Wed, 9 July 2014
4th of July Fireworks, In Marietta GA, and in Gaza
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
"This year as always, the Israeli fireworks in Gaza are artillery shells fired from tanks, or air to ground missiles shot from drones..."
The nightly news covered the fireworks in downtown Marietta GA where I live. But they didn't mention the fireworks in Gaza at all, even though some of the fireworks in Gaza took place at the same time. In Marietta they shoot these fireworks off every 4th of July. In Gaza they happen at the whim of the Israeli occupiers.
So many people came to see the fireworks in Marietta that the news broadcast traffic warnings. I imagine people in Gaza, news or no news, mostly tried to hide or flee the areas being fired on, if they could, and if there was anyplace to shelter or go to.
In Marietta the fireworks were crackling red, white and blue sparklers. They flared and glittered and mostly burned out against the night sky before falling harmlessly into the park. They smelled like fireworks, like gunpowder and burning paper. Whole families sat on parked cars and trucks and lawn chairs and curbs to see.
This year as always, the Israeli fireworks in Gaza are artillery shells fired from tanks, or air to ground missiles shot from drones and from the F-16s manufactured at the Martin-Marietta Lockheed plant only a couple miles away from here in Marietta Georgia. Past fireworks displays over Gaza have included white phosporus, a banned substance that self-ignites and burns white hot when exposed to air. But unlike the fireworks in Marietta GA, white phosphorus continues to burn after falling to earth, through walls and rooftops and flesh and bones. Israeli fireworks in Gaza certainly include high explosive rounds, and in the recent past even depleted uranium with lasting radioactive contamination.
"The nation that celebrates its anniversary on July 4 was built with stolen labor on stolen land. Many who did the stealing and their descendants celebrate the notion that their god blessed that theft.."
I don't know what burning schools and libraries or farms and irrigation works or blasted grandparents and aunties smell like, and they don't let people on the nightly news who know these things to tell us. We can only guess.
I suppose things are just different over there in Gaza. But maybe not so much.
The nation that celebrates its anniversary on July 4 was built with stolen labor on stolen land. Many who did the stealing and their descendants celebrate the notion that their god blessed that theft. You can't miss that on the 4th of July weekend, many of the white churches, and even a few of the black ones were ringed with hundreds of American flags planted every few feet. How different is that from state supported Israeli rabbis and politicians waving blue and white flags calling for the expulsion or extermination of Palestinians?
The differences are that (1) genocide and dispossession of native Americans was pretty much complete a dozen decades ago. Our authorities can now afford to manufacture and export the firepower to our allies in places like Israel where similar chores are being undertaken; and (2) that we and the world don't have to allow the brutal and genocidal occupation of Palestine and Palestinians to continue.
We can build and contribute to the global BDS movement, to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel and the Israeli state, until the day that Israel-Palestine becomes not an ethnocracy, only for those with J-positive blood, as Max Blumental puts it, but a state of peace, refuge, equality and prosperity for all who live within its borders.
And maybe back in Marietta GA, we can convert that Lockheed plant, the county's biggest private employer, away from manufacturing instruments of murder to making things that help people live better lives.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web atwww.blackagendareport.com, and be sure to subscribe to our free weekly email updates not on Facebook or Twitter but directly atwww.blackagendareport.com/subscribe. That'swww.blackagendareport.com/subscribe.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and a member of the state committee of the GA Green Party. He lives and works in Marietta GA and can be reached via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.