One of the astonishing things about the part of the country where Machetera lives, a backward and super-provincial, reflexively capitalistic and hyper-nationalistic (not in a good way) kind of place, is that even here, the truth still escapes all the mostly effective attempts to blockade it. Back when Machetera was suffering from the triple virus and had to haul her computer into the shop, she took it in without bothering to remove the bumper sticker taped below the screen which says “Only free men can negotiate” (Nelson Mandela), with the subtitle, “Palestine. Dying to live.” At the end of the week when she went to retrieve it, an older gentleman, dressed like a lumberjack and waiting to retrieve his own computer, stared fixedly at the sticker, while Machetera’s heart sank. Surely an evangelical tirade about Israel was brewing. Finally, after a few minutes, he asked with the utmost politeness where the sticker had come from because he wanted one for himself. “It’s so true,” he said, shaking his head.
With that in mind, today’s contribution to the destruction of the information blockade is the news about Mohammed Omer, the 24 year old Palestinian journalist who is in critical condition after being tortured nearly to death by Israeli troops for the crime of trying to return home after accepting the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in London. He and Dahr Jamail shared the prize. You can read more about Omer here, where you will also find a link to his acceptance speech, introduced by John Pilger.
And in other ethnic cleansing news from Palestine, this arrived in Machetera’s mailbox this morning: