I have never been to Israel or Palestine. One day I would like to meet people who live side by side there. Look into their eyes. See where they live. How they live. Greet their children. Touch the walls of their homes. Walk the path they take to get to work or school. Share a meal with them. Maybe share a poem or two. They can tell me how I got the details wrong, laugh with them at my mistakes. One day.
I began this blog when I had nowhere to express what I felt upon seeing photographs of what was happening in Gaza. That was many years ago. Many things have changed with my little blog, with my own life and the rest of the world. But Gaza remains in darkness.
Today I read an OPEN LETTER addressed to you. I decided to share it here, just to help amplify it. I realize you may never read it through my blog. But maybe you will. Who knows?
The lies that the IDF and the Israeli propaganda machinery try desperately to force-feed to major media outlets can only be countered by the accounts of their victims.
After seeing Jon Snow’s “Unseen Gaza,” many years ago, I wrote a poem called “Rent a Horror Movie.” It is full of rage, but one that is like a fist in the dark. HERE IS THE LINK TO THE POEM.
The following is taken from the BDS Movement.
Gaza Calling: All out on Saturday 9 August Day of Rage
Join the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement today. Demand Sanctions on Israel Now.
As we face the full might of Israel’s military arsenal, funded and supplied by the United States and European Union, we call on civil society and people of conscience throughout the world to pressure governments to sanction Israel and implement a comprehensive arms embargo immediately.
Take to the streets on Saturday 9 August with a united demand for sanctions on Israel.
From Gaza under invasion, bombardment, and continuing siege, the horror is beyond words. Medical supplies are exhausted. The death toll has reached 1813 killed (398 children, 207 women, 74 elderly) and 9370 injured (2744 children, 1750 women, 343 elderly). Our hospitals, ambulances, and medical staff are all under attack while on duty. Doctors and paramedics are being killed while evacuating the dead. Our dead are not numbers and statistics to be recounted; they are loved ones, family and friends.
While we have to survive this onslaught, you certainly have the power to help end it the same way you helped overcome Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. Israel is only able to carry out this attack with the unwavering support of governments – this support must end.
This is our third massacre in six years. When not being slaughtered, we remain under siege, an illegal collective punishment of the entire population. Fishermen are shot and killed if they stray beyond a 3 km limit imposed unilaterally by Israel. Farmers are shot harvesting their crops within a border area imposed unilaterally by Israel. Gaza has become the largest open-air prison, a concentration camp since 2006. This time, we want an end to this unprecedented crime against humanity committed with the complicity and support of your own governments!
We are not asking for charity. We are demanding solidarity, because we know that until Israel is isolated and sanctioned, these horrors will be repeated.
– See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/gaza-calling-all-out-on-saturday-9-august-day-of-rage-12423#sthash.NW8glK7y.dpuf
I have some great news, actually. But I’ll have to write about that later. This bit of troubling video with the proper accompanying article has to be shared first.
It was a few years ago that this article came out: Israel recruits ‘army of bloggers’ to combat anti-Zionist Web sites. Prison Planet, among tons of others, mentioned it too. I only read about it today. I’m not one to quickly believe what I read. I also found THIS VIDEO.
But it seems the trolls have spawned and one discovered my blog. Last week, thudding about, spitting odd and flammable words, this troll sent me a number of “comments” in the form of lectures in “how dare you” tones because of a poem I wrote for Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer Issawi. The twisted logic could have made the most intricate pretzels, but I have given up eating pretzels when I found out that my favourite ones were made in Israel.
Here is one “comment” I received:
|Rachamim Ben Ami
Submitted on 2013/01/29 at 20:39 | In reply to matangmanok.
Are you claiming that Israel has an institutional policy that aims to kill civilians? Let me simplify it for you. Israel kills civilians as a byproduct of legitimate military operations that seek to neutralise terrorists and their infrastructure. When Israel undertakes military operations, for example, Operation Pillar of Defence in Gaza recently, it makes hundreds of thousands of computer generated cellular phone calls warning Gazans of an impending attack and warning them to take cover. It drops tens of thousands of leaflets in targetted areas also warning civilians, it hijacks Gazan television, radio and internet to warn civilians and it Roof Knocks, drops a non-lethal shell on a targetted building. It makes a very loud sound and serves as a 10 minute warning to get out of the building. In Operation Pillar of Defence between 50 and 94 civilians died out of a population of 2.3 million who live in the most densely populated area on the planet- literally.
HAMAS on the other hand states quite clearly in its Charter that it aims to kill not only all Israelis but every Jew on the planet. Then, having expressed their intention repeatedly, they purposely attack civilians.
Do you see the difference?
I will spare you the racist remarks he threw my way. I just feel very sorry for him. He obviously loves his guns. He must sleep with at least a dozen so that when he gets woken up by the cooing of doves he can quickly silence them. I hope I don’t hurt his feelings. Such fragile creatures need a special kind of love.
Hatred and prejudice, among a lot of other things, are taught. It takes a lifetime to unlearn them. One has to start somewhere. I don’t take this comment lightly.
I always leave a door, or at least a window, open. One never knows what the next breeze may bring.
Trawling around the internet, I bumped into this image that made me laugh:
for Samer Issawi
The stomach is not a beast to be caged
or tamed. It is no more than a sack
to be filled and emptied.
Those who clutch the keys
to your prison cell believe their fists
are not made of skin and bones,
that blood only flows
With the world watching,
they are begging you now
to open your mouth and chew
what they can easily
Here is a link to one of the sites with some information on his struggle.
“Operation Cast Lead” is not the Title of a Movie
After a night of gasping
I nurse the consequences
Somewhere else they are remembering
smoke that takes forever
to clear, the ringing in the ears,
the smell of burnt flesh
among personal belongings.
“Operation Cast Lead” on Wikipedia (as always, don’t place complete trust on one source, please)
14th November 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza Strip
Dear All. I am calling on all your support for the besieged people of the Gaza Strip.
Here in Gaza, more than 10 people have been killed so far in the Israeli operation named “Pillar of Defence” within the last 7 hours, including countless children such as 7-year-old child Ranan Arafat and an 11 month old baby. We’ve seen charred bodies of dead and injured children pouring in to Al Shifa hospital of Gaza City and the other depleted hospitals around the Gaza Strip. 50 airstrikes all over the Gaza Strip so far. Deafening explosions shook us all as bombs landed close to us in the streets near the Universities. Huge explosions are landing all around us in Gaza City now as I write, some entire families have been injured. We can also hear the shelling of Israeli Gunships. Announcement of possible Israeli land invasion very soon.
For more information on how to contact International activists in Gaza now please email: email@example.com
This might be the last one for a while. I need to regroup and recover my weary troops of invisible little helpers.
Here’s the link to THE SIDE OF LOVE, a poem dedicated to the late Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish. Music from El-Funoun.
Images from the photo galleries of the International Solidarity Movement. Footage of Israeli forces bombing Gaza borrowed from kaiserx30.