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Archive for the ‘Israeli Offense Forces’ Category

From my other blog, because once my DISability was established as an acceptable target and my (and yes, and yet she persisted) persistence held against me, the abuse didn’t stop. Once a target, you’ll be blamed for the abuse: the classic “She asked for it.”

Resurrecting Assassinated Characters
https://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/resurrecting-assassinated-characters/

And this important article by a young Palestinian activist, because the attacks on me are not personal. It’s part of an over all pattern, because if they can target you personally, they don’t have to actually address the issues you’re raising.

Character Assassination as a Tool to Silence a Palestinian Woman
https://medium.com/@MalakaMohammed/character-assassination-as-a-tool-to-silence-a-palestinian-woman-8a8da38740b6#.2cavbkh3x

And a reminder that women are often the targets of cyber abuse:

Dangerous Neighborhoods: Cyber abuse, harassment and threats: Women online.
https://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/dangerous-neighborhoods-cyber-abuse-harassment-and-threats-women-online/

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As published in Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation

By Emma Rosenthal

I:  Year: 1969

Good Germans,” my father muttered as we walked from door to door petition in hand, collecting signatures, working for an end to the war in Vietnam.  Some yelled at us to “go back to Russia!” Others politely said they didn’t want to make waves, cause a problem.

“What do you mean Daddy, how do you know they are German?” I asked, only ten years old, not yet having learned the nuance of ethnicity (these matters must be taught.)

“They aren’t German, Em.”

“Why did you say they were Good Germans?”

“They,” my father explained, “are like the Germans who weren’t Nazis. They did not profit from slave labor, did not serve in the army, were just silent.  Good Germans did not attract the attention of the authorities, pretended not to know, did not worry about the smoke, the stench. Saw Jewish girls, outside the camp, singing on their way to  factory.

“Sieh da! Die Jüdinnen  sind froh.”

(“See! They are happy.”) They whispered.

Years later, claiming: “We had no idea.”

Good Germans;” Jew to Jew, this is not a compliment.

II: Year: 1977

I sit in a hotel lobby in Berlin waiting for my sister to come down from the room.  A day of walking, shopping, museums, the insipid kindness of strangers giving me directions.

Peaceful, calm. Bach, not Wagner playing over the lobby hush, a place for guests, tourists, businessmen. Niceties like a tourniquet around my neck. Every man in the lobby, my father’s age and German.

And I am surrounded.

Some hid Jews, falsified documents, killed one so hundreds could go free; unlikely, but perhaps one of these men was righteous.

In 1977 safety, I am caught in the possibility that perhaps, suddenly, I might find myself in 1942, surrounded.  My Polish skin not sufficiently hiding my history.  My foreign features betraying my identity, ancestry, difference.

The quiet peace of the hotel lobby covers the bones upon which we walk: The lives evaporated, bodies cooked to dust, skin stretched into lampshades, hair woven into rugs, ashes into the soap the Good Germans bathed in to wash away the stench, the soot that coated their nostrils, their skin, their cities, as they breathed in the dead cells of Jews they didn’t know.  The Jewish girls, dancing between the camps and the factory just relieved to be outside for the day.

“See, they are happy.”

III: Year 2000

Intifada! Uprising!

Intifada! Uprising!

Who are the Good Germans now?

Israeli generals admit to studying Nazi strategy against the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the tactics  to bring down the ghetto of Jewish insurrectionists fighting to the death; the suicide missions of desperation by those who had nothing left to lose, holding back the Nazis longer than all of Poland.

I hear of Israeli soldiers marking numbers on the arms of Palestinian prisoners

rounding up all the men

torture

targeting children

house arrest

refugee camps

checkpoints

collective punishment

house demolitions

ex-judicial executions

high officials calling the people “vermin”

“a cancer

not enough chemotherapy”

“transfer”

(the final solution).

And the silence, the complicity.

I have met these people, all of them; the Good Germans and the generals, the soldiers who just want to get through the tour alive so they can get a job when they get out.  The Palestinian families who want to send the children off to school, pick the olives, turn the key in the door to the house that no longer stands in the village that no longer exists beyond the rubble covered in the pine trees planted by collections taken in Diaspora synagogues: the forestation of the desert. The hope of Europe’s refugees: the invisible destruction of a homeland.

This strange apartheid: the mythical connection to a land but not the people.

The imposition of dominion behind the veil of blood and myth.

Oppressed turned oppressor, consciousness obscured by this twist of history, this betrayal of memory, this strange apartheid, fought on the backs of children and the bellies of women.  An intricate labyrinth of  false distinctions,  of exclusive roads, checkpoints and confiscations.

Hidden by tanks, barricades, checkpoints and armor, we think we are different.

Guns poised, sights set on the image,

We look in the mirror: the distorted likeness.

Or are we the image shooting the reflection?

This is no ancient mythic battle.

No walls of Jerico.

No Midianite virgins

No skin of wine nor loaf of bread.

Just perhaps the two sons, Isaac and Ishmael sacrificed by the father, reunited upon his death

And the women, Sarah and Hagar, pitched  in voiceless struggle,  breast against breast

For land, bread, water and wombs.

Parched throats seek a hidden well. Tired hands plow a field from bitter dirt.  Oranges and olives provide a defiant harvest .

And I know this is not my home

and

it is not my war

and

if it were my war

I could not fight!

The land is not for sale or plunder.  Nothing can be gained from hegemony.  In this betrayal of our history, killing them is killing me.

We have broken the mirror of our own souls and we have broken it upon their backs.

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With 70 people reported injured in the attack on the flotilla, surely some of them will acquire permanent dis-abilities. will they be part of an inclusive movement, or will they be sidelined for the consequences of their bravery and sacrifice?Too often, activists with dis-abilities, are discarded or dismissed within the movement, EVEN when their dis-abilities were the result of their courage and resistance to repression.

Dis-ability rights, isn’t a separate issue. No community is fully organized, if members of that community are excluded. We are everyone. We are everywhere. We aren’t cute stories to provide inspiration, or freak show entertainment. We are YOU!

Who do we exclude when we fail to include?

For guidelines for full inclusion: (cut and paste link if it doesn’t work!)

http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/guide-to-accessible%20event-planning/

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Facebook Status Montage

 
Facebook provides an amazing network of activists, writers, photographers, artists.  Here are commentaries by some of my facebook (and in some cases, real life) friends, allies, comrades. 

Majed Abusalama “All Gaza people are praying in solidarity with our friends in the flotilla , Gaza is so angry now , Mosques is calling all the people to make protests in the streets , the streets are full of people ! A new Intifada in Gaza will start! My beloved Gazan people are so angry ! we are with all our friends in the Peaceful boats ! Let us act now” Gaza, Occupied Palestine

 

Tamara Joy Rettino “Before sleep, two thoughts: 1. The Israeli army attacked and killed 16 civilians bringing humanitarian aid to blockaded Gaza. This is an atrocity. 2. BUT this is simply a symptom of Israel’s systemic violence. The vast majority of men, women, and children injured and killed and occupied by the Israeli Army are unarmed civilians.” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Don Emmerich ” Since the Gaza Massacre, public opinion has been turning against Israel. Now Israel continues damning itself. Now is the time for us to remain calm and reasonable. Yes, anger is okay, but we must calmly and reasonably expose the truth. Don’t give the media the chance to slander us and our cause.”  -Denver, Colorado, Occupied Amerika

 

Jay Cassano “Israel afraid of Palestinians receiving cement, wheelchairs, and water purifiers. For shame.” Amherst, Massachusetts, Occupied Amerika

 

Elise Hendrick “For anyone still confused: Piracy is what the Israeli Navy is in the process of doing right now, not what Somali fishermen are doing to protect their territorial waters.”  Cincinnati, Ohio, Occupied Amerika

 

Emily Jacir “thinks its sheer insanity that EU nations are issuing statements that they are “shocked” about the Israeli massacre of unarmed peace activists in international waters. Really? You are shocked that Israel would do this? Where have you been the last 62 years? oh thats right quietly supporting Israel and turning a blind eye to a sea of massacres.”   Ramallah, Occupied Palestine

 

Sasha Crow “There is appropriate outrage today of its murders of internationals on the Gaza aid flotilla but the state of Israel has been murderers since its inception. Our outrage should be constant and relentless against its ongoing murders – not only of internationals but also of its taking of equally valuable Palestinian lives.” Amman, Jordan

 

Ali Abunimah “States failed to act so a people’s navy was formed, carrying no weapons & much love, to run an unjust blockade.”  Chicago, Il, Occupied Amerika

 

Ben White “globalise the intifada”

 

Nada Elia “You do NOT have the right to remain silent, and still claim that you have a modicum of decency.” Seattle, WA, Occupied Amerika

 

Tom Vee “When you open fire on a ship and drop heavily armed masked men from the sky in the middle of the night you forfeit any “self-defense” claim.” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Ben White “i hope congress boosts its aid to Israel next year to combat the threat of bagged marbles”

 

Anne Key “How many BBC reporters does it take to fix a liebulb?”  Cumbria, England.

