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Heathcote William: An Old Man and a Young Man in Gaza – A Poem

old_man_poster_poem

By Heathcote William

An old man holds a placard that reads,
“You take my water, burn my olive trees,
Destroy my house, take my job, steal my land,
Imprison my father, kill my mother,
Bombard my country, starve us all,
Humiliate us all, but I am to blame:
I shot a rocket back.”

Here are some ungodly chants
From the Zionist Book of Psalms
Which are used to justify
Laying waste to a whole country
And to its inhabitants:

“We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages
Destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water”
Eli Yishai, former Deputy Prime Minister.
Amen

“There should be no electricity in Gaza,
No gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. …
We need to flatten entire neighborhoods
… flatten all of Gaza”
Israeli journalist Gilad Sharon in the Jerusalem Post.
Amen

“There are no innocents in Gaza. Mow them down …
Kill the Gazans without thought or mercy.”
Michael Ben-Ari, a member of the Knesset.
Amen

Gaza should be “bombed so hard the population
Has to flee into Egypt”
Israel Katz, a Minister of Transportation.
Amen

Gaza should be “wiped clean with bombs”,
Avi Dichter, a Minister of Home Front Defense.
Amen

Israeli soldiers must “learn from the Syrians
How to slaughter the enemy”,
The Israeli Rabbi Yaakov Yosef.
Amen

Here is Ze’ev Jabotinsky, admirer of Mussolini
And the godfather of Zionist militarism,
Justifying “transferring” the Palestinian people
From their homes in 1940:
“The world has become accustomed to the idea
Of mass migrations and has become fond of them.”

Jabotinsky adds, “Hitler— as odious as he is to us—
Has given this idea a good name in the world.” (1)
Amen

It is ironic that Jabotinsky used Hitler
As a precedent for the Palestinians’ “transfer”
Since forcible expulsion
Was among the charges against Adolf Eichmann –
One of the architects of the Nazi Holocaust
Captured in Argentina, and tried and hanged in Israel.

Undeterred, the former chief rabbi,
Mordechai Elyahu, has urged Israel,
Its army and its government
To “employ the Nazi choice”
Against the Palestinians.
To carry out a series of carpet bombings
Of Palestinian population centers in Gaza
He urges the “indiscriminate killing of civilians”.
On religious grounds.
Amen

The Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Schneerson,
A self proclaimed Messiah
Whose followers await his return from the dead,
(As if the Rabbi hadn’t preached
Enough when alive by his making the claim
That his religion heralded a new Master Race) –
Has a devoted and powerful acolyte, Rabbi Manis Friedman,
Who declares that the “only way to fight a moral war”
Is to “destroy the Arabs’ holy sites” and “to kill them.”
To “kill men, women and children”, and to eliminate anyone
Who stands in the way of a Greater Israel,
Friedman embraces Israel’s ruthless colonizing power
With an Old Testament ferocity
And with what Christopher Hitchens has called,
“The root of religious evil.”

Forty-two streets in Israel
Have been named after armed cuckoos –
Murderous Israeli cuckoos
Evicting indigenous birds
From the Palestinian nest,
And then killing them.

Enflamed whenever Palestinians fight back
With an increasing desperation
And despite overwhelming odds
To regain their ancestral land,
Israelis chant “Death to the Arabs”
“A Jew is a brother, an Arab is a bastard,”
The Israeli lawmaker, Ayelet Shaked, calls
For the genocide of Palestinians on Facebook
And advocates “the slaughter of Palestinian mothers
Who give birth to ‘little snakes,’”
Two Israeli girls hold up a banner
“Hating Arabs is not racism, it’s values!”
The Rabbi Noam Perel, head of Bnei Akiva
The world’s largest religious-Zionist youth organization,
Urges on his Facebook page that the IDF,
The Israeli Defense Force be transformed
Into an army of avengers,
“Which will not stop at 300 Philistine foreskins”

And, thus incited by a fascistic atavism,
Israeli Jews go on the rampage
Looking to beat any Arab they encounter.

On July 2nd, 2014,
A young man in Gaza,
Muhammad Abu-Khdeir,
A 16-year old boy with a knowing, elfin smile
Is pulled into a car
And kidnapped in East Jerusalem
On the way back from the mosque.

He is tied and beaten;
He has gasoline poured into his mouth
And he is burned alive.

His body is found in the Jerusalem Forest;
Battered in the head
And with soot deposits in the lungs
Suggesting he still breathed
When set on fire.
Ninety per cent of his body is burned.

Another victim of Israel’s slow motion genocide –
A holocaust which, this time,
Is being financed and uncritically supported
By ‘the good guys’,
By the internationally great and the good,
By a chorus of the compliant who ritually pipe up
To defend Israel’s right to defend itself –
To defend the indefensible.

– Heathcote Williams is an English poet, actor and award-winning playwright. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.

Notes:

(1) Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, Metropolitan Books, 1999, p. 407

Source: Palestine Chronicle

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