Imagine life under these conditions: Living in limbo under a foreign occupier. Having no self-determination, no right of return, and no power over your daily life. Being in constant fear, economically strangled, and collectively punished.
Having your free movement denied by enclosed population centers, closed borders, regular curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, and separation walls. Having your homes regularly demolished and land systematically stolen to build settlements for encroachers in violation of international law prohibiting an occupier from settling its population on conquered land.
Having your right to essential services denied - to emergency health care, education, employment, and enough food and clean water.
Being forced into extreme poverty, having your crops destroyed, and being victimized by punitive taxes. Having no right for redress in the occupier's courts under laws only protecting the occupier. Being regularly targeted by incursions and attacks on the ground and from the air.
Being willfully harassed, ethnically cleansed, arrested, incarcerated, tortured, and slaughtered on any pretext, including for your right of self-defense. Having no rights on your own land in your own country for over six decades and counting. Vilified for being Muslims and called terrorists, Jihadists, crazed Arabs, and fundamentalist extremists. Victimized by a slow-motion genocide to destroy you.
According to Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, Israel has conducted state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians for decades and intensively in Gaza. In a September 2006 Electronic Intifada article titled "Genocide in Gaza" he wrote: "A genocide is taking place in Gaza....An average of eight Palestinians die daily in the Israeli attacks on the Strip. Most of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded and paralyzed. (It's become) a daily business, now reported (only) in the internal pages of the local press, quite often in microscopic fonts. The chief culprits are the Israeli pilots who have a field day," like shooting fish in a barrel. Why not, they're only Muslims, so who'll notice or care.
What if war were just a chaotic dress rehearsal in a school play
and torture were long philosophical conversations with idiots,
bullets, tiny bits of lint culled from laughing soldier's uniforms,
fighter jets, kites dropping from the shoulders of the sun,
warships, marshmallows floating in a sea of hot chocolate,
and tanks, funny little cars full of tumbling clowns?
O! If only it were so then all of the world's hideous warmongers might be
paper dolls in rooms full of beautiful children, each with a pair of scissors...
© 2008 mrp/thepoetryman