This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
Edward Snowden is on the run seeking asylum. First China, now Russia, on to Ecuador? A Cold War spy thriller after the Cold War went away.
The longer you live, the more you know that ‘after’ only means another twist is around the bend.
Imagine how the Chinese and Russian dissidents feel as Edward Snowden is hailed by the same police states that make their lives miserable.
How about dissidents in Ecuador? Human Rights Watch has a file on Ecuador http://www.hrw.org/americas/ecuador and has to this to say currently – and aptly:
“President Rafael Correa has undercut freedom of the press in Ecuador by subjecting journalists and media figures to public denunciation and retaliatory litigation. Judicial independence continues to suffer due to transitional mechanisms for judicial reform that have given the government and its supporters in Congress a powerful say in appointing and dismissing judges.”
Political dissidents have always found refuge in the strangest of places. It just goes to show that when you’re on the run you can be used by all sorts of folks for their own agendas. You can also use all sorts for your own agenda. Is there an ethical Golden Rule on being used and using?
Recently, one of my friendly non-Jewish correspondents suggested that I declare aliyah, become a citizen of Israel, take the benefits accorded me as a Jew under the Law of Return and then disappear into the occupied Palestinian hinterland and write from there. Whatever your take on the Law of Return it beats the suggestions my unfriendly Jewish correspondents usually offer. They think it would be better if I had died in the Holocaust.
The powers that be should wake up. In our computerized world where personal lives are open for public inspection, government’s internal lives are open for public inspection, too. It’s just a matter of time but even the time frame is changing. In a fast paced world, leaking secrets has to keep pace. It is.
Of course, beneath the veneer of a changing world old fashioned politics still applies. If you’ve noticed the new Palestinian Prime Minister – what’s his name? – tweeted twice and seems to be gone from his position. Or is he back tweeting again?
The world is an enigma of hope and despair, honesty and corruption. It’s all a tangle.
What should we think of corruption?
One way is to see corruption as life’s labyrinth – we spend our lives wading knee deep in corruption hoping to keep our head above it. We rarely accomplish our goal.
Another way is to recognize corruption as quicksand – we walk along with corruption all around us and then suddenly we step into it and we’re gone.
While we’re thinking of dissent, hypocrisy and corruption, word is that our Secretary of Pandering, John Kerry, is heading back to the Middle East. I don’t know if he tweets his various economic and political plans. Since it’s obvious that the cap on his career is empty I doubt he has much of a following anyway. Maybe it would be better if he resigned and the position was left vacant for a while. Or if we didn’t know if he had resigned, returned or simply called in on different days.
Staying focused on the topic at hand, I can’t wait for the uplifting Senate hearings on Samantha Power’s appointment to the United Nations.. The UN is the only place in the world where every nation is expected to lie about itself. She’ll fit right in.
Perhaps I’ll fly to Ecuador and stay there during Power’s confirmation hearings. But if Stop the Wall’s report, ‘Buying into Occupation: The Implications of Military Ties Between South America and Israel’ (http://stopthewall.org/downloads/pdf/buy-in2-occ.pdf) is correct, I’ll be heading straight into an Ecuadorian-Israeli military partnership zone. This as Ecuador takes the ‘high’ road of criticizing Israel’s policies toward Palestinians.
Needless to say, Stop the Wall doesn’t think too highly of Ecuador’s doubletalk.
When you are on the run, though, is there an ethical Golden Rule on the road you can and cannot take?