Hold It All

Month: August, 2005

The Worthy Dispossessed

This past week saw much coverage and commentary on Israel’s “pull-out” from the Gaza Strip.  It was only a matter of time, I thought, before Elie Wiesel would weigh in on this “historic” occasion.

Now in his mid-seventies, Elie Wiesel—acclaimed Jewish writer, Nobel Peace laureate, and internationally recognized Holocaust survivor—still rises on occasion to defend Israel from its carping critics. In an op-ed in this Sunday’s New York Times(August 21), entitled, “The Dispossessed,”  Wiesel trots out the themes he has fine-tuned for close to forty years: sadness, optimism, tears, Israel’s nobility, and the moral onus always being on the Palestinians to prove their trustworthiness, given Israel’s inspiring magnanimity. Read the rest of this entry »

On Gaza

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for your brilliant piece I found on Counterpunch. I will share it with many friends here in St. Louis and beyond. You tell the truth about the Gaza pullout. I spent 6 weeks in Gaza with ISM in the fall of 2003, stayed overnight with families whose homes were endangered (you hear the tanks and sniper fire every night). Documented home demolitions, stood amid more rubble than I thought imaginable. Listened to families tell their stories of harassment, dispossession, terror. Was welcomed with incredible hospitality through the Strip. Simply heart-breaking and amazing.

As I read your piece I thought of the Herman and Chomsky coinage of “the worthy and unworthy victim” differential portrayals in the media: Of course, we are to feel for the poor settlers, but as you point out with such vigor, the Palestinian experience accounts for nothing in the eyes of the mainstream. They are unworthy of our compassion.

Your passion and analysis are a goad to conscientious action.

Mark Chmiel