Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Massacre in Gaza: I remained silent, for I was not Palestinian

"Withdrawing" implies, in whatever vague and euphemistic sense, an end, or at least, a waning of hoslities. But today I woke to discover that the Israeli Army has perpetrated a massacre on a scale unseen in Gaza for a long time: so far, 22 dead: Eight children; seven women. All members of the same family. Please imagine 22 members of YOUR family, dead, in one fell swoop, and that the deaths are brushed aside as unfortunate mistakes from an otherwise morally superior, well-intentioned army. There can BE NO good intentions deriving from an Army ordered to fire heavy-grade artillery shells within 100 metres of civlian areas. None.


And I am sick to my stomach. I am sick of hearing the "we regrets" and "sorries" and the empty promises of investigations that never materialize and whose only purpose is to exhonerate the accused. I am sick of the well-intentioned "moral" Army of "defence" routine, that only attempts to attack 'militants', as if to imply the entire occupation is justified if sustained by this absurdist rhetoric. I'm just sick of it all. Sick sick sick.

We want an end to the occupation. Period. To quote Peace Now, instead of apologizing, STOP YOUR WAR against us. So much energy and enthusiasism devoted to death and destruction and debilitation and asphyxiation and occupation-so little devoted to ending it all.

If you are in Israel, go join Peace Now's demonstration TODAY (Wednesday) at 17:00hrs opposite the Defence Ministry on Kaplan St, Tel Aviv.

If you are not, make some noise. CONTACT YOUR GOVERNMENTS. Tell them you won't stand for the slaughter of innocents-dont' recoil in the comfort of your couch, assured that such tragedy is distant and does not affect you. It affects all of us when humans become less human, when their blood becomes worth less than ours.

And remember:

"They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."

Let us add to the famous poem:

"Then they came for the Palestinians, but I remained silent, for I was not Palestinian".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you censor your comments but,

you only wish the palestinians deserved to be in that poem. all your dear leaders of hamas need to say is "we renounce violence, we recognize israel."

even they cant do that

12:45 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

And why does Israel not recognize Palestine and renounce violence? It works both ways, you know.

It's been such a wonderful day here in the US for so many of us and unfortunately we're not paying much attention to this horrific news as we should be. And somehow, I have a hard time believing this wasn't timed with that in mind.

Thanks also for sharing the Darwish poem. He really is a jewel.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look out on the first snow, its silent and peacefull, but all I can see are rivers of blood.
I hear my little daughters happy giggles, it gets lost in choir of crying children

I will no longer look a way, I'm a mother.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice words!
You should be there as well. What are YOU doing at the USA for so long? Why are you not there?
It´s not easy huh?

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abbas managed to anger Hamas by condemning as "fruitless acts" the firing of Kassam rockets at Israeli towns and cities. "These rockets don't bring us any results," he stressed. "They only provide Israel with an excuse to pursue its aggression on our people. The rocket attacks must stop instantly."

And guess what?!?

n response, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called upon Abbas to apologize for condemning the rocket attacks. "He must apologize to the women and children of Beit Hanun," he said. "The Israeli occupation does not distinguish between an area from which rockets are fired and another area where nothing is happening. Look what happened this morning in the village of Yamoun, near Jenin, where Israel killed five members of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades."

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go on!!! But don´t say that you are all victims,

Hamas government spokesman Ghazi Hamad, who has often expressed relatively moderate and pragmatic views and is a frequent interviewee in the Israeli media, went as far as calling for the elimination of Israel. "Israel is a bloody state that was established on blood and it never finds comfort unless there's bloodshed," he said. "Israel should therefore be wiped off the map."

And it never ends.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Killing INNOCENT people does not help either!!!! Are you trying to say that Israel was right in shelling civilians? Is that a step towards peace? where is your humanity?

6:28 PM  
Anonymous GuyFromHungary said...

Laila El-Haddad i have a really simple question for you:

Why is that you Condemn the Israeli army of shellicn 100meters near civilans, and you does not condemn the Hamas the PLO or other terror group because of launching their rockets, and for launching their rockets from near your homes?

Plz answer me.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Norway you can send the Minisery of Foreign Affairs Att: Jonas Gahr Støre a protest and show of your support to the Palestinian People...
check out:
Also in the event someone from Oslo or close by should read this there is a protestmarch agains the Israeli offensiv in Gaza. It takes place in front of Stortinget 16:30

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, you should read Rime Allaf's entry on this massacre, in Mosaics:

This is truly a horrific crime.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop Kassams: Arabs won't die from Israeli shells, its that simple.
Stop terror attacks: border gates will open, it's that simple.
Accept Israel as a Jewish State: and it's the end of hostilities, it's that simple.
Allow Jews to live in all of the mandated lands: and you will have peace, its that simple.

