Saturday, July 12, 2014

Are You Still Alive?

i passed you on the street one day.
You stood in front of the rubble
Of your once beautiful house,
Your palms extended to the sky.

i sat with you at
Your child’s funeral tent.
We drank sweet tea, you told me
“Fares was the engine of our home.”
Just another boy,
Martyred in his bed.

i was with you, reaping
In the fields of Khouza.
i was with you in the Gaza sea,
The gunboats lit us up.

You called me brother.
You called me habibi.

i saw you on the battlefront,
a flower in your hair.

i was with you in the camp.
You had a message for America,
You said, “Tell your friends,
We are here in Gaza,
But we are not afraid.”
Mohammed, eight years old,
brave beyond his years.

Today, i saw a picture
Of a small blood soaked shoe.
And the Israeli occupiers
Are bombing homes again.

Today, i have but one
Question for you:
My friend,
Are you still alive?

A Message from Gaza by Intimaa Al-Sudoudi

DO Something!

Don’t let us- indigenous Palestinians- lose faith in YOUR humanity, because your silence is, literary, a crime against humanity. First, you have to consider that what the Sate of  Zionist Israel  is doing to us-Palestinians-, is apartheid by definition. Lynching our kids, uprooting our trees, destroying our houses,  killing our pregnant mothers, the medieval siege, the segregation wall and the nasty checkpoints are APARTHIED. Second, the current situation and the breaking news are showing that in each single spot there is a massacre; Gaza strip is a massacre, Gaza city is a massacre, and all Gaza camps are massacres.

Let me ask you a question! Why are you waiting? Children turned into hot, bloody pieces. Whole families have been slaughtered, and we are still waiting for you to wake up! We are fed up with your silence. We do not need a year or even another moment of your silence. We do not need another press release. We do not want you to condemn and deplore. What we need is a concrete action. Show us your humanity expel the devil out of your country because what is going on right now in Gaza is by your name and your governments  support of Israeli crimes that violate international laws.

Hello, I am sure that you heard that within less than three days  more than hundred Palestinian were murdered, and over six hundreds were injured, and the majority of them are kids and women. Hey, you! Don't close your eyes or give us your deaf ear.  Palestinians are not allowed to leave the Gaza Strip for urgent medication due to the imposed siege since 9 years and what did you do in all these years to stop this? How many decades do we have to stay in an open prison? Let alone the destruction of our houses, infrastructure, mosques, churches, schools, and hospitals. Have you not seen our loved ones turned into headless bodies, and dismembered corpses?! Have you not seen the murder of a fetus on his mother's womb?  How many decades do we have to die in silence while everybody is watching? Wake up!

We will not forgive your silence.  The children’s blood will always haunt your conscious.
Do not tell us that you are sending money, tents, and food! Shut the hell up! Do not tell me that you are going to post a solidarity statement on Facebook and Twitter!

Show us your anger, your rage, your humanity. Say no to the devil in your land. You’ve heard the children’s pleas haven’t you? You’ve seen Palestinian flesh, bones and blood scattered everywhere. True? What are you waiting for? More blood? We ask all of you, human beings, to go and protest against the Israeli embassy, look to them in the eyes and shout; stop Israel’s genocidal war, ethnic cleansing, collective punishment against civilians and innocent populace and end the horrific barbaric siege that is sucking our humanity.

Your actions matter, your rage can save Palestinian kids, and your support is your humanity.      

Message from indigenous Palestinian
Let me hear you as soon as possible,
There is an F16 hovering over my head,
Respond to the call of humanity,
Because Palestinians are human beings,
Exactly like your families.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Letter to a Friend as Gaza Burns

Thank you for your note. It is with a sick heart that i write this from my kitchen table. About 3 mos ago i made a vow to my partner that i would be here for her and not travel this summer as we prepare to move to Florida. i have already broken that vow once. i can not do it again.

It is incredibly difficult- i feel physically ill. Not because my presence in Gaza would solve anything, but only because what is happening to the people there is so egregious and so stunningly inhumane that i prefer to stand with them--- in a sense to reclaim my own humanity which is diminished every time a bomb demolishes a home. Anything less doesn't seem like enough. So i feel like i've failed, not just a small failure before me, more a universal failure----a failure without redemption.

For many days i have been besides myself with anger. Writing these words helps dissipate the violence in my mind and allows the incredible sadness of my being room to breathe. Unfortunately, it does nothing to stem the violence raining down on the people of Gaza.

i reach out to touch the beauty around me, my friend, my dog, the ocean, the blue sky and it sustains me for a moment, realizing it is a temporary panacea as the bombs (our bombs, my bombs) continue to fall far around the world. i recognize the people of Gaza have few moments to reach out as the unrelenting bombardment continues.

Last night they blew up the port and many fishing boats. They attacked a mosque (in this holy month of Ramadan), they attacked a hospital. They buried people in the rubble of their homes(as they have done everyday since the beginning of this onslaught). It is beyond my understanding.

When human beings, my friends, like the journalist (and a new father) Mohammed Omer write, "I don't know what else to say. I think we are going to die." And my dear friend Intimaa writes, "i am going to try to call my family. I hope they are not all dead." my spirit is crushed.

These are dark days.

May beauty sustain us. Love, Johnny