FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail