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Saturday 9 August 2014

Dr Mads Gilbert on the Palestinian will to resist: "I compare occupation with occupation"

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Dr Mads Gilbert with colleagues and patient during surgery at Shifa hospital, Gaza: photo via Dr Mads Gilbert on twitter, 30 July 2014

I know you applaud for Gaza. I know you applaud for those who are there, the heroes of Gaza.

This will be no easy appeal to make, because I am now overcome by the mildness, the warmth, the safety, the absence of bombs, jets, blood and death. And then all that we’ve had to keep inside comes to the surface -- so forgive me if sometimes I break.

I thought when I got home and met my daughters Siri and Torbjørn, my son-in-law and my grandkids Jenny and Torje, that it is such a mild country we live in.

It so good, with a kind of humanity in all relationships, because we actually built this country on respect for diversity, respect for the individual, respect for human dignity.

And imagine being back in 1945. And I beg to be understood when I say that I am not comparing the German Nazi regime with Israel. I do not.

Torchlight procession for Statsakten (Celebration of Government Act at Akershus, marking transition to German supremacy in Norway under the national government of Vidkun Quisling)
: photographer unknown, 1 February 1942 
(National Archives of Norway)

But I compare occupation with occupation. Imagine that we in 1945 did not win the liberation struggle, did not throw out the occupier, could not see a bright future or believe our kids had a future. Imagine the occupier remaining in our country, taking it piece by piece, for decades upon decades. And banished us to the leanest areas. Took the fish in the sea, took the land, took the water, and we became more and more confined.

And here in Tromsø we were actually imprisoned, because here there was so much resistance to the occupation. So we are imprisoned for seven years, because in an election we had chosen the most resilient, those who would not accept the occupation.

Then after seven years of confinement in our city, Tromsø, the occupier began to bomb us. And they began to bomb us the day we made a political alliance with those in the other confined parts of occupied Norway, to say that we Norwegians would stand together against the occupier. Then they began to bomb us.

Statsakt für Minister Lunde. Fra venstre: General Feuerstein, Generaladmiral Böhm, Quisling, Rediess, Terboven 
[Walking up Akersgata in Oslo]: photographer unknown, 11 January 1941 (National Archives of Norway)

They bombed our university hospital, then the medical center, then killed our ambulance workers, they bombed schools where those who had lost their homes were trying to seek shelter. Then they cut the power and bombed our power plant. Then they shut off the water supply. What would we have done?

Would we have given up, waved the white flag? No. No, we would not. And this is the situation in Gaza.

This is not a battle between terrorism and democracy. Hamas is not the enemy Israel is fighting. Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian people’s will to resist. The unbending determination not to submit to the occupation!

It is the Palestinian people’s dignity and humanity that will not accept that they are treated as third, fourth, fifth-ranking people.

Josef Terboven, Vidkun Quisling, German officers, inspecting the Rikshirden in Oslo, in conjunction with the Act of State.  [Rikshirden = a paramilitary organisation during the German occupation of Norway; membership was compulsory for all members of Vidkun Quisling's fascist Nasjonal Samling party]: photographer unknown, 1 February 1942  (National Archives of Norway: photographer unknown, 1 February 1942  (National Archives of Norway)

In 1938, the Nazis called the Jews “Untermenschen,” subhuman. Today, Palestinians in the West Bank, in Gaza, in the Diaspora are treated as Untermensch, as subhumans who can be bombed, killed, slaughtered by their thousands, without any of those in power reacting.

So I returned home to my free country -- and this country is free because we had a resistance movement, because we said that occupied nations have the right to resist, even with weapons. It’s stated in international law.

You are permitted to fight the occupier even with weapons.

Nobody wants to be occupied!

Dr Mads Gilbert: from an address upon his return home to Tromsø, Norway, via Mondoweiss, 8 August 2014

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Dr Mads Gilbert with a patient at Shifa hospital, Gaza: photo via Dr Mads Gilbert on twitter, 30 July 2014


TC said...

Dr. Mads Gilbert: Gaza crisis is a 'major defeat' for humanity

L'Enfant de la Haute Mer said...

Published on the 7th August 2014

Dr. Mads Gilbert from Tromsø, Norway (Twin City with Gaza City), was working at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza during the last Israeli onslaugt on Gaza. When he returned from Gaza to his home-town Tromsø on July 31 2014, he went straight from the airport to give this spontaneous speech at a large solidarity demonstration for Gaza held at the same time. The regional newspaper "Nordlys" ("Northern Light") streamed the demonstration and featured Dr. Mads' speech on their web-site. They have donated the video. It was transcribed and subtitled in English through a solidarity effort by Norwegian film and video professionals. The video can be shared and used for non-commercial purposes.

Mose23 said...

The scale of their onslaught makes resistance in the present moment close to an impossibility.

This IS collective punishment. There is no other way to understand it. An entire people humiliated.

Heard about the food drops in Iraq. What is there for Gaza?

TC said...

A video of Dr Mads' remarkable homecoming speech was posted on You Tube yesterday.

This an excerpt. The whole thing is a wonder. When an helicopter ambulance does a friendly flyover in solidarity, it suddenly all makes sense -- Tromsø is the mirror city of Gaza.

