Tuesday, 29 July 2014

I don't know what to say about Gaza

I don't know what to say about Gaza, writers should have words, but I have no words. I just want to scream with despair and rage and grief when I watch the news (I watch Channel 4 and Al Jazeera's coverage,  have given up on the BBC). I can't go on marches (though how effective marching is, any more, I don't know, though it demonstrates to Gazans that many in the world are aghast at their suffering). I already boycott Israeli produce in my own tiny way, I never buy fruit or vegetables that,  to my knowledge, are grown there. I have donated to this relief agency,  Medical Aid for Palestinians. And I've signed this open letter to David Cameron. But it all, to be honest, feels pointless, Israel goes on killing with impunity, it seems there is no line it can't cross. I feel powerless to help in any real way. I don't know how anyone in Gaza stays sane. I just don't know. The average age of the 1.8 million population is seventeen, approximately a quarter of a million are children under ten. Last night, one news bulletin showed a hospital ward with horribly injured children, and a forlorn paper lantern hung up for Eid celebrations. Such details of trying to have 'normality' in the face of terror and devastation break your heart.

Jon Snow's short film is well worth watching, his reflections on reporting live from there last week.


I have to look for meaning in other people's words, as I have lost my own words, I feel more numb and uncomprehending than ever. There is much to read. I recommend the following:

Giles Fraser, a priest in South London London: How can journalists be objective when writing about dead children?

Aaron Bady, a post-doc fellow who teaches African Literature at University of Texas: Texas Stands with Gaza.

Tariq Ali in the London Review of Books: Disgrace.

Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif's recent op-ed in the LA Times: Dead Palestinian Children in Gaza Tell Story of Impunity.

And Israeli journalist Gideon Levy in Haaretz:  It's All Hamas' fault, right, Israel?


Sabine said...

Oh I agree. This watching helplessly is dreadful. I work with two young postdocs from Palestina who told me today (which much despair and resignation) that this will go on until the US tells Israel that global opinion is turning against her. Which may be some time in the future.

Have you followed the LRB blog recently? Interesting analysis.

Also insightful are Paul Salopek's dispatches from his walk while in Palestina (West Bank).

nmj said...

Thanks for these links, Sabine, I will look them up. Such a horribly sad and hellish situation, just feels like watching a dystopian movie, hard to absorb it is actually happening and that no one seems able - or willing - to stop it.

carole said...

724It seems to go on and on unabaited, it's unbelievable that people can slaughter others in such a way. I too saw Jon Snow's powerful report. I also saw Hilary Clinton defending Israel on some U.S show. It is terrible how politics shred any sort of humanity from people.

I will check out the links Sabine has posted.