By Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

in Palestine

April 11--With Palestinian villages crumbled under the tread of American-made, Israeli-manned tanks, thousands held in detention, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yassar Arafat confined under virtual military house arrest (sans running water or electricity), the tiny area of earth now called Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, is on the minds of millions the world over.

What the world is witnessing is the primacy of arms over words. While the airwaves, teletypes and news print of the world's media dutifully report the sweet words of diplomatic double-speak about "Resolution 242," "peace," "occupied territories," and the like, the tanks and troops of Sharon (the former Israeli general seen by many Arabs as "the Butcher of Beirut") are writing a new pact, in the blood, tears and bile of the Palestinian people. Rarely has the world seen an alleged U.S. "ally" ignore, dismiss, or unilaterally reject the dictates of the United States.

What the world is witnessing is the dark night of Palestinian hopes, the twilight of their dreams, the greatest threat to their national aspirations. It is seeing the ironic swing of history that transforms one people, who were once the objects of continental humiliation, into those who today are the lords, masters, and humiliators of another people.

What the world is witnessing is the impotence of Arab states, as well as the inability of the so-called "international community," which watches a nation, Israel, violate the terms of international law, with utter impunity.

For, international law, embodied in the resolutions of the United Nations, doesn't determine what happens in the real world; armed power does.

For decades Israel has either ignored or expressly violated UN Resolutions
242 and 338. UN Resolution 242 calls
for Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.

Israel responded by importing tens of thousands of its people into Arab lands, building settlements that pockmark the territories, and building access roads that lead to and from the settlements which are segregated for Jewish use only.

If the Palestinians had skin the color of coffee instead of olives, the world would recognize their degraded social status as akin to the apartheid regime of South Africa. But they are Arabs, in a world and in a time when Arabs are demonized in the corporate, majoritarian media as "terrorists." As such, they are fair game. And Israel amasses military power to "batter" and "break" a captive, occupied people's will (to quote Prime Minister Ariel Sharon). For the Israelis, the Arabs are a convenience for their cheap labor, but an expendable one. They dream of an Israel that is Arab-free. What historic irony for a folk who, a few decades ago, were objects of an Aryan judenrein (or Jew-free) policy. For Arabs, their present is their nightmare.

Text (c) copyright 20021 by Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights
reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of three books: 'Live
from Death Row', 'Death Blossoms', and 'All Things

Write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370