SARAMAGO, José. Portuguese Literature Nobel Laureate: "What is happening in Palestine is a crime that we can compare to what occurred in Auschwitz" & "[Israel's] aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian people"

José de Sousa Saramago  (16 November 1922 – 18 June 2010) was a prolific, humorous and gently subversive  Literature Nobel Prize-winning  Portuguese novelist, poet, playwright,  journalist ands author of numerous books , most recently “The Elephant’s Joumey” (2009) and “Cain” (2010). After his comments attacking Apartheid Israeli war crimes, Jose Saramago’s books were banned in Apartheid Israel (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Saramago ).

 

 José de Sousa Saramago on the ongoing Palestinian Holocaust and Palestinian Genocide (circa 2000): “What is happening in Palestine is a crime that we can compare to what occurred in Auschwitz… A sense of impunity characterizes today the Israeli people and its army. They have been converted into rentiers of the Holocaust” [1].

José Saramago signed the following letter together with Tariq Ali, John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, 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.” [2].

 

[1]  José Saramago, quoted by Professor James Petras in “Palestine: The Final Solution and Jose Saramago”, Chapter 19 in “The Plight of the Palestinians”. A long history of destruction”, edited by {Professor William Cook, Palgrave Macmilllan, London, 2010.

 

[2]. 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 .


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