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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Olive Trees Falling In The Desert

With all the breathless coverage of violence in Iran, I am reminded that the media maxim "if it bleeds, it leads" is clearly true.  Now that the war in Gaza is "over", people seem to have forgotten the ongoing horror in Palestine and have followed the bouncing ball to Iran. 

Yet I have heard folks ask where the Palestinian Gandhis are.  In Bil'in and Na'alin and other villages, if the media dared to look:

What if Palestinians turned to non-violent protest and none of the media showed up to cover their actions?

President Obama in his Cairo speech insisted the “Palestinians must abandon violence.” He exhorted them to imitate the methods of the Civil Rights movement in the United States:

“Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.”

Obama went further and stated, “This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia, to Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It’s a story with a simple truth: violence is a dead end.”

But would the freedom rides and marches, lunch counter sit-ins and bus boycotts have succeeded if the media had not been on the story? Had the New York Times and other papers not sent reporters to witness the protests, or had the television networks not sent crews to film the events, had Americans heard only the explanations of the George Wallaces and the Bull Connors juxtaposed with the testimony of the protesters, would the non-violent approach of Martin Luther King Jr. had succeeded?

In case President Obama is unaware, Palestinians have been non-violently protesting the occupation for some time.

If we want peace, we must support the people actual making it, particularly those who are being oppressed with our tax dollars.  But then that's not much of a story, is it?


June 20, 2009 in Pax Americana, Viva Palestina | Permalink


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But if they remain peaceful then we don't have to consider their plight.

Posted by: Shared Humanity | Jun 20, 2009 9:11:19 PM

Gandhis do make news but only by dying.....and then we make heros of them.

Posted by: Shared Humanity | Jun 20, 2009 9:35:34 PM

Yet I didn't see any Western coverage of Bassem's death, nor of Yusuf Srour.

Posted by: NTodd | Jun 20, 2009 9:41:11 PM

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