 

Dina Odetalla “Release the names of our dead friends”

 

Jehanzeb Dar “Attacking Gaza aid boats, advancing the war in Afghanistan, and ordering drone strikes on Pakistan all kill innocent civilians and are deserving of equal and bold international condemnation.” Langhorne, PA, Occupied Amerika

 

Emman Chehade Randazo “Mark our words Israel, we will never let you forget the carnage you have caused over the past 62 years. If not in our lifetime, then our children and their children will carry the torch and we will never forget, we will build museums, make documentaries, shout our hellacious experiences from the rooftops, and you will be spit on by history as the garbage superficial morally lacking thieving entity you are.” Chicago, IL, Occupied Amerika

 

Hussam Ayloush “While this new massacre is not the first in Israel’s history and possibly not going to be the last, it still indicates a growing Israeli arrogance, carelessness, and disregard for the world’s reaction or to the sanctity of the lives of those who disagree with its policies.”  Anaheim, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Sylvia Posadas “after the F35s – I think Turkey has at a least a signed contract, the US keeps delaying the signing of Israel’s toys guarantee.  Turkey could stop Israel’s water contract, rip up the drone contract, tell elbit and iai to take a hike. Yet, then Turkey would have to face the US. Still, the US needs Turkey in NATO – without Turkey’s boots on the ground, the US presence in Afghanistan would be through. The EU, where the richest US $ investments are, needs Turkey as a transit for energy.

Turkey can wait, keeping a low profile, working on its regional trade alliances and patching up all wounds till the empire falls a little more, dragged down by its zionist accomplice.” Noosa, Queensland, Occupied Australia

 

Human Rights Watch “A prompt, credible, and impartial investigation is absolutely essential to determine whether the lethal force used by Israeli commandos was necessary to protect lives and whether it could have been avoided. Given Israel’s poor track record of investigating unlawful killings by its armed forces, the international community should closely monitor any inquiry to ensure it meets basic international standards and that any wrongdoers are brought to justice”

 

Tamara Joy Ruttino “Israel is STILL refusing to release the names and bodies and whereabouts of the dead, injured, and prisoners from the Free Gaza Flotilla. They have forced an information blackout, and who knows what they are doing to our people…I am OUTRAGED at Israel’s flagrant violation of international law and lack of basic common decency. Guess what Israel? THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING. “  Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Donna K.Khorsheed “ MV Rachel Corrie set sail Monday from Malta with goal of breaking Israel’s blockade of Gaza ~ Our hearts are with you ~”  San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Steve Cooke “supports the right of people on aid convoy ships to defend themselves from state pirates.” Stockton-on Tees, England

 

Dirk Adrieansens “Following Israel’s criminal raid in international waters on May 31st, the Rachel Corrie MV continues to sail towards the Gaza coastline in defiance of Israeli threats.

In an act of tremendous courage, the Rachel Corrie MV is determined to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. A lot of my friends are on board that ship, like Denis Halliday, Matthias Chang and his brother and other Malaysian friends. Go, friends, go !”

 

Emily Jacir “Oh! And lets not forget the 24 hour media blackout and refusal to allow any media access to the civilians they attacked and imprisoned or the ships in order to give Israel a 24 hour PR advantage.” Ramallah, Occupied Palestine

 

Cindy Sheehan “ Many Jews and people of Jewish heritage or descent do not support what the State of Israel does. Just like many of us “Americans” do not support what our State does. Anger at Israel should not evolve into hatred of Jews. Many of my friends are peace loving Jews (Muslims, Christians, Pagans, Atheists, etc).” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Zahra Billoo “just overhead bystanders discussing that they observed more Jews on the Gaza solidarity side than the Israeli side of the SF rally.” San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Greta Berlin “Israel’s ‘military video’ had no time code in the upper right had corner when the ‘alleged’ attack from passenger occurred. However, the time code is clearly there at the beginning of the action when it’s just a shot from the helicopter.”  Paris, France

 

Miko Peled “Activists aboard the boat fought courageously as they were attacked by armed Israel pirates. The Israeli pirates, trained assassins or “commandos” – cowards to the very end opened fire.” San Diego, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Tamara Joy Rettino “Love is the color of action. So make us an army of lovers…irrational optimists, forever blind to the possibility that we cannot win. Let us find purification in the rites of fighting and fucking. Uniforms of blushing flesh, sacrificial devotees of desire. You can beat us, gas us, jail us, but our love is immutable. We are crazy with love. And we will be victorious, because even in death, love makes us strong…” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Mary Hughes Thompson “Sweet Rana and Lara, I will need to knit two more hats. I hope the Israeli pirates are able to make good use of the ones they stole.” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Colleen M. Keyes “WE MUST ENCOURAGE EVERY COUNTRY TO SEND AID TO PALESTINE–AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE WEST BANK AND EAST JERUSALEM WHERE DAILY ISRAEL CONFISCATES PALESTINIAN LAND, EVICTS PEOPLE FROM THEIR ANCESTRAL HOMES, DEMOLISHES HOMES, ATTACKS PEACEFUL ACTIVISTS.” Middletown, CT, Occupied Amerika

 

Tali Shapiro “will be supporting the arrested flotilla survivors at the Be’er Sheva prison, at 18:00, this afternoon.” Jerusalem Al Quds, Occupied Palestine

 

Jenny Grossbard “ here’s an independent investigation of the flotilla massacre: israel fired the first shot. in 1948. case closed” New York, NY, Occupied Amerika

.

Donna K. Khorsheed  “After all this… Nothing will change… The US will stand by Israel and they will continue to do what they are doing… and worse. The only hope we have is knowing there are so many people in the world that support our cause and believe in justice. We mourn the peace activists that were killed. Good people that were only coming to give humanitarian aid… It’s a sad world…” San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Leah Bolger “VFP condemns the Israeli attack and calls for an immediate cessation of mililtary aid to Israel”   San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Marcy Winograd “(running for Congress, CA36):  As a Jewish woman of conscience, I invite my opponent, Jane Harman, another Jewish woman, and all of Congress to join me in denouncing this kind of barbaric violence, demanding an end to the blockade and seeking an international investigation into these murders. I recommit myself to working towards a true, just and lasting peace.

(Quote does not constitute an endorsement of one candidate or another. As a non-profit entity, Cafe Intifada is barred from endorsement of candidates.)

 

Norman Finkelstein “ Israel is not violating US doctrine. Israel is implementing it.” Chicago, IL, Occupied Amerika

 

Muhammad Alsyed “7 month-old infant died in Gaza today – unable to reach medical treatment.”  Napier, New Zealand 

 

Fatima Mojaddidy “Between the BP oil spill and Israeli massacre of the humanitarian activists on the freedom floatilla, if we don’t wake up and see what’s wrong with this world and fix it NOW, then we are a worthless, stupid, self destructive species that will be our own demise!! These two incidents are MAJORLY eye-opening, DO SOMETHING!!!!” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Garrick Ruiz “History is moving very fast around us. We can choose to watch it unfold or we can jump in and let the rulers know that they don’t create history. We do. All of us together. Get involved and lets create the beautiful world we all know is possible. From Gaza and the Mediterranean to Arizona and Los Angeles the resistance is growing! Palestine will be free! And so will we! Love and Rage!” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Donna K.Khorsheed “The truth is coming out… and there is nothing the filthy zionists can do to cover up the massacre they have committed… yet again… The world better wake up and put an end to this.The international community must step up with or without the US… Don’t kid yourselves… This will go on forever if it is left up to them!” San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Cindy Sheehan “ The US gives Israel about 10 million dolars a day in military and other aid. That’s like an insane, pyschopathic older brother arming his even insaner and more psycopathic younger brother. When is someone going to sanction the US?” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

S Brian Willson “As a typical religious, all-American type kid growing up in rural USA, I thanked “God” for special benefit of being born in “America,” the greatest country on earth endowed by God to bring salvation to the heathen & prosperity to the poor. Such myth. Now, I ask the Great Spirit for strength to resist & separate myself from the most dangerous, diabolical force on the planet – that same USA. Epistemological shift!”

Majed Abusalama “ Good Night after a lot of work for my beloved people , I loved the solidarity events which going on everyday in Gaza to show the flotilla activists that we are supporting them and waiting for them again to Break Gaza Blockade!”   Gaza, Occupied Palestine

Cindy Sheehan “The State of Israel and its Zionist supporters always say that Israel is “acting in self-defense,” but the US and Israel NEVER extend that right to the people they occupy and systematically exterminate.” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

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and one demo, against racist Aryanzona!!!

Busy day L.A.!!!!

Come join BDS LA for Justice in Palestine and others today, Monday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the Israel Consulate at 6380 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90048-5071 to protest Israel’s unlawful attack on unarmed civilians and to call for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza. There will also be a second rally at 4:30 p.m. at the same location (organized by Al Awda).

also,

Date:Monday, May 31, 2010Time: 4:00pm – 7:00pmLocation: Dodgers Stadium. Sunset and Elysian Park (Under the “This Is My Town” Billboards)Street: Sunset Blvd. and Elysian Park AveCity/Town: Los Angeles, CA

same struggle same fight!

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The newly released book, Shifting Sands, Jewish American Women Confront the Occupation, edited by Osie Adelfang, with forwards by Amira Hass and Cindy Sheehan, and contributions from Cafe Intifada’s Emma Rosenthal as well as: Hanna Mermelstein,  Tomi Laine Clark, Starhawk, Alice Rothchild, Hedy Epstein,  Sandra Butler, Kim Goldberg, Maia Ettinger, Anna Baltzar, Linda Dittmar and Susan Greene, isnow available from Cafe Intifada.

Available from Cafe Intifada, by appointment, or at tabled events.  or by mail order.

Print the order form: https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/cafe-intifada-shoppe-available-now-shifting-sands-jewish-american-women-confront-the-israeli-occupation/

For booksellers interested in purchasing bulk orders, contact the publisher at Whole World Press: http://www.wholeworldpress.org/WholeWorldPress/Bulk_Orders.html

To arrange for book signing with some of the contributors or to arrange purchase, contact Andy Griggs at 310-704-3217 or cafeintifada@earthlink.net

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here is a wonderful article by friend, activist and writer sam bahour on the jewish holiday of passover and the current oppression of palestinians in historic palestine.

in this spirit, we’ve made a few changes on our seder plate over the years– 1. an orange, usually a blood orange, because it is said that many years ago (about 40) in the occupied lands of florida, a father leading the seder, yelled at his daughter for suggesting that a woman could become a rabbi. “A WOMEN HAS NO MORE PLACE ON THE BIMAH (alter) THAN AN ORANGE HAS ON A SEDER PLATE!” he reportedly admonished her.

and

2. palestinian olive oil, to recognize the oppression against the palestinian people under israeli settler colonialism and u.s. imperialism.

i understand that the karpas and the egg both are also symbols of spring and fertility.

at the end of the seder it is traditional to say “next year in jerusalem.”

we say “next year a free jerusalem.”

we will include sam’s article in our seder.

_______________________________________________

Happy Passover from Gaza

By Sam Bahour, ePalestine – 28 March 2010

http://epalestine.blogspot.com/

In 2010, Jews in Israel and around the world will celebrate Passover beginning on March 30th. Passover is the seven-day holiday of the Feast of Unleavened Breadcommemorating the ancient Hebrews’ escape from enslavement in Egypt. (In Israel, March 30th is also Land Day: the day when Palestinians commemorate and protest the confiscation of their lands by the Israeli government; but that’s another story.)

As I’m learning, the Passover holiday begins with the Seder, a traditional ceremonial meal. Its centerpiece is a special Seder plate containing six symbolic foods. Each has its own significance in the retelling of the story of the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt. The stack of three matzos, or unleavened bread, a kind of cracker made of plain white flour and water, has its own separate plate on the Seder table.

For each of the six traditional items on the Seder plate (as per Wikipedia and the Chabad website) –listed here by its Hebrew name–I note its traditional symbolic role and offer an additional, alternative interpretation. I hope my alternative can help Jews around the world, and especially in Israel, connect with a broader perspective on the meaning of Passover right here, right now, in the land that became the eventual endpoint of that ancient exodus.

