Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gaza today

I have been in a state of war since I was 15. There may have been wars in my life earlier, but I cannot remember them. At around 15, war became the prime decision maker of my life. This is better than many other people. My children, for instance, have only known war, as has my brother who was born in 1973.

Mind you, having war decide the path of your life is not the worst thing that can happen to you. War is better, for instance, than poverty. That is, of course until you lose someone very dear, like a child, a partner or a parent. Or you are maimed. Or you die, but its doesn't really count because you don't really know it. It is a bad thing happening to your family.

And of course, the worst case is war and poverty. Just like Gaza.

Anyway, the reason I brought this up is that I have been watching "solidarity" and "support" movements and taking part in them for 35 years.

And while I acknowledge and thank all those who have participated in them, and who continue to do so, and while I continue to take part in solidarity action, I believe that their impact (if any) is minimal.

Hundreds of thousands demonstrated in London against Tony Blair's decision to join the US in the Iraq war. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi victims later, the UK is still in Iraq, Labor is still in government and they made Blair a special peace envoy. In Palestine no less.

We worked and worked and worked for Nahr el Bared since day one of the war on the camp in 2007. Hundreds of people offered food and clothes and money. We channeled all that to the 30,000 refugees. We organized vigils, campaigns, talks. We rallied international support.

The camp is still destroyed, and there is no money to rebuild it in spite of all the pledges. The refugees are refugees again. The houses are still without walls, windows or heat. Lebanon got Migs 29 to destroy more camps if need be. Except for a few people, everybody has forgotten about Nahr el Bared. But the people of Bared are quietly and persistently rebuilding it. Not because they are particularly resilient by design. Because they have no other choice than to be strong.

Israel kills 400 men, women and children in Gaza. Zionists (including Arabs) blame the people of Gaza for their own death. Please don't be appalled. Did anyone really expect self-blame? Or perhaps an auto-critique? These are neither the first hundreds nor the last hundreds of Palestinians killed by Zionism. And they wont be the last. Let's remember it.

But Gaza is not Tall al Zaatar. There is only that much that the Zionist (including the Arabs among them) can do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"My children have only known war"

Thanks, Rami.

I have put that comment alongside the photos you posted months ago, of your children hiding in a closet during some outbreak or another.

I know it is small consolation for someone such as me to voice some small measure of empathy, but I am at a loss of what else to do.

I can only hope that as the words and images accumulate in the part of my heart and soul that cries for your children, that I will find some way to contribute in a more meaningful way.

Blue Eyes.