Dr Mads' full Tromsø speech

I see now that while I was struggling unsuccessfully to coax knobbly fossilized digits to hunt and peck the full text off the blurry subtitling (let there be mercy for the lame and halt), L'Enfant had kindly sent along this same link (merci!), and meanwhile a note from Tom Raworth alerts us he's also posted the video -- invalids everywhere are down with Doctor Mads --

TC said...

Sorry Dunc, had not seen that.

That's the only way it can be understood, collective punishment, the results inevitably to be considered too limited and humane, at that, in Tel Aviv.

Hearing, last night, the pathetic dwarf grand western imitation power troika O'B, Kerry, and the current willing special relationship lapdog whatziz name (David something) break out the old familiar programme -- steroidal bluff and thunder in describing the first two precision 500 lb tonnage strikes in Iraq, the coordinated drops, RAF jets on the tarmac -- it seemed immediately apparent that the insatiable and irrational therefore not always predictable, therefore truly terrifying, always busy and hungry global war machine was now being brought online again in a sector where even catastrophic failure has always taken many years to get back to the "folks" back home... as a diversion from attention to the repeatedly aggravated epicenter of all the sorrow and woe of this period in history.

TC said...

Norman Finkelstein: Israeli leaders contemplate final solution for Gaza

Israeli MK Moshe Feiglin:

"...Gaza... will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing
crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza...”

Mose23 said...

Moshe Feiglin is nothing more than a fascist.

Our Dave's a good boy - he always does what he's told.

I thought this speech by Senator Norris at the Dail very powerful.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Yes, a truly remarkable speech--someone should send the link of Dr. Gilbert's video to the White House.

Hazen said...

"Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian people's will to resist." — Dr. Gilbert, from the excellent video. That sums up Tel Aviv's motivations quite well. A war of attrition, with the US supplying all the bombs and weapons needed.

L'Enfant de la Haute Mer said...

in responde to vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras)

mentionned by me:
Dr Mads' full Tromsø speech
See comment n°5.

Indeed: Someone should send the link of Dr. Gilbert's video to the White House.

TC said...

Somehow I suspect the messages and pleas of Dr Mads never made it into O'B's daily stenographic memo update on the progress of the several wars he's juggling, avoiding or attempting to develop a position on, even as we speak.

No, hold that. He's on summer vacation. Right.

Senator David Norris' impassioned speech in the Seanad debate did my forbears proud, but the deathly silence in the chamber did not.

An Irishman who feels his country's history would know whereof he speaks on this point:

"You'll not solve this problem until you involve both of the participants."

That bit draws out of the moribund room one "hear, hear", and thanks be to Seamus for that.

The silence deepens into a dark well when Norris touches on the role of the great peace-envoy-for-profit Blair: "shameless".

Still, though, there is the one voice.

Extremely direct really.

Norris says when he lamented to Palestinian contacts, "There's nothing I can do," they answered, "At least you can be a witness."

We might all begin there.

American politicians, though, a different story.

Our local congressperson Barbara Lee has embraced the good cause in virtually every domestic issue. On the Gaza offensive, though, no comment.

Re-election trumps compassion. Politicians are politicians. America is America.

It would be unfortunate if the world were to think, from the evidence, that America must surely be the most benighted of the nations when it comes to international diplomacy.

For as a matter of fact there are great minds at work, even when they don't seem to be working.

Here for example are the considered opinions of one of these great minds, expressed at Los Angeles International Airport in response to a reporter's query concerning the massive Palestinian civilian death totals, and possible moral implications thereof:

"Good. Good. When you declare war, you declare war. They started it. We now don't count who's dead. You're dead, you deserve to be dead. Don't you dare make me feel bad about that.

"They were told to get out. They didn't get out. You don't get out, you are an idiot. At least the ones that were killed were the ones with low IQs."

Joan Rivers GOES OFF on Epic Israeli/Palestine rant

Such compassionate and wise spokespersons for our great country are moreover bringing the message of democracy and freedom to the far flung shores of... was it Montezuma? Tripoli? Tel Aviv?

Joan Rivers epic interview for Channel 10 Israel

This gracious stateswoman, whose manifest expertise in the arts of cosmetic reconstruction is wonderfully demonstrated in her lovely visage, also shows typical American sensitivity for oppressed peoples when she suggests, to close this memorable interview, her solution for the Palestinian problem:

"What those Palestinians need is a nose job. Send over our great plastic surgeons to fix their noses and they will be at peace in the Middle East."

But why am I laughing. Seven people in Palestine were killed in my name yesterday, 13 so far today. At this rate, the "Elimination" section of the Feiglin Final Solution Proposal proceeds steadily along.

Like Old Man River, the genocidal war of attrition inflicted by the illegal occupiers upon the illegally occupied land of Palestine just keeps rollin'. Seventy years and counting. Though the slow incremental pace could gather momentum soon, if those great plastic surgeons who pick up all that business sent their way by our ageless bionic ambassadress remember to drop their cheques in the mail to AIPAC.

TC said...

Charlotte Silver: Amnesty International: Israel deliberately targeting medical workers in Gaza (9 August)

TC said...

Senator David Norris: speech on Gaza before the Seanad, 31 July 2014 (full transcript)