Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thoughts about rocks through the windshield

...We offer this intro to a small, barely-noticed piece of news reported late last night in Times of Israel over the anonymous byline TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF. At this point, as far as we can tell, it is published nowhere else: UN official hurt in stoning: ‘Allah will forgive them’   Mounir Kleibo, who heads the UN bureau of the International Labor Organization in the Palestinian Territories, sustained serious injuries to his jaw after coming under attack by Palestinian rock throwers in East Jerusalem on Friday.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
13 October '15..

Robert Fisk, a writer for The Independent UK, was driving his car in a remote part of Pakistan in December 2001 when something mechanical happened and he had to stop. While pushing the broken down vehicle off the road, he became aware that

a group of 40 to 50 people gathered. "At first they were reasonably friendly but then a little kid threw a stone at me. More stones followed and then I find myself being punched and beaten in the face... ["UK journalist beaten by Afghan mob", BBC, December 9, 2001]

He wrote that thought he heard the mob shouting the word "kaffir", an Islamic/Arabic word meaning infidel, a non-adherent to the beliefs of their religious values. Much later, he recorded his feelings about what was happening in a confessional that is a classic of its kind:

They started by shaking hands. We said "Salaam aleikum" – peace be upon you – then the first pebbles flew past my face. A small boy tried to grab my bag. Then another. Then someone punched me in the back. Then young men broke my glasses, began smashing stones into my face and head. I couldn't see for the blood pouring down my forehead and swamping my eyes. And even then, I understood. I couldn't blame them for what they were doing. In fact, if I were [them], I would have done just the same to Robert Fisk. Or any other Westerner I could find. ["My beating by refugees is a symbol of the hatred and fury of this filthy war", Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK)]

In a viciously merciless critique ["The pathology of Robert Fisk"] at the time, the British/American writer and conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan tore Fisk's mea culpa to shreds, calling it

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