[News] The Mad Activist Writes to Gaza
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
By SUSIE DAY
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.
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
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
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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