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Friday, December 27, 2002

Where Was I?


I cannot remember the exact minute.

Oh. Yes.

I was in a lawyers' office, in a local tower actually, in Tel-Aviv. Not far from it are our own Twin Towers. Exactly so they're named, represented here along with every chain store you may find in USA.

I was in this lawyer's office. A publishing house has taken a book of mine, a children's book, and reprinted it, without my consent, with no name on it. Erased is my name.

I was about to leave when another lawyer in that office came in saying, "Have you heard the news? An airplane entered into the Twin Towers."

We looked out of the window and could see nothing.

Someone switched on the TV.


It was easier to cling to the beautiful
memories, reminiscences of times spent in NYC, visits to the Twin Towers. The people, the multitude of singularly precious lives lost, to this recollection no one dared get close, afraid of collapsing immediately.. We sensed there will be plenty of time and no place to escape the harrowing sights, so we tried to postpone, even if only for a couple of minutes. Gravely, most intelligently, we moved on to the second phase of denial, that of dissecting history: "Someone wanted to boost Arafat's chance to meet Bush next week," said I. "Pearl Harbor!" cried the lawyer.

Oh, it's been such a long time since not only the buses and cars we are boarding in hope to reach home alive, but also buildings, the whole region is spinning wildly as if we were riding a dinosaur awaken to shake us off. But now the whole globe is shifting. Now what we chose to see as a local problem, those local problems around the world are now shown as one and the same, no place to go and find shelter if worse comes to worst. Evil has boarded our Noah's Ark, heading fast into the Arrarat mountain.


On one of these days which since the mass murder
seem like compressed in one minute and enlarged to the infinite, I got an e-mail from a beloved friend, the Dutch writer Marion Bloem, with a message she got from a friend, carrying at its tail so many indignant signatures.

They all related to a CNN video showing Palestinians celebrating the mass murder, claiming it was actually a replay of the one filmed during the1990 War when there was spontaneous dancing on the roofs of Gaza whenever an Iraqi scud missile hit Tel-Aviv.

I went to the quoted posting, put on quite a respected alternative news site, and found out that since September 12 when this piece of news was posted, waves after waves of armed words were hitting there in all directions.

The target, the most important issue of those days, turned to be the very real and most pressing issue of CNN, or/and The Media.


Dear Marion,
I would have been the first to be happy if the allegations in the e-mails you forwarded were true. I do not know much about CNN, actually I've been living with no TV for the last nineteen years, and rarely watch it somewhere else. I have not seen neither the 1990 nor the recent CNN films so I cannot compare. I went to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz English edition, and Haaretz is very much respected for its courage and honesty, it also has a few reporters that write on behalf of the ordinary Palestinian people's plight, has the only reporter (a courageous honest Jewish Israeli woman - Amira Hass) who actually went to live in Gaza for a few years and now is living in Ramallah.

And I found from yesterday's edition (today is New Year, so no new edition, only updates) this article in which you can read that Ahmed Tibi himself, an Israeli MP militant supporter of Arafat who used to work as his advisor, a honorable person, clearly expressing his displeasure with the Palestinian who celebrated jubiliantly the horrible terrorist murderous attack on USA citizens.

So maybe he has not read the e-mail you've forwarded...


Arab MKs refuse to condemn Palestinian joy over U.S. attacks By Gideon Alon, Haaretz (excerpt)

All Knesset factions except the Arab parties yesterday denounced manifestations of Palestinian joy following last week's deadly terror attacks in the United States, in a summary statement adopted at a special session to express solidarity with the American people in the wake of the attacks.

Those Palestinians who support terror, the resolution said, "could not restrain themselves. While across the sea, people were counting the bodies of innocent civilians, they [Palestinian supporters of terror] chose to dance on the blood of the dead."

.The resolution was supported by all Knesset factions except the Arab parties.

. MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) said that he also denounces the manifestations of joy in the Arab street. "I feel shame and anger toward those who expressed joy at this human tragedy," he said. However, he added, "We are talking about a handful of rash, stupid and ugly people, and the attempt to stigmatize the entire Arab and Islamic nation with their exceptional acts is cheap, harmful and perverted."


