Sunday, December 27, 2009

We Remember

Khulood Ghanem's diary.
My father told us that we have one god and it is one death either by rocket, by car, by gun, there is no difference and you have to die with your dignity and get rid of your fear.

The Tragedy of Gaza, the West Bank and Israel by Chris Hedges. Full text inThe language of death.
The incursion into Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel. It is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use the lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase of the decades-long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless and impoverished ghettos where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building ringed Palestinian enclaves where Israel will always have the ability to shut off movement, food, medicine and goods to perpetuate misery. The Israeli attack on Gaza is about building a hell on earth.

The use of terror and hunger to break a hostile population is one of the oldest forms of warfare. I watched the Bosnian Serbs employ the same tactic in Sarajevo. And I watched the Bosnian Serbs, like the Israelis, attempt to justify their systematic destruction of the city, with thousands of dead and wounded, on a few paltry Muslim mortars and light arms fire. Those who orchestrate such sieges do not grasp the terrible rage born of long humiliation, indiscriminate violence and abuse. A father or a mother whose child dies because of a lack of vaccines or proper medical care does not forget. A boy whose ill grandmother dies while detained at an Israel checkpoint does not forget. Families who carry the broken bodies of their children to hospitals do not forget. All who endure humiliation, abuse and the murder of those they love do not forget. This rage becomes a virus within those who, eventually, stumble out into the daylight. Is it any wonder that 71 percent of children interviewed at a school in Gaza recently said they wanted to be a “martyr”?

A poem, by David Radavich

I confess: I didn’t really see
the grief-stricken girl
by the seashore.

I didn’t know her suffering.
I’ve only seen pictures.

That’s why it
didn’t seem real.

But I felt for her
genuine pain.

And images came
to me—

just as they are
not now

unlocking their shapes,
their unforgettable

You will please
forgive me.

Honesty is best.

Even dull honesty
with no ripped-off heads
bloody and toy-like

that only have
been imagined by

the privileged
who in their silence

and oppress.

I am safe and warm.
I have food. And money.
I don’t see bodies

torn by war
for breakfast.

The blind can
never do justice.

a sleeping angel of Gaza (

Do not forget.
Act. Don't mourn.

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