CBC’s Joe Sacco issued an apology for using the “word” Palestine.  It must take a lot of courage – or threat of losing ones employment perhaps? – to swallow that indigestible pill.  With all the evidence, one must be in perfect insensibility to call Palestine a “word”.

Anyone with an ounce of decency, revulsion of settler colonial history – including our own Canadian  history – and/or advocacy for human rights should wince at this apology.  After all we are all settlers flourishing upon another people’s lands.  Our Prime Ministers have belatedly shown some remorse, offered reparations, and acknowledged the wrong doing the country’s forefathers.  Yet it is to my personal bafflement that Joe Sacco and his employers at the CBC, are totally at ease with reducing a country that has existed for thousands of years, its people, history, culture and religious character to a measly “word”.

On the other side, no apologies are offered to Palestinian children who languish in prisons suspected of throwing stones.  No remorse or regret towards persecuted poets, doctors, medics killed in the field, teachers, parents, political prisoners, young rappers.  No sorrow is allowed to be felt, let alone expressed, when 17 year old Mohamed Sulaiman Alhaddad, or Iyad Hallaq, the autistic 32 year old unarmed man with the mind of a 8 year old is shot dead for being who they are – Palestinians.  No fans at soccer matches, who chant at volumes that reverberate throughout an entire stadium “death to Arabs” will be reigned in.  Not one person from the upper echelons to those below, has asked for forgiveness for demolishing a COVID-19 testing centre , spray painting the Star of David on cars, or olive groves and livestock being burnt to a crisp.  No one will read, speak or debate about infants, the elderly, the young, all Palestinian deaths and injuries ushered in by the “most moral” occupation of our time!  The occupation is unapologetic for bombing Gaza for the past 17 days.  The occupation is unapologetic, period.  Yet the use of the “word” Palestine is apologized for, in Canada.

To present some fairness, the cringe worthy video “Feeding a Bedouin”, that aught to bring a sob to ones throat, did get an apology – 5 years after the fact it was made.  It took 5 years for Roy Boy to realize that this deep seeded racism against Palestinians was and is utterly wrong.  Perhaps if this video was not brought to the light of day, this apology would not have been made?

The fact that Palestine was articulated and placed alongside other devastated nations as Iraq and Syria is considered a blunder in itself.  Palestine, in the eyes of the occupation, and all those who profess undying support, does not exist.

Palestine is not a “word”.  ‘stiff’, ‘that’, ‘dinner’, ‘picture’, ‘sopor’ – these are words.  Palestine is a land that exists to this day under a brutal and apartheid occupation since well before 1948.  And since 1948, Palestinians live almost entire lives in prisons, go on hunger strikes, cross checkpoints daily, live in caves, are scattered in refugee camps, and live abroad.  They are a testament to, and evidence of, this place called Palestine.  They are a people who have had their land, life and liberty usurped by another people who ended up changing Palestine to the “word” ‘israel’.  As Canadians, we would be horrified at such a denigration.  It is one thing for the zionist settler occupation to try and erase physically who they mercilessly occupy.  But it is another for a foreign nation – a colonial-settler one at that – to lend any voice to the barbarity, ignorance and depreciation of Palestine being a mere “word”.

There indeed should be an apology made, and it should be made to the Palestinians.


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