hessel leila shahid nurit peled elhanan

Nurit Peled-Elhanan
For the March to Gaza

The appeal to march today to Gaza while the pogrom is still being carried out by the thugs of the Israeli Occupation army has terrible echoes of another appeal that was sent out by the Jewish poet Bialik, into the air of the impassive world more than a hundred years ago after the Pogrom in Kishinev against the Jews:

“Arise and go now to the city of slaughter;
Into its courtyard wind your way;
There with your own hand touch, and with the eyes in your head,
Behold on tree, on stone, on fence, on mural clay,
The spattered blood and dried brains of the dead.”

Sixty years after Auschwitz the State of the Jews is confining people in ghettoes surrounded by walls and barbed wires, supervised by fully armed soldiers and their ferocious dogs, and is killing them with hunger, asphyxiation and disease.

And God is helpless. And the world is silent.

The blood of the children of Gaza is on all our hands, because it is our world that is impotent and indifferent, because are helpless and because we let Death have dominion over our lives. We let it turn the Holy Land into a Wasteland soaked with children’s blood.

Israeli leaders who worship nothing but Power and Death should know that no words will ever wash this blood off their hands, that nothing will ever exonerate them, that “Satan has not yet created Vengeance for the blood of a small child,” and therefore the children they have killed will forever hold them guilty of reckless murder. They should be reminded that after the death of a child there is no more life; that the child takes into her small grave, wrapped in her small bones, the legitimation of the war and its consequences.

In Gaza hundreds of children are already buried and hundreds are dying, and their muted voices are forever reminding us of the crime, of our powerlessness, and of the world’s surrender to the power of money, arms and megalomania.

It is time we pierce the high heavens with the poet’s cry:

Until when,
How much longer,
Until when?