Maror and Chazeret – Bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Egypt. Slavery: severe curtailment of one’s freedom. Today, one and a half million Palestinians in Gaza are tasting the bitterness of unfreedom, hermetically sealed in their encircled enclave with no end in sight. Sixty percent are under the age of 16. The Jewish citizens of Israel have hardened their hearts to this reality and they have expected the rest of the world’s Jews to do likewise. For how long will you wait for Palestinians to vanish?

Charoset – A coarse mixture of chopped nuts, apples or dates, and wine, meant to symbolize the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt. Today, Israel permits no mortar, or cement, or any other building materials, to enter Gaza. Let them sleep in tents! This, after last winter’s assault on Gaza, internationally documented war crimes (and possibly crimes against humanity), causing over 1,400 deaths in 22 days between December 2008 and January 2009- leaving scores homeless in the rubble. Is this the freedom Moses envisioned? The freedom to attack civilians with the tanks, planes and warships of the “Jewish” State? Doesn’t sound very Jewish to me. Not at all.

Karpas – A vegetable other than bitter herbs, dipped into salt water (which represents tears) to recall the pain felt by the Jewish slaves in Egypt. Tears! Pain! In your name, my Jewish friends, Israel continues its inhuman siege on Gaza. The folks there shed tears as salty as anyone’s; their pain is beyond description. Two of every three of today’s Gaza residents originally lost their homes in what is now Israel when the state was established. Six decades later, they find themselves living a nightmare, a kind of living death: their economy in ruins, their neighborhoods in ruins, their educational and health systems in ruins, even their sanitation systems in ruins. Israel refuses to allow reconstruction. What comes after stripping Gazans from their last remaining sense of sanity?

Z’roa – A roasted lamb shankbone (or a chicken wing, or chicken neck) symbolizes the paschal sacrifice offered originally on the eve of the exodus and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Sacrifice! Do you insist on sacrificing the possibility of a sustainable future for modern Israel in the name of its founding myth – since discredited – that Palestine was “a land without people, for a people without a land“? A million of today’s Gazans are from the families that Israel expelled. Gazans have remained steadfast under conditions even the early Hebrews might have found intolerable in Egypt. Gazans, together with all Palestinians, are the people that Jews in Israel are destined to live with, today, tomorrow, and forever. The only uncertainty is how much more hate will be generated by military occupation and armed assault before a process of shared rehabilitation can begin.

Beitzah – A hard-boiled egg, symbolizing the main festival sacrifice that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night. The egg is a symbol of mourning. Eggs are the first thing served to mourners after a Jewish funeral. The egg on the Seder plate evokes the mourning over the destruction of the Temple and the subsequent inability to offer sacrifices there in honor of the Pesach holiday. Mourning! As Jews, you know a lot about mourning; consider the sixty-two years of mourning, consider every day of every one of those years, among the people–real people, with real names and real children–in Gaza and in squalid refugee camps all around Israel who can see their homeland with the naked eye, but are denied their basic human right of returning home. Sixty-two Passovers and counting. All I ask of you on this year’s holy day, as you contemplate the egg on the Seder plate, is to remember them, no more.

My Jewish sisters and brothers, you can continue to look away as Israel claims to speak and to act in your name. It kills and maims in your name. It dispossesses and occupies in your name. It talks peace and wages war in your name. If you turn a deaf ear to their mourning again this year, if you harden your heart again this year, if your voice is not raised this year in protest – then you are acquiescing in the ongoing ethnic cleansing of another people, in your name. If you cannot see Palestinians as fully human now, you will hear them trying to give voice to their humanity in your nightmares, year after year, until you can see and until you can hear.

It is written in the Talmud: We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. I urge you, while you commemorate the Hebrews’ ancient slavery and deliverance, to see yourselves finally as equals in this world: equal with your neighbors, neither their masters nor their slaves. I urge you to see yourself and your children in the image of every Palestinian mother, father and child in Gaza. Let this year be the year of your shared redemption!

Free Gaza now! End the occupation now! Happy Passover from Gaza!

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American living under Israeli occupation. He may be reached at sbahour@palnet.com and blogs at www.epalestine.com.

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