Since a while I have become a regular reader of Mondoweiss. In his latest post investigative journalist Philip Weiss introduces Anna Baltzer and conveys her poignant presentation in one of her regular speaking sessions about the everyday life of the Palestinians. A must read.
A quote: “I always find this stuff heartbreaking. I don’t need more information, but it’s like a passion play, and I do get more. Or like the gospels, trying over and over to find the simple story that will best communicate the matter.”
How well do you think Israel is doing its part in the effort to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict?
How well do you think the Palestinians are doing their part in the effort to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict?
How well do you think US is doing its part in the effort to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict? … and more
In 1974, Australian journalist John Pilger made the film ‘Palestine is still the issue‘. In 2002 Pilger made another film of the same name. “In 25 years, if we are to speak of the great injustice, nothing has changed… “
Harold Pinter, Nobel laureate and a founder of Independant Jewish Voices about John Pilger: ” [he] is fearless. He unearths, with steely attention to facts, the filthy truth, and tells it as it is . . . I salute him.”
PPGG sent me this picture. She added the Iran pin to her previous collection: Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.
I didn’t recognize the 6th flag, so I asked her and I learned that it is the flag of Australian aborigines. Without having ever read on this subject I had a vague idea of what this could be about, but I still asked PPGG to tell me some of the history.
I respect PPGG‘s vision of humanity as a whole and I wonder how come so many people fail to see it that way.
Really, what do they teach in schools to end-up having think-tanks and pompous organizations run by Ivy-blinds who tear pages of history, destroy cultures, spend trillions you-know-where and pretend that “we create the reality“.
Isn’t it amazing that in the 21st century, with all that wealth and science and communication we can’t do any better? Can’t we go beyond Fred‘s rules: … doctrine and optimism should always outweigh history and common sense? Can’t we improve in our ways of treating other peoples? Is the Aboriginal model stuck deep in our brains?
Anyway, here is a short history of the Australian aborigines, courtesy of PPGG:
The Australian Aborigines are the original inhabitants of this land. Australia’s white (European settlement) actually only started just over 200 years ago, when the British decided this new land might be a good penal colony for their overflowing prisons! The Dutch and others also circumnavigated Australia before the British, but didn’t colonise.
Both prior to and upon arriving, the British had of course encountered the aboriginal natives, but declared the land “terra nullius”, empty and thus began the dispossession of the nomadic Aboriginal people who had a very special relationship to the land and to whom British property rights were completely alien.
As Australian settlement grew, Australia formally became a nation in 1901, the Aborigines were treated as second class citizens. Indeed, they weren’t even citizens until a referendum in 1967 (!!) granted them the right to vote.
Worse, the invasion of an alien culture, foreign diseases, forced assimilation and alienation led to increased crime rates, petrol sniffing and deaths in custody. The health of Australian aborigines in some remote outback communities is so appalling that it is called Fourth World: third world conditions in a first world wealthy country.
Australian Dreamtime and cosmology was little understood. It is a beautiful culture. Missionaries tried to Christianize them and would take children away from their parents until only a few decades ago, called the Stolen Generation.
There are many successful Aboriginal Australians and they are thriving as a community. They are a very proud and resilient people and have honored their culture and identity. Some social indicators still indicate that some communities are disadvantaged, but this is slowly improving. The Reconciliation movement that started in the 1990s was a good initiative.