As we watch in horror the death toll of those murdered in Gaza by Israeli war criminals rises, the number has gone up to 25 now with many more injured and countless people traumatised and terrorised. Hana’ Al Shalabi continues her brave hunger strike protesting against being held illegally in Israeli “administrative detention”. The mainstream media continues to report on rockets fired from Gaza, they even have a number – but there is no number for the bombs dropped by Israel, why is that? Israeli army spokespeople get air time while the deaths of those in Gaza are ‘reported’, one step above ‘alleged’. No spokesperson from Gaza has been on any news bulletin I’ve heard. No name has been given to any of the dead in Gaza. No age, gender, occupation, personhood has been ascribed to any of those murdered. They are deemed non-persons, their deaths are not worthy of condemnation. Rockets are worthy of condemnation but not bombs. Potential injuries are worthy of condemnation but not actual deaths of actual people. Some politicians are ‘concerned’ by the violence, never calling for Israel to stop it.
So in the midst of all this hypocrisy, the war machine, the attempted slow erasure of a people, on his birthday the words of Mahmoud Darwish speak of the spirit, the history and the courage of the Palestinian people. They speak of all the dead, the resisters, they speak the truth.
I Come From There
I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.
I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland…..