John Peter Berger (born 5 November 1926) is an English art critic, novelist, painter and author of the novel ”G.” which won the 1972 Booker Prize, and “Ways of Seeing” a BBC TV series and book on art criticism (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Berger ).
John Berger signed the following letter together with Tariq Ali, 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.” .
. Tariq 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 .