While leading American blog Daily Kos appears to be silencing pro-Palestinian voices and the IDF continues its humanitarian mission in the occupied territories, the Palestinian reality in Lebanon is mired in tragedy once more. Robert Fisk reports:
What, I kept asking myself yesterday, have we unleashed now? Well, you can ask Suheila Mustafa who stood yesterday at the bedside of her 45-year-old sister, Samia, so terribly wounded by army shellfire in the face that she could neither talk nor focus upon us with her bloated left eye. “We had just woken up when we heard the first barrage of gunfire,” she said. “My sister was beside me and fell down with her head bleeding. She haemorraged from 5.50 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon. At last my brother brought us all out in his car. But let me tell you this. The Palestinian people have heard Walid Jumblatt and we say ‘thank you’ to him and let us have more shelling.
“And I would like to thank Prime Minister Siniora, and say thanks – really thanks – very much to George Bush and to Condoleezza Rice. I really want to thank them for these shells and these wounds we are suffering. And if Rice really wants to send more materiel to the Lebanese Army, she had better hurry up. There is a woman still in the camp who is very pregnant and the child in her womb will be born and will grow into a man – and then we’ll see!”
Of course, one wants to remind Suheila – perhaps not her dreadfully wounded sister – that the Palestinians are guests in Lebanon, that by allowing Fatah al-Islam to nest on the edge of their north Lebanon camp, they were inviting their own doom. But victimhood – and let us not doubt the integrity or the dignity of that victimhood – has become almost a pit for the Palestinians, into which they have fallen. The catastrophe of their eviction and flight from Palestine in 1948, their near-destruction in the Lebanese civil war, their cruel suffering at the hands of Israeli invaders – the massacre of Sabra and Chatila in 1982 where 1,700 were slaughtered – and now this, have sealed these people into a permanent prison of suffering.
A permanent prison of suffering, deliberately engineered by the Americans and Israel. The current quagmire, after all, is exactly what Washington has planned all along. The attempted overthrow of Hamas, a democratically elected government, is simply the latest in a long line of “unacceptable” parties.
Middle East democracy courtesy of the US? Tell that to the scores of bloggers I’m meeting here in Egypt and they’ll laugh. Their contempt for US aims in the region is palpable. And who can blame them?