Part of being such sickly cynicals is to pooh-pooh away commercialized thoughts and actions. Just because it's a new year doesn't mean or change anything, and the Israeli army aptly demonstrated that by the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmeh-toted as the first martyr of 2011.
During the weekly protest in Bil'in against the Apartheid wall, Israeli soldiers fired numerous tear gas canisters at the protesters. Jawaher inhaled a huge amount of tear gas, and was immediately taken to Ramallah Hospital in her unconscious state. Doctors tried all that was in their hands (Ramallah Hospital is notorious for mistakingly killing off their patients through neglect or incorrect diagnosis-but we won't get into that here) yet it was too late and the next day, Jawaher died from asphyxiation. She was the sister of activist Basem Abu Rahmeh, who died almost immediately in April 2009 after a high velocity tear gas canister was shot at him from close range.
Feel free to ignore the vile Fateh flags the couple of dimwits are carrying.
We now present the second martyr of the year- Ahmed Mohammed Maslamani from the village of Toubas. Ahmed's outrageous crime was to pass through the Bekaot checkpoint east of Nablus on his way to Jericho City where he worked. Soldiers opened fire at his unarmed body mercilessly after apparently being threatened by the Coke bottle in his hand. We're a bit worried about the lack of imagination on behalf of the IOF's spokesperson. Couldn't he/she concoct some far-fetched contrivance about how the man was a raging lunatic who was spitting sharp little deadly needles from his mouth at uncontrollable speed while simultaneously wiggling his nose in a most intimidating way?
We'll say this, however, even at the danger of sounding like hopeful ignoramuses. 2011 will witness change in the realities on the ground for the better.