Posted January 31, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“Deny human rights, and however little you may wish to do so, you will find yourself abjectly kneeling at the feet of that old-world god, force – that grimmest and ugliest of gods men have ever erected for themselves out of the lusts of their hearts. You will find yourself dreading all other men who differ from you; you will find yourself obliged by the law of conflict into which you have plunged, to use every means in your power to crush them before they are able to crush you; you will find yourself day by day growing more unscrupulous and intolerant, more and more compelled by the fear of those opposed to you, to commit harsh and violent actions.”
– Auberon Herbert (1838-1906)
Eva Bartlett has been described as the Rachel Corrie of our time. Rachel Corrie is the young woman who passed away after being run over by a bulldozer trying to protect Palestinians’ land from destruction. It is not easy to quantify the amount of courage required to take the steps Ms. Corrie and Eva Bartlett have taken. How many men and women would make the difficult decision to live in the occupied territories with Palestinians – risking one’s health, well-being and life in the process – to help end injustice?
Ms. Bartlett was born in Michigan then moved with her family to Ontario, Canada. Her story of increasing awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people is similar to most. Despite virtually no mainstream news reports of the apartheid conditions in Israel, she first learned of the situation through internet reports. Her first response was similar to every man or woman who learns about real situations on Earth: “Why haven’t I heard about this?”
Feeling like all people who find evidence which points to a reality either rarely/under reported or subject to censorship, Eva Bartlett started her journey of researching the Israel-Palestine conflict. At a certain point she was face-to-face with the difficult decision to take action, and essentially smuggled herself into Israeli occupied territory to live among the Palestinian people and journal/record events. What she witnessed will probably come as no surprise to readers of this blog.
“Trail of Tears” comes to mind when thinking about what Palestinian people have had to endure. In passing, it is disappointing to find that in 2014 there exists a human situation which mirrors what Native Americans, South Africans, and African-Americans experienced. That disappointment includes sadness that the health and well-being of Palestinian people has been discounted or ignored by the world’s most powerful leaders. There has been a failure of moral and ethical leadership when apartheid conditions are not called exactly that: apartheid.
Most importantly, the failure to stand up for men, women, and children who are fellow children of God – failure to call for equal rights and fair treatment for human beings under extremely stressful living conditions – shows a lack of concern which is disturbing. Those who profess to live and act in the spirit of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” will either use their thoughts, words, and deeds to bring about that spirit for all people everywhere, or will fail to reach the highest expression of the philosophy.
To state it directly, the people who are Palestinians have been wounded and killed, and need the world’s help to heal and experience “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. For this to occur – an action that will result in a more peaceful world – requires the same energetic series of actions that led to the end of every injustice large and small through history: the world’s people joining together and saying, “this is not right, this is no longer acceptable in a civilized world.”
Stated even more directly, the decades-long unjust treatment of Palestinians challenges men and women everywhere to see the Israel-Palestine conflict from the spiritual perspective of “do unto others what you would have done to you”. In essence, actions taken going forward by those who are able to shape the future in Israel and the Middle East are either right or wrong – in the context of the “Golden Rule”.
Wrong actions are those which result in continuance of a system of apartheid, where people are not given the same respect, equal rights, and opportunities to live their lives in dignity – just as all people everywhere deserve the same God-given rights.
Right actions are those which result in an increasing awareness of the fact that all people are the same, wanting to live in peace and experience the joys of this lifetime which are possible. Right actions are those which result in Israeli and Palestinian children growing up with no idea that there was a time when their ancestors did not live the highest levels of quality of life, unable to reach a place of true peace between equally deserving human beings, and suffered the consequences of negative thoughts of hate, discord, and separation.
Right actions are those which result in Israeli and Palestinian children playing and laughing together, in a land and region and world which has surpassed – and no longer practices – hatred, violence, harm, and apartheid conditions. Ending apartheid in Israel is the first step on the journey to such a beauteous world.
For more information, or to possibly arrange for Eva Bartlett to speak in your locale, please visit ingaza.wordpress.com.
(Thanks to GlobalResearchTV @ YouTube)