Disgrace


Jordan’s flag?
Originally uploaded by marcynewman.

This week has been the most disgraceful week in US foreign and domestic policy. From the House passing the Anti-Palestinian Terrorism Act to the Senate’s passage of the Immigration bill I’m so horrified by the hate filled (and fear filled) Congress in the U.S. Moreover, giving Ehud Olmert the floor of Congress leaves me filling disgusted by the collusion between the U.S. and Israel. Bush’s building of a wall at the Mexican border and sending National Guard troops down there, to land that used to be part of Mexico, demonstrates that it is indeed Olmert leading Bush along, offering deeply offensive, violent, and hateful policies.

It’s amazing that the words of Hamas are completely ignored. Hamas says repeatedly that if Israel withdraws to its pre-1967 borders that it would be willing to discuss peace. But it is Israel that is unwilling to even recognize this as it would mean giving up ALL of its illegal settlements and its stolen water resources among other things.

All of this disgraceful activity in the U.S. has fallen during Jordan’s 60th celebration of its independence from the British in 1946. The city is decorated with flags, both real and those lit up like the one in the photograph here. Normally, the Jordanian flag is red, green, black, and white. But those lit up along the street near my house are all red, green, white, and blue. Now given that the 3 of the basic colors of the flag are present in this lighted flag, it is particularly odd that the color blue is present. It leads me to wonder what this symbolizes. Does it symbolize that fact that Jordan couldn’t exist without the money coming from the U.S.? Or does it highlight Jordan’s collusion with Israel from its early history or its 1994 peace agreement? I find it disturbing and strange especially given the fascist policies of the U.S. and Israel and the way that they spread their policies over this region.

Salam–

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12 thoughts on “Disgrace

  1. No you idiot, it symobolises that you can’t actually light up the colour black so you have to use blue…. duh!

  2. Marcy, lol I think you’re reading too much into it. I think it’s blue because they don’t want to use white to outline black since they’re already using white to outline the white star, and if they use a black light, then it’s gonna come out blue anyway.

    Of course if you ask me, the whole idea of neon light flags is just ghetto. Use real flags and shine a spot light on them, problem solved!

  3. Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, in his own words: We will not give up the resistance; we will not give up a single inch of Palestine; we will not recognize Israel’s right to exist. . . Palestine means Palestine in its entirety – from the (Mediterranean) Sea to the (Jordan) River, from Ras Al-Naqura to Rafah. We cannot give up a single inch of it. Therefore, we will not recognize the Israeli enemy’s [right] to a single inch.

    Hamas only wants peace.

  4. Please tell me what good does it do Palestine or Palestinians when you antagonize an entire country and its people with mindless statements like:

    “Now given that the 3 of the basic colors of the flag are present in this lighted flag, it is particularly odd that the color blue is present. It leads me to wonder what this symbolizes. Does it symbolize that fact that Jordan couldn’t exist without the money coming from the U.S.? Or does it highlight Jordan’s collusion with Israel from its early history or its 1994 peace agreement?”

    There is no such thing as “visible black light”; black is the absence of visible light. The blue light neon is used to frame the black top rectangle of the flag. Whoever designed the sign failed to anticipate that indoctrinated minds might interpret their choice of blue neon in this way.

    It may surprise you that I actually appreciate your work and advocacy for Palestine. The “problem” is that I also love my country, and it bugs the crap out of me when it is attacked in this way!! Why is this fact so hard for some people to comprehend?!!!!!

  5. I really find it hard to understand why Marcy’s words would be understood as an “attack” on Jordan, especially knowing what Marcy does and having read her many opinions on her blog.

    The thing is, Marcy didn’t make any statement in that quote that you pointed out Ziad, she simply pointed out an oddity and asked a question. Regardless of how bad wrong answers to that question might be, it doesn’t mean that you and I can blame her for it. Everyone is free to ask questions, and we’re free to answer them.

    Wouldn’t it have been much easier if people just told her that she was reading too much into it? Why do we have to go even further and create a problem when one doesn’t exist?

  6. There is a distinct difference between attacking a country and critiquing its politics. I love Jordan–especially the people. But there are policies of the Jordanian government, over the course of its history, that I don’t like. What I think is scary is the kind of blind nationalism that makes people have knee-jerk reactions to questions that are entirely legitimate. To be quite honest, doesn’t anyone living in Jordan find it odd to celebrate an independence day of a country that really isn’t entirely independent? These are real questions, putting aside a minute, the comments I made about the flag. Asking these questions is not at all an attack on Jordan; it is an important question to ask and ponder.

    Salam–

  7. My nationalism isn’t blind, it is informed. And “knee-jerk reactions” is a phrase better used to describe people who see conspiracy in a blue neon light.

    If you think that celebrating the independence of Jordan is silly, since it is not truly independent (as contrasted with the rest of the Arab and third world countries I suppose), then why don’t you simply laugh it off and ignore it? But it seems to me that you are aggravated by this celebration.

    Let me tell you about my nationalism and about the “collusionist” policies of Jordan. My Palestinian mother moved from Nazareth to Amman in 1969 after marrying my father. In 1970 she was anticipating her first child, and preparing a baby room in her new home. When the “incidents” began, her fellow Palestinian militia “heroes” kicked her out of her home and used it as a snipping post to kill the “collusionist” Jordanian soldiers. But those “collusionist” soldiers prevailed, and my mother was able to return to her home and raise a family in peace and stability.

    My nationalism isn’t blind, it was taught to me by my Palestian mother.

    See also here here here here here here

    Salam–

  8. Ziad,

    Thank you for your comments, for sharing your experiences, and for your links to your blog. When I was speaking about collusionist politics I was alluding to the first King Abdullah and those who helped to construct what is now known as Jordan. But you’re right to suspect that I have different feelings about what happened here during Black September. While I wasn’t here and I certainly can’t speak from a place of experience–and I would never condone what happened to your family–I still do have problems with the ways in which the Jordanian government cracked down on Palestinian resistance fighters here. I have friends who were in jail here and who have been in Israeli jails and their stories about the torture they experienced are not dissimilar.

    It’s not that I think independence is silly; it’s that I have trouble with nationalism more generally. And I wasn’t aggravated by the flag or the celebration; I was merely commenting on it. The “Disgrace” in my title and my aggravation stemmed entirely from events that took place in the U.S. this past week.

    Salam–

  9. Dear Marcy,

    We have different views about the early history of Jordan and about the 1970/71 events, and that is fine. Discussion of these issues in a considerate manner like in your last comment is also fine.

    I imagine you’re familiar enough with the issue to know that many Jordanians and Palestinians have faced situations where they were stunned by a rhetoric of blind hate coming from the other side. And even though you dislike nationalism, I’m sure you realize that it is difficult for a person not to feel affinity to his/her country and people. I’m also sure that you know that these facts make the “Jordan vs Palestinians” topic very sensitive to both sides.

    Considering all that, I’m at a loss when intelligent, decent, persons like yourself don’t take a little more care before saying/writing something that they know is very likely to rile people on the other side.

    Thanks for your polite reply, and take care.

    Salam

  10. It is blind nationalism, just like Americans are falling into blind nationalism

    And that story that was given up about Palestinian melitias going into the house and bullshit is fake

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