Dear Editor:

I know so many Palestinian mothers and fathers and children who yearn no less than my Israeli people for an end to all atrocities. I cannot even name them as I know it might endanger their lives in their own community and they
have enough to suffer in the given conditions. Yet, leafing through the numerous responses on your site I was struck by the realization that the huge majority of them, no matter what stand they took, were intensely violent in language, full of hatred of whoever does not share their insightful contradictions..

Can we have or even seek a world of peace and equality when led by hatred? Is hatred imbued in so many people from birth or by education alone? How come in the same environment one is a peace seeker and benevolent, the other blindly hateful? Apart from the very sick, like the one who posted a site where a banner was claiming pathetically: KILL THE JEWS, and I pity them indeed, I fully understand that People, so shattered, need someone to point to as the predator. If indeed, as so many were saying, all this was caused by USA's faults, than how come the killing goes on, of Muslims against Muslims? Maybe at the root of all evil is Evil itself, per sei, the gluttony of Evil, the sick drive to kill, destroy, hate, stamp out? Were the Inquisition, the Nazis, the killers throughout history incited by USA imperialism?

Or maybe the human being, humanity as a whole is scared to look into the deep recesses of our individual soul? Can we survive ourselves without such an all encompassing search and research and understanding?


Tuesday, September 18, 2001 10:12 PM

Dear Corinna:

Hello, I am Chris Kaihatsu, a volunteer journalist with the Chicago Independent Media Center.

We now have confirmation that the CNN old-footage rumor was spread without corroboration by an individual who used his teacher's conjecturing as a starting-point. I have reproduced the message below.


A couple of days ago a story written by a Brazilian student was posted at IMC Israel saying that his teacher at UNICAMP university
had evidence that images CNN broadcast showing Palestinians celebrating the World Trade Center attack were actually old images from 1991 of Palestinians celebrating Kuwait's invasion. This story has since then circulated in the form of e-mails and hundreds of people commented on it. We finally managed to contact him and he was very worried about the repercussions of what he wrote. He said that his teacher later said that she didn't had a tape of the old CNN footage and she wasn't sure about it. Well, he's writing himself a statement clarifying what happened. Meanwhile, we would ask that people not spread this rumor further.

Sincerely, Pablo Ortellado, Ind. Media Center Brasil Volunteer9.

Dear Marion:

If only all problems
could be solved that easily, all lies and rumors that simply unmasked.

In the country of my childhood, in Romania, there goes a saying: "The house is on fire and grandmother is combing her hair."

Here it's splitting hairs over everything that will take us away from the one and only pressing issue: If indeed the cause to this attack was Imperialism, then the brave messengers of destruction should have conducted their attack at night when no one was in those buildings, (With no one in the planes? That would be too much to ask) and spare lives. Again and again I know: Algeria, where Muslims kill Muslims, is drowning in blood with no imperialism involved there anymore.

Our Age of Wisdom has done research on every malady, except the drive to violence: how come it's dwelling in people's hearts, how and if there is a healing way out. A medicine.

Right now the violence of Imperialism, the money and power cult, oh, that's been searched and researched, to no avail. And what about fundamentalist and extremist violence? Bin laden is not such a poor guy, he's not a Third World oppressed and starving slave of USA Imperialism, neither are those like him.

Our reality is imbued with violence, it's only a question of degree. Yet there is one big difference upon which awareness cannot close its eyes anymore. Our very existence depends upon this ferocious illumination: The much disliked imperialism is not the immediate danger at this moment. As much as it has inflicted suffering and brought death and sorrow with its abuse of power, unlike the terrorist fanatics, murdering is not Imperialism's raison d'etre. In our Age we can, as much as we must, converse with the Imperialist system in a common language based on the universal values which places human life and freedom above all.

This of course calls for a lot of upgrading. It is and will always be an ongoing process and struggle. If we look at such countries as Sweden or Netherland, they've managed to turn from brutal Imperialism to socially oriented, much more benign systems. I would rather see bin laden and his likes as imperialist moguls, but they won't be satisfied with such trifles. As with the proverbial stork and fox, we have no language to share with the fundamentalism's holy values; theirs is a fixated dogma set on total anihillating of The Other, The Heretic. Those messengers of Evil are acting now and so must they be counteracted right away and fast, not as revenge but as an inevitable safety measure.


first published on the Masthead e-zine, September 2001

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