FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Of Gorillas and Palestinians

shutterstock_127743827

On May 28, a 3-year-old child somehow entered a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. After being picked up by a 17-year-old gorilla, zoo officials felt the child was in immediate, mortal danger and the gorilla was quickly shot and killed. The child was unharmed.

This is certainly a sad story; the gorilla was of a rare breed, and in picking up the child, was only doing what such animals do: it saw a curiosity, and went to explore it. Zoo officials say they had no choice but to kill the animal, because the child was at great risk.

There has been much discussion about this situation. There were initial news stories, with continual follow-ups; commentary from experts and the general public, etc. There is much anger directed at the zoo, with many people weighing in to say the gorilla was helping, and not harming, the child, and that zoo officials over-reacted. Anonymous hackers have attacked the zoo. As evidence of the publicity and interest this situation garners, a Google search of the combined words ‘”Harambe”, the name of the gorilla, and “Cincinnati Zoo” brings up nearly 1,000,000 results.

A Google search of the combined names, “Nadeem Nawara” and “Mohammad Salameh”, however, brings up only 472 results. After all, who are these people, and why should anyone care about them? These were two Palestinian youths, shot by Israeli forces in 2014. Now this is nothing new; Israeli terrorists (also known as IDF soldiers, or Israeli Defense Forces), kill unarmed Palestinians on an almost daily basis. What is different is that these murders were recorded on camera, much like the shooting of Harambe, the gorilla. Yet there is no outcry about these crimes; certainly nothing to compare to the shooting of a gorilla. While Twitter is practically overwhelmed with mentions of ‘#Harambe’, one finds very few results when searching for #NadeemNawara or ‘#MohammadSalameh’.

This is the typical narrative, as fostered by the news media, which is in the pocket of the U.S. government.

The death of the gorilla certainly has many considerations: from an environmental standpoint, it was a rare species, and the entire breed is endangered. There are security concerns: how was a toddler able to enter the gorilla’s pen? The child’s parents are being investigated, to see if abuse or neglect charges should be filed. Police are also investigating the numerous death threats the child’s family has received.  All this is being done under the microscope of public scrutiny.

Yet human victims of Israeli barbarism are ignored. Mr. Nawara, 17, and Mr. Salameh, 16, ‘hanging out’ together as teenage boys do, watching a protest against Israel but not involved in it, unarmed and unthreatening, were leaving an area which Israeli soldiers had entered. Both young men were shot in the chest with rounds of live ammunition.

Israeli policy states that live ammunition is only to be used against stone-throwers when Israeli terrorists (IDF soldiers) consider there is an immediate danger to their lives. It is remarkable to consider that heavily armed terrorists, with U.S.-government provided weaponry, helmets and other protective gear, would ever consider the throwing of a stone to jeopardize their lives. However, that is reasonable and logical in the unreasonable and illogical thought-process of Zionism. So Israel claimed, against solid evidence to the contrary, that no live ammunition had pierced the chests of these young men, autopsy reports be damned.

Additionally, the youths were between 650 and 820 feet from the soldiers who shot them. If Palestinian youths, from that distance, are able to throw stones so accurately and with such power as to jeopardize the life of a heavily-armed and armor-protected soldier, all of the baseball leagues in the world should be actively recruiting pitchers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel, of course, that bastion of democracy in the Middle East, launched its own investigation, which ‘proved’, at least to its own satisfaction and that of the U.S., that its soldiers were justified in these killings, while it denied the use of live ammunition. Facts are not a prominent consideration when Israel investigates itself.  How careful, one might ask, is the fox when investigating whether or not it raided the henhouse? Israel refuses to participate in any external investigations of its ‘alleged’ crimes, preventing United Nations representatives from entering Palestine to interview residents, claiming that its own investigations are sufficient. But what is any of that, when the victims are Palestinians?

The United States is currently plodding towards it quadrennial display of faux-democracy, that time when about 60% of eligible voters (in a good year), actually cast their ballots for either Tweedle-Dum or Tweedle-Dee, resulting, despite the enthusiastic cries of those who voted for the winner, in the nation and the world simply meeting the new boss, same as the old boss.

This year, the ‘presumptive’ Republican candidate, blowhard billionaire Donald Trump (does anyone besides this writer find it absolutely incredible that Donald Trump is to the be the Republican candidate for president? Donald Trump!) used the AIPAC (Apartheid Israel Political Affairs Committee) conference in March to hone his Israeli credentials, and fawn all over that rogue nation.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, who has fixed the system to all but ensure her coronation as that party’s nominee, is arguably more supportive toward Israel than any past president or candidate. Her ability to overlook violations of international law and human rights is astounding. Her opponent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, actually had the audacity to suggest that Israel isn’t always right in its policies and actions, despite his long support for Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. So while he has, perhaps, thrown a bone to Palestine, he cannot be seen as its savior.

But let us consider really important issues: should the Cincinnati Zoo have killed a gorilla that was possibly threatening a child? Or let’s all discuss Caitlyn Jenner, who is to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, to mark the 40th anniversary of her victory at the Olympics, long before transitioning from Bruce to Caitlyn. Or what new movie earned the most money at the box office last weekend? With all this to occupy our vapid minds, what time do we have to think of murdered Palestinians? After all, we don’t see much about them on the news, so what importance can they possibly have?

Because of the corporate-owned media’s dedication to Israel, and the powerful AIPAC lobby that owns the U.S. Congress, social media must fill the information gap. The trend to do so is ever-increasing, as was evidenced during Israel’s genocidal bombing of the Gaza Strip two years ago.

Yet those invested in social media must remember that the suffering of the Palestinians is ongoing; it must be reported all the time, so public opinion can continue to evolve away from blind acceptance of government pronouncements, toward justice and equality. It is happening, and human-rights activists around the world must work to ensure its continuation.

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail