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Children in fear, Gaza. Source: unknown.
Children in fear, Gaza. Source: unknown.
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The children of Gaza and the profit being made from their genocide

Heathcote Williams

5th August 2014

As Israel violates its own 'ceasefire' to murder yet another child in Gaza City, the poet Heathcote Williams delves into aspects of Israel, Palestine and the lethal war now under way that rarely surface in the mainstream discourse - and amid the horror, cruelty and rising tide of fascism, finds grounds for long term hope.

 


"The Israeli-Arab conflict is to the wider global war of civilizations what Off Broadway is to Broadway. It is the small laboratory where trends get tested out first, or are perfected, and then go global."
Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 1 February 2014,


 

A bearded old man holds a placard:
"You take my water, burn my olive trees,
"Destroy my house, take my job, steal my land,
"Imprison my father, kill my mother,
"Bombard my country, starve us all,
"Humiliate us all, but I am to blame:
"I shot a rocket back."

A selection of ungodly chants
From the Zionist Book of Psalms
Are used to justify the destruction
Of a country and its inhabitants:

"We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages
Destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water"

Eli Yishai, former Deputy Prime Minister.
Amen

"There should be no electricity in Gaza,
No gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing...
We need to flatten entire neighborhoods...
Flatten all of Gaza"

Gilad Sharon, Ariel Sharon's son in the Jerusalem Post.
Amen

"There are no innocents in Gaza. Mow them down ...
Kill the Gazans without thought or mercy."

Michael Ben-Ari, an ex-member of the Knesset.
Amen

Gaza should be "bombed so hard the population
Has to flee into Egypt"
Israel Katz, a Minister of Transportation.
Amen

Gaza should be "wiped clean with bombs",
Avi Dichter, a Minister of Home Front Defense.
Amen

Israeli soldiers must "learn from the Syrians
How to slaughter the enemy"
,
Israeli Rabbi Yaakov Yosef.
Amen

Here is Ze'ev Jabotinsky, admirer of Mussolini
And godfather of Zionist terrorism,
Justifying the flattening of Arab villages in 1948
And their inhabitants being turned into refugees:
"The world has become accustomed to the idea
"Of mass migrations and has become fond of them."

"Hitler, as odious as he is to us," Jabotinsky adds,
"Has given this idea a good name in the world." [1]
Amen

It's an irony that Jabotinsky used Hitler
As precedent for the eviction of thousands
Since forcible expulsion
Was amongst the charges against Adolf Eichmann,
An architect of industrialized mass murder;
Captured in Argentina, tried and hanged in Israel.

Undeterred, the former Chief Rabbi,
Mordechai Elyahu, has urged Israel,
Its army and government
To employ "the Nazi choice":
By which he means the carpet bombing of Gaza.
And he urges the "indiscriminate killing of civilians"
On religious grounds.
Amen

The Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Schneerson,
A self-proclaimed Messiah
Whose followers await his return from the dead
(As if the Rabbi hadn't preached enough when alive
By his making the claim that his religion
Heralded a new Master Race),
Has a devoted and powerful acolyte, Rabbi Manis Friedman,
Who declares that the "only way to fight a moral war"
Is to "destroy the Arabs' holy sites"
To "kill men, women and children", to eliminate anyone
Who stands in the way of a Greater Israel.

With an Old Testament ferocity,
And a religious racism which the atheist,
Christopher Hitchens, has called,
"The root of religious evil",
The Rabbi acclaims Israel's relentless colonizing impulse
Whereby the Torah is used
To justify mass killings
And such crimes
Are given a whole country's blessing.

The Head of the National Defense College,
Professor Arnon Sofer,
Outlines Israel's strategy:
"If we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill.
"All day, every day."
[2]
Amen

Israeli Air Force Colonel Yoav Gal,
Told army radio,
"I believe that Operation Cast Lead
"Should have been even stronger! Dresden! Dresden!
"The extermination of a city!
"Not even a stone will be thrown at us. Because we're Jews.
"I want the Arabs of Gaza to flee to Egypt.
"This is what I want. I want to destroy the city."
[3]
Amen

Ethnic cleansing is Israel's origin,
Not peace:
The current Prime Minister of Israel,
Benjamin Netanyahu, tells students at Bar Ilan University,
"Israel should have exploited the repression
"Of the demonstrations in China,
"When world attention focused on that country,
"To carry out mass expulsions
"Among the Arabs of the territories."
[4,5]

An Israeli army officer who repeatedly shot
A 13-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza
Dismissed a warning from another soldier
That she was merely a child
By saying that he "would have killed her
Even if she was three years old."

Witnesses described how an unidentified Israeli captain R.
shot Iman al-Hams twice in the head, walked away,
turned back and fired a stream of bullets into her body.
Doctors at Rafah hospital said she had been shot at least 17 times.
On his radio, the company commander "clarifies"
Why he killed Iman al-Hams:
"This is commander. Anything that's mobile,
That moves in the zone, even if it's a three-year-old,
Needs to be killed. Over."
[6]

Far from being the world's most moral army
As Israeli politicians boast,
Its soldier are eliminationist
And relish the death of Palestinians:
All Arabs are 'terrorists', end of story.

Nisim Asis, a 22-year-old soldier from the Beit-El settlement,
Posts racist images on his Instagram page,
Including a picture of himself licking ketchup from a knife
With the caption: "Fuck all Arabs their blood is tasty".

Mor Ostrovski, an Israeli combat soldier,
Posts an Instagram picture of a Palestinan child
In the crosshairs of a sniper's rifle. [7]

"The Palestinians are like crocodiles,
"The more you give them meat, they want more"

Says Ehud Barak, when Prime Minister of Israel. [8]

The justly revered Martin Buber
Once despairingly told a New York audience,
"When we followers of the prophetic Judaism
Returned to Palestine ... the majority of Jewish people
Preferred to learn from Hitler rather than from us."
[9]

"Death to the Arabs", Israelis chant,
"A Jew is a brother, an Arab is a bastard" -
Enraged when captive Palestinians fight back
With ever increasing desperation,
Trying to regain their ancestral land
Despite overwhelming odds.

During Purim, in front of their Arab neighbours,
Settlers sing the praises of Baruch Goldstein
And of his massacre with automatic weapons
Of 29 Palestinians at prayer during Ramadan:
"Dr. Goldstein, there is none other like you in the world.
"Dr. Goldstein, we all love you ... he aimed at terrorists' heads,
"Squeezed the trigger hard, and shot bullets,
"And shot, and shot."

At this settler hero's funeral, Rabbi Yaacov Perrin
Asserted that one million Arabs
Were "not worth a Jewish fingernail."
Goldstein's mass murder provoked suicide bombers -
Some two hundred amongst ten million Palestinians -
Who in turn were used to justify Israel's apartheid wall,
Twice the height of the Berlin wall and five times longer,
Snaking its land-grabbing way through Palestine.

The Israeli lawmaker, Ayelet Shaked, calls
For the genocide of Palestinians on Facebook
And she advocates "the slaughter of Palestinian mothers
Who give birth to 'little snakes,'"

"The entire Palestinian people is the enemy", she says,
Urging their complete destruction,
"Including its elderly and its women."

The new media are used to demonize the innocent
And to host sadistic irrationalities:
Placing the Hebrew word for 'Arabs', ARAVIM,
Into Twitter reveals young Israelis desiring
That all Arabs die or are tortured to death.
Talya Shilok Edry, with a thousand followers tells them,
"What an orgasm to see the Israeli Defense Forces bomb buildings
In Gaza with children and families at the same time. Boom boom."

Facebook reveals soldiers making Rachel Corrie pancakes,
To show their contempt for the American peace-worker
Who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried
To protect a Palestinian home from demolition.

An Israel support group calling themselves The 'Citizens of Ashdod'
Post the message, "Waiting for Gaza to be turned into a big blaze!"
Later they publish their suggested words for a protest chant:
"Gaza, Gaza a graveyard! Very soon!"
It receives more than six hundred 'Likes'.

A Jerusalem city councilor in charge of municipal security,
Aryeh King, publicly advocates the murder
And the mutilation of non-Jews:
"I am calling out to all the Pinchases that are here ...
Every one of us has a mission ...
The Rebbe, who is here with us, expects us to commit acts of Pinchas."

Pinchas (Phineas in English) in the Torah was so incensed
By interracial (Jewish-Midianite) sex
That he took a sword and plunged it through both bodies
Of a couple in the middle of their making love.
Then, with a medieval fervor, the Rabbi Noam Perel
Advocates scalping Arabs
By removing their genitalia -
A blood sacrifice to a mad mind-set
Of mystical thuggery. [10]

Two Israeli girls hold up a banner
"Hating Arabs is not racism, it's values!"

Shortly beforehand, the US House of Representatives
Voted unanimously to reaffirm its full support for Israel.
US donated jets duly make war on Arab children
Whose democratic futures they totally disintegrate.

Streets in Israeli cities
Are routinely named after armed cuckoos -
Murderous Israeli heroes
Who've evicted indigenous birds
From the Palestinian nest
And then slaughtered them.

In the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis,
Eight members of the Al Haj family
Are killed, including five children.

Four Arab children, fishermens' children
First cousins from the Bakr family, aged nine to eleven,
Playing football on the Gaza beach in July, 2014,
Are shot dead by an Israeli gunboat.

A 12-year-old boy loses 18 members of his family in an air raid
From US planes including his father, a schoolteacher.
A photograph of Abdul Rahman Al-Batsh
Shows his shoulders slumped against a car
At the moment that he's discovered
His father is amongst the dead.

Later Abdul Rahman would say,
"They think we are worth nothing. They are killers,
They have no humanity,
And one day I will avenge my father."

Israel receives more aid from the US
Than the whole of the continent of Africa,
Whilst the US population remains docile
And allows its mainstream media to beat Israel's drum.

The Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman,
Says that Israel must "go all the way" in Gaza
And the jubilation of Israeli citizens at its doing so
Is recorded in a vox pop by the newspaper, Haaretz.

Someone called Shani Moyal is quoted as saying,
"I couldn't care less that Arab children were killed.
Too bad it wasn't more. Good luck to the IDF."

Stav Sabah says, "Really, these are great pictures.
They make me so happy. I want to look at them
Again and again."
Sharon Avishi says, "Only four.
Too bad. We hoped for more."
Daniel Turgeman says,
"Great. We need to kill all the children."
Chaya Hatnovich says, "There isn't a more beautiful picture
Than those of dead Arab children."

Orna Peretz says, "Why only four?"
Rachel Cohen says,
"I'm not for children dying in Gaza.
I'm for everyone burning."
Tami Mashan says,
"As many children as possible should die." [11]

Comfortably seated on camp chairs and sofas
Some fifty Israelis gather to eat popcorn
And watch from a Sderot hilltop
As bombs rain down from US-supplied F-16s.
They clap and applaud each deadly blast
From 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs.[12]

"We are here to see Israel destroy Hamas", Eli Chone,
A 22-year-old American tells Allan Sørensen,
Of Kristeligt Dagblad, pointing to a dot of light in the sky.
"It is a fighter who is about to dive. This means that it is about to shoot."

The conquerors' fans draw up their chairs
Swigging on beers as they tend their barbecue.
They watch Gaza burn from their vantage-point
In Sderot (once the Palestinian village of Najd).

One says, "this is our entertainment". [13]
Someone points out that Hamas
(Rather than it having been elected)
Is "a death-cult" and that Palestinians "enjoy martyrdom"
And so "we're doing the Arabs a favour."

A lurid cocktail of triumphalist hatred
Mixed with smoke from burning flesh,
Blinds them to Palestine's yearning
For self-determination -
To its right in international law;
To its right to be unencumbered by occupation;
To be free from its being Israel's penal colony;
To be free from its being stateless in a brutal Bantustan -
To its no longer being a colonized people
Who are jeered at and denounced
For their minimal attempts to fight back.

Later that night a bomb would land on a Gaza care home
Filled with elderly patients who cannot move
And with children who are already disabled.
Both are bombed in their wheelchairs or in their beds.

The Rabbi Noam Perel, head of Bnei Akiva
The world's largest religious-Zionist youth organization,
Urges on his Facebook page that the IDF,
The Israeli Defense Force be transformed
Into an army of avengers,
"Which will not stop at 300 Philistine foreskins".

And thus incited by a fascistic atavism
Israeli Jews go on the rampage,
Looking to beat any Arab they encounter
To heighten their sense of victory.

On July 2nd, 2014,
A young man in Shuafat, Jerusalem,
Muhammad Abu-Khdeir,
A 16-year old boy with a knowing, elfin smile
Is pulled into a car
And kidnapped in East Jerusalem
While waiting to go into the mosque.

He is tied and beaten.
He has gasoline poured into his mouth
And he is burned alive.

His body is found in the Jerusalem Forest;
Battered in the head
And with soot deposits in the lungs
Suggesting that he was still breathing
When he was set on fire.
Ninety per cent of his body is burned.

He's a victim of Israel's slow motion genocide -
A holocaust which, this time,
Is being financed and uncritically supported
By 'the good guys',
By the internationally 'great and the good',
By the craven chorus of the compliant
Who ritually pipe up to defend
Israel's right to defend itself -
To defend the indefensible,
And to supply the money
The weapons, and the excuses
To enable it to do so.

An Israeli chorus glorifies
In its letting loose the dogs of war:
After calling for bloodshed against Palestinians,
Talya Shilok Edry's Facebook writes gloatingly
Of the kidnapped youth,
Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, burned alive,
"Sweet settlers, next time you kidnap an Arab boy,
Call me and let me torture him!!
Why do you get to have all the fun?"

On Friday July 18, 2014
The Israeli Defence Force
Invades Gaza by land.
An Israeli soldier posts a selfie
Of himself having black camouflage paint
Applied to his face.

He tweets, "From the Field: Our soldiers preparing to enter Gaza.
The whole nation stands behind us".

Another tweets: "We have hit Hamas hard,
And we will continue to hit Hamas hard."

Tzipi Livni, Israel's Justice Minister,
Says she backs the invasion "wholeheartedly".
And she expresses "love and confidence
In our soldiers' strength"
.

Israel's soldiers' strength is misused
To produce genocide, as well as a scorched policy
Whereby 800,000 olive trees in Occupied Palestine
Are destroyed to drive Palestinian farmers from their land,
And whereby their homes are bombed to smithereens.

King Herod revisits his massacre of the Innocents,
But this time round he has the mainstream media
On his side: his spin doctors have them swallowing
His party line that toddlers are terrorists if they're Arab,
And King Herod has journalists fired who displease him.

"Expel the Palestinians, and populate Gaza with Jews",
Urges the Knesset's deputy speaker, Moshe Feiglin,
"Israel must attack Gaza even more mercilessly"
To expel the population "with maximum force".

The deputy speaker of Israel's parliament, the Knesset,
Promotes war crimes as a state sanctioned tactic:
After "softening" the targets with firepower
He recommends the IDF "conquer the entire Gaza." [14]

Emboldened by the US's blank cheques
He urges attacking a defenceless population.
Few of his backers see fit to mention that Israel's
First victim in its ground invasion of Gaza
Will be a five-month-old baby,
Killed by an Israeli tank in southern Rafah,
On July 17, 2014. Still conscience-free, King Herod
Has returned to rule his zombie state.

An Israeli rabbi issues a ruling
That allows the killing of innocent civilians
In the besieged Gaza Strip.

Dov Lior, an Israeli rabbi
From the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba
In the occupied West Bank,
Rules that it is "okay" to kill innocent civilians
And to destroy Gaza.
He adds that, as the Israeli army is at war
With the people in the blockaded enclave,
"Any kind of talk about humanism
and consideration are moot."
[15]

Rabbis congregate around a field gun
In the desert writing spells
Which they attach to artillery shells
Destined for Gaza,
Then they dance around them rejoicing
As the shells are loaded into place
By Israel's "moral army".

As the invasion proceeds,
The "most moral army in the world"
Reportedly targets women and children
And even animals during its ground invasion -
All of it being done with divine blessing.

A doctor speaking to Al Jazeera says that the Israeli army
"Is shooting at anything moving in Shujaiyah"
And consequently the streets of East Gaza are strewn
With dead bodies and severed limbs.

Eyeless, and headless, and heartless in Gaza.
And, despite the ecstatic claims
Of God's self-appointed spokesmen,
Godless in Gaza.

A Norwegian doctor in Gaza's al-Shifa hospital, Mads Gilbert,
Is overwhelmed by the invasion:
By the carloads of those "maimed, torn apart, and bleeding;
Shivering, and dying - all sorts of injured Palestinians,
All ages, all civilians, all innocent."

"The heroes in the ambulances", he continues,
"And in all of Gaza's hospitals
Are working 12-24 hour shifts, grey from fatigue
And inhuman workloads - they care, they triage,
And they try to understand the incomprehensible chaos
Of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing,
Not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!"

And with these words Dr Gilbert addresses himself
To the President of the United States directly.
Predictably there's no response:
No response from the Oval Office,
Nor from America's greatest Middle Eastern ally
Because, in a word, the American Empire and Israel
Are inextricably, and beneficially linked.

Instead, at a pro-Israel event in Washington,
Israel's envoy to the United States, Ron Dermer, declares
That "the Nobel Peace Prize" should be given to Israeli forces
For their "unimaginable restraint" in their offensive
Against the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Israel's envoy insists that the Israeli soldiers
Do not "target a single Palestinian civilian"
And even claims that, "Our soldiers are dying
So that innocent Palestinians can live".

He then censures Human Rights Watch
For its criticism of Israeli aggression
But strenuous self-justification
Often masks self-interest.

The Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces,
Raphael Eitan, once boasted to the New York Times,
"When we have settled the land,
"All the Arabs will be able to do about it
"Will be to scurry around
"Like drugged cockroaches in a bottle."
[16]

The horror of Gaza is plain to see, but less apparent
Is the jaw-dropping horror that lies beneath it:
Palestinians who are bottled up in Gaza
Are the subjects of a mercenary experiment
From which arms-buyers and arms-dealers
And state security forces
Are all deriving the cruellest benefits.

The technology, for example,
Which drives Israel's laser and satellite guided weapons
Which can destroy buildings in a blinding flash
And with earth-shaking impact

And the technology which drives the Predator drones
That hover overhead in Gaza,
And which carry out the surveillance
That leads to Gaza's extra-judicial killings,
Was developed to control Gaza's population,
And it all has a significant market value.

And the streets below, cleared by the fear of such drones
Emitting their incessant whirring 24/7,
Are cleared even more quickly by a new Israeli bomb
Dropped down from the drones
And packed tight with mini-flechettes:

Showers of tiny arrows designed to subdue
And developed for the pacification of Gaza.
Are now promoted at Israeli arms fairs
Along with their Gazan provenance:
'Dissident, problematical population sir? Take it from us.
Such inconvenient problems are speedily nailed.'

The DIME stands for Dense Inert Metal Explosive
And is an experimental weapon with a small blast radius,
Each blast full of carcinogenic tungsten shards,
Micro-shrapnel, useful for 'surgical assassination'.
It's dropped from drones and on detonation,
In the words of Dr. Erik Fosse, a Norwegian doctor
Working at the Shif hospital in Gaza,
Discharges "a metal vapour to tear away the lower body".
"To lose your legs", he adds, "means you've no future.
"You can't provide for your family."

