FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

On the Never-Ending Mourning of Palestinians

by

The story of The Cat, the Two Mice and the Cheese might have originally appeared in the Panchatantra, the acclaimed collection of Indian fables, a variation of which has appeared in numerous transnational celebrated fable collections, including the Greek  Aesop’s Fables, the Persian Kaleela wa Dumna and the French LeRoman de Renart.

The tales in these fable collections, though they seem to be written for children, are more apropos for adults. The brevity and conciseness of the texts, plotlines, narratives, and settings are subordinated to a singular dictum which is often posed in the form of a moral question. And the vast assortment of animals, in a vast range of character types, are merely human mouthpieces whose persona range from the noble, the moral, the upright and the trustworthy to the conniving, immoral, deceptive, disingenuously deviant and maliciously deceitful.

In ancient times some of the fables’ doubles entendres were directed at ruthless tyrants who ruled by fiat and wielded absolute power over people’s lives. A case in point is the fable of The Lion and the Hare (sometimes a lion and a mouse) whose storyline is as follows. The lion, the feared tyrannical king of the forest, steps on a thorn which in time festers in his paw and renders him into an emasculated disabled weakling begging for help. The hare, sensing the lion’s vulnerability, walks up to the lion and nestles himself between the lion’s once powerful but now impotent paws. After repeated pleas and only after the lion promises never to harm the hare, the hare removes the thorn and saves the lion’s life. Tyrants beware: you never know when you’ll need your citizens’ support.

Which brings me to the fable of the two mice, the cat and the slab of cheese, and its relevance to Palestine, Israel and the mighty United States of America.

Two mice come across a slab of cheese and argue on how it should be divided into equal shares. One suggests that they seek the counsel of a cat. The cat’s shifty attempt to cut the large slab of cheese into two equal portions fails. Because one portion was slightly larger than the other, the cat suggests that he take a small bite of the larger portion so as to apportion equal shares to each of the mice. Cunningly, the cat keeps playing the let’s-negotiate-who-gets-what scheme, eating first from one portion, then the other, while all the time pretending to be acting fairly and in good faith. At the end of the game, the cat ignores the mice, smacks his lips, licks his paws, straightens his whiskers, and reclines, supine and serenely satiated.

Extrapolating from this fable one can see Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu as the conniving feline playing Community Leader Barack Obama at the grab-all-the-Palestinian-land-you-can game while all the time pretending to work towards peace. Mister Cat Bibi and the two mice — the Palestinians and the Americans — are the hoodwinked mice.

Inasmuch as it pains me to liken the US to a mouse, the truth of the matter is that when it comes to Israel, this once powerful lion has been reduced to an impotent mouse, taking orders from a bully who thumbs his nose at the world and bites the hand that feeds him. As for the subservient EU mouselets, who gave the world colonialism, two world wars and the Holocaust, they too are complicit in the crime that is unfolding in Gaza.

While the dignity accorded to the victims of Malaysian Flight 17 by the American media was laudably thorough and exhaustive, ignoring the plight of innocent Palestinian civilians trapped in an open-air prison and shot as one would shoot fish in a glass bowl is abhorrent. To add insult to injury, the perpetrators blame the victims for their misfortune. Don’t the Palestinians have the right to defend themselves as other nations do? Just recently the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte observed about Flight 17: “We are a nation in mourning.”

For decades the Palestinians have been in mourning, a never-ending mourning in a sea of brutality fully funded and fully supported by an emasculated giant aiding, abetting and fueling the pyromaniacs of the world.

Raouf J Halaby is a Professor of English and Art at a private university in Arkansas. He is a peace activist, a sculptor, a photographer and an avid gardener. He can be reached at: halabyr@obu.edu

This article appears in the excellent Le Monde Diplomatique, whose English language edition can be found at mondediplo.com. This full text appears by agreement with Le Monde Diplomatique. CounterPunch features two or three articles from LMD every month.

Raouf J. Halaby has just recently been awarded a Professor Emeritus status. He taught English and art for 42 years. He is a writer, a sculptor, a photographer, and an avid gardener. He can be reached at rrhalaby@suddenlink.net

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail