Palestine: Death by Apathy

Today, I joined the thousands of people around the world protesting for Gaza.

After cursing my inability to reach London for the protests today – my home town has but one bus a day to the capital – I was heartened to discover that the local mosque organised a demo in just 24 hours.

Anticipating a handful of protesters clustered around a rickety stall, I was astounded by the turnout and voracity with which the participants protested.bambino-palestinese

Yet while I expound the importance of marches against acts of immense human cruelty, I nonetheless remain jaded.

As we wound our way through the Saturday afternoon shopping crowds, police lining the route, an Egyptian lady sidled up and asked if I lived locally.

I nodded, and she looked perplexed before asking, “Why are the people laughing at us? Do they not realise that people are dying?”

True enough, while many onlookers wore curious expressions, many more were laughing and pointing as though it were a procession of Bobo’s Circus, rather than a physical indictment on the genocide that is escalating in the Middle East.

Such apathy is depressing and reflected in the peculiar tendency – endemic in Britain at the moment – to feel nothing for matters that are political in nature, but so much for celebrity-related affairs.

protest-8A few weeks ago approximately 8 million people voted in the X-Factor poll; how many of those will care enough to vote in the political elections?

Those that I have asked state that they don’t care about voting in elections, believing their vote does not make a difference.

If such a sizable number of the population does not care enough about their own political futures to vote, what hope is there that they will understand the repercussions of British foreign policy?

Britain is becoming a nation of political vegetables, and while I applaud those who are active – whether it is through protesting in person or by pen (or keyboard) – it is disturbing that the emerging generation cares so little about what is going on within, and outside, of Britain’s shores.protest-13

As I type, TG2 is screening the little green figures of Israeli forces invading Gaza under the cover of darkness, and I am filled with foreboding.

I worry that the destruction that will come on the ground will be worse than that which has come from the air.

I worry that we are going to see the atrocities of Sabra and Shatila on an epic level, wreaked with occupation in mind.

I worry that if Gaza falls, where will Israel turn its roving eye next?

I worry that it will be Lebanon.

I worry that it will be the West Bank.

I worry that in 20 years time I, and my children, will be protesting for Jordan.

And most of all, I worry that it will not be Israel that destroys the Middle East, but global apathy.

After the tragedy of the Holocaust, how horridly ironic that will be – for we shall not have learnt a jot.

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2009 by in Conflict Zones, Israel, Middle East, Palestine and tagged , , , , , , .
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