Saturday, January 03, 2009

Why do you die on TV, Gaza?

Left: So far, seventy children have been killed in the first week of various fatalistic air strikes on the defenseless population of Gaza. (Photo: AFP)

Why Do You Die On TV?
By Daphna Baram

Silly children why do you die?
Why do you die on TV?
We took out our settlers, put a wall around you, locked you in, and still you are ungrateful. Cant you understand our need to bomb you?

Why do you die on TV?
The world is all against us, it always will be, why cant you help us a little, why do you die on TV?

Your suffering masks our historical rights, your ghetto makes ours forgotten. You are the new martyrs, and whats left for us? How dare you die in anonymous mass? We'll send all our air force to punish you now, how dare you die on TV.

Left: Smoke billows in the air over Gaza as F-16s, warships, tanks, artillery batteries and hellicopter gun ships maim their dead in Gaza, in the Gaza dead end--prison. (Photo: AFP)

The public is calling for crushing you down, elections are due, it is a war of survival. It's our homes we defend, it's our natural right, it's the chair in the government for which we will fight, if you do not understand, we shall show you our might, why do you die on TV?

You have to appreciate, time is now scarce, soon enough the tide is to turn. If you will in your cruelty make us march in, and our soldiers, our children, will start dying in your narrow allies, our people will turn on us as swiftly as sin. The gung ho cries would stop, a new circle will begin: what are we doing there? Who sent us in? What is this folly? Why cant we just win?

Left: 5 children dead in one-felt-strike swoop unto Gaza when Israel bombed a Mosque, a holy house of worship. (Photo: Eman Mohammed / Demotix)

This is why, silly children, we do not mean to kill you, but we need you do die fast. We need you gone as long as our permission lasts. We need your parents to learn to not mess with us. Cant you do us this favor, for the sake of peace and trust? But please do not die on TV.

We tried it in Jordan, we tried it in Lebanon and when it failed we tried again. No one could blame us for lack of persistence; if our method is broken why fix it? It is your responsibility to make it work at last. It is your responsibility to make us right.

And you have no-one but yourselves to blame if you keep defying us, you have no-one but yourself to blame for turning our claim for victimhood into a farce. It is your fault that we expose our children to your pathetic rockets; it is your fault that not enough of them die to make us look good on TV.

We want to stop, we really do, but you are binding our hands. Why do you enrage us so, why do you die; why do you die on TV?

Seven Days of Israel's War on Gaza

Daphna Baram is an Israeli writer and poet based in London.


Blogger Daphna said...

Thanks SternGang (interesting choice of a name). Just wanted to say, I'm no poet. I've written and recorded this piece as a personal reflection for BBC World Service upon their request for their programme The World Today, briadcast on 3 January 2009. All best, Daphna

January 3, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Stern Gang said...

Thanks Daphna,

For composing such a beautiful peace of tragic love and beauty. It is poetic I believe however and by other name. I was cheering when I heard it on BBC Worldservice last night. I became very excited -- it was really moving and quite advanced in its imagery.

I wrote to BBC and spent many hours searching for the text because it was not readily available on the website as professed by the host.

It is even more meaningful that you are Israeli to have written the piece precisely, because it dispels the growing cry and hue of Israel as a bastion of irreconcilable evil with no redeeming value whatsoever. Few realize that diversity of race, ethnicity and ideas exist in Israel. As in most other countries a hardened elite rules and maintains the status quo by selling the people a steady diet of fear-mongering and war mantra.

It is instructive that those on the front lines in Israel are mostly newer emigrants to Israel and the poorer members of Israeli society. While the elite are safe and comfortable in the interior. Even today when reviewing news accounts of the ground invasion, I saw many Falasha in the trenches so to speak.

All in all, I wanted to thank you for the joy you gave me -- the connection you allowed me to make to Israel in a dire moment when such emotions are difficult to experience in lieu of the utter destruction of an obvious weak opponent as Gaza and Hamas represents by Israel.

January 3, 2009 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Merche PallarĂ©s said...

I've read the previous posts. Regarding Hammas being a Mossad invention at the beginning, I don't doubt it. The only thing I know is that the world is run by the Zionist/Anglo-American/Israeli power, i.e. the powerful Jewish lobby, and there is nothing that we, ordinary citizens, can do. They are the masters of the world. Unfortunately. That's why Israel can do whatever it wants, it can afford not to listen to the U.N. or hear the world-wide outrage at this holocaust of the Palestinians in Gaza. They couldn't care less. Then, they are surprised that they've been persecuted and expelled from many countries?? Come on. Hugs, M.

January 4, 2009 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...

Thank you. It is always a hard call. It is important to raise an Israeli voice of resistance and criticism. At the same time it is important not to create an illusion regarding the size of this voice and its influence inside Israel. I think in this piece I tried to illustrate the self-righteous cobweb in which so many Israelis are caught. The consistent peace camp is small, but it always grows significantly when these "operations" begin to prove themselves to be failures, as they always do, at a great cost in human lives. Watch that space for a few more days, as the ground invasion goes on, and you'll see it happen. The futility of this cycle is ever so frustrating.

January 5, 2009 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger northshorewoman said...

Like Israel, Canada too is a settler colonial state, and most of its population undisturbed by the continuing oppression of the indigenous peoples (in Canada, the First Nations, in Israel, the Palestinians). However, while Daphna's poem is certainly an eloquent cry of resistance inside a mass of Zionism hiding behind contemporary postmodern Israeli identities, I wonder, really question, why the peace camp and justice-minded Israelis are so few. The few I hear are very eloquent and intelligent, but they are few. I wonder, and question, how everyday Israelis FOR 60 YEARS continue to blind themselves with the rubbish that they learn about history and the Palestinians. It is privilege that blinds people, yes, those privileges that even those on the lower strata in the hierarchies of society in Israel grab and hang on to in order to keep the Palestinians suppressed and their right to justice and land, not ignored, but re-made into a book of lies.

60 years. That's a long time.

January 6, 2009 at 5:24 PM  

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