Sorrowful Soliloquies: I Am Ariel Sharon (Part 1).

AuthorNormey, Rob

I Am Ariel Sharon by Yara El-Ghadban is a timely novel that sheds light on the ongoing tragedy of the Palestinian people.

OPINION | The views expressed in this article are those of the author.

Part 1 of this article describes how Canadian politics, institutions and media have responded to the Israel-Palestine conflict, providing context for my review of I Am Ariel Sharon in Part 2.

The Impact of One-sided Reporting

I read I Am Ariel Sharon hard on the heels of reading Amnesty International's landmark report on the State of Israel's system of domination, which Amnesty says amounts to a system of apartheid. (Some human rights activists refer to this system as Apartheid 2.0, to distinguish it from the South African form of domination and settler colonial rule.)

The Amnesty Report is the latest of a series of human rights reports by most of the major rights organizations around the globe, including various Palestinian and Jewish Israeli human rights groups. The latter have issued outstanding reports on the system of domination and discrimination against Palestinians--one authored by B'Tselem about a year ago and one by Yesh Din in 2020.

Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic issued a report in February 2022 that finds Israel's treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank amounts to the crime of apartheid. Further, Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories since 1967, submitted a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on March 21, 2022. His report also concludes that the treatment of Palestinians by Israel amounts to apartheid. One recommendation in the report is for Israel to quickly and unconditionally end their occupation of Palestinian territory.

The sparse and unhelpful reporting on Amnesty's report--a major human rights and international law document--has been sparse and unhelpful. This highlights the difficulty I see in allowing either a Palestinian perspective or a human rights perspective (extending to stateless individuals such as the Palestinians and the Kurds) to receive anything like a proper hearing in Canadian political and legal discourse. The marginalization of Palestinian voices has a sad history. The brilliant cultural critic, literary scholar and humanist Edward Said penned a preface to a reissue of Orientalism. In it he said, in terms that surely apply in Canada as well as his home turf in the U.S.A.:

The life of an Arab Palestinian in the West...

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