Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Activists on the Streets of Teheran and in the Occupied Territories

Ibn Ezra (a.k.a. Joseph Dana) has an excellent post comparing his activism in the Occupied Territories with that of the Iranian activists in Tehran. Read it here. Both activists are fighting injustice and oppression. Both are fighting their government for the sake of their country. The similarities between the two cases should be stressed.

Live Ammunition Against Civilian Protestors. When Israel shot and killed Palestinian Israeli protestors in October 2000, who in the world cared? When it shoots and kills Palestinians protesting the theft of their lands, who cares? But when the Iranian government does it, everybody is up in arms. Only the human rights agencies condemn both.

News blackouts. When Israel launched its campaign of death and destruction against Gaza, it imposed a news blackout on Gaza. No foreign journalists, and few Israeli journalists could get news out, and the latter was subject (as always) to military censorship. But that didn't stop the Gazans from using Facebook and Twitter and texting (though Israel often tried to jam the cell phones) to get the news out. The Iranians learned their lesson well from the Gazans, but because they are better off, they can send alerts more effectively.

Disregarding Elections. Although technically there is a difference here – the Iranian government inflated and distorted the Iranian election results; the Israeli government reacted strongly to the Palestinian elections results, throwing elected officials into jail because they were elected – the effect is the same: trampling on the will of the people.

For all their similarities, though, the Iranian protestors are in a much better situation than their Palestinian counterparts. They, at least, are citizens of the state whose government controls their lives. The West Bank and Gaza Palestinians, by contrast, have been stateless for over forty years. Every day, every minute of their lives they are oppressed by Israel – simply because they are held stateless, and they are governed by a foreign power. And, of course, Israel sees itself and sells itself to others as a democracy.

Would that the world appreciate the Israeli activists like the Iranian activists. And treat the Israeli government like the Iranian government.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Would that the world appreciate the Israeli activists like the Iranian activists. And treat the Israeli government like the Iranian government."

The Israeli government is not at all like the Iranian government. Israel is a true liberal democracy and even Jimmy Carter admits it. Israel is at war with a neighboring society. That society desires it's destruction. When that society changes it's position and ceases to attack Israel, the Israeli government will gladly live in peace with them.