You have no one to blame but yourselves: its that simple

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, do you not lay any blame at the feet of the Palestinian terrorists who have fired kassams daily at Israel EVER SINCE ISRAEL LEFT GAZA? Do you not realize that if these and all other terrorists activities stopped, then the IDF would never have to make another incursion into Gaza?

Are you so blinded by your hatred of Israel that you cannot see that it is your own people who are morally responsible for these deaths? They fully expect the IDF to return fire when the kassams fall in Israel- what other country in the world would do any less if it was attacked?

Israel is sorry when it accidentally kills Palestinians. Palestinians are ecstatic when they purposely kill Israelis. Can you dispute this fact?

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First they blew up kids in the streets of Tel Aviv. But I didn't say anything, because I did not live in Tel Aviv.

Then they sent rockets into South Israel after the Israelis left Gaza. But I didn't say anything, because I didn't live in Sderot or Ashkelon.

Now they are bombing Gaza. And there is nobody left in power on the Israeli left.

Bottom line Ms. El-Hadad, we Israelis believe and fight for peace and compromise time and time again. And your bretheren spit in our faces. And you never speak out against the horrific level of violence that Palestinian terrorists pertrate against the Jews -- we read your silence as support. You are only telling half the story. We will need to stop killing each other and negotiate some time - it may as well be now.

Andy - Ramat HaSharon, Israel

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad that I got to read your article. I hope that you will also consider the other side of this situation. Where is the outrage when terrorists strike a young girl in Israel who is bringing home her first prom dress, the young Israeli mother killed with her children while shopping in the market or for the innocent people who are targeted deliberately---not accidently-- by Palestinian terrorists? I'd like to hear your words that might start the idea of an authentic peace process. How can Israel forge peace with Hamas, an organization that claims that they want every single Jewish child, woman and man dead? Who can and will reach out to start the peace process? I can assure you that many, many Israelis would welcome an opportunity for peace. It will undoubtedly involve a degree of compromise on both sides, but is it peace that is precious here? Good neigbbors? Forgiving the past and forging a healthy future? What are the steps to resolution? You are so articulate and write so well, expressing your feelings--which I appreciate and respect. Will you speak out for peace? lynne in Texas

3:11 AM  
Blogger Assad-u-LLAH said...

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3:41 AM  
Blogger Assad-u-LLAH said...

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3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone hates the Arab Muslims not the Jews. Believe me Israel and the Jewish people have a lot of support from people all over the world including me a mixed-race Catholic.
Arabs are blood-thirsty savages who are the scum of the earth. you are pure evil.
The world couldn't live without Israel or the Jewish people but we could definately live without the Arabs who are useless.
Boycott Israel and throw away your computer, cellphones, certain medicines, medical procedures etc.
C'mon live like the barbarian you really are. You couldn't live without Israel and the Jewish people's innovations.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to all the jews i say this to u ,,if anything happens to laila or her precious son yousef ,,i swear i will not leave anyone of u alive ..i promise

10:25 AM  
Blogger Assad-u-LLAH said...

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1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea why people choose to focus on the after effects of terrorism rather than ridding the cause.

Israel gave back land to Palestinians. Did they build schoolshospitals and the like? No, they busilt up arsenals of missles, built tunnels to get their weapons.

Israel never would have been shooting into Gaza or be back in Gaza if it were not for the rockets and violence still sailing over its borders.

The unfortunate civilian casualties never would have happened if the terrorists did not hide themselves in a cloak of civilians.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your brain is warped because of your inbreeding. It is proven by DNA that the Jews are descendents of the Hebrews that lived in Israel thousands of years ago. Jews have always lived in Israel. These Jews are indigenous to the land of Israel just like the American Indians are to America.
The Arabs who are illegally occupying Israel only arrived in Israel some decades ago and came from Arabia. There are no "Palestinian" people. It's all a myth.
You are an uneducated fool who needs to get your head out of your ass or a goat's ass.
Why aren't you boycotting Israel? C'mon throw away your computer, cellphones, certain medicines, medicl procedures etc.
A-rabs are useless. You couldn't live without Israel or the Jews.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Amirah said...

tell it, girl.

