For the past three weeks, we have been watching in horror as the senseless slaughter of a defenseless civilian population is taking place before our eyes in Gaza. Yet, in the face of this great human tragedy, which now appears to have been carefully preplanned (read: Aljazeera: War on Gaza), the entire world has remained silent, or in the case of the United States, has actually encouraged the carnage. The Arab and the larger Muslim world have been the most despicable of all, with most of them carrying on normal business with Israel, and for those who have diplomatic relations with Israel, such as Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan, refusing to cut their diplomatic ties with that country in protest over these atrocities. And as for Iran, well, God knows what they are up to. They are probably busy downloading pictures of dead children so that they can use them in their next set of propaganda posters.
In the midst of this deafening silence, an unlikely person stood out from the ones who have divorced themselves from their sense of right and wrong. A man, thousands of miles away from the slaughter, who shares no cultural or religious ties with the hapless and besieged people of Gaza, but who understood that he shares his humanity with them. That man was Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, the first country in the world to cut all diplomatic ties with Israel over its massacre of defenseless women and children and to go as far asking for an investigation of Israeli officials for genocide and war crimes. Our hats off to Mr. Morales, who chose humanity over political expediency and showed courage in a sea of cowardice that has been the defining word of the sorry bunch that we call “world leaders” and the impotent puppet that is the United Nations. He is now followed by Hugo Chaves, who has followed suit. Hats off to him as well. But the credit goes to Mr. Morales. Perhaps it is his background as a peasant which has given him the courage to stand up for the defenseless, but whatever it is, it is his humanity that has shined through.
I just wish that Mr. Morales had more power to affect this senseless carnage of the innocent. Can you imagine what would have happened if Arab oil producers had, for even one day, stopped the flow of oil to the west in protest of Israel’s attack on Gaza? This carnage would have been over in 24 hours. Unfortunately, there is no such courage within the leadership of the Arab or Muslim world, and that is the shame of this century.
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