Monday, April 8, 2013

Chomsky: The Cruelty That Keeps Empires Alive

Like many other oppressive countries, Israel's chief tools of control are through humiliation, degradation and terror.
The Swedish novelist Henning Mankell tells of an experience in Mozambique during the civil war horrors there 25 years ago, when he saw a young man walking toward him in ragged clothes.
"I noticed something that I will never forget for as long as I live," Mankell says. "I looked at his feet. He had no shoes. Instead he had painted shoes on his feet. He had used the colors in the ground and in the roots to replace his shoes. He had come up with a way to keep his dignity."
Such scenes will evoke poignant memories among those who have witnessed cruelty and degradation, which are everywhere. One striking case, though only one of a great many, is Gaza, which I was able to visit for the first time last October.
There violence is met by the steady resistance of the "samidin" – those who endure, to borrow Raja Shehadeh's evocative term in "The Third Way," his memoir on Palestinians under occupation, 30 years ago.
Greeting me on my return home were the reports of the Israeli assault on Gaza in November, supported by the United States and tolerated politely by Europe as usual.
Israel isn't Gaza's only adversary. Gaza's southern border remains largely under the control of Egypt's dreaded secret police, the Mukhabarat, which credible reports link closely to the CIA and the Israeli Mossad.
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