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no more water the fire next time

That comes from a Negro spiritual [not politically correct anymore to use the N-word, but I use it with honor for the musical tradition] and it's about Noah's Ark, and the lines run "God gave Noah the rainbow sign / No more water, the fire next time."

In the last three days Israel has killed 300+ Hamas terrorists and wounded many more freedom fighters and civilians. Hamas rocketeers have fired hundreds of them, longer and longer ranges. Israel has called up 6500 reservists and will probably be putting Hamas out of business for good [at least in Gaza.] This is one pic from Rafah:




He's watching a funeral and scared and scarred with grief and fear: this little kid. Rafah was where Rachel Corrie [US citizen, Evergreen State College '03, and ISM member], lost her life in a war zone.

Here are Palestinian kids throwing rocks at Israeli armored vehicles:




---which is exactly what the staff at one of the schools I support in the West Bank is trying to prevent their kids from doing. Demonstrations have spread all over the place in the Arab world.

What brings this all home to me is not only my friends Fawath, Salam, Abed, Pascaline, and Lois [who is still recovering from being hit by a car in August and whose apartment lies within Hamas missile range], and Neta [a university student in the line of fire too] --- not only that I have met each one of them, spent time with them, and they are all dear to me; it's this ---




This is an Israeli soldier firing tear gas canisters at the kids throwing stones.
In Ramallah.

AT THE SAME RAMALLAH CHECKPOINT I WENT THROUGH TWICE LAST SEPTEMBER.

I've been there. Right there.

Maybe even gotten checked out by that same soldier.

Wars used to be things I studied in history books, and looked at pictures of on microfiche reels.

No longer.

I'm convinced you cannot stop collateral damage in a war. People like kids and other noncombatants are going to get shot, killed, blown up, any / all of the above. Hamas is a terrorist organization who espouses the same philosophy that killed 3000 Americans in the World Trade Center and elsewhere. The American government just told them to stop shooting rockets at Israeli kids and cities. Hamas is also part of the Palestinian government freely elected by the Palestinian people.

But now that it is coming down to my friends getting scared out of their wits because they cannot get to shelter safe enough, when it's *their* lives in danger, it becomes a whole new perspective.

You have two entirely different peoples --- politics, culture, beliefs --- warring over one piece of land. Two into one does not go. No compromises have ever worked out between these governments and none ever will. Each needs to feel secure inside their own borders, and neither does. And won't. No agreement about even where the borders *are* has ever been effective.

And the kids and civilians are in the middle.

Does not look like much of a happy new year so far, does it.

Most of us are safely reading these headlines, and our LiveJournals, while kids are lying face down in the dirt bleeding to death. And soldiers and civilians under each flag.

I guess I feel as powerless as Rachel did, as she was sliding under the army bulldozer that crushed her. Just before the US invaded Iraq. Never met her, but met all the rest of her family and had a great talk with her Mom --- the other reason I went to Evergreen.

I also guess I'm realizing that it doesn't matter really where I hang my hat on the map, the war will come to me, or to my heart. The fire this time.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
kala_ayule
Dec. 29th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
It's all very sad, but you've got to keep hope.
silverplate88
Dec. 29th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Of the two flashpoints in the world now [this one and Pakistan-India], this one touches me the more nearly. From here inside the International City of Peace and Justice, the Alaska wilderness seems to look better and better!
miafedup
Dec. 29th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Just horrid.

This is a powerful post.
silverplate88
Dec. 30th, 2008 11:14 am (UTC)
I think the reason it's really marked me --- beyond knowing friends persoanlly --- is that I lived in the middle of it for nineteen days, in and around Jerusalem Old City. You can *feel* the suspicion, the hatred, the fear. Across all ages. That had never happened to me anytime in my life before, ever. 24 / 7 fear. Hair triggers on the out-in-the-open weapons and on the concealed bombs.

Not exactly what the tourist office posters will tell you, eh?
(Deleted comment)
silverplate88
Dec. 30th, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)
The irony in all of this is that neither your basic Torah teaching nor your basic Qu'ran teaching says to go out and massacre each and every person who does not believe exactly as you do.

I think.
(Deleted comment)
silverplate88
Dec. 30th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
How true. Getting caught in their own agendas does not stop them at all.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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kiota too late for the stars
silverplate88
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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