FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

On the Never-Ending Mourning of Palestinians

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.

More articles by:

Raouf J. Halaby is a Professor Emeritus of English and Art. He is a writer, photographer, sculptor, an avid gardener, and a peace activist. halabys7181@outlook.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
April 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Omar Shaban
Gaza’s New Conflict: COVID-19
Rob Urie
Work, Crisis and Pandemic
John Whitlow
Slumlord Capitalism v. Global Pandemic
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Strange Things Happening Every Day
Jonathan Cook
The Bigger Picture is Hiding Behind a Virus
Paul Street
Silver Linings Amidst the Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Control of Nature
Louis Proyect
COVID-19 and the “Just-in-Time” Supply Chain: Why Hospitals Ran Out of Ventilators and Grocery Stores Ran Out of Toilet Paper
Kathleen Wallace
The Highly Contagious Idea
Kenneth Good
The Apartheid Wars: Non-Accountability and Freedom for Perpetrators.
Andrew Levine
Democracy in America: Sorry, But You Can’t Get There from Here.
Ramzy Baroud
Tunisia Leads the Way: New Report Exposes Israel’s False Democracy
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the State-of-Emergency Pandemic
Matthew Stevenson
Will Trump Cancel the Election? Will the Democrats Dump Joe?
Ron Jacobs
Seattle—Anti-Capitalist Hotbed
Michael T. Klare
Avenger Planet: Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Mother Nature’s Response to Human Transgression?
Jack Rasmus
COVID-19 and the Forgotten Working Class
Werner Lange
The Madness of More Nukes and Less Rights in Pandemic Times
J.P. Linstroth
Why a Race is Not a Virus and a Virus is Not a Race
John Feffer
We Need a Coronavirus Truce
Thomas S. Harrington
“New Corona Cases”: the Ultimate Floating Signifier
John Grant
Is the Pandemic Patriarchal?
Victor Grossman
Corona and What Then?
Katie Fite
Permanent Pandemic on Public Lands: Welfare Sheep Ranchers and Their Enablers Hold the West’s Bighorns Hostage
Patrick Bond
Covid-19 Attacks the Down-and-Out in Ultra-Unequal South Africa
Eve Ottenberg
Capitalism vs. Humanity
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 2: Panic On the Streets of Tehran
Jonas Ecke
Would Dying for the Economy Help Anybody?
Jeff Mackler
Capitalism is the Virus!
Andrew Moss
Incarceration, Detention, and Covid-19
Farzana Versey
Prayers, Piffle and Privation in the Time of Pandemic
Will Solomon
In the New Dystopia
Dean Baker
The Relative Generosity of the Economic Rescue Package: Boeing vs. Public Broadcasting
Dr. Leo Lopez, III
We Need a Lot More Transparency From the CDC
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Reflections on a Glass of Homemade Cider
Rashid Nuri
Homegrown Crisis Response: Who Grows Your Food?
Mark Luskus
Worst Case Scenario: Healthcare Workers Need Masks, ASAP
Volker Franke
The Virus That May Bring us Together
Mitchell Zimmerman
A Q & A on the GOP’s Call for Elder Sacrifice
Olfat al-Kurd
COVID-19 Could Be Catastrophic for Us: Notes From Gaza
Eileen Appelbaum - Roesmary Batt
Hospital Bailouts Begin…for Those Owned by Private Equity Firms
Nabri Ginwa
Carcinogens
Jill Richardson
Efficiency vs. Resilience
Lee Ballinger
Eddie Van Halen and the Future of Humanity
David Yearsley
Beset by Bach
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail