I Am Palestine, I Am Odessa, I Am Donbass, But I Am Not Charlie
By Ximena Krasnaya
Fools enter the offices of a magazine and massacre other fools. And the world makes them martyrs and heroes. "Je suis Charlie" is seen here and there. Around the world they bring flowers and condolences to the French embassies. In Buenos Aires, too.
For days it’s occupied 98 percent of the daily news. Today, 100 percent. Here a child dies of hunger and barely gets a few words. For the past four days, and today the fifth, the newspapers can hardly write about anything other than the attack in Paris.
Terrorism is not good. No massacre is good. I repudiate it 100 percent. But it is important for people to understand that the Charlie Hebdo journalists are not martyrs for freedom of expression, but provocateurs. Americans and Europeans applaud Charlie for having the "courage" to ridicule the Prophet Muhammad and Muslims. I wonder what would have happened if they had published those cartoons here, how long would it have lasted? Probably not long; don’t forget that the Muslim community is quite strong in Argentina. And fortunately our laws, and the majority of Argentines, except some ignorant people, respect different beliefs. We call things by their name, none of us practice that kind of deliberately offensive humor in which that newspaper specializes. So why say that we are all Charlie?
Remember, also, that Charlie called Cuba a dictatorship, Fidel and Chavez dictators. Charlie supported the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. He approved the bombing of Libya and celebrated the murder of Gaddafi. He consistently sides with Israel against the Palestinians. He says that Russia is a danger to world peace, and is responsible for the situation in Ukraine, which indirectly supports the U.S. He called for intervention in Syria and said the Syrian opposition are heroes. Curiously, Wikipedia calls this paper a "French satirical weekly on the left.” Interesting ... They support NATO bombing and call themselves left.
Intolerance comes not only from the fools who carried out the massacre, intolerance was also part of Charlie. And the worst part is that this will be used as an excuse to increase intolerance, already quite strong in France and throughout Europe, towards foreigners and immigrants.
Recall the cover of Charlie Hebdo No. 1099, which vulgarized the slaughter of a thousand Egyptians by a wild and bloody dictatorship, which incidentally, has the backing of France and the U.S.; the cover said: "Massacre in Egypt. The Quran is shit: It does not stop bullets." The cartoon depicted a bullet-riddled Muslim gunned down while trying to protect himself with the Quran. Is this funny? I’m sorry, it does not seem funny to me. Imagine the reverse, that a person did a cartoon representing the slain journalists trying to protect themselves with the magazine in hand and the headline: "Paris Slaughter. Charlie Hebdo sucks: It does not stop bullets." What is the difference? Ah! Yes! One is Muslim, the other French. One does not deserve respect, the other does.
The massacre that occurred should be punished, but it is also necessary to put a limit to this "freedom of expression," which actually is not "freedom" but disrespect, arrogance of the colonial and imperialist type, xenophobia and stupidity.
It should be noted that Muslims in France and Europe are among the most exploited, impoverished and marginalized sectors. Recall that in the early ‘60s the Paris police massacred 200 Algerians demanding an end to the French occupation of their country, having left a toll of around one million "uncivilized" Arabs dead.
For years, if not decades, people have been dying in Palestine. I never saw a worldwide mobilization like that seen today for Charlie. They massacred people in Odessa. Where was the massive outpouring of world leaders? And what about the Donbass? For me it has been a real struggle to disseminate what happens in Donetsk and Lugansk.
The killers in Paris acted clumsily, very clumsily. They not only made an atrocity, but provoked the argument the Western "democracies" needed to redouble anti-immigration policies.
And Europeans and Westerners act as what they always were: hypocrites.
Because I do not agree with terrorism carried out with the cartoons of Charlie, nor do I agree with the slaughter carried out by fundamentalist idiots, the French receive my deepest condolences.
I am Palestinian.
I am Odessa.
I am the Donbass.
I am Mexico.
But I am not Charlie.
Buenos Aires, January 9, 2015
Translation by Greg Butterfield