All people of conscience abhor the violence we see coming out of Iran, regardless of the electoral fraud issue. It is easy to abhor it when it is splashed all over our newspaper front pages and making the headlines of the nightly news. Iran is our enemy, part of the axis of evil, and thus it is easy for us to dig up their dirt and point our fingers.
However, there is a similar situation which has been occurring in the middle east for years and years (only it is much more brutal and damaging) and we are able to ignore it with great discipline. Israel recently massacred 1400 people in Gaza and our nation, including our brave President Obama, was able to hold it’s tongue and keep the carnage off of the front pages. The videos were not as visible. There were exceptions, but in general, for all intents and purposes, the dead children were not seen except for in the alternative media.
Israel has set up a regime of terror and torture and is so practiced at it that it occurs everyday. One of the recent egregious incidents is the account of the Palestinian journalist, Mohammed Omer. It has been over a year now that he returned from receiving the prestigious Martha Gelhorn award for journalism in England… only to be tortured by the Shin Bet at the border, and put into the hospital. His ill-treatment was vehemently denied and lied about by the official Israeli lying apparatus. However, his story continues to be told along with witness testimonies and medical records to back him up. One year after the incident of his torture, he writes:
Since 2003, I’ve been the voice to the voiceless in the besieged Gaza Strip for a number of publications and news programs ranging from The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs to the BBC and, Morgenbladet in Norway as well as Democracy Now! These stories exposed a carefully-crafted fiction continuing control and exploitation of five-million people. Their impact, coupled with the reporting of others served to change public opinion in the United States and Europe concerning the dynamics of Israel and its occupation of Palestine .
After receiving the Martha Gellhorn prize I returned home through the Allenby Bridge Crossing in the Occupied West Bank between Jordan and Israel. It was here I was detained, interrogated, and tortured for several hours by Shin Bet and border officers. When it appeared I may be close to death an ambulance was called to transport me to a hospital. From that day my life has been a year of continued medical treatments, pain — and a search for justice.
One of the amazing recollections of his ordeal is this:
When Associated Press reporter Karin Laub called me on my cell phone for an interview after my ordeal, I detailed how I was stripped and held at gunpoint. Her reply? “Go on,” she stated. “This is normal about what we hear happening at Ben Gurion Airport . It’s nothing new.”
Nothing new. Normal. This is what happens all the time in the middle east and it doesn’t appear on the front pages or make the nightly news. It doesn’t cause protest around the world. It doesn’t get Obama up on his soap box, pontificating about human rights abuses and freedom. (Of course, he’s too busy killing kids and the elderly at Pakistani funerals to be worrying about this sort of thing.)
Read the rest of Omer’s recollections here: