Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I just found the following letter in my mailbox: ‘Unite Against Terror’ Statement
Invitation to bloggers to sign and Sign and link Dear Blogger Please consider signing and informing your readers about the statement ‘Unite Against Terror’ http://www.unite-against-terror.com/. Written by bloggers in the UK after 7/7 posted on Friday it has attracted hundreds of signatories from UK USA Europe Iraq and the Middle East. The statement begins:
Terrorist attacks against Londoners on July 7th killed at least 54 people. The suicide bombers who struck in Netanya Israel on July 12 ended five lives including two 16 year old girls. And on July 13 in Iraq suicide bombers slaughtered 24 children. We stand in solidarity with all these strangers hand holding hand from London to Netanya to Baghdad: communities united against terror.The statement ends: We invite you to sign this statement as a small first step to building a global movement of citizens against terrorism.
Initial signatories include: Alan Johnson (Labour Friends of Iraq personal capacity) Ali Fadhil (Iraq); Adele Geras (author); Peter Tatchell; Jane Ashworth (Labour Friends of Iraq pesonal capaciity); Anthony Julius; Alex Gordon (UK National Union of Rail Maritime & Transport Workers RMT - personal capacity); Omar (Iraq the Model Iraq Pro-Democracy Party); Professor Norman Geras (normblog); Dr. Elizabeth Stewart (The Open University England); Jeff Weintraub (USA); Cllr David Boothroyd (Westminster City Council UK); Syed W Ahmed (Islamic Center of Chicago); Ami Isseroff (Israel MidEastWeb for Coexistence); David Green (Oxford University Labour Club and Delyn Constituency Labour Party; Micheline Ishay (Director International Human Rights Program University of Denver personal capacity);Osama Al-Moosawi (Iraq); Shalom Lappin (King's College London UK) Brian Brivati (Professor of Modern History Kingston University London personal capacity); Pierre-André Taguieff (France CNRS Research Director); Cynthia Epstein (graduate center CUNY USA); Christopher Hitchens; Eric Lee; Stephen Bronner, Adrian Cohen and hundreds of others.
There is no way in the world that I am going to sign this letter. First of all, I hate being part of a herd, and only rarely will you see me sign online or other protests or calls for this or against that. Besides - and most importantly -, why do these friends of Iraq, of democracy, and of humanity in general think only now that it is time for "a global movement of citizens against terrorism"? Islamist terrorism did not start on 7/7 or 9/11, it has hit Israeli citizens ( Jews and Arabs ) and others for many decades. For more than a decade now Israel has witnessed suicide bombings that made I do not know how many times more victims than the number of victims of the attacks in London two weeks ago. Like most Israelis, I identify with the people of London and Iraq, but I think that the indignation of most of the signatories of this statement is selective and comes too late. No matter what political cause ( justified or not ) it claims to serve, terrorism is wrong and should always be condemned and fought by all means possible. You cannot label murderers of Israeli citizens as freedom fighters or militants, while calling the perpetrators of the bombings in London terrorists ( well, of course you can and many do, but you shouldn't, it just does not make sense ). It is too late to start condemning terrorism only when it starts hitting you and your own loved ones.
PS: Don't get me wrong, I am sure that most if not all of the people who signed are as kosher as can be ( Norman Geras of Normblog, Ami Isseroff of MidEast Web, Pierre-André Taguieff of the CNRS in Paris, to name just a few ) and that all of them have nothing but good intentions, but I have opposed all kinds of terrorism for as long as I can remember, and I do not need statements like this one to make my opposition to terrorism known to the world.
Posted by Bert at 9:09 PM