The DIME bomb first surfaced in Gaza's test kitchen. [17]

Israel is the fourth largest arms exporter in the world
Ahead of Britain and Germany,
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are employed
In its defense industry and therefore
The labour force are obligingly complicit.

Leo Gleser, of International Security and Defense Systems (ISDS)
Whose name is synonymous with techniques of repression,
In Guantanamo, in Abu Ghraib, and in clearing Brazil's favelas,
Boasts that, "All defense solutions now come from Israel."

Israeli techniques of satellite surveillance and intercepts,
And its means of riot dispersal;
Its spy systems and its miniaturised lenses;
Its sensors, and its smart fences and its cages
Used for border control by the Yamam -
The Israeli Border Police units who specialize
In 'counter-terrorism' and in torture expertise -
Have all been pioneered and road-tested
In the largest prison in the world -
Then are sold on to G4S and to Homeland Security;
And they're pitched to the military-industrial complex,
Then gulped down by the Pentagon
With its infinite budget,
And then sold on once more to military regimes
And to police forces world wide,
To neutralise their dissident poor
Whose resources the wealthy want.

The former deputy chief of Mossad
And head of IDF's Northern Command,
Addresses a conference of Israeli officers
And of arms manufacturers
On the "importance of punishment as a strategy".

General Amiram Levin says, with brutal clarity,
"Most of these people were born to die.
We just have to help them."
[18]

His words are echoed by the Israeli Major General,
Oren Shachor, who elaborates on their creed,
"If we kill their families that will frighten them."

Amongst the Israeli military the facetious euphemism,
"Mowing the lawn", is popular and means depopulating
The Palestinian population as and when they see fit.

It's done with increasingly sophisticated technology
By those specialising in providing "solutions"
For the Palestinian "problem". Take Lt. Col. Amos Golan,
A former Commander of a unit in the occupied West Bank -

An Israeli soldier now a multi-millionaire arms dealer
Who's adapted the M-16 so that it fires round corners;
It's called the 'Cornershot' and it shoots at right-angles
So that a sniper can remain invisible to his victim.

It's invaluable in the narrow Palestinian streets.
Golan boasts of its product placement in a Hollywood movie,
"It was used by the film star Angelina Jolie
in 'Wanted'"
, and his deadly toy boosts Israel's exports.

Israel has been keeping a half-starved population
Under its thumb for over sixty years:
But, opportunistically, it has found its experience
With repressive and abusive techniques
To be a saleable commodity.

All the more saleable since torture has been
The official policy of the Israeli State:

In 1979 its Defense Minister Moshe Dayan
Would state to Israel's newspaper Maareef
Regarding Arab detainees in Israeli prisons:
"We will make of these detainees parasites
"In their societies, and we will not release them
"Until they become like mummies, empty
"And full of holes from inside like Swiss cheese."

So now Gaza houses Israel's test victims in its lab.,
In its petri dish, in its torture chambers
In which Palestinians die.

Gaza is where Israel's tools of control
Can be researched and refined;
Where they're field-tested by a terrorist state
For its so-called 'war on terror'
By which is simply meant a war on those
From a different background than their own.

And while it subjects it to more surveillance,
And while it indulges in more and more killing,
And while it's seemingly turning Gaza into a wasteland
It's secretly making the Gazan desert bloom.

For over a third of Israel's income
Comes from its exporting its weapons,
And since it's cultivating its deadly fruit
In its Gazan hot house at a profit,
Then why would it see the need for peace?

'Operation Cast Lead' in 2009
Boosted Israeli Arms sales
To a record 6 billion dollars.
It killed 1,471 Palestinians.

'Operation Pillar of Defense'
The second large scale operation in Gaza
Was launched in November 2012
And Israel's weapons sales that year
Set a new all time record
Of 7,000, 000,000 dollars,
While 169 Palestinians lay dead.

In 'Operation Protective Edge'
Over a thousand would die in July 2014,
And whatever its final body count
The price will have been considered worth it
By the thriving Israeli arms business.

As Israel ruthlessly destroys the besieged Gaza Strip,
Elbit Systems, its largest developer of military technology
And its drone-maker, benefits from the bloodshed.

Since 8 July, 2014, when Israel began its latest offensive,
US-traded shares of Elbit Systems,
Climbed 6.1 percent
According to Bloomberg Business Week.

Israel's three-week long massacre
Of 1,200 Palestinians in Gaza,
Including nearly 300 children,
"Has pushed Elbit's stock close to the highest level since 2010
While its valuation on a price-to-earnings basis
Is near the most expensive in five years."

Israel, in other words,
Makes bloodshed its business.

An Israeli arms manufacturer's pitch
Would fit neatly onto a matchbox:
"Look, what is Gaza? I tell you what it is.
It's an asset. Why's it an asset?
Because Gaza is the very epicentre
Of global instability, but guess what?

