Gaza, repeated, ad infinitum

Gaza one week, Lebanon the next: Palestinians inspecting a bridge destroyed by Israeli army warplanes on a main road northern Gaza Strip, 28 June 28 2006. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)


We woke up this morning to the footage. No less than six hours after we watched, live, the Israeli bombing of a Gaza building last night, the same rogue military turned its jets north to Lebanon to inflict the same. Forty-seven people — yes, 47 — have been killed in Lebanon already as i write this. No doubt this is just the beginning.

The footage: a man, covered in chalky soot from the Israeli leveling of a
home, carried in his arms the limp body of a toddler. Her arms dangling
heavy in his arms, her mop of hair covering her face. Hair that her
mother, also killed in the bombing, must have brushed carefully before
bedtime, unable to predict that neither of them would exist only hours
later. i found myself wondering what a last bedtime lullaby sounds like.

This is the policy. It is clear that families are the bullseye. Israel
killed 24 people yesterday, including an entire family in Khan Younis, in
the middle of the besieged prison of the Gaza Strip. Mother, father,
children. All wiped out. Several days earlier, the same story — a family
trying to enjoy a bit of a respite between shelling, barbecueing corn on
the cob in their backyard, when a missile landed on their heads. And who
can forget, before the official Israeli seige began late last month, the June
9th explosion on the Gaza beach, which killed seven members of the Ghaliya
family — the young surviving girl running frantically between the sliced
and charred bodies of her father and mother, six-month-old brother. That
young girl, still in chronic shock, has not forgotten. Gazans do not
forget.

As Israel maintains its ethnic shredding policy, irregardless of age or
gender or political affiliation or shoe size or eye color, the international community forgets about Gaza, forgets about Iraq, forgets about Lebanon, about the decades of occupation and sanctions and displacement and expulsion, forgets about the deals made and deals broken, the fake treaties and cynical lip service, about the long lists of international laws carefully applied to other nations but not the US, not Israel. They forget about our snakey and quiet exemption to the Geneva Conventions, the blood that runs in the sewers of Abu Ghraib, of Baghram, of Guantanamo, of Ansar III, of San Quentin, of Santa Rita, of Pelican Bay, of Angola.

And here, in the illegally-occupied West Bank, people here are bracing for
the worst, yet again, yet again. But what echoes off the cement walls of
this refugee camp, in the searing and choking heat of summer, are the
shouts and songs of resistance, threadbare in its age but young and tough
in its spirit. Palestinians are not giving up, despite the assaults and
the checkpoints and the daily invasions and the sound bombs and the
shooting and the missile strikes and the land theft and the repeated
television footage of a dead baby’s dangling arm. They’re not giving up
yet. People tell me that they can survive this — that they have survived
so much during the past 60 years, and though no one can predict the
oncoming seiges, or where Israel will turn its US-made fighter jets
next, the idea of survival and resistance cannot perish.

Related Links

  • BY TOPIC: Israel invades Gaza (27 June 2006)

    Nora Barrows-Friedman, 27, is the Senior Producer and co-host of
    Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio. She is in the Dheisheh refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, continuing her work with Palestinian refugee youth in a media training project at the Ibdaa Cultural Center. She can be reached at norabf@gmail.com