Suicide bombers getting married
Posted by Pia på torsdag 19 juli 2007
The diminishing part of me that still believed in Good and Evil people vanished during my recent visit to Palestine. Just as well. Let me tell you how.
I was having tea in the center of Ramallah, at a café with a white and green logo called ”Stars & Bucks”* when we heard a wedding party drive by. My friend’s friend rushed to the window and asked me to come along. The busy street quickly turned into a carneval of loud music and cheering. We smiled and waved to them from the open window, just like everybody else was doing. My friend’s friend knew the groom, and told me that he was a member of al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, an organisation I recognized as a militant wing of al-Fatah, known for its suicide bombings.
So, my friends, the nicest people ever, ”had links” to ”terrorists”! And that just happened to come up during our tea break. But as they spoke I slowly understood that nothing is as black and white as media wants me to think. There are no people who are born bad. There are people whose lifelong misery, usually but not always combined with religious fanatism, drive them to horrible attacks.
It was tempting to know how Palestinians viewed extremism, so I asked a lot of questions during my stay. Luckily I made some patient friends who took time to talk to me. One of them was a doctor who used his own field of expertise to explain ”terrorism” to me. This is what he said:
–When I see a patient with an illness, I consider all different methods before the last option; surgery. Maybe medicine can cure the patient, or perhaps physical therapy will do the trick. Don’t you think we have tried everything? There is no one here to report about our endless demonstrations, no one answers to our peaceful calls for justice. We have done everything we can and there are now two options: to resist or totally give in to the occupiers. And let me tell you, we have no army!
…about the media coverage of the conflict, my friend went on with his metaphors:
–When a patient comes to me with a cough, I don’t just prescribe medicine. It’s my job to listen to his lungs and examine him, I want to find out the reason before I act. Why don’t your media do the same? If a young person chooses to end his own life killing others, don’t you want to know why?
I hope that there will be no more bombings, from any side. But seriously I don’t believe that suicide attacks can be prevented by apartheid policy, tightened security, walls, checkpoints, imprisonment or killings. And by the way, the attention of our discussion in Stars & Bucks slowly turned to a Palestinian boy band that came in. Boy bands really look the same everywhere.
*) Apparently, the somewhat bigger company Starbucks is a huge supporter of Israel.