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I Saw a Weeping Palestinian Man Holding A Plastic Bag of Meat: It Was His Son

I Saw a Weeping Palestinian Man Holding A Plastic Bag of Meat: It Was His Son

Eno's letter to America:

I Saw a Weeping Palestinian Man Holding A Plastic
Bag of Meat: It Was His Son

By Brian Eno

August 05, 2014 "
- "
The War"

suddenly found myself thinking that it could have
been one of my kids in that bag, says Brian Eno, and
that thought upset me more than anything has for a
long time.

Brian Eno's letter to America: WHY? I just don't
get it

Dear All of

I sense I'm
breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I
can't keep quiet any more. 

Today I saw
a picture of a weeping Palestinian man holding a
plastic carrier bag of meat. It was his son. He'd
been shredded (the hospital's word) by an Israeli
missile attack - apparently using their fab new
weapon, flechette bombs. You probably know what
those are - hundreds of small steel darts packed
around explosive which tear the flesh off humans.
The boy was Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra. He was 4
years old.

I suddenly
found myself thinking that it could have been one of
my kids in that bag, and that thought upset me more
than anything has for a long time.

Then I read
that the UN had said that Israel might be guilty of
war crimes in Gaza, and they wanted to launch a
commission into that. America won't sign up to it. 

What is
going on in America? I know from my own experience
how slanted your news is, and how little you get to
hear about the other side of this story. But - for
Christ's sake! - it's not that hard to find out. Why
does America continue its blind support of this
one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just
don't get it. I really hate to think its just the
power of AIPAC… for if that's the case, then your
government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I
don't think that's the reason… but I have no idea
what it could be. 

The America
I know and like is compassionate, broadminded,
creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. You, my
close American friends, symbolise those things for
me. But which America is backing this horrible
one-sided colonialist war? I can't work it out: I
know you're not the only people like you, so how
come all those voices aren't heard or registered?

How come it
isn't your spirit that most of the world
now thinks of when it hears the word 'America'? How
bad does it look when the one country which more
than any other grounds its identity in notions of
Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money
exactly where its mouth isn't and supports
a ragingly racist theocracy? 

I was in
Israel last year with Mary. Her sister works for
UNWRA in Jerusalem. Showing us round were a
Palestinian - Shadi, who is her sister's husband and
a professional guide - and Oren Jacobovitch, an
Israeli Jew, an ex-major from the IDF who left the
service under a cloud for refusing to beat up
Palestinians. Between the two of them we got to see
some harrowing things - Palestinian houses hemmed in
by wire mesh and boards to prevent settlers throwing
shit and piss and used sanitary towels at the
inhabitants; Palestinian kids on their way to school
being beaten by Israeli kids with baseball bats to
parental applause and laughter; a whole village
evicted and living in caves while three settler
families moved onto their land; an Israeli
settlement on top of a hill diverting its sewage
directly down onto Palestinian farmland below; The
Wall; the checkpoints… and all the endless daily
humiliations. I kept thinking, "Do Americans really
condone this? Do they really think this is OK? Or do
they just not know about it?". 

As for the
Peace Process: Israel wants the Process but not the
Peace. While 'the process' is going on the settlers
continue grabbing land and building their
settlements… and then when the Palestinians finally
erupt with their pathetic fireworks they get
hammered and shredded with state-of-the-art missiles
and depleted uranium shells because Israel 'has a
right to defend itself' ( whereas Palestine clearly
doesn't). And the settler militias are always happy
to lend a fist or rip up someone's olive grove while
the army looks the other way.

By the way,
most of them are not ethnic Israelis - they're
'right of return' Jews from Russia and Ukraine and
Moravia and South Africa and Brooklyn who came to
Israel recently with the notion that they had an
inviolable (God-given!) right to the land, and that
'Arab' equates with 'vermin' - straightforward
old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant,
shameless swagger that the good ole boys of
Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our
taxes are defending. It's like sending money to the

But beyond
this, what really troubles me is the bigger picture.
Like it or not, in the eyes of most of the world,
America represents 'The West'. So it is The West 
that is seen as supporting this war, despite all our
high-handed talk about morality and democracy. I
fear that all the civilisational achievements of The
Enlightenment and Western Culture are being
discredited - to the great glee of the mad Mullahs -
by this flagrant hypocrisy. The war has no moral
justification that I can see  - but it doesn't even
have any pragmatic value either. It doesn't make
Kissingerian 'Realpolitik' sense; it just makes us
look bad.

I'm sorry
to burden you all with this. I know you're busy and
in varying degrees allergic to politics, but this is
beyond politics. It's us squandering the
civilisational capital that we've built over
generations. None of the questions in this letter
are rhetorical: I really don't get it and I wish
that I did.

Eno is an artist, musical innovator, record producer
for artists ranging from David Bowie to U2 and
Coldplay. He has been a consistent supporter of Stop
the War Coalition since it was first founded.

Help make
the national demonstration for Gaza on 9 August the
biggest ever in the UK.



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