Against the backdrop of the Israeli war on Palestinians in Gaza and the global reactions trailing the massacre of people without an Army, Navy and Airforce by the fourth most powerful military apparatchik in the world, there is a need to get one or two things in perspective. This is more so as the situation at hand borders on the theme of learning, relearning and unlearning explored last week, which incidentally generated a lot of interest.
Addressing the trajectory of Palestinian-Israeli conflict itself is problematic because history is less the account on who is right but who is left. And as history unfolds on a daily basis, which is why journalism has been described as history in a hurry, the suppression of the Palestinian narrative of the unfolding events is also part of the story. Several people had to march on the BBC headquarters in London to protest its bias.
The world is unfortunately not configured any longer in support of who is right but who has the might. We are told that might is right but it is wrong; might isn’t right. The world is big enough for everyone to live in peace.
A young writer and resourceful law student, Muhammed Tosin Abdullahi, gave a poser that addresses the tragedy in Gaza. “If you were this landlord, what would you do?” he asked.
According to him, “a man walked into a house at night, cold and dejected, begging to be sheltered. The landlord graciously allowed him to pass the night. When it was dawn, he asked to be allowed to be a permanent resident of the house, promising he would pay rents.
“Again, the landlord allowed him. Days passed and he didn’t pay any rent. A week later, without the landlord’s authorization, he admitted another tenant into the house, collected rent from the new tenant and ate it. The landlord complained but he was prevailed over to be patient, so that peace would reign.
“The following week, he raped the landlord’s daughter. Few days later, he ripped off the head of the landlord’s son. A week later, de demolished part of the house he didn’t own and built his own mansion on it.
“Each time he did all the above, he told the landlord to be patient and peaceful. The landlord got frustrated and hurled stones at him. He hurriedly pulled his trigger, killed some of the landlord’s kiddos and injured several others. Afterall, he has the right to defend himself. Let’s pretend you are the landlord. What would you do?”
Depending on whose side anyone is between the killers and those being killed, one thing is certain: you cannot be neutral with the charred human remains and blood-chilling images that fill the air. One interesting thing is that everyone will die anyway sooner or later. The over-crowded Gaza had been under intense bombardment from air, sea and land for more than two weeks and for many supposedly educated people in the world, the tragedy is fine.
There has been outrage and condemnation by those who have conscience while there has been celebration and chest-thumbing by those wielding the big stick, for whom the massacre of women, children and civilians is cool, afterall they are Arabs.
Those people with conscience are everywhere, including Israel itself, and Britain, where a Member of Parliament, David Ward, is facing disciplinary action for simply tweeting: “The big question is: if I lived in Gaza, would I fire a rocket? Probably yes.”
At a time our own doctors are on strike, with little or no regard for how many Nigerians are dead dying as a result of issues bordering on real and vain matters, a Norwegian physician and Professor, Dr Mads Gilbert, propelled by the call of duty, abandoned his comfort and embarked on a perilous journey to Gaza just to help the needy, the victims of bombardment from sea, air and land. His letter, which has gone viral, addresses the enormity of the humanitarian tragedy.
“As I write these words to you, alone, on my bed, my tears flow, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening! And then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from navy boats just down on the soars, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers) and the cluttering Apaches. So much made and paid by the US.” He then tasked President Obama to come and spend a night at his hospital in Gaza expressing optimism that a single day experience would change the course of history.
There is a lot of anguish in the world but we can make it a better place, instead of a vast killing field. No condition is permanent as the history of apartheid in South Africa has shown after running its full course. There is no doubt that the future belongs to the oppressed because no matter how long the night is, there will still be dawn.
A new dawn awaits our turbulent world as most of the tragedies of human suffering and pain will cease when we replace the love of power with power of love. A new dawn of peace and security awaits our dear Nigeria too, where two explosions targeted at two prominent leaders, a revered cleric and a politician, occurred two days ago in Kaduna. Dozens of people, excluding the actual targets, died just because some psychos want to massage their egos that they have lethal might. Let the killers not die and may the dead rest in peace!
Re: Who are the 21st century illiterates?
Dimeji, let the pen speak until we learn to learn and learn to unlean, even learn to relearn. Nice. Reginald 07038715657
Mahfouz, I have tears in my eyes reading your piece in today’s Daily Newswatch. It is so appalling how we have degenerated as a people and as a nation. 08034678040
With an attempt to internalize your phenomenological theory, I am further exposed to Learning, Unlearning and Relearning hoping that by so articulating, the “Egg Heads” will one day “find a true man in me”. My brother, you are a PHENOMENON!! 08060613373