Writers in Anguish

I was touched by this letter dated July 19, 2006, its stark language and passion searching for “what was once called justice”. This lament was written by Chomsky and other eminent world writers including Nobel Laureates Pinter, Saramago available on this site [HERE]

“The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner – and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis – there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this “kidnapping” was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources – most particularly that of water – by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.

a kid on the street crying...Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly – who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.”

Tariq Ali
Russell Banks
John Berger
Noam Chomsky
Richard Falk
Eduardo Galeano
Charles Glass
Naomi Klein
W.J.T. Mitchell
Harold Pinter
Arundhati Roy
Jose Saramago
Giiuliana Sgrena
Gore Vidal
Howard Zinn

A challenge to our civilisation’s conscience…..?

Falling on deaf ears? 

Published in: on July 31, 2006 at 3:57 pm  Comments (2)  

The Universalism of Kabir

Troubled by the ongoing middle east crisis, the destruction of Lebanon and the acrimony generated by the tragic Mumbai blasts, I am reminded of this poem by Kabir:

Allah and Rama

If Khuda inhabits the mosque,
then whose play-field is the rest of the world.

If Rama lives in the idol at the pilgrim station,
then who controls the chaos outside?

The East is Hari’s domicile, they say,
the West is Allah’s dwelling place.

Look into your heart, your very heart:
That’s where Karim-and-Rama reside.
All the men and the women ever born,
Are nothing but Your embodied forms:
Kabir’s a child of Allah-and-Rama
They’re his Guru-and-Pir

(translated by Vinay Dharwadker in Kabir: The Weaver’s Songs)

A miniature painting of Kabir, c.1825