Monday, January 26, 2009

WTFs, almost in real time.

This wall tells Palestinians to stay in the pockets
of land that Israel has decided they can keep - for now.

And another wall that might one day hear not just
one people's wailing.

1. Israel bombed a UN food warehouse in Gaza. The UN is "outraged." Israel apologizes -- to the UN, not to the Palestinians in Gaza. The UN Sec-Gen says he is "cautiously optimistic" that Israel will agree to a ceasefire. WTF.

2. Some 'internationals' -- which is usually just the euphemism Westerners use to describe themselves while doing what they think is best for the Third World (see here) decided that the Palestinians in Gaza -- suffering from bombardment, starvation, lack of medical care and lack of shelter -- might need mosquito nets. So they send those in. WTF.

3. Going into Occupied Palestine this afternoon on a speeding taxi headed to Ramallah, the taxi driver didn't realize what was going on just a few meters ahead of us. There was a crowd of young Palestinians -- very young, teenagers, some pre-teeners -- in front of the checkpoint, throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who were approaching the checkpoint. This group of Israeli soldiers fired one, two warning shots. Then a round of tear gas. Running, shouting and more stone throwing. Our taxi driver continued to drive -- forward. Yes -- WTF!?. So I had to say it aloud. In English. Which had to be translated into Arabic to the driver. By the only colleague who spoke some Arabic. Who was on the cellphone talking to someone. "Tell the driver to stop and turn back -- or we'll be caught in the middle." By the time the driver stopped in the middle of the road going toward the checkpoint, we were right beside another group of Israeli soldiers -- leaning in relative safety against the Wall that divides Jerusalem, while 3 civilians and their defiantly confident taxi driver were exposed to whatever both sides might do. We were so vulnerable that the paparazzi -- those press photographers with their zoom lenses and video cameras eager to film what might happen to the taxi caught in no-man's land -- were behind us, at a safe distance. The driver finally came to his senses, did a quick U-turn and took us to a safe side street. Which led to where we could drive to our destination. So we could actually bypass the checkpoint in the first place? WTF. go to main page


Blogger Ipat Luna said...

Ruben, am not sure you know or whether it's a Mac thing but I have to block your text each time so that I could read it. Change your background? Or is that the normal background of earnest Asian internationalists working on transitional justice?

7:51 PM  
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11:24 AM  

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