I heard Hanan Ashwari speak years ago in Portland, sometime in the mid-late 80's. She is the kind of person you don't forget. She described what the Palestinians were going through then, which was living in an outdoor prison, as she put it.Would she have believed that the torture was still going on in 2014? Her belief was that knowing the injustice would mobilize opinion against the occupation and bring freedom to Palestine. I guess we were all naive in those days.
Around that time, too, I got to know a Palestinian man pretty well from taking the bus with him from school. We were both in the Portland State University ESL teaching certificate program, and later we taught at the same campus for a term. He was a very serious and "correct"person and did not joke around, in classes or elsewhere. He told me that he had asked his father whether to stay permanently in the U.S. or to come home. His father said, "Stay where you are. There is nothing for you here." His father knew what would happen, that there was no hope.
Here in Hilo I know a woman who left sometime in the 60's and has returned to Lebanon from time to time to visit family there. She is very anti-Semitic and says the Holocaust was a hoax. I have tried to argue the point with her but without success. Her family was driven from their ancestral home, and that has made her very angry and anguished and half mad.
One thought occurs to me pretty often. Why are the Palestinians being bombed when it was the Germans, not the Palestinians, who destroyed the European Jews? Why are the Palestinians the chosen enemy? What is the advantage of having a population of people who have been persecuted to the point where they are driven to hate the Jews, or at least the occupying Israelis? And why do so many Israelis say that everyone hates the Jews and wants to wipe the Jews out, which is not true at all, probably not even among Palestinians? I think almost anyone can tell the difference between a rabid Israeli nationalist and a normal Jewish person. I'm at a loss to figure out what good the current awful situation does for anyone. It's pure evil.
More: In the current climate, this qualifies as light entertainment.