A tale of 2 views:

Working in a building where the was a public rally for the protest on Saturday. The protest is called, 'Stop the War on Iraq, Freedom for Palestine'. I was given a leaflet published by the Socialist Party, called No War for Oil. For once, I could whole-heartedly agree with the leaflet. It questions US foreign policies and links the USA's decision to go to war with Iraq with their need to boost local (American) oil production. I only just read it, though, because I was afraid it would be about the other issue at stake in the protest: freedom for Palestine. I could march under 'Justice for Palestine', but I don't know what freedom is meant to mean. Freedom for what? From Whom? At what price, in what terms? I am so afraid that it is a rally that wants 'my people' dead, that wants to replace one injustice with another.

Contrast: received an email from a cousin. It says: The link below is of a series of Friday sermons that were broadcast on a weekly basis on the official PA-controlled Palestinian television network. The video really does speak for itself... I haven't opened the link for the same reason as I didn't want to read the leaflet or go on the march. I don't want to read propaganda that incites people to hate and dehumanise. I don't want to know how Jewish diaspora people defend, in their own minds, the actions of Israel. I don't want to know about propaganda though I know it's out there in hundreds of public rallies and marches, in hundreds of emails and web links.

All I know is that I have Muslim friends who I like and who like me. I don't want to see harm done to them or their families and they don't want to see harm done to me. My views are created by encounters with real people, and from conversations about respect and openness and also everyday life and normal things. My views are not informed - if I can help it - by racist media propaganda from any source.

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