War is NOT a Word

War is NOT a Word

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Warsaw Ghetto (1943)

 “Everywhere there is the silence of the graveyard.”

Chaim Kaplan, The Warsaw Diary of Chaim A. Kaplan (p. 383, 390)

 

Gaza (2023)

“As a human rights lawyer with more than three decades of experience in the field, I know well that the concept of genocide has often been subject to political abuse. But the current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt or debate. In Gaza, civilian homes, schools, churches, mosques, and medical institutions are wantonly attacked as thousands of civilians are massacred. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, homes are seized and reassigned based entirely on race, and violent settler pogroms are accompanied by Israeli military units. Across the land, Apartheid rules. This is a text-book case of genocide.”

Craig Mokhiber  (international human rights lawyer who served as director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) – Resignation letter 28 October 2023

Democracy Now – Interview

 

Warsaw Ghetto (9 October 1942): In the desolate ghetto one hears each night the howling of the last dog – a hoarse, choked bark. This orphaned cry of the last dog sends shivers down one’s spine. While, at night, a man tosses in his sleep, the dog’s cry echoes like the howl of a thousand desolations. The cry of an orphaned dog against the backdrop of an abandoned city. And what is even more terrifying? When the dog stops wailing for a moment, the ceaseless train whistles can be heard and they are no less intimidating. These are not trains bearing greetings from faraway, from the freedom of the open fields; they come, rather, from the fields of murder, from the slaughterhouse. The trains seem to howl their loneliness, even as the last dog in the ghetto is howling his.Peretz Opoczynski

The Last Months in the Warsaw Ghetto

 

Gaza (2023)

“…Israeli journalist Amir … who for 30 years has been reporting from the West Bank and Amir said in the aftermath of the October 7th events and I’m going to quote from her article now in a few days she wrote Israelis went through what Palestinians have experienced as a matter of routine for decades and are still experiencing: military incursions, death, cruelty, slain children, bodies piled up on the road, siege, fear, anxiety over loved ones captivity and searing humiliation; and so history did not begin on October the 7th and nothing I’m going to say here today or ever say will justify what happened on October 7th because that’s not justifiable and I don’t know anybody who says that it is, at the same time if our intention is to move forward to create some basis for peace we have to be able to understand the experience of the other and the experience of the other for the last 80 years and this is simply historical fact has been mass killings, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed, thousands of children have been killed, this is going back to 1947 ‘48 …” Gabor Mate interview

Gabor Mate – Interview – October 28, 2023

 

War is NOT a Word

 

When the smoke with its glass-sharpened-shock, when the knifelike debris,  the cruel-crushing rubble, when even the fear-freezing-fog of fire itself

clears the street with its legs now amputated, in a city with its hands

and arms all scattered like corpses to the wind and

the wreckage and the foreign

TV screens…

 

when the loudspeakers and the lawless leaflets screamed “MOVE SOUTH” and all the hospitals had just died, i imagine one last, sad, neglected,

tramp-like wretch… head bent under the weight of this cruel war

leaving the despair and the desolation and the dead

in a muted-silenced howl of mouth-choking

voiceless rage…

 

no one knows this stranger (nor cares), until the citizens-up-north opened their mouths to laugh, to lie, to drink coffee and wine, to boast

of their deeds, their wealth, their money, their power,

their tormented history, their own dead left lying

in the kibbutzim or burnt in the ovens, their

need for revenge, for hatred, for fear…

 

only to realise all that came out was a grunt, a groan, a greedy guttural gasp from their once well-armed, furious and ferocious throats.

 

You see that bent old tramp leaving the city,

the ghetto,

this merciless

massacre,

leaving the city’s deadly destruction,

the countless dying children,

leaving even its armed-and-savage sea (now sunk in dark sorrow),

soon to leave all places poisoned by these human killers and predators…

 

this last-surviving still-sane, almost-human wretch

was Language –  שפה – لغة – (likewise, once, but no longer,

stolen from the  privilege of the gods)

 

now worn and weary and hopeless after years of being bound and beaten and broken by the blindness of the politicians, the scheming of ministers and press secretaries, the bewilderment of lies, the greedy grasping

verbs of presidents and generals

 

these deluded dumb acrobats and murderers – in their war-weary,

mean and pitiless, desperate, cruel, relentless, merciless,

blood-thirsty, brutal and barbaric-bloody circuses

 

so only the Silence left

 

is left now

to

curse

them

all.

 

séamas carraher

27 october 2023 – 8 november 2023

 

***

NOTES AND REFERENCES

Image (Cover)

 “Palestinian girl surviving an Israeli airstrike targeting her house in Gaza Strip wonders where her family are…” Times of Gaza, November 6, 2023 (screenshot-fair-use)

https://twitter.com/Timesofgaza/status/1721573750716416425

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-Jx__qTw_8

 

The Dead (November 13)

“As of 13 November, over 12,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict on 7 October including 40 journalists.

More than 1,200 Israelis and foreigners were killed, mostly in communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

Over 11,240 Palestinians (majority women and children) in the strip were killed according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

A further 178 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank by Israel military and settlers.

Casualties have also occurred in other parts of Israel, southern Lebanon, and Syria.”

Casualties of the 2023 war (Wikipedia)

 

The Dead  (as of November 13)

“The figures have been reported by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Palestine Red Crescent Society and Israeli Medical Services.”

 

Gaza

Killed: At least 11,240

Including at least:

4,630 children

            3,130 women

Injured: At least 27,490

Including at least:

8,663 children

 

Occupied West Bank

Killed: At least 183

Including 44 children and one woman

Injured: More than 2,400

 

Israel

Killed: At least 1,200

Injured: At least 5,600

Al Jazeera



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