For almost a month now I’ve been wanting to drop you some lines but I simply didn’t know what to say, how to convey facts and feelings in an honest way. Not that I know better today but, after having tried, in vain, all sorts of mechanisms (coping mechanisms, they call them in this “humanitarian world”), to undo the knot in my stomach, I will try today one of my last resorts, words. Mine, but better, those of enlightened people.
Things start nowhere…impossible to go back in time to explain where this hatred started and I don’t want to fall into the shameful simplicity of politicians and the majority of societies. However, sometime ago 3 young Israeli settlers (“settlers” are illegal Israeli citizens living in Palestine territory) disappeared. The whole world was in a state of shock. Israeli communication skills are amazingly good. We owe them credit for that. Despite Hamas’s denial of any involvement, Israel put the West Bank upside down to imprison them, with night incursions in every “suspected” house of the West Bank: arbitrary and massive detentions and killings of suspected Hamas members and civilians, many civilians. In Madama, one village where MdM works, the entered every single house and brought all suspected people, among which children, to the village school for interrogations. This lasted all night. But the world did not seem to be shocked by any of this… As if the disappearance of those boys justified everything (have you ever thought this could happen in your country with the total impunity of your government?), even the killing of other boys, this time Palestinians. Because 7 minors where killed by the Israeli forces during those days. Looking for the kidnappers of 3 Israeli boys, they killed 7 Palestinian minors.
Then the bodies of the 3 boys were found, but still no trace of the perpetrators. And one day Jerusalem woke up with “Death to Arabs” demonstrations and violent clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli forces (stones against rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gaz and live ammunition). And another day, in Shu’fat neighbourhood, Jerusalem, a Palestinian boy was kidnapped and found burnt alive in a forest in Jerusalem.
Violence by the Israeli forces intensified (it seemed impossible, but surprisingly they are always capable of more…), and after having killed and imprisoned all the Hamas members they could (let me remind you that Hamas, whether you like it or not, has been democratically elected in Gaza), they turned their M16 and F16 and many others that I don’t know, to Gaza. Hamas started throwing rockets to the south of Israel and Israel riposted “Hamas will pay the price”. What they were actually saying was “Gaza will pay the price”. Because they have to pay the price for having elected a terrorist group as their representatives. Exactly like the USA had to punish El Salvador and so many other Latin-American countries for having elected Communist leaders. And today we are at 262 Palestinians killed (according to OCHA 77% are civilians), 1,770 injured (most of them children and women), reaching 20 000 displaced people in UNRWA schools or in relatives families, health structures targeted by the Israeli forces… One Israeli killed by a rocket and one Israeli soldier killed last night (it seemed it was a friendly shot) and your countries saying to the world that Israel has the right to defend itself. As if Palestinian and Israeli lives did not have the same value.
And all I feel this morning is a deep sadness. Not even anger, not fear. When sirens sounded in the streets of Jerusalem a couple of times I could not believe how peaceful I felt, not a drop of insecurity or fright, just deeply sad for this “Holy” land which is lost … Next time you guys invent Gods, invent them good, please… But I also feel that my Palestinian friends and colleagues are full with dignity. As well as my Israeli friends. There are so many Jewish and Israeli initiatives supporting Palestinians… Like the popular Israeli historian Ilan Pappe. With his words I close mine… Sorry, for the many missing elements, sorry if someone feels offended. Don’t ask me to conduct an “objective analysis”. You can’t ask me to be “objective” and treat this subject in a symmetric way. There is no symmetry possible in this land. There are the occupiers and the occupied, and khalas.
“We should all be with the people of Gaza tonight now that the Israeli brutal operation began. I think we all can support the Hamas terms for a ceasefire and not fall to the western narrative that Israel accepted the ceasefire and the Hamas did not. This is 1947 all over again, Israel ‘accepting’ the partition resolution and the Palestinians rejecting it and 2000 again Israel makes a generous offer and the PLO rejects it.
The Egyptian-Israeli ceasefire offer is to continue the siege, the starvation, strangulation and the ghettoization of Gaza. No decent person should accept such a dictate for being incarcerated when the only offence he or she committed is being a Palestinian in Gaza.
We were trying this evening all over Israel to stage demonstrations and what we received was a bloodthirsty response from a society that thrives on militarism, fanatic nationalism and racism. The time will come when deeper work from within will bear fruits, but now we need, as never before, a strong BDS campaign and a insistent demand from our politicians and media to show a modicum of decency after more of a century in which they ignored the Palestinian suffering and provided Zionism and Israel immunity for their policies against the native people of Palestine.”
Ilan Pappe, Israeli Historian
“My daughter is sitting on her bed with her computer. I sit down next to her on the bed, knowing I’m about to tell her what my father told me when I was a boy her age. It was my first day at a Jerusalem boarding school, where only Hebrew was spoken. My father drove me there from Tira, and a moment before parting from me, at the entrance to the school, he said, “Remember that for them you will always, but always, be an Arab, understand?”
“I understand,” my daughter said and hugged me close, “I understood it already by myself.”
Sayed Kashua, Palestinian journalist
And finally let me share with you as well the following words:
– Galeano’s words from 2012, de total actualidad:
– Emel Mathlouti’s Naci en Palestina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsfv3dy5VdA
– And the enlighting words of Leila Shahi, Ambassadrice palestinienne a l’UE: http://oumma.com/202537/gaza-leila-shahid-donne-une-lecon-a-une-journaliste-d
Let’s force our governments to end with Israel’s impunity. Impunity that is rotting their society from the inside and that they’ll end up paying…There will be no peace without justice and accountability for the injustice.
“Oh Barbara, quelle connerie la guerre” (Jacques Prevert)