When I was younger I was in love with the idea of Zion. I associated it with the old reggae song -Dreamland- that still puts me in a good mood, the Idea that Einstein proposed when he called himself a Zionist, aplace of refuge for refugees around the world. I place that was a beacon of peace in a world of division. A glowing model to the world on how people could live. I traveled to the West Bank in 2003 and 2004. Lived there. And saw what the dream of Zion had becomeby the Israeli government. A nightmare of checkpoints, economic isolation (that Israel feeds off of by controlling theborders) dying children, graphic images, indignity, the daily toll of survivng under occupation. We had a little saying: Its the occupation stupid.
So the candidates are fighting over who is more pro-Israel, which is translated as more pro Israeli government. Even Barack has a hypocritical stance. Hel’ll talke to anyone without conditions, except Hamas. Hamas is a legally internationally-observed elctions, elected government. By democratic choice of the people of the West Bank and Gaza. It is the Palestinian government. And Israel’s response is to lock the government up. REally, during the spring and summer o f 2006, before and during the scuffle with Lebanon, they stole most members of the Hamas government and put them in jail. We cant even pretend that is legal under international law or our agreed upon ideas of justice.
Then the Hamas injailed members said dont release us until you listen to the Palestinian Political Prisoners Movement.
The only countries that are allowed to be a democracy are the ones that the US supports. And the US supports Israel. unconditionally.
And so Barack, who wont talk to Hamas until the agree to a vague set of guidelines, guidelines which are more accusatory than achievable,
Look I dont agree with the vision that Hamas has set forth for Palestine. I am an outsider looking in. But really to say that Hamas has to say that Israel has the right to exist is ridiculous. Chavez does not think that the US has a right to exist. No empire has the right to exist. No country has the right to colonize another people.
But to say that because the US representative of Hamas (who is this guy? Does he live in the States? Why is he not in jail? Maybe he lives in Canada. Or Timbuktu.) endoresed Barack means that he wont be staunchly pro-Israel is ridiculous. The majorit of people around the world love Barack. They invest in his message of HOPE and cHANGE more than I do. But honestly after the past decade or two, we are all looking at the bottom of Pandora’s box.
What they love more is that he is Brown. That his father was African, that he spent his childhood in Asia. That he knows the thirdworld with a first love, sweet, innocent, open.
Maybe he will cut them a break.
But this is why I love Palestine. Or at least part of the reason. Because they are the great unloved. Even Barack cant treat their democratic choice as legitimate. It is so popular and powerful to demean Palestine.
They are my hope. All of the righteous underdogs.
And I still think that Zion is a beautiful word.