We've got it totally under control.
So, here's what we can do for you
We can sell you the hardware
And we can sell you the software
And the follow-up and the accessories
And the bells and the whistles,
So that you and your government can control
Any similar situation. You'll be safe,
And your security forces will be safe.
How come? Because we've tried it for you in Gaza.
And, you gotta believe it, it works.
We have five thousand five hundred insurgents
Locked up in our dungeons at any one time.
You're talking to those with the know-how."

Given the ever-increasing disparity
Between the rich and the poor,
Governments are now becoming more fearful
Of their disaffected populations:
Those who can see how they're being exploited,
By those with hundreds of times their wealth,
By those who have many more opportunities,
By those who live longer and eat better food,
By those whose children are given a head start,
And, understandably, disaffected populations
Judge the prevailing situation to be unfair.

Greater numbers of people are becoming resentful
Of being ruled by those in positions of privilege,
And so economically unbalanced states
Are keen to know how to suppress the under-privileged
And how best to neuter their righteous aspirations.

In July 2014 Israel tells Palestinian families to flee
So it can bomb their homes more freely:
And then it bombs the places
Which they've run to for shelter;
By so doing, it undermines their will to live,
Deliberately and systematically
And such techniques are strategically useful.

Gaza's power plant is routinely destroyed,
And Israel starves Gaza through its siege
Callously counting the minimum calories people need
for bare survival and supplying Gaza's inhabitants
with no more, no less. Pushing its food through the bars.

This is called the Dahiya doctrine; devised by Israeli generals
in 2006 - putting them on a diet was thought of as a way
"to force hostile populations back into the Stone Age:
Keeping them preoccupied with the essentials of life
Rather than demanding, or fighting, for their rights." 
[19]

After a brief cease-fire in July 2014
Palestinians in Gaza City were to return home
For many to find they had nothing.
All they had was the opportunity
To look for their loved ones,
Those who'd been left behind,
And who were buried beneath rubble and dust.
In some cases they've been buried alive.

A man who'd lost the house
Into which he'd put all his life-savings
Said, "it feels like my heart's full of knives."

The Palestinian poet, Remi Kanazi,
Asks pointedly, "If someone comes into your house,
Kills your family, blows up your living room,
And kicks you out, would you call it a conflict?"

The one functioning Hospital, al-Shifa,
Has lost thirty ambulances
All blown to bits by Israeli rockets.

A small boy stands in the hospital corridor:
And explains: "Our home is destroyed.
My mother was killed. We took her to the hospital
But she died."

The date of Eid al-Fatr is determined
By the sighting of the new moon.

Israel would commemorate Eid in Shejaiya
By shelling it continuously for three days.
It left sixty dead and turned it into a moonscape.

By contrast, on the other side of the wall
That incarcerates Gaza,
In Israel, the price of living in a stolen country
Prompts a collective paranoia
Feeding into a collective psychosis
Where random, racist murder
Is regarded with approval.

Teenage Israelis angered by the sounds of Gaza's warning sirens
Awakening them on their summer vacation.
Take to the social media to express their irritation.
Using the Twitter tag ZionStandUp
They post photographs of themselves
Accompanied by deranged message after message:

"Death sentences for leftists & Arabs.
You are the cancer of this country"
,
Says Shalbi Yovel.

"Death to these fucking Arabs" May Levi tweets.
@OrelPery: "I wish a painful death to Arabs"
@OrtaL1ysaScar: "From the bottom of my heart, I wish for Arabs to be torched"
@amit_ezra: "In the end there will be no more Arabs, God willing"
@noypausner: "I spit on you, you stinking Arabs"
@dekelderi9: "We wage war so this will be our land without any Arabs"
@almasulin82: "Hating Arabs isn't racism it's a commandment from God"
@shira_agiv: "Arabs may you be paralyzed & die with great suffering!"
@Zohar_siso1: "Stinking Arabs, may you die, Amen"
@yarden_meir: "Kill them already, Arabs are whores"
@stav_madmoni: "Arabs are not human, they're beasts"
@shirzarfaty: "Death to Arabs you son of a whore"
@aviv_sahar: "Death to all of you Arabs you transfag"
@ashlisade: "Kill Arab children so there won't be a next generation"

While the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors
Tweet their recipes for a Final Solution,
A small peace march in Tel Aviv,
On the 19th day of Israel's massacres in Gaza,
Is disrupted by patriots cheering the genocide on,
And mocking the hundreds of children killed.
They chant a song in Hebrew,
It's called "Gaza is a graveyard".

"Gaza is a graveyard.
"In Gaza there's no studying
"No children are left there,
"There's no school tomorrow,
There's no children left in Gaza! Oleh!"

And wearing fascist insignia
They attack anti-war protestors.

When Einstein was invited to become
The first President of Israel he declined
On the grounds of what he considered
To be Israel's inherent criminality.

He refused the Presidency
Because, as he put it, he knew that he'd have to say things
To the Israeli people,
"Things they would not like to hear". [20]
He regarded the Likud party as "fascist"
And declared that it espoused,
"An admixture of ultra-nationalism,
"Religious mysticism and racial superiority." 
[21]

Shortly after the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948,
And after the burning and the brutal destruction
Of five hundred Palestinian villages,
The American Friends of the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel
Approached Einstein for his support
Only to be sternly rebuffed.

