‘Look back in anger’

Lubna Abdel-Aziz
Tuesday 14 Nov 2023

Perhaps the skies are blue, perhaps the sun is shining, but all we see is a grey colourless world filled with pain and sorrow, with no end in sight.


The atrocities continue against the helpless, the weak, the sick, and the innocent, leaving us wondering in the dark, how much darker will it get?

It is with deep sadness that we watched a biased, misinformed viewpoint from leaders of the free world and an ignorant, corrupt media echo their words blindly.

Is it not the duty of the media to report facts, to pursue truth, to dig deep and wide in order to find it? That is why it is referred to as “freedom of the press”, to tell the truth wherever it may be found. Unfortunately, such a body is no longer to be found in the Western world, or anywhere else.

One glaring question that has never been asked is why the present Israeli/ Palestinian conflict started, or further still, why it has never stopped. Digging beneath the gruesome surface to understand the incomprehensible needs time and effort, but there is little time for either.

It is easier and faster to judge at face value and reiterate lie after lie rather than pursue the truth. Lies travel fast and a gullible world believes.

The why is recorded in the annals of history as a desperate cry for justice. Some major causes are poverty, religious freedom, discrimination, political gain or personal freedom. Liberty is often sought by violent means to rid a nation of foreign rule.

It is a predictable response to the artificial nation-states, without regard for the traditional ethnic population. Unlawful violence is to be condemned everywhere regardless of how small or large a group practises it, even if they had no other means of getting their voices heard.

Disproportionate acts of revenge, violent, criminal, genocidal, sweeping across populations of women, children and the elderly, by the military of a government that is referred to as a democracy is despicable. It is not only to be condemned but punished by a world that still retains some human values, not encouraged, applauded and even rewarded.

The backdrop behind the latest horrific conflict is the loss of an old nation, not the defence of a new one.

Once upon a time there was a country called Palestine. Its history goes back to the Paleolithic Age where human remains have been discovered c. 600,000 BC.

Pre-historic man probably lived there for 100,000 years.

For centuries it witnessed invaders and occupiers, but it stood straight and held its own.

By the 1800s the oppression of the Jewish people living in Europe helped create an ideological movement known as Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion), the forerunners of modern Zionism. They were responsible for the creation of 20 Jewish towns in Palestine between 1870 and 1897.

The innocent people of Palestine existed peacefully with Jews, Muslims, and Christians, living in harmony, side by side. There was no suspicion that the Zionist ideology was the aspiration for an independent Jewish state in Palestine.

The Jews came from all over Eastern Europe and they kept coming. In 1882, the French Baron de Rothschild financially backed the Zionist activities of seizing land from Palestinians. This took place at the end of the 19th century, long before the world wars, constantly used as an excuse for the founding of the state of Israel.

By the end of WWI British forces occupied the area, while Jews systematically expelled Palestinian farmers from their lands in favour of Zionist immigrants.

An Israeli terrorist group known as Haganah protected the seizure of Palestinian land by Zionists. They committed grievous crimes against the natives.

WWII was waged shortly after WWI, known as the most destructive war in the history of mankind. Fifty million lives were lost and an additional 19-28 million more from war-related disease and famine. Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jewish people was met with rage by all humanity. The answer from the West was to create a homeland for the Jews, even if it meant destroying the homeland of the Palestinians.

The bastions of justice, equality, and democracy handed the Jews the state of Israel in 1947, made up mostly of Europeans, and they all cheered and applauded their United Nations’ resolution.

For the last 75 years Israel has been seizing more land and committing atrocities against the original inhabitants of the land.

The West has always stood by Israel’s side, aiding and abetting their acts of terrorism, excusing it as a means of self-defence. What distorted logic and lack of human principles is that?

Western media is twice as guilty as it follows the masters’ voices with nary a moment to seek the truth. It is corrupt to the core as expressed by former President Jimmy Carter in his book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. Yes, indeed, apartheid is being practised in Israel and another Nelson Mandela is nowhere in sight.

Amid the shrieking sound of bombs and missiles a gentle voice of reason arose. A Summit Conference for Peace was hosted by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo, with 30 countries in attendance. Their passionate call for the end of the carnage of women and children must be applauded by all who still have a beating heart within.

Talk of a Palestinian state was heard once again at the Cairo Summit. Is the world listening?


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

* A version of this article appears in print in the 16 November, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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