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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La mémoire des pierres

by Patrick Apel-Muller

Memory of stones

Translated Sunday 23 November 2014, by Anne Sanders

One wall has fallen, another has sprung up as a monument to injustice and brutality. Furious outcries ring out once again on both sides.

Once again, the children of Palestine are throwing stones at armed soldiers and tanks. The volatile situation in the Middle East has not stifled the dreams of a population - torn between exile, Gaza and the West Bank - of escaping the everyday apartheid, the dispossession which takes away homes and olive groves, the control of Israeli President Netanyahou, who denies them their independence, and a hand-to-mouth existence. The confrontations on the Esplanade of the Mosques (al-Haram ash-Sharîf), the demonstrations in the southern city of Hebron, which were savagely crushed by the Israeli army, the memory of Arafat like a flag overhead: all these things confirm that we can no longer wait, that the world cannot look away, that it is high time that Palestine achieved independence and freedom, within borders which are as secure as those of its neighbour, Israel.

The French government bears a heavy responsibility.
The President himself encouraged and justified the war against Gaza. Yet the government could redeem itself by reviving some of France’s historical political involvement in this part of the world. It can do so by officially recognising Palestine as an independent state. Sweden has done so, other countries are preparing to do so, and the Communist party members of the government have put forward a proposal to do so: now is the time. The leaders of all parties should face up to their responsibilities. Will they accept the continuing lack of international recognition for this population? Will they allow Israeli power to sabotage a renewal of negotiations by increasing attacks and creating tension? Will they remain silent when the warmongers seek to transform a fight for independence into a war of religion? Will they remain submissive, in the footsteps of the United States?

No-one can expect to eradicate the pain felt in Palestine.
“We are suffering from an incurable agony called hope,” wrote their poet, Mahmoud Darwich.

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