[News] The Mad Activist Writes to Gaza

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 6 14:13:01 EST 2009


March 6-8 , 2009

The Mad Activist Writes to Gaza

Line in the Sand


Dear People of Gaza,

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize 
for doing absolutely nothing in the last few months to stop your suffering.

Although I cannot feel your pain, I have seen it 
on the news. I've read that 1.5 million of you 
civilians endured weeks of being fired on and 
bombed with American-made weapons, and that 
22,000 of your buildings now lie in ruins, 80% of 
your crops are gone, and much of your food, 
water, medicine, and electricity remain shut off and blockaded.

I would love to help you, being as how I am a 
politically attuned person, living in a country 
whose primary Enlightenment Value is "Liberty and 
Justice for All." However, what with the flu 
going around this winter, my immune system is 
shot, and I think I've got a virus. So I must send my regrets.

Let us hope, as the killing of over 1,300 of your 
men, women, and children fades from the news, 
that the lobbing of occasional rockets into 
Israel will stop, so we can reflect on the three 
Israelis who died in this conflict, and their ten 
soldiers – at least four of whom tragically succumbed to friendly fire.

Well, I'm off to my doctor appointment. Meantime 
– with the knowledge that Hamas got you into all 
this – I send you healing vibrations.

Dear Gazans,

I hate doctors. You guys are so lucky that you 
have so few left. This dude had the nerve to tell 
me my whole problem is "psychosomatic." I'm 
outraged! Well. OK. Maybe he's right. I mean, who 
am I to stand up to the American Medical Association?

OK – notice, People of Gaza – how fast I just 
caved? There's a Message here: Each of us likes 
to feel that she or he is a moral powerhouse of 
courage, perspicacity, and will! In fact, we rarely are.

 From the co-ed who scrubs the floor of the men's 
room with a toothbrush so she can enter a 
sorority; to the boy who joins the gang-bang to 
prove he's not queer; to the occupying soldier 
who strip-searches "towel-heads" to demonstrate 
patriotism – we do stupid, sometimes unspeakable 
things to avoid being kicked out of a group of 
people we love and/or respect. I ought to know; 
I've been kicked out of just about every group there is.

So you see, my desire to take a risk as an 
individual is microscopic, compared to my need to 
feel that I am acceptable to those I love. And 
so, People of Gaza, deepest sympathy, but your 
lives are as nothing, compared to my fear of being seen as an anti-Semite.

Dear Gaza Peeps -

JOKE! I was kidding! HA HA! Please do not allow 
what I said in my last note to fuel more of your 
Islamic militancy. Maybe my fear of being called 
anti-Semitic is itself anti-Semitic. I can accept 
that. The point is, nobody bullied me into this. 
My refusing to see what the Israeli government is 
doing to you is more an act of devotion than a sin of omission.

Truth to tell, I've been seen at the occasional 
Midtown rally against the Israeli government's 
treatment of Palestinians. But I can never bear 
to stay. It's better that my friends stay – my 
Jewish friends who resent that their Judaism is 
used to justify oppressing you. I envy them for 
being called "self-hating." It's much nicer than 
"anti-Semitic." But there I go again with my infernal anti-Semitism

Dear Palestinians:

Haven't you been getting my messages? I'm sorry, 
but as a psychosomatic, I really must decline 
your relentless, unvoiced pleas for help. Please 
stop suffering; it's very self-centered. Don't 
you see who the real victims are? Don't you see 
how brutally we Westerners have been battered by 
news of your dying and dismemberment? Maybe if 
you moved to Rwanda or Darfur or Bosnia, I could 
get involved. In any case, I am not accountable 
to you; Western Civilization has told me I don't have to be.

But I forget: you're not part of Western 
Civilization, are you? Besides the Intifada, 
that's probably your greatest fault.

I know it's hard to accept our basic precept, but 
try: Civilized people can enjoy a peaceful, 
egalitarian Democracy only after indigenous 
peoples (e.g., you) have been annihilated. Ask any Chippewa.

Look, People of Gaza-

Maybe if I gave you a little history lesson, 
you'd go away. It's like this: for centuries, 
Western Civilization was infused with 
anti-Semitism – which remains very real today. 
Western Civilization, built in part on Jewish 
culture, went on to kill millions of Jews, whose 
devastated survivors arrived from Europe on your 
shores. No one ever deserved a homeland more than they did – unless it was you.

Or perhaps you don't need a homeland. Perhaps, as 
others have suggested, you don't really exist. 
Maybe we Westerners share a vast psychosomatic 
condition, and you Palestinians are all in our 
heads. In that case, People of Gaza, pity us. I'm going to go lie down, now.

Susie Day can be reached at: <mailto:sday at skadden.com>sday at skadden.com

©  Susie Day, 2008

Freedom Archives
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San Francisco, CA 94110

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