I've just been reading an Amnesty International report about the continuing and frequent shooting into refugee (yes - REFUGEE) camps of barrages of teargas canisters and the incredible suffering this is causing to the thousands of vulnerable and defenceless displaced Palestinians by Israeli government military forces.
It is unbelievable that any country could consider that another group of human beings should be subjected to such cruel and inhuman treatment, especially a nation that has, in the past, been subject to that themselves. And, remember, this is being perpetrated upon cramped, heavily populated camps provided for the Palestinian refugees by Lebanon and Jordan
I am providing you with a link to this report at the end of my post but I must warn you that it is an upsetting read.
After reading it you will no doubt ask yourself, among other things, how can this happen in today's world? What can we do? What can I do? How can the community of nations witness such atrocity and crime and allow it to continue?
It is certain that there are no easy answers to these deep and disturbing questions.
In the above case, it is principally the government of Israel which is, at worst, instigating, at best, allowing, these injustices to continue.
Then, of course, those questions remain.....
Let's look at those aspects about which a country's regime may be most sensitive: One of the most important ones will be its image - its international reputation - among the family of nations. This is where technology, the internet, social media, can exert an influence. If a regime can operate behind closed doors, abusing or discriminating against a group of its people - and no-one knows or finds out about it, it can carry out such crimes with impunity - without critcism or sanction. If, on the other hand, other nations, governments, find out about them, there can potentially be strongly detrimental effects. These can be in the form of international criticism in the media, reluctance by people to want to travel to, emigrate to, work in, trade with, share research, technology with, and buy produce or goods made in that country.
Such criticisms can have a very significant impact upon the economy and political health of the country in question and cause it - in the best case - to change the way it behaves towards the people it is oppressing or abusing.
So when you or I, as bystanders or observers, are confronted with such disturbing examples of the abuses of government power, and ask ourselves what we, either individually or collectvely, can do to address them, it is good to remember that there are approaches and strategies that do and can have effects on the seemingly impenetrable and invincible powers of national governments.
I want to provide a link to the Amnesty report I referred to at the beginning and I urge you to have a good look at it. Although it pulls no punches, I'm sure you will feel indignant and motivated by it to think of what may be done to shed a light on the deplorable situation the people of Palestine have endured for so long.
The link contains the word nakba, a commemoration by the Palestinians, of the 1948 war which led to the establishment of the State of Israel.