Wednesday, December 07, 2005

When victims become victimizers

The concept of individuals or a people who have been victims of oppression or injustice becoming victimizers has always fascinated me - don't ask me why, I'm just weird that way! Although I don't know much about the history of Liberia, it is interesting that the liberated African Americans that moved to the country to settle began dominating the indigenous people who they considered inferior.

For me, the most glaring example is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However,I get really annoyed when people compare the treatment of Palestinians to the Holocaust which is ludicrous because one is oppression, the other is genocide - two very different things. Nevertheless, since the collective history of Jewish people has been of oppression, I find it very interesting that Israelis and non-Israeli Jews are not phased by the oppression of Palestinians.

So you'd expect Palestinians to understand & not inflict the same on others right? Wrong.
A news article today talks about how Iraqis living in Jordan have been facing discrimination after the Amman bombings in November. Here is one example from the piece: "When a taxi driver recognised my Iraqi accent, he forced me to get out, shouting that I was a terrorist," said Sundus Ahmed, an Iraqi resident of Amman. This one is even worst: "My friend said that Iraqis should all die because we killed their Jordanian brothers," said Jamal Salah, an 11-year-old student in a private school in the capital. "I'm just a child, but I'm paying for the acts of bad people."

And since almost 50% of the population in Jordan is Palestinian, I find this report really frustrating. Palestinians of all people should know how it feels to be collectively punished & stigmatized for something they did not do!