Archive for September, 2012

Before I even get into the context in which this quote is being used, I want to talk about why it’s blatantly wrong. The word civilized is a very subjective word and the western culture celebrates the idea- but that doesn’t mean that people should only be human or have value because they’re “civilized.”

This kind of ideology is why the Native Americans were brutally killed, raped, removed from their land and for a very long time- removed from history.

This kind of ideology is why African Americans were enslaved for so long. Why they were dehumanized as a population.

This kind of ideology is why the Irish were colonized by the English, why there possessions were taken away from them, why famine and poverty were such a huge problem in the country that it moved Johnathan Swift to write A Modest Proposal.

 

By using this amazing thing called “civilized” the western world has repeatedly belittled other cultures and people. To say that being “civilized” is what makes a good man is a ridiculous notion. History has proved that “right” and “civilized” are not the same thing. Also, the word “savage” is a loaded term. It doesn’t just mean uncivilized, but it carries a lot of negative connotations.

Now, about this sign in it’s context. First of all, the sign doesn’t make the distinction between Palestinians and the rest of the Middle East. It tries to say that supporting Israel means that you’re against Jihad. What Americans know as jihad is what 9/11 was. To say that supporting Israel means you’re against 9/11 is a silly thing. I’M AGAINST 9/11, but I in no way support Israels’ military actions against the Palestinian people. The sign forces you into supporting Israel because you sure as hell don’t want the other option (supporting Jihad); what it refuses to acknowledge is that supporting Israel does not equate to defeating jihad. Isarel’s fight is against Palestine- NOT all of Middle East, NOT the people behind 9/11, NOT Al-Qaida or the government of Sadam Hussain.

Secondly, Palestine belongs to the Palestinians as England belongs to the English. Palestine was under British rule and was  forcefully taken away from the Palestinian people and given to the Jews so that they may have their own land. I sympathize with the need for a Jewish homeland, but to take one man’s home and give it to another is wrong. The Palestinian people didn’t just get placed from one home to another- they were taken from their homes and given NOTHING in return. Generations of Palestinians have grown up in refugee camps. Since the beginning of this year, there have been 535 attacks on these Palestinians. The blockade of Gaza continues. How is that a “civilized” thing to do?

Why is the Palestinian a savage? Because he’s fighting for his home? Because he’s fighting with home made bombs and rocks? Because the Israelis fight with tanks and weapons? Because no one will come to the aid of the Palestinians while many come to the aid of Israel? He’s a hero- IF- he’s an American (or anyone who isn’t a part of the Middle East). The American soldier is always a hero. Even if he partakes in a massacre (My Lai, Vietnam). So why is a man who is fighting for his home back, for a better life for his children,  his inalienable human rights- a SAVAGE? Because he’s fighting the self proclaimed “civilized” man.

“we do not seek to delegitimize an existing State – that is Israel; but rather to assert the State that must be realized – that is Palestine.”

–       Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas

 

Disclaimer: I am not trying to have these signs removed, because I do believe in freedom of speech (although just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t mean you should it). I’m just having my opinion known. I may not be right, if you think I’m wrong- I’m open to calm conversation. But rude and biased comments, I don’t need.

A little about the history of Israel (if you’re interested).

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