The Plastic Hippo

September 24, 2015

Aylan and Hadeel

Filed under: Faith,History,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
Image via Youth Against Settlements

Image via Youth Against Settlements

If an image of a dead child washed up on a Mediterranean beach conveys the consequences of being a refugee, then an image of a young woman about to be shot dead conveys the reasons for becoming a refugee. The image of a lifeless Aylan Kurdi face down in the surf temporarily shocked the world into an all too brief moment of compassion now almost forgotten; the image of Hadeel al-Hashlamun, an 18-year old Palestinian student will be ignored in the interests Middle Eastern security and forgotten in the interests of western economic pragmatism.

The family of Aylan Kurdi decided that risking a flimsy boat to escape the barrel bombs, artillery barrages and snipers of the murderous Assad regime and the barbarity of the equally murderous ISIS was the only hope of safety and a life. It seems that Hadeel al-Hashlamun was on her way to study in the West Bank city of Hebron when, at a checkpoint, she refused to be searched by a male soldier of the Israel Defence Force. There are, of course, two very different versions of the event and we only have eye witness reports, video footage and photographs to ignore.

One account suggests that she started to walk away and was repeatedly shot, dragged by her feet into a corner and left to die. Her father, who just happens to be a doctor, later examined her body at an Israeli hospital and reported 15 bullet wounds. Sometime later, the Israel Defence Force issued a statement saying that young woman produced a knife and attempted to stab a soldier. Later still, an image of a knife at the checkpoint was published which does not exactly match the image of the scene taken at the time of the shooting. It is impossible to know which version to believe but it seems an odd way to commemorate Eid-al-Adha and Yom Kippur. Abraham must be praying for a day of atonement and it might be simultaneously anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic to suggest that if Abraham were to ever return, his first words of wisdom would be to tell his children to stop killing each other.

It might be of comfort to those of us far away from the conflicts and preoccupied with dreadful television, social media and football matches to dismiss this catastrophe as nothing to do with us. Sadly, this is not the case because it is not Abraham causing the death and destruction; it is ruthless dictators that western governments either support or oppose. The “developed economy” interventions in Middle East at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century have been a complete and unmitigated disaster. These oil wars have caused nothing but misery, displacement, death, terrorism and global insecurity. It needs to be remembered that the western governments we voted for want to bomb everything in sight and sell the best lethal weaponry that money can buy to mad buggers arguing over some old books.

We don`t like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya because the only thing those “liberated” nations produce are refugees apart from the oil they sell to other people. We don`t like Syria because they actually used the weapons we sold to them against civilians. Cor blimey, who could have seen that coming? We like Israel because we have guilt and we like the Gulf States because they have lots of crude and an appetite for weapons of destruction. Saudi Arabia is about to crucify and behead a young man for criticising the Saudi government and Israel continues to kill children in the Occupied Territories. In case you are wondering, ISIS was not created in some remote tribal encampment; it was created in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow.

As they count the profits from arms sales, it is unlikely that western leaders will ever remember the names Aylan and Hadeel.

1 Comment »

  1. sad but true thank you

    Comment by davidh936 — September 24, 2015 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

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