Grief and Anguish

November 6, 2009

What is the difference between grief and anguish? Lately I have come to know both. On 17/08/09 my dear friend Tadd Gero passed away. With him, a voice, a light startling in it’s clarity of purpose and strength of heart.

I can’t help thinking- worrying- that despite the current outpouring of art and work about Palestine, the increasingly effective boycott and sanctions campaign and the deluge of highly visible op-ed articles about the intransigence and bellicose nature of the paranoid Israeli state, real facts on the ground make the establishment of any kind of Palestinian state (one or two) impossible. Brilliant Israeli journalist Amira Hass said recently:

Thousands of my articles and zillions of my words have evaporated. They could not compete with the official language that has been happily adopted by the mass media, and is used in order to distort reality–official language that encourages people not to know.

Indeed, a remarkable failure for a journalist.

To Israel Mahmoud Darwish says in his poem Under Siege:

[To a killer] If you had contemplated the victim’s face
And thought it through, you would have remembered your mother in the
Gas chamber, you would have been freed from the reason for the rifle
And you would have changed your mind: this is not the way
to find one’s identity again.

Read Jean Genet’s description of Sabra and Shatila here.

In Hebron:

Once inside the Jewish Israeli settlement there was a complete absence of any signs of life or activity. All of the shops were barricaded and the trees and shrubs were reclaiming the buildings. To demarcate this desolate territory as exclusively Jewish all of the shop fronts have been sprayed with the Star of David along with plenty anti-Arab graffiti. One can’t help but feel that there is either a complete misunderstanding or disregard for history. Didn’t the Nazis mark all Jewish properties in the same manner?

In Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, she remarks on Eichmann as a self-deluding functionary; ” his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely from the standpoint of somebody else. No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against the words and presence of others, and hence against reality as such.” (Arendt 44)

Also, back home:

Those arguments will find a receptive audience in congress, which relies on rich campaign contributions from the banking, insurance and financial industries.

And that’s the real root of the economic excesses and inequities in the global financial system – the undue influence of corporate money in politics and public policy. Obama, in his campaign speeches, promised to end the influence of special interests in Washington. So far, he has done nothing about that.

Sorry for the sad post, but that’s really, all I’ve been thinking lately, while working, while functioning.