Today is inauguration day. It is the day all of us who supported Obama have been awaiting. It is the day welcomed by all those, the world over, who have had enough of George Bush and his band of neoconservatives. But for many of us, especially Americans of Middle Eastern descent the mood for celebration has been dampened by the just-ended-for-now, in-time-for-the-inauguration, massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.
You see some of us just can’t switch off the anger and remorse we feel towards the murder of 1312 Palestinians, including 417 children, 108 women and the injury of another 5430 people in Gaza. We, unlike T.V. remote controls do not have buttons with which we can change our moods. Hopping from ‘outrage and mourning’ to ‘elation and optimism’ is a difficult task even for the short-attention-span citizens of Planet-CNN that we have become.
Some of us cannot shake off the images of bleeding children, crying mothers and beaten down dads. Some of us cannot forget the senseless and audacious carnage Israel just committed in front of the whole world. Some of us cannot forgive those who remained silent while Israel flaunted her utter contempt for international laws and the opinions of good and upright citizens of the world. Some of us are still in shock. Some of us don’t care who is pro-choice or which reactionary preacher is going to preach at this most historic of occasions we are waiting to hear some outrage coming from that Hill and our president-to-be who promised us change. Whose word we took as real, who promise we believed despite all the jadedness we felt towards politicians. We want to hear that preacher, that super star singer, that beloved new president say something about the massacre of women, children and civilians in Gaza. We want to celebrate but the tears have not yet dried on our faces. We want to love you Obama and celebrate your election but our eyes are still wet from the genocide we witnessed a moment ago.
Forget about the life of a fetus we want to hear some outrage about the blatant taking of innocent, fully-out-of-the-womb, lives by America’s closest ally. We want to hear something, anything, about the massacre we all witnessed at the hands of Israel, the self-righteous and proud abuser of human rights which our tax money supports and nurtures.
We want to hear one of these celebrities, gathered in Washington D.C, most of them champions of humanitarian causes, say something about the genocide committed by Israel. On Martin Luther King Day not one word was uttered in any of the ceremonies about Gaza. Are we to just forget the massacre of those innocents in Gaza who never had a chance to show us ‘the content of their character?’ Are these politicians, activists, personalities and entertainers afraid to dampen the show with some hard core reality? Are they afraid to acknowledge that while in the U.S a black president is about to take office in Israel, thanks to American tax-payers’ money, we see the full blooming of apartheid? Are we supposed to be happy for this eerie, coldly calculated temporary cease-fire?
Mr. Obama much is expected from you. The times are difficult. The economy is in shambles. You have a formidable job to perform. But don’t let the ‘enormity of the task’ make you forget the humanitarian essence of you mission. You have given us hope like no other politician ever has to bring about change. Many of us took that to mean a change for a better America. An America that is more humane an America that some remember before Vietnam and during WWII. An America depicted in the writings of the founding fathers. An America that champions those striving for freedom and helps those who aspire to self-determination. Not the one of the past eight years that bombs without reason and tortures to no end. You promised us a return to an America that is free of paranoia and can lead the world, as her most inspirational citizen, towards the triumph of the universal ideals of justice, peace and freedom. Terms that were empty clichés before you restored them by injecting in them badly needed hope and eloquence.
Israel has tested you. Like your vice-president predicted, early in your career as president you are being tested. Not by Al-Qaeda nor by Iran but by America’s favorite and ‘special’ ally! Let them know, for heaven's sake, that you are not a puppet. That you will not rubber stamp every murderous move they make. You don’t have to disown Israel just practice tough love. If you are tough on Israel, if you stand up to her, you will not only save lives but you will bring about long-term and lasting change in the region. You will reverse the cycle of violence, you will bring hope were it is most urgently needed. You will take away the extremists’ raison d’être, their justifying argument. If you stand up to Israel you will turn this great nation that had the courage to elect you president, into the popular freedom promoting nation it once was. We who voted for you did so because we believed that you had that special something that could help you rise above the politicking and rhetoric and make a difference. Please, please do not let us down. Rise above Israel when she commits blatant murder. Mr. President SAY something in the face of this injustice! We so want to celebrate!
There have been very few people in history who have been uniquely situated at a historic cross-road with the mandate to make a real difference, you are one of them, do not waste this precious mandate. Please Mr. Obama, our new president of hope and change, rise up to the occasion and use the mandate we have given you to stop the blood-letting of innocents!
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