Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Metaphor for their lives? Cesspool breach floods Gaza village killing at least 6

A large wall of earth surrounding a cesspool, originally built by the Israelis to accommodate 50,000 people (and now serving at least 250,000), suddenly collapsed, engulfing Umm Naser (a small Bedouin village in northern Gaza) in a sea of mud and raw sewage. At least 6 people died, with dozens injured and some missing.

They've known for years that trouble was brewing. In fact, in 2004, the U.N. issued a report warning of an impending disaster, and shortly thereafter international funding was secured to build a new sewage facility, however, construction never commenced. Why? Because the area was deemed too dangerous, since Umm Naser happens to sit a mere 300 yards from the Israeli border, and is a hot bed of Palestinian/Israeli fighting. Palestinians have often launched rocket attacks against Israel from that little strip of Gaza, with Israel retaliating in kind. Can you blame foreign workers for not wanting to risk life and limb in a country that promotes and encourages suicide bombings?

Of course, Hamas government officials immediately blamed international sanctions for the infrastructure failure, but the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs claims that particular project was in no way affected by the sanctions. Naturally, the Palestinians have to blame someone or something, other than themselves, for their continuing plight. And, the Israelis, in all their inimitable graciousness (considering the Palestinians and most Muslims want them wiped off the planet), immediately offered aid to those affected by the flood, though it hasn't been determined, yet, whether they have accepted the offer.

No-one deserves to drown in a sea of human excrement, but it's an interesting metaphor for the Palestinian situation and the choices both the leaders and people have made over the years and, sadly, continue to make. When you opt for hatred and violence over peace and prosperity, then you suffer the unfortunate consequences of those negative decisions. We all have choices to make in life, as individuals and, collectively, as countries, and those choices affect both our individual lives and the country as a whole; both on a material and spiritual level. So, when the Palestinian people chose, almost overwhelmingly, Hamas (an internationally recognized terrorist organization) to lead their country, they made it perfectly clear where their hearts and minds lie. And prior to that, they suffered the likes of another terrorist, Yasser Arafat who, with all his many millions, kept his people firmly under control, by fomenting the fires of hatred and discontent through ignorance and abject poverty.

But the Palestinian people do have a choice, as we all do! They have a choice to either continue considering themselves victims, and all that that encompasses: all the hatred and violence and death, or they can choose to embrace peace and all the wonderful possibilities that peace can bring. They can choose to utilize all the foreign aid they receive for projects that will enhance their lives, or they can continue to funnel that money into purchasing bombs and weapons that will take lives, not only of the Israeli people, but the lives of their own children and husbands and wives. They can choose to hate or love. They can choose to embrace life or death. They can choose to live in harmony with their Israeli neighbors or live in discord with their mortal enemies. But the choice is theirs!!

I hope they choose, some day, to embrace the light rather than the darkness they have chosen to blanket themselves with because, ultimately: muck begets muck.


Papa J said...

I can't imagine that these people were really suprised. There had to be some warning signs like seepage if it was weak enough to fail entirely.

Living in the U.S. I don't understand corruption. I've never really had to deal with it. (Yes I lived in Italy but that was a lazy beaurocracy more than corrupt.) I realize that there is still corruption in the U.S. but I can honestly say I have never heard of a government official accepting bribes or perks without the press turning it into the Spanish Inquisition. God bless a free press!!!

Blazing Cat Fur said...

The culture of victimization and perpetual blame is the very soul of Palestinian existence. It is central to their cultural foundation - without it they cease to exist.

Incognito said...

They weren't Papa J. They had been warned about the problem for years prior to the U.N. report. And in fact, the wall that breached had been built to surround the original, wich was leaking. But they would rather spend the money on arms etc. Really pathetic.
And yes, thank God for free press, but now thank God for the bloggers like Little Green Footballs and others, who have exposed a lot of things.

You're right, BCF. It is a culture of victimization and violence. They revel in it, so I don't think they *will* ever be able exist in peace with the Israelis, so where does that leave things?!

MUD said...

The day after you posted this I saw the story in the paper. What a tragedy that people had to die trying to swim in such an awful place. To me the question of who it was is moot. Hate begets hate and someone always has to pay the price. Again the UN can't fix a problem so long as the bullets are flying. I love peace but know that in some cases it takes armed intervention (oh no he used the word WAR) to solve end the small shitty problems. MUD

Papa J said...

More and more I'm seeing that the motivation for a lot of middle easterners (Jews, palestinians, sunnis, shii'as, etc.) is revenge. Until some decides that there really isn't any way to settle the score and the other party agrees and steps away, they will keep on fueding.

I really think the concept of revenge is hard for Americans to grasp. Even our response to 9/11, the move into Afghanistan and later Iraq but mainly Afghanistan, wasn't just a mindless lashing out. We set objectives. Granted we haven't accomplished a whole lot of them. But we didn't go over there with the intent of wiping them off the map. Which is more that we can say about the constant score keeping we see between the factions.

Lambent said...

'The culture of victimization and perpetual blame is the very soul of Palestinian existence.'

That sounds like a rather good description of the average Jew.

Ooo, better not say that.

Incognito said...

Exactly, MUD, they expect to be helped, but make it virtually impossible, physically, by continuing to live their lives as they do. And, yes, armed intervention is often necessary.

It's very sad PapaJ, the whole cycle of revenge and violence. Intend to write a post about that. It's also in the Balkans. And I believe resides within each and every one of us. At least the desire to get even. It may not manifest itself in violence and death, but there are people in this country, even, who have done some very nasty and harmful things in an affort to exact revenge on others they *think* have done them wrong. Thankfully, most people don't act upon it, but those who do, wreak a lot of havoc.

And actually, Lambent, Jews feel far from victimized or if they do, they rise above those feelings and have accomplished some great things. You enjoy the fruits of many of those accomplishments. They made Israel an oasis out of a sandpit. They have always flourished wherever they are.

Lambent said...

OASIS! HA! Have you been? It's a fucking shithole.

Lambent said...

Always flourished?! Wherever they go they are generally the most hated community.

They should have been given a small island, far away in the South Pacific somewhere where they won't cause any trouble.

Incognito said...

Have you, Lamb? I had the impression you hadn't been anywhere other than H.K.

They are hated by those who are jealous of their many accomplishments.

And speaking of cesspools,dear, what happened to your blog? I went to check it out and it was gone, once again.

Lambent said...

Yes, it has to go sometimes.

I'm quite well known around here and need to change the URL regularly/drop under cover.

My job takes me to foreign countries at least twice a week. Although I don't feel I need to shout this from the roof tops. But thanks for asking. Yes, I have been to Israel many times.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Rode out on a rail were you Lambent? Why am I not surprised?

Incognito said...

well, Lamb, perhaps you wouldn't have to do that if you kept your blog a tad less... well... R rated. But that would probably be too boring, eh?