Tariq Ali (born 21 October 1943), is a British
Pakistani historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, activist, and commentator.
He is the author of numerous books, notably “Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity” (2002)
Tariq Ali signed
the following letter together with John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo
Galeano, Naomi Klein, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, José Saramago, and Howard
Zinn on the occasion of the 2006 devastation of Gaza and Lebanon by the
Apartheid Israeli military machine (2006):
“The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine
began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother,
from Gaza. An
incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following
day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a
negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are
approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.
That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the
illegal military occupation of the West Bank
and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly
that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable
but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly
employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land
alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.
Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones.
The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and
crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of
missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this
for a moment?
Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But
the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in
order to divert world attention from a
long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is
nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.
This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and
often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be
unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.” .
Ali, John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Harold Pinter,
Arundhati Roy, José Saramago and
Howard Zinn, “Israel, Lebanon, and
Palestine”, Open Letter, 19 July 2006: http://www.chomsky.info/letters/20060719.htm