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I understand the "It's not about RELIGION, It's about HUMANITY" slogan is supposed to encourage humans of other faiths (or no faith at all) to demonstrate their disfavor of this heinous crime on humanity. But let's not forget that the root for the genocide on Muslims in Gaza or anywhere else is their deep hatred for Islam and it's followers.
Amir Nizar Zuabi
Ten years and seven operations later, the mission is completed. Upper Gaza is totally abandoned. All of Gaza has moved underground. Men, women and children, a great mass of people.
We dug entire neighborhoods, streets, highways, schools, theaters, hospitals. We dug mirror images of the land above that we abandoned. We gave up on the dream of getting out of the Gaza Strip. On the promises to lift the blockade, to find a solution to the crowdedness and the hunger, and we took action. We, who were attacked from the sky, from the sea, from the fields, who had one-ton bombs dropped on our heads in pointless rounds of killing, have turned our back on life. We, whom the world forgot, decided to pay it back in kind, and forgot it right back.
Having despaired of the world, of the fear, of the blood, the only refuge left to us was the earth. We buried ourselves alive.
Now, 10 years after we started digging, the mission is complete. Deep, deep beneath the living world there is an entire city – the Gaza ghetto, an underground city. It’s moldier, chillier and a lot bigger. Here, you can barely hear the huge bombs exploding, and the only hint of the tanks smashing the streets is a slight tremor in the ceiling. We dug down into the soil of Gaza, through the layers of time. Sometimes we found bones, remnants – a room containing the jawbone of an ass, Samson’s long braid and Delilah’s thighbone, the bone that once supported the flesh of a splayed leg. And we found two broken pillars of an ancient temple. On one we saw a faint etching: “Remember me, please, that I may be avenged of my two eyes.” The loamy Gaza soil has always been the ally of despair and the despairing.
We kept digging more and more, with bare hands, with cracked fingernails. We dug so deep, so far, that we canceled out the blockade and the borders and the definitions of the upper world. We dug underneath all of that rubbish, and then we kept digging along the length and breadth of the land whose refugees we are. We returned to it, deep down in the earth. We realized a subterranean right of return.
At first we could still hear the clamor of Tel Aviv above us. We heard the propaganda herds shouting “Death to Gaza,” “Death to artists,” “Death to anyone who doesn’t applaud,” “Death to anyone who doesn’t toe the line,” “Death to life.” And we heard the sound of the footsteps that grew more and more organized, until they became a military march that trampled all.
We blocked our ears and dug deeper, farther. We didn’t want to hear anything, we wanted to get away. We dug so deep that we reached the Styx, the river of the dead. The old boatman gave us a helpless look and then he turned away. What good will his little boat do against the tide of blood, the masses of people, against the people of Gaza? We swam across the cold river until we reached the cold rocky bank, and then we kept digging – beyond life, and far beyond time.
We lost our eyesight. What good are eyes in the pitch black? We’re growing whiter day by day, almost translucent, like candle tallow. From dust to dust was the blessing in every mouth, quietly; we don’t hear anything anymore. Not the double standard, or the thousands of bombs, or the anguished cries of the attacker. Here we hear only the constant mechanical gnawing of the earth. Here in the dark there is only pure, solid despair, despair that makes us keep digging and digging.
And we start to hope that if we keep on digging, all the way to the core, if we don’t stop, if we perforate the land like a honeycomb, if we make it as flimsy as silk, maybe it will suddenly collapse in on itself. And then, like a tray piled with cups of coffee and cookies that crashes to the floor in a mess of crumbs and glass, it will all mix together. The upper part and the lower part will blend. And the rules will change. And we’ll be able to say with a sigh of relief: Here is a piece of sky mixed with a cracked piece of sea; here is Shujaiyeh mixed with Sderot; here is Zeitoun mixed with the Mount of Olives; here is compassion mixed with relief; here is one human being mixed with another. And we’ll know that we were saved from the living death in which we are trapped, and now we’ll join the life of above, and with them build a new land.
And an entire people will rise to the surface of the earth, pale and faded, blinded by the sun that beats down on the land. And we will stand in silence, waiting for our eyes to adjust to the light. And as we stand there in silence, the fear and anxiety will gradually creep into our heart, that while we were finding refuge in subterranean Gaza, the land above took its own life, was left behind and emptied out.
(Amir Nizar Zuabi is a Jerusalem-based director and screenwriter.)
Shoks Mnisi Mzolo – Cii News | 15 August 2014/19 Shawaal 1435
Iraq is still reeling from Washington’s 2003 fiction of weapons of mass destruction. When it couldn’t fabricate a pretext to de-stabilise Palestine, Israel simply repackaged its ally’s lie, and – copying what the United States did in Iraq – set on a killing spree that left 2,000 dead since July 8. Gaza open-air prison became a slaughter camp, in the hands of the Israeli army which killed hundreds of children. Tel Aviv, which randomly killed scores of civilian Palestinians before the July 8 onset, attributes its Gaza attacks to the death of Israelis in West Bank.
“We believe that there was no real relation between the two issues: the three killed settlers and the attack against Gaza. And now it’s become more clear with evidence (emerging),” said Hamas politburo member Osama Hamdan, dismantling Tel Aviv’s unpalatable fiction that sought to blame the Palestinian resistance for the tragedy. “It was obvious that those three settlers were killed in a criminal accident.”
During an interview with Sabahul Khair, Lebanon-based Hamdan, a respected player in the liberation struggle, also noted that all the Palestinians want are self-determination as well as an end to Israeli occupation and apartheid. This, he argued, are some of the reasons behind Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s terrorism. Netanyahu, a right-wing leader whose point of departure denies Palestinians exist as a people, is threatened by Palestine’s new unity. In fact, explains the Hamas leader, Tel Aviv was happy with the factionalism that characterized the Palestinian struggle until earlier this year when players across the political spectrum joined forces to form a unity government.
“Everyone knows that Mr Netanyahu and his hard line government have destroyed the peace process. They have destroyed the two-state solution by (constructing) settlements in the West Bank – taking over the land in West Bank, Jerusalem and Jordan Valley. So, they destroyed any possibilities of the political solution,” Hamdan said. He also touched on how Israel has managed to sustain occupation over the past by using ‘divide-and-rule’ (geographically and by depicting resistance, as propagated by Hamas, as bad) and ‘playing-for-time’, something also discussed by Sasha Polakow-Suransky in The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa.
“They have negotiated with the PA for the last 21 years without real results,” Hamad told Cii listeners, adding that Israel plays the game by claiming “we are ready to negotiate, we want to negotiate for nine months and then they ask to postpone that for another five months, and then to extend that for another one year”. The trick is to make the subjugated Palestinians feel the end to occupation is in sight before Israel resumes violence to sustain apartheid or force them into exile – joining millions more who fled home over the years.
“(Israel rulers) expected the resistance will not be a national choice. After the Palestinian reconciliation and the formation of the unity government, the Israelis felt that there will be a Palestinian choice which is the resistance against occupation. So they decided (on airstrikes and aerial) attacks against Gaza, planning to destroy – as the Israeli Security Minister put it… the plan was to destroy the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and destroy Hamas,” Hamdan told Cii listeners. “Those are the real reasons for the attack. It’s an attack against the Palestinian resistance. It’s an attack against Palestinian choices and an attack against the Palestinian people after the failure of the political processes.”
Amid the genocide, whose death toll has even been lamented by Washington as “alarming”, it is easy to miss the human rights atrocities in the hands of the misnamed Israeli Defence Force. “The Israelis attack every time they feel they can. They kill Palestinians and (that goes) without punishment,” noted Hamdan. “Israelis are putting Gaza under the siege for more than seven years and the people are dying slowly under that siege. They were doing their best to live by (digging) tunnels between Gaza and Egypt to bring essential needs – the food, the medicines, etc.”
Turning to the dead settlers’ pretext, and how the IDF launched airstrikes and fired rockets on July 8, Hamdan noted that for the first few days there was no response from Hamas until the Israeli army bombed the Qawara family home, killing 11 women and children instantly and injuring more than 40 other civilians. Pliant world media, which prefers to prop the pro-occupation narrative rather than exposing the IDF’s atrocities, depicts the carnage on Gaza as Israel’s self-defence. Not many take Netanyahu’s forces to task for displacing and murdering Palestinian civilians.
“When Hamas won the elections, the Israelis did their best to undermine the political process inside Palestine. They worked hard to prevent the elected government from working. And that led to the kind of wrong understanding among the leaders of the PA (which was that) there will be no survival unless they re-jig the results of the elections in the practical way, which created the division,” Hamad said. “We believe that if there was an acceptance of the result and that there was a united Palestinian position, all the time over the last eight years, Israelis would not be able to take advantage against the Palestinians. The Israelis are trying to win the game against the Palestinians.”
While urging the international community to support the cause for a free Palestine, Hamad’s insisted that resistance against apartheid Israeli’s occupation and subjugation was part of the struggle.
“We want our rights in peace. If there was no chance to have them in peace, we’re ready to resist the occupation until we have our rights. In South Africa if there was no civilian and militant resistance, the people of South Africa wouldn’t be free (today against apartheid,” he said. “Now we’re living in Palestine under the worst apartheid system ever known in (human history). In Vietnam the Vietnamese resisted the occupation of the Americans. There were hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese killed but at the end, they won the fight and attained their independence and sovereignty.”
LISTEN to Cii Radio’s exclusive interview with Osama Hamdan HERE
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.