Einstein referred to the Irgun (led by Menachem Begin,
Later a Prime Minister of Israel),
And the Stern Gang (of which Yitzhak Shamir
Also a future Prime Minister of Israel was a member),
As "terrorist organizations".

The Zionist terrorist bombing
Of the King David hotel,
Which they'd just carried out,
Had killed three times as many innocent people
(Ninety-one dead)
As all of Hamas' rockets since 2001,
(Twenty eight dead).

Einstein flatly refused to support
Those whom he regarded as "misled and criminal people". [22]

A people by whom was meant
The European ethnocentrists,
The Imperialist Ashkenazi,
Who'd been usurping
And displacing the native people
Of Palestine, the Mizrahi Jews,

And the Sephardic Jews

And the indigenous Palestinian Arabs - Semites all.

Zionism's creator, Theodore Herzl, had defined his secular creed
As "giving to a people without a country a country without people" -
A wholly inaccurate conceit.

When informed that there were Arabs in Palestine,
Herzl decided that what was required
Was to get rid of them, and on 12 June 1895
He wrote, "We shall try to spirit the penniless population
Across the border by procuring employment for it
In the transit countries, while denying it any employment
In our own country."
In other words ethnic cleansing.

As the Zionists encroached on Palestinian territory,
They would demote every one there
To the status of second class citizens,
Or else slaughter them with a racist abandon,
And thus they'd found the state
That's been institutionally anti-Semitic
For far longer than Nazi Germany -

But the world's guilt over the Nazi genocide
Has allowed Israel to commit the same crimes:

Israel has indulged in a Vertreibungskrieg, a war of expulsion,
Enforced by a Reichskristallnacht, with the same sound effects
Of shattering glass and demolished buildings.
It's staged an Enteignung, an expropriation,
Then thanks to its Drang nach Osten, its urge to expand,
It's been driven to build ever more settlements.
Anyone daring to resist its Besatzung, its occupation,
Faces Vergeltungsschlaege, or reprisals
To restore Gesetz und Ordnung, law and order.
Continued defiance leads to a Blitzkrieg with planes and tanks
Directed towards defenceless populations.
Criticism of the Herrenvolk, the master race or 'chosen people',
Risks a Vernichtungskrieg, or a war of extermination,
For only they are entitled to lord it over the Untermenschen,
The 'sub-humans' facing a new Endloesung, or final solution.
Designed to destroy the rightful inhabitants of the land.

But such a state has been disdained and disowned
By those who regard themselves as True Jews.

Orwell described nationalism
As "power-hunger tempered by self-deception.
"Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty,
"But he is also unshakably certain of being in the right.
"Loyalty is involved, and so pity ceases to function."

The Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu,
Accuses Hamas of cynically wanting
To "pile up as many civilian dead as they can"
Just to make Israel look bad.
"They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.
"They want the more dead, the better." 
[21]

Given the nationalist's tunnel vision
It doesn't occur to Netanyahu
That a way to stem the world's sympathy
For "telegenically dead Palestinians"
Would be for him to refrain from killing them.

For him to refrain, for example, from bombing a playground
Filled with children celebrating the end of Ramadan
With their first meal of the day, the feast of Eid al-Fitr.

The Prime Minister of Israel's pitiless choice of phrase,
"Telegenically dead", implies they staged their own death
To elicit sympathy. Thus he dehumanizes them
By suggesting that they devalue human life,
And thus he kills them with a guiltless impunity
Since, after all, they've chosen to be victims.

Albert Einstein was wisely to spurn Israel's offer
Since he'd long regarded the proposed Israeli state
From its conception as an absurd anachronism,
And he'd have certainly disassociated himself
From the present settler state of Israel
Where, on average, a Palestinian child, a Semitic child,
Is sacrificed daily to Israeli racism.

A child in Gaza holds a sign,
"Both my brothers
And my friend are dead.
My turn is coming soon."

On 29th July the sounds of a ferocious assault on Gaza,
Broadcast on livestream,
Echo the thundering sounds from Baghdad
When it was being subjected to all-out war.

No child should ever have to suffer such things
Or their consequences:
Seven entire families are wiped out;
A hundred people die in one day.

According to the prophet Isaiah
Israel's vision of itself was once
As a "light unto the nations".

Instead Israel now lights up the night sky
With poisonous phosphorus flares,
The better to see what lies below
And the better to strike it with mortar shells
And for the world to witness its victories.

Once it prided itself on being illuminated
By the ancient wisdom of its prophets,
Such as Hosea,
Keen to discern that of the divine
In every living thing -
But who would chastise his followers:
"You have ploughed wickedness,
You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies."
[23]

The prophet's message makes the toxic hatred
That fuel Israel's bombs and bullets redundant
Unless it wishes to fade away -
Having extinguished the light that could have enabled it
To see the stranger as a friend.

