We All Desire Life, Colltalers
The first crack in the up-to-now overwhelming support for President Biden suddenly exploded like, and due to, Israeli strikes in Gaza, which shocked the world for their viciousness and unrestrained violence. For a change, public opinion is turning and more Americans now care about the Palestinians.
Thousands around the globe rallied to decry Israel’s apartheid policies even as the U.S. stands firmly to its side. We’re on our own again. For if not, this week would be marked by a serious pipeline hack and in Brazil, by a Congressional inquiry into President Bolsonaro’s disastrous handling of Covid.
A Senate panel is trying to establish a timeline of Brazil’s failures to contain the virus and the still current lack of vaccines to cover every citizen. The probe however is unlikely to change what’s already public knowledge: the president downplayed the crisis until it was too late, hence the staggering 430,000 casualties so far. Friday, a Supreme Court Justice ruled that ex-Health Minister Eduardo Pazzuelo won’t even need to take questions about it.
The nightmare of vital energy hubs in the U.S. being attacked was reawakened May 7 when an international extortion ring threatened to disrupt the Colonial Pipeline, which carries transportation fuel to the Southeast and New York area. That it wasn’t attempted by a so-called rogue nation, or a well-known terrorist group brings little comfort: it means we’re more vulnerable than we expected and all talk about national security was just that, talk.
Or, as often, only invoked to go after dissenters. Naturally, the attack had an immediate impact on pump prices; funny that one of the richest, most heavily government-subsidized industries seems to be always on the verge of breaking down if prices are not raised. One also wonders if some of the money the Pentagon will save by bringing U.S. troops back from Afghanistan will be spent reinforcing cybersecurity of essential utilities. Just kidding.
While the DarkSide hackers have reportedly been paid $5 million in bitcoin by Colonial to release its grip on its information systems, it’s unknown whether another group, Babuk, was paid by the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Dept., even after it released personal data of many of its officers.
Finally, with all due respect, few were expecting more bad news coming from India, apart from its struggle against the coronavirus. But as it turns out, 18 Asian elephants have been found dead in a forest reserve and no one knows yet why. Since poaching has been ruled out, a team of veterinarians and officials are studying possible causes, including poisoning. India is home to nearly 30,000 elephants, about 60% of the wild Asian elephant population.
The eruption of hostilities in Israel, triggered in part by resistance to an Aug. 1 eviction deadline given to old Palestinian families living in the Sheikh Jarrah East Jerusalem neighborhood, has dislodged even the pandemic’s mostly bad news out of the headlines. Ironically, that’s what exposed Israel’s uniquely cruel vaccination strategy: despite inoculating citizens in record time, the Netanyahu administration neglected to vaccinate most Palestinians.
Always challenged by any nuanced view of the Middle East and its incredibly complex relationship with the U.S., the president is trying to error on the side of weakness. And that’d be a tragic mistake. Biden is being pressured to stop being the Biden of old and to demand accountability from Israel. Isn’t what we require from foes and allies alike? No one in the White House or Capitol Hill can claim not to know about Israel’s years of illegal settlements.
The result of decades of outright Fascistic policies, with no call for accountability from the part of its biggest sponsor, the U.S., irrupted this week not as a surprise but as a culmination. It’s a coincidence that it all happened in the days leading to Nakba “Catastrophe” Day. At this point, Palestinians do not need excuses to protest their brutal occupation: they live in a prison, with no possibility of ever getting equal rights to a productive, dignified life.
The disconnect between the Democratic and Republican parties, plus the president, and what an ever-larger segment of Americans think about U.S. support for Israel hasn’t been picked up yet by the established media. The coverage is still stuck trying to give the impression that there are two equal sides fighting. But it isn’t hard to see which side has one of the most powerful armies in the world, and which has an arsenal of short-range missiles.
“Airstrikes, shooting, and stun grenades are visible, while laws, military orders, bureaucrats, policy-makers, and judges who uphold the system remain mostly invisible.” The statement of Jerusalem-based human rights groups B’Tselem appeals to the world to intervene and stop the bombing of the Gaza Strip and all hostilities, so emergency health care and services can have access to Palestinian victims. “We all desire life. For every single one of us.”
At 11, Damon Weaver once asked President Obama an unanswerable question: “What are you going to do about violence and to keep me safe?” It was in 2009, during a 10-minute interview at the White House. We mourn Weaver who has passed away at age 23. R.I.P., Champ, you’ve risen to the top.
“Then what? A woman soldier shouted: Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you? I said: you killed me… and I forgot, like you, to die.” An excerpt of “In Jerusalem,” by late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darvish, published in 2007. Had we known then what we know now, would it be different? Ila-liqaa’ WC