try to change the dynamic in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  If you criticize Israel, you are anti-semitic, even though you want Israel to survive, even though Israel is a state and not in fact Judaism itelf, even though you might be Jewish or descended from Jews who escaped the Shoah or the pogroms or anti-semitism in Europe and elsewhere.

It's appalling that there's an opportunity for me to go to Israel and Gaza with Medea next month, trying to cross via Erez, though I'm nervously excited about the trip.  I hope we can help--along with Cynthia McKinney et al on the Dignity and all the other people in various delegations that have set out the last few months or are setting out in the coming weeks--chip away at the literal and metaphorical wall that is imprisoning Palestinian children and their parents.

I've now made my flight arrangements and taken care of my lodging for the days before and after my trip.  I could still use some shekels if people are able to help.


May 6, 2009 in Conscience | Permalink


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