Monday, 1 January 2018

"The best revenge is to live well"

So said George Herbert [17th century poet] and who is to say he was not right? So much injustice is perpetrated by the powerful against those with no agency that living well is their greatest challenge. Lack of job, home, money afford little opportunity for a good life, though millions do their best to achieve this against their circumstances. They shame those who look down on them daily by their humanity and resilience.

I was born in the year of Nakba. Above all of the injustices of the world, the apartheid enacted against Palestinians in their own land is the one which has angered me most, exacerbated by the continuing support for its perpetrators by supposedly even-handed and humanitarian governments such as our own and that of the USA. Money and power always trump human rights, it seems, leaving yet again those without agency to live well against the odds. That power is increasingly today used to promote messages of self-justification and hostility to opposition. These are often simply lies and fiction. Typically, the Israeli government issues accusations of anti-semitism against those opposed to its racist policies and actions, citing “holy” texts as if they were incontrovertible truth; and uses the holocaust as justification and immunity from criticism for just about anything they choose to do to others.

Many who support the rights of Palestinians have neither the money nor the power though which to counter these fictions. Organisations campaign against injustice but this does nothing to help those affected to live well. Perhaps a more positive form of opposition to Israeli apartheid may be to find ways for Palestinians to live well. Support for medical aid in Gaza and the West Bank may offer well-being to some who would otherwise be ill or worse. Small loans to and buying goods from people trying to eke a living from their own business in those areas may offer a sense of independence as well as an income. Such interventions contrast greatly with the lavish military support and investments proffered so profusely by Western governments to the oppressors and may attune to the values of those concerned with this great injustice, in its 70th anniversary year; and offer those concerned the revenge of living well against the odds so stacked against them. – medical aid for Palestine – microfinance lending

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