It's a new day, it's a new life (twostepsfwd) wrote in antizionistjews,
It's a new day, it's a new life
twostepsfwd
antizionistjews

Speech by Israeli mother of 13 year old killed in suicide bombing

Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is the mother of Smadar Elhanan, 13 years old
when killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in September 1997. Below
is Nurit's Address to the European Parliament

By Nurit Peled-Elhanan

04/08/05 -- Thank you for inviting me to this today. It is always an
honour and a pleasure to be here, among you (at the European
Parliament).

However, I must admit I believe you should have invited a Palestinian
woman at my stead, because the women who suffer most from violence in
my county are the Palestinian women. And I would like to dedicate my
speech to Miriam R'aban and her husband Kamal, from Bet Lahiya in the
Gaza Strip, whose five small children were killed by Israeli soldiers
while picking strawberries at the family's strawberry field. No one
will ever stand trial for this murder.

When I asked the people who invited me here why wouldn't they invite a
Palestinian woman the answer was that it would make the discussion too
localized.

I don't know what is non-localized violence. Racism and discrimination
may be theoretical concepts and universal phenomena but their impact
is always local, and real. Pain is local, humiliation, sexual abuse,
torture and death, are all very local, and so are the
scars.

It is true unfortunately, that the local violence inflicted on
Palestinian women by the government of Israel and the Israeli Army,
has expanded around the globe. In fact state violence and army
violence, individual and collective violence are the lot of Muslim
women today, not only in Palestine but wherever the enlightened
Western world is setting its big imperialistic foot. It is violence
which is hardly ever addressed and which is halfheartedly condoned by
most people in Europe and in the USA.

This is because the so-called free world is afraid of the Muslim womb.

Great France of la libert? l'?galit? et la fraternit? is scared of
little girls with headscarves, Great Jewish Israel is afraid of the
Muslim womb. Its ministers call it a demographic threat. Almighty
America and Great Britain are infecting their respective citizens with
blind fear of the Muslims, who are depicted as vile, primitive and
blood-thirsty, apart from their being non-democratic, chauvinistic and
mass producers of future terrorists.

This in spite of the fact that the people who are destroying the world
today are not Muslim. One of them is a devout Christian, one is
Anglican and one is a non-devout Jew.

I have never experienced the suffering Palestinian women undergo every
day, every hour. I don't know the kind of violence that turns a
woman's life into constant hell. This daily physical and mental
torture of women who are deprived of their basic human rights and
needs of privacy and dignity, women whose homes are broken in at any
moment of day and night, who are ordered at a gun-point to strip naked
in front of strangers and their own children, whose houses are
demolished, who are deprived of their livelihood and of any normal
family life. This is not part of my personal ordeal. But I am a victim
of violence against women insofar as violence against children is
actually violence against mothers. Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghan women
are my sisters because we are all at the grip of the same unscrupulous
criminals who call themselves leaders of the free enlightened world
and in the name of this freedom and enlightenment rob us of our
children. Furthermore, Israeli, American, Italian and British mothers
have been for the most part violently blinded and brainwashed to such
a degree that they cannot realize their only sisters, their only
allies in the world are the Muslim Palestinian, Iraqi or Afghani
mothers, whose children are killed by our children or who blow
themselves to pieces with our sons and daughters. They are all
mind-infected by the same viruses engendered by politicians. And the
viruses, though they may have various illustrious names such as
Democracy, Patriotism, God, Homeland, are all the same. They are all
part of false and fake ideologies that are meant to enrich the rich
and to empower the powerful.

We are all the victims of mental, psychological and cultural violence
that turn us to one homogenic group of bereaved or potentially
bereaved mothers. Western mothers are taught to believe their uterus
is a national asset just like they are taught to believe that the
Muslim uterus is an international threat. They are educated not to cry
out: "I gave him birth, I breast-fed him, he is mine, and I will not
let him be the one whose life is cheaper than oil, whose future is
less worth than a piece of land."

All of us are terrorized by mind-infecting education to believe all we
can do is either pray for our sons to come back home or be proud of
their dead bodies.

And all of us were brought up to bear all this silently, to contain
our fear and frustration, to take Prozac for anxiety, but never hail
Mama Courage in public. Never be real Jewish or Italian or Irish
mothers.

I am a victim of state violence. My natural and civil rights as a
mother have been violated and are violated because I have to fear the
day my son would reach his18th birthday and be taken away from me to
be the game tool of criminals such as Sharon, Bush, Blair and their
clan of blood-thirsty, oil-thirsty, land-thirsty generals.

Living in the world I live in, in the state I live in, in the regime I
live in, I don't dare to offer Muslim women any ideas how to change
their lives. I don't want them to take off their scarves, or educate
their children differently, and I will not urge them to constitute
democracies in the image of Western democracies that despise them and
their kind. I just want to ask them humbly to be my sisters, to
express my admiration for their perseverance and for their courage to
carry on, to have children and to maintain a dignified family life in
spite of the impossible conditions my world is putting them in. I want
to tell them we are all bonded by the same pain, we are all the
victims of the same sort of violence even though they suffer much
more, for they are the ones who are
mistreated by my government and its army, sponsored by my taxes.

Islam in itself, like Judaism in itself and Christianity in itself, is
not a threat to me or to anyone. American imperialism is, European
indifference and cooperation is and Israeli racist and cruel regime of
occupation is. It is racism, educational propaganda and inculcated
xenophobia that convince Israeli soldiers to order Palestinian women
at gun-point to strip in front of their children for security reasons;
it is the deepest disrespect for the other that allow American
soldiers to rape Iraqi women, that give license to Israeli jailers to
keep young women in inhuman conditions, without necessary hygienic
aids, without electricity in the winter, without clean water or clean
mattresses and to separate them from their breast-fed babies and
toddlers. To bar their way to
hospitals, to block their way to education, to confiscate their lands,
to uproot their trees and prevent them from cultivating their fields.

I cannot completely understand Palestinian women or their suffering. I
don't know how I would have survived such humiliation, such disrespect
from the whole world. All I know is that the voice of mothers has been
suffocated for too long in this war-stricken planet . Mothers' cry is
not heard because mothers are not invited to international forums such
as this one. This I know and it is very little. But it is enough for
me to remember these women are my sisters, and that they deserve that
I should cry for them, and
fight for them. And when they lose their children in strawberry fields
or in on filthy roads by the checkpoints, when their children are shot
on their way to school by Israeli children who were educated to
believe that love and compassion are race- and
religion-dependent, the only thing I can do is stand by them and their
betrayed babies, and ask what Anna Akhmatova, another mother who lived
in a regime of violence against women and children, had asked:

Why does that streak of blood, rip the petal of your cheek?
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