Scott Kennedy

Language and the crimes we permit in Gaza

As I entered the powerful new museum of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem in early November, I was confronted by these words: “A country should be judged not only by what it does, but also by what it tolerates.” Kurt Tucholsky, WW1 veteran and pacifist, journalist and social critic whose books were burned by the same Nazi regime that stripped him of his citizenship, wrote the statement after Germany adopted the anti-Semitic Nuremberg laws. His sobering contention was brought vividly to mind during my visit to Gaza, Palestine ten days later. 

Pariah State: Meeting with the Prime Minister of Palestine

I first visited Gaza in 1968 and have returned more two dozen times, most recently in April 2002. Since then, Israeli authorities have prevented our visiting Gaza. I was eager to return, to renew friendships and see for myself the changes that have taken place. I also wanted to convey my support for those courageous people who continue to work for human rights, democracy and a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They persist despite formidable obstacles and being cut off from visitors. It is imperative, for them as well as for us, that those suffering such extreme isolation not be forgotten and that their voices still be heard.