THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE: “The last word – giving it your best” Dec12 December 15, 2012

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“There is so much hatred in this part of the world,” a friend of mine recently wrote on Facebook. Unfortunately, this is so true. If hatred is measureable, I pray that we do not measure up to that of the Tutsis and Hutus who slaughtered each other during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, when approximately one million people were killed; that’s 20 percent of the whole population!

Judging from the horrific scenes we saw on TV during the last assault on Gaza and during that of 2007, however, indiscriminate killing has not only become easy but also almost acceptable as collateral damage. I pray that we’re not heading in the direction of Rwanda. But ask yourself: What’s really stopping us? Is it our morality? Our ethics? International law? International observers? What?

We’re living in a cycle of violence which is self-perpetuating and which feeds on itself. As this last round of violence ended, someone jokingly asked his friend, “So when will the Gaza front flare up again?” The friend replied, “A couple of months before the next Israeli elections, silly!” Sad, actually.

I was playing a virtual game on my iPhone the other day. An Israeli who noticed that I was Palestinian sent me a chat message: “How mad are you?” Realising that he was referring to Gaza, I immediately replied, “How mad are you?” I then wrote, “We won!” to which he replied, “We won!” In reality, we both lost since there’s no real victor in war. Ramifications of the aggression will become clear as time passes. Doubtful they’ll have a major effect on the results of the Israeli elections in January, but no one knows for sure. Fresh documentation of human rights violations may come in handy after Palestine becomes a non-member state at the United Nations. Meanwhile life slowly returns to normal, all relative of course, till the next Israeli elections; I mean till the next round of violence.

The year 2012 is almost behind us, and what a tough year it has been for us Palestinians. Somehow, though, we get by; we always do. In fact, some of us even excel. With all its negativity, life under occupation somehow forces us to give it our best. This is possibly most visible in artistic expression, but it surely doesn’t stop there. Being blessed with a job that requires me to seek success and uniqueness, I get to know remarkable stories of exceptionally gifted and talented people, in every walk of life, who excel in what they do and make a difference in their society. The articles in this issue are but the tip of the iceberg of what we have.

This December also marks This Week in Palestine’s fourteenth anniversary. Since December 1998, we’ve published an issue every single month without fail, come rain or shine, rather, come curfew, travel restriction, or incursion! I have no guarantee for the future, not even for what tomorrow may hold, but I am truly proud that, for so long a time, our magazine has played a role in promoting our beloved Palestine and in documenting its events, its cultural heritage, its achievements, and yes, its shortcomings. This past week, our website has been under attack by hackers, even to the point of being disabled for a while. It’s up now, but we know that they’re still trying to take it down. I wrote on our Facebook page: “What took you so long, guys? I was beginning to take offence!” In all humility, though, I can say that we know we’re making progress in our role as an effective media tool.

I would like to take this opportunity not only to thank the dedicated team of This Week in Palestine who has been simply remarkable, but also to to wish you all an early Merry Christmas and a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy New Year.

Sani P. Meo


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