While operating in the Ivory tower of the Academia – in this instance referring to the extensive attention we have been bestowing on the #EASA2014 over the past little while – it becomes occasionally too easy to overlook urgent things unfolding in the world around us. With this statement we make reference to the massacre by the State of Israel on Palestine.
Let’s not kid ourselves: collectively we have been slow, even lazy in getting vocal on this situation. Yes, the situation may appear tricky, as one embedded in nuances and undertones that an uninformed observer may miss. After all, the situation has remained largely unchanged, with only the degrees of violence alternating as decades go by. Somehow it simply seems impossible to grasp that if the contours of right and wrong are self-evident in the situation, how can its foundation simply be and remain tacitly approved by the international community no matter how awful the actions at hand.
We want to remind everyone that, in fact, there is nothing blurry in the situation at all. There are violent attacks by one group of people, operating with the international legitimacy of state machinery, against another group lacking similar legitimacy.
So we get involved and start today with these thought by Ghassan Hage whose intellect and warmth we are extraordinarily privileged to know via our recent workshops and panels on Boredom & Gates. He has shared these views originally via his Facebook account, and agreed kindly that we can re-distribute them via Allegra. This is also the first post – in what we hope to become a very long series of posts – of Hage’Baa – thoughts of ‘Enough is Enough’ by this awesome thinker.
MASSACRES IN GAZA: NEVER AGAIN! Full stop!
Hage’Baa by Ghassan Hage
“Every anti-racist struggle comprises universalist and particularist tendencies. People who are anti-racist because they think racism is bad, full stop, and people who think racism directed towards them in particular is bad.
The way Zionism has risen and developed can be seen as one of the biggest defeats of universalist anti-racism. Those Jews and non-Jews who looked at the Holocaust and said ‘never again’ full-stop were basically defeated by those who looked at it and said ‘never again shall this happen to the Jews’.
It is clear that the dominant logic of colonialism, nationalism and capital accumulation all militate in favour of particularistic anti-racism which often ends up producing a racism of its own. As Achille Mbembe‘s post on Ahmed Kathrada shows, the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa seems to be heading in the same direction: the forces that see anti-Apartheid as ‘never again for South Africans’ seem to be taking the upper hand over those who say ‘Apartheid, never again, anywhere’.”
Both Hage and Mbembe refer to a post by Ahmed Katharda’s published on August 3rd in the Sunday Independent linking the current Gaza attacks on the apartheid of South Africa. The quote goes as follows:
“Katharda, who spent 26 years in prison,18 of which were in Robben Island, under the Apartheid government and currently 85 years old, writes: “I have been prompted to write after viewing the nightly television images of the horrendous, ongoing atrocities committed by Israël in Gaza. Utilizing highly destructive weapons, the main victims have been defenceless civilians, women, children and men. Israel’s aggression has been violent, merciless and uncivilized. Based on its actions, it will not solve its problem with the Palestinian people, and it certainly will not bring peace to its citizens.
… What worries me is the sheer impunity with which Israël acts. It reminds me of the many years that Apartheid was allowed to flourish in South Africa with little constructive action on the part of the major powers such as the US, France, Germany and the UK, including some of the leading Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
…While we welcome the string statements from our own government and the ANC against Israeli aggression, we must ask: Has the time not come for South Africa to take a firmer stand against the pariah Israeli Apartheid state?
Should my organisation, the ANC, not be doing more, like we did in getting the world to isolate Apartheid South Africa? Should it not be mobilising our people to boycott Israël? Should we not expel the Israeli ambassador and recall our ambassador? Should we continue to eat Israeli fruits?
Should we continue to trade with this rogue country? And has my organisation forgotten Madiba reminding our people that we cannot be free while the people of Palestine are not?”
We at Allegra echo these compelling questions raised by Ahmed Katharda and Ghassan Hage: have we all forgotten atrocities of the past, or not noticed those of the present? WHY are we not being more vocal in being involved?! Let’s end this collective silence now and proclaim: NEVER AGAIN! FULL STOP!