Posts Tagged ‘prejudices’

On 8, May 1739 Voltaire set out in the company of the du Chatelets for the Low Countries. In Brussels they rented a house in the rue de la Grosse Tour. Since they had time on their hands they set out to hard work: Voltaire was busy with his play, Mahomet and finishing Louis XIV.
After the Peace of Utrecht, in 1713, Belgium the cockpit of Europe for long, had become Austrian Netherlands. While Spain was in control any one who showed signs of intelligence or promise whould have been hauled to gaol and head chopped off. As the Regents of Spanish tyranny wanted it was not safer for subjugated nation to think. It had become an acquired habit for the Belgians to keep out of intellectual life. Instead they were all gaga over material progress and making money. Voltaire was bored and he complained bitterly,’Brussels is the extinguisher of imagination. There is no decent printer or engraver, not one single man of letters…This is the country of obedience.’
When he gave a party for Mme du Chatalet sent out invitations in the name of ‘the Envoy from Utopia’, only to find out that not one of the guests had ever heard of Utopia!
Later they went to stay with the Duc d’Arenberg at Enghien the only books they could find were the one they had brought along. Later when he complained of the Flemish to Crown Prince Frederick
( who later became Frederick the Great) he sympathized with him and said, he should see what the German were like, ferocious as the beasts they pursued.(ack: Voltaire in Love-Nancy Mitford,Penguin)


Read Full Post »

DAMASCUS, Syria – Mohammed Oudeh, the key planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, died Saturday morning in Damascus, his daughter said. He was 73.
Oudeh was a leader of “Black September,” an offshoot of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group that was established to avenge the 1970 expulsion of Palestinian guerrillas from Jordan.
My title to this post may be misleading to Palestinians. They would term he was a fighter.
Whereas for an Israeli he would be nothing but a terrorist.
“Before Munich, we were simply terrorists. After Munich, at least people started asking who are these terrorists? What do they want,” he said. “Before Munich, nobody had the slightest idea about Palestine.”
So one who plans murder of athletes (for the simple reason they belonged to the state of Israel) is a propagandist and not guilty of murder.
On the flip side of this let us see what Israel set out to do: Oudeh escaped narrowly an attack by Israel’s Mossad spy agency in 1981. He was sitting in a hotel cafe in Warsaw, Poland, when a gunman shot him in his left wrist, chest, stomach and jaw.”It was a Palestinian double agent, recruited by the Mossad. … He was arrested 10 years later, put on trial (by the PLO) and executed.”
In setting a wrong to right with another wrong both Israel and Palestine have merely clouded the moral question. When shall we get to see the truth?
After the last man has been either killed (revenge killing or honor killing, no matter what you call it) truth shall be determined. The angel who walks length and breadth of the globe will count the number of people stoned for adultery,hands cut off for stealing or fried in an electric chair for real or imagined crimes, poisoned or killed by hired assassins for power or for family wealth and ask the Most Glorious seated on the White Throne of Judgment ,’What is the moral of this slaughter house, O Lord?’
What do you think will be the answer?


(ack:AP News-reporter Albert Aji)

Read Full Post »