At a demonstration in London a man displays a placard,
"Phony evil Israelis. Money can't buy you love."

Yet love is a neglected weapon
Which may still be used to undermine the Israeli state,
Despite Israel's army culture,
And its refusal to countenance conscientious objection.
There are those who refuse to serve in its military
And who are happy to be sent to its jails.

Udi Segal, a 19-year-old Israeli from Kibbutz Tuval,
Is jailed for refusing to enlist.
"The government", he says, "try to silence any voices
"That depart from the belligerent mainstream.

"There are a lot of people who need to understand
"The occupation doesn't only hurt Palestinians
"It hurts Israelis as well.

"My desire to refuse was not well received.
"A lot of people stopped talking to me
"But to refuse is a tool in the struggle
"To end the occupation."

The "moral" governments of the world
May stand by as tank shells land in schools
And give carte blanche
To the Palestinians' extermination

And Israel may call up 16,000 reservists
To further indulge its death-wish
But nonetheless there are Jews and Arabs,
Refusing to be enemies.

"Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies" - Placard at a peace demonstration in Tel Aviv, 2014

Jews and Arabs, Arabs and Jews...
Whose mutual affection,
And whose intimate relations,
Are more subtly successful
Than any war can ever be
In bringing people together in life,
Instead of together in death.

Arabs and Jews, Jews and Arabs
Secretly breeding
Their hidebound divisions
Out of existence -
And quietly manufacturing
A unified state within a state.

For a racist existence is unsustainable,
Despite lumbering about armed to the teeth -
It's as top-heavy and as redundant as a dinosaur
For Nature's imperatives will always kick in.

Heartbeats will always be a step ahead
In finding a chink in man's armour -
A soft chink in this case since the physical offspring
Produced by those Arabs and Jews
Who've cast aside archaic traditions
Serve to produce living 'facts on the ground' ...
By their breaking taboos instead of breaking bones,
By their making love and not war.

However many dragons guard the bride,
Human nature inevitably comes to mean
That sectarian superstitions
Come to be ignored, to be shrugged off,
And to be laughed at,
Then to dissolve into the mists of time.

Palestine can't be stolen from the Palestinians
For, however much it's resented,
It's present in Israel's DNA -
The threads are woven from the same cloth.

 


 

Heathcote Williams is a poet. He is best known for his classic elegiad Whale Nation.

This poem was originally published by International Times (in a fully illustrated version) and is reproduced by kind permission of the author.

Footnotes:

[1] Source: Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, Metropolitan Books, 1999, p. 407.

[2] The Jerusalem Post, 24 May 2004.

[3] Broadcast during "Operation Cast Lead", 11 January 2009.

[4] Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, currently Prime Minister of Israel; from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989: One night at a dinner party in Jerusalem in 1977, I heard a young Israeli [Netanyahu] talking about the Arabs in terms which chilled my blood. "In the next war, we've got to get the Palestinians out of the West Bank for good." Max Hastings, 'The paradox of Israel's pursuit of might: Forty years ago, I was enraptured by Israel's courageous sense of mission. For me today, as for many, that idealism has palled,' London: The Guardian, 9 May, 2009.

[5] Jewish Newsletter, June 2, 1958:

[6] Chris McGreal, 'Israeli officer: I was right to shoot 13-year-old child: Radio exchange contradicts army version of Gaza killing', The Guardian 24 November 2004.

[7] Phoebe Greenwood, Guardian,18 February 2013.

[8] Jerusalem Post, 30 August 2000.

[9] Jewish Newsletter, 2 June, 1958.

[10] David Sheen, 'Israeli calls for Palestinian blood ring at fever pitch', The Electronic Intifada, 15 July 2014.

[11] Gideon Levy, ‘Images from Gaza should trouble every Israeli' Haaretz , July. 24, 2014.

[12] Robert Mackey, Israelis Watch Bombs Drop on Gaza From Front-Row Seats, New York Times, July 14, 2014.

[13] BBC ‘Broadcasting House', Radio 4, 20th July, 2014

[14] From an article for the Israeli news website Arutz Sheva, July 2014

[15] presstv.ir/detail/2014/07/23/372448/israeli-rabbi-kill-civilians-in-gaza/

[16] New York Times, 14 April 1983.

[17] Dr. Erik Fosse, Press TV, July 2014.

[18] From the film: 'We make weapons: the Lab Ultime', written and directed by Yotar Feldman, produced by Yoar Roeh and Aurit Zamir, Gum Films/Luna Blue Films, 2011.

[19] James Perez, 'Is Killing Civilians Part of Israel's plan?' | Counter Information, WordPress, July 2014.

[20] Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor, Einstein on Race and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2005), p. 111.

[21] Ben Lynfield, The Independent, Sunday 20 July 2014.

[22] dissidentvoice.org/2010/01/einstein-on-palestine-and-zionism/#footnote_6_13526.

[23] The Bible / Torah, Hosea 10:13.

 

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