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When did Middle East get old news?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-10-12 07:56:24
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Let’s say that I follow the news the last thirty-five years, and follow the news I mean I am aware of what they are talking about and able to understand the political background of everything I read. Out of those thirty-five years, each and every single year was covered with Middle East news especially the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Thirty years after I have to admit that my understanding of the whole issue is smaller and with every year going by it gets less and less. As far my knowledge of the reasoning and the background, I’m afraid everything has been lost in a labyrinth of acts from both sides that lead to totally contemporary excuses even though they are centuries old. It is like that physical pain you getting so used to it so in the end you don’t notice it, you think it is normal. And of course while writing this I’m fully aware that I’m talking about thousands of human lives that have been lost, are lost and probably will be lost in the years to come with no solution in the Middle East. You see a side effect of the Israeli Palestinian problem is that it has become an alibi and excuse for a series of other conflict and crimes all around the world including the terrorist acts of the last decade that have change the world in every single sense.

Are the Israelis right in all this conflict? Well, I’m European and aware of the European history, which means I’m fully aware of the pogroms the Jewish people lived in Europe and yes I carry the guilt for what happened during the WWII years and the holocaust even though I wasn’t even born then. I grew up with the guilt and that has nothing to do with the Jewish people but with a society that felt embarrassed for knowing and not doing anything to stop it – far and too late from preventing it. Back in early seventies just like many kids in Europe, I supported in many ways the youth movement to kibbutz - even been there - when under the tropic sun thousands of western kids where planting beans in the desert.  And a few years ago I had to wipe tears of my eyes after watching a film - oddly with an Italian comedian – that shown the road to the concentration camps.

But back to seventies it was the first time I saw the dispirit eyes of the Palestinians that were ready to kill themselves just to attract attention in their try for their right to a country. Then it was the eighties when all the children’s eyes from the Gaza strip invaded our houses from the television screens and it was the mourning mothers over the child’s dead body under the Israeli tank that brought the horror into our houses. And then it was numbers of the innocent victims that kept rising.

And then it got even more confusing, dead students in Jerusalem’s University and more dead kids in Gaza strip. It was nineties and the death roll was rising day after day. The same time ugly faces started appearing in the screens. Long bearded men talking about revenge, death and destruction from the one side while militant hard faces, skinheads style with modern weapons talking about settling and their own land from the other side. This is where we lost sense on who is the good guy and who’s the bad. It was not like any other stories anymore and the roles got absolutely confused with all of them asking, demanding, and begging our support.

Then came the international interference. For the ones who might remember those times, Jimmy Carter brought hope all around the world; of course looking back in history we cannot see it anymore but then the Carter effect was not smaller than the Obama effect two years ago. And the Middle East issue was in the centre of that hope with everybody thinking – actually believing - that this was it, the time for a solution was here. Jimmy Carter is history and the solution thirty years after looks further away that it looked then adding the side effects the problem has caused through all those years.

That was not a long intro it was just hoping that Palestinians and Israelis might get the message that they have become third page news that most ...might read or better trying to avoid something that one way or another is predictable. Nobody was surprised when the Israeli settlers moved their works to a land that doesn’t belong to them and nobody was surprised when the Palestinians answered with more threats. Nobody really cares if the Israelis blackmail-demand recognition of the Israel from all the Arab countries and especially the Palestinians before freezing the settlers’ movement and nobody cares if there are kids that have no hope in education or even basic schooling in the Gaza strip. Lady Gaga is more important, the Chilean miners are news, the tea party is news, the new bosses of Liverpool FC make news; the Israeli Palestinian issue is boring. And if the Palestinians need Bin Laden or all the Bin Ladens of this world to promote their cause then they are doomed and they are equally doomed with the Israelis and all their Netanyahus who demand from everybody to give an oath of loyalty to the Israeli state.

I’m really sorry if I sound cynic and I can just see the reaction even from fellow Ovi magazine contributors and I insure them that I have done my share for both sides and not from my sofa eating pizza and watching the news on TV but by been there. But thirty-five years after I start having the feeling that nobody wants a solution because if they really wanted one they would have stopped playing all these games long time ago and they did have their chances to do something serious about the problems. And you know, to be honest I don’t give a damn for the settlers, the Netanyahus, the Arrafats and the rest of them but the eyes of the kids in West Bank and the dead pale faces of the students in Jerusalem University hunt me every time I even see the word Palestine, Israel and middle east in the news and if these eyes hunt me I hope they torture the responsible and the ones who had, have and will have the chances to do something and stop this madness. 

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Anastasios2010-10-12 15:50:45
Thano, this is very sad,pragmatic article with a deep human touch in it. I congratulate you for being able to produce such common sense pieces for the rest of us to enjoy.At some point I wonder if this eternal state of non-solution is what some elements from both sides really want.

Lakis Velotris2010-10-14 17:21:37
Hazardous chemicals are being assembled in USA Greek monasteries transported by old hags undetectably diluted within supposed alternative medicine ostensibly because local medications are contaminated with pesticides and hormones designed to genetically overcome resistance to "Jewish" Propaganda. Athens Archbishop Christodoulos said we deserved 9/11 (ISBN 960-252-007-8). Greece has always been a state conduit of islamosoviet terrorism. On the Thursday before Easter Greeks chant pogrom inciting Beatitudes against "godslaying lawless Jews" in Greek, but change it to "Assemby of Jews" in English. They removed American Archbishop Iakovos because he was too American and Jerusalem Patriarch Irineos because he was too friendly with Israelis. Old witches who used to work at diners until they dropped now slip "Elder Protocols" and other terror claptrap in the pews.

Pika2010-10-15 20:09:57
Hey Lakis dude chill out.

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