Note that the heroic Iranian woman on the CNN page is about to throw a stone. Have you ever seen coverage of a Palestinian throwing a stone during a protest highlighted so prominently and positively?
Joseph Dana has pointed out the similarities between the popular resistance being displayed on the streets of Iran and that in the West Bank. While Robert Fisk sees similarities in the repressive response of the Iranian and Israeli governments:
Unleashing a rabble of armed government forces on to the streets and claiming that all whom they shoot are "terrorists" is an almost copy-cat perfect version of the Israeli army's public reaction to the Palestinian intifada. If stone-throwing demonstrators are shot dead, then it is their own fault, they are breaking the law and they are working for foreign powers.
When this happens in the Israeli-occupied territories, the Israelis claim that the foreign powers of Iran and Syria are behind the violence. When this happens on the streets of Iranian cities, the Iranian regime claims that the foreign powers of the United States, Israel and Britain are behind the violence.
And it is indeed an intifada that has broken out in Iran . . .
For all the similarities in the inspiring David vs Goliath imagery, it has been crushing to see the vast difference in the way Iranian protest is being handled in the US versus the ongoing Palestinians nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. And it's not just in the media. Today in a press conference President Obama said:
The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost.
I've made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran's affairs. But we must also bear witness to the courage and the dignity of the Iranian people, and to a remarkable opening within Iranian society. And we deplore the violence against innocent civilians anywhere that it takes place.
If Obama is to be judged by his actions, that last sentence is simply a lie. In the first six months of the Obama administration at least two Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military while nonviolently protesting the theft of their land without a comment from the US. Israel even shot and critically injured a US citizen during a nonviolent protest in the West Bank and the administration had nothing to say.This is in no way to take away from the outrage or solidarity people feel when watching incredibly brave people taking to the streets in Iran. But there are brave examples in other places as well. And in the case of Palestine, the US is funding the repressive regime putting the protests down with over $3 billion a year.
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