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Marhaba Laila, Sabaher
I read your article in Yediot and am moved to write, not just because of what you actually wrote but because of the contents and the tone of the other replies in Yediot. Sadly too many are hysterical racist idiotic, and sadly too they reflect "Ami" - my people. The best comment on the state of my people is David Grossman's brave speech a week ago. If you didn't read it tell me and I'll send you a copy. In response to the many articles in the Israeli press I wrote many replies. I reminded readers that a handful of Israeli groups - Breaking the Silence especially - had tried to go to court with a case demanding that the IDF stop using artillery in Gaza and criticising the artillery's "safety ranges" in these circumstances. I am even aware that a number of Major General had spoken out about this. Nothing changed and none of this will bring back the dead from this terrible crime in Bet Hanoun and on the beach in Gaza in the summer and so many countless more for which "Ami" is responsible. The IDF is our army and we are it and what we are doing to you and your people is unacceptable. Right now, though I live and breath what is happening 24 hours a day every day and I am involved in a small way in a number of activities to change the way we are together, I am lost. I can no longer speak proudly as an Israeli. its one of the reasons I am here in London and not there. When I come there, I usually go to the W Bank and meet exrtraordinary people, Palestinians, who are not anti-Semites, who are not racists and who do not want more than to live in peace. My people wants that too, somewhere deep inside themselves, and I believe in them as I believe in that future. Israel is corroding itself from within and that is as much of a crime as what Israel is doing to Palestine. We are destroying whatever was the good we had in ourselves and all I can do is raise my voice. I am a critic of my country. It is my right to criticise it when it is wrong and I am not like the many who want to see Israel disappear. But I do not know currently what else I can do to end this senseless bloodshed and to stop Israrelis being so blind and deaf and dumb to another people's humanity.
What do they expect of you? There haven't been suicide bombings for a long time. The Qassam rockets are an angry hitting out and not Hezbollah's Katyushas. Are you just expected to sit there and do nothing? Of course nothing is so black and white. Blame is not 100% Israel's. There is a % of blame that rests with the leadership of Palestine too.
My closest friend here is a Palestinian and I am proud of that friendship but that and what I do makes me a traitor to my own people here and a stranger in the strange land that has become Israel. Today in England is Memorial Day for the dead of the wars that this country has fought. In the 2 minute's silence I stood weeping in my heart, not for them but for the dead of Palestine. We who seek peace are in a tiny fractured minority. But you still believe in us and that gives us and me strength. Please Laila do not give up. I will not.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous samar said...

It is so inhumane that the right of self defence has become the right to butcher and massacre. Does that work? When in history was it possible to bomb and terrorize a peoples into submission? Unless the real goal is genocide... Without complete eradication of the palestinians by killing every man, women, child and pet the only thing these "offensive defenses" achieve will be more hatred, more rage and more quassams. Someone in this forum wondered why the palestinian people do not build schools. SCHOOLS!!! Are we talking about the same place? They are starving in gaza, literally starving, and you think they have the means to build schools. is this a joke?
Laila, your blog is great. It is so frustrating, though, the complete apathy of the rest of the world... What can we do to reveal this atrocity? What can we do.....

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Then they came to rape my female student neighbour into becoming a suicide bomber and to kill herself and some Jews, but I remaind silent - who cares for these Jews anyway?"
Cheap propaganda, Laila.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Assad-u-LLAH said...

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1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sad, Um-Yusuf! I feel angry when the media oppose a resistant group to one of the strongest army. An error... Another one in the history.
While Palestinians were buring their victims, Munich was inaugurating a synagogue where 68 years ago Jews have suffered the Nazi horror. Strange coincidence!
With all my strenght, I admire your courage... Don't give in, Um-Yusuf!

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila wrote that it is horrible that Israel would fire artillery within 100 meters of homes -- not bothering to point out that this is exactly where the terrorists deliberately place their Kassam rockets. The artillery strike was aimed at terrorist rocket launchers.

Palestinian terrorists, on the other hand, kill civilians intentionally, not by accident. Laila paints the evil as righteous and the righteous as evil.

Then along comes Paul to announce that Israel "must not fire artillery" into Gaza. Of course he also believes that Israel must not enter Gaza.

So now that Israel has voluntarily left Gaza, and the Palestinians return the favor by firing Kassam rockets at kindergarden students in Sderot, I would like to know: what measures can Israel take, in the eyes of Paul and Laila, to defend the lives of kindergarden students from those who fire Kassam rockets from Gaza in order to kill them?

A letter-writing campaign? A blog? Be serious.

10:50 AM  

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