Saturday, August 13, 2005
The Bethlehem Ghetto
posted by: username at 1:57 PM
We got the following email and I figured, since we haven't had much to say lately, I might as well post it and talk a bit about it. It comes from Paul O., or Paulo, or maybe that is just an email username, but I assure you the person is probably in some way related to the following sequence of letters: p, a, u, l and o. Probably.

Bethelem is not a ghetto.
There is no possible comparison between what did happen in Warsaw Ghetto and what does or did happen in bethelem.
What are the consequences of such bad use of the words ? They lost meaning.
Today no one realizes what what the warsaw guettho really was.
Words lost meaning.., the past does get erased and mankind will be condemened to repeat the past over and over since as Santayana said ,

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.".

The palestinians and the Israelis might well became the victims of such lack of memory.

If people really realized what war is like , if people realize the horrors of the gettho , maybe they would make peace instead of waging war.

Those who learn nothing from history are condemned to repeat it.

So anyway, yeah, the Bethlehem Ghetto. I still remember when a group of us were getting this project up and running, sitting around our Tupac-loving friend's living room debating all sorts of endless details that were really quite boring: should we link to this site, we already have this site, what categories of links should we have, how many posts should we put on the main page... really quite meaningless, although so far we have not had any real problems running the site, so maybe the discussions paid off.

Anyway, I ramble on about this because we also had a bit of a discussion on using the word "ghetto" in our title. It was actually the Palestinians among us who were most reluctant to use the word, as none of us had any desire to co-opt the events of the Holocaust in portraying the long history of Palestinian dispossession. For most of us, however, the concerns were irrelevant.

Perhaps for Israelis the word "ghetto" will always be reserved for Warsaw, but in a modern, Western context, the word "ghetto" is most closely related to hip-hop culture in the U.S., which - like Palestinians - is tied to impoverished ethnic groups that are the target of much prejudice and often relegated to disintegrating conditions in urban ghettos.

They're kept out of the suburbs in the U.S. - out of sight and out of mind - and it is precisely this imprisonment in obscurity that we intend to evoke when we use the term Bethlehem Ghetto. The Wall is being completed around Bethlehem now. Work has picked up considerably in the past few months. Jerusalem is becoming harder to reach for Palestinians whose income is based on work there. Amid the Gaza redeployment frenzy, communities like Bethlehem all across the West Bank are being forgotten about, left to rot and bang their heads against an imprisoning Wall, isolated into little ghettos - out of sight and out of mind.
Anonymous Anonymous


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1:57 PM  

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