Russell Banks (born March 28, 1940) is an outstanding American writer of novels, short stories, non-fiction and poetry (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Banks ).
Russell Banks was one of 18 FAMOUS WRITERS including 3 Nobel Laureates who in an Open Letter published worldwide slammed Apartheid Israel’s Palestinian Genocide as “[Israel’s] long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation”:
“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 Defense (!) 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 allotted 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 recognized for what it is and resisted.
PS: As Juliano Mer Khamis, director of the documentary film Arna's Children, asked: "Who is going to paint the 'Guernica' of Lebanon?"
This letter has been printed in newspapers throughout the world, including Le Monde, El País, The Independent and La Repubblica.” .
. 18 writers, “A letter from 18 writers including 3 Nobel laureates”, The Nation, 18 August 2006: http://www.thenation.com/article/letter-18-writers .
PS. In answer to Juliano Mer Khamis’ question (above) "Who is going to paint the 'Guernica' of Lebanon?" a possible candidate is Gideon Polya's "Qana" (see: Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4293063550/ ) , a huge painting (1.3 metres x 2.9 metres) that is is geometrically and conceptually based on Pablo Picasso's huge anti-war painting "Guernica" about the Nazi and fascist destruction of the Basque town of Guernica in Spain in 1937. Qana is based on the 2006 destruction by the war criminal Israelis (for the second time) of the Southern Lebanese town of Qana (assertedly where Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding feast). Some elements (the screaming woman, the bull, the screaming horse are common) as is the geometrical scaffolding (a double Golden Rectangle between upper and lower strips).