A(nother) GAZA Poem… on the day after

A(nother) GAZA Poem… on the day after

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US (& England) vetoes UN resolution on Gaza which called for ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire

 8th December, 2023

“The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Friday morning New York time to discuss the catastrophic situation in Gaza. This follows Wednesday’s urgent letter by Secretary-General António Guterres – one of the most powerful tools at his disposal – urging the body to help end carnage in the war-battered enclave through a lasting humanitarian ceasefire. A resolution tabled late afternoon in the chamber calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire was vetoed by the United States.”

UN News

 

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the Observer State of Palestine, said it was “beyond regrettable” and “disastrous” that the Security Council was prevented from upholding its responsibilities – through a newly adopted resolution – in the face of the crisis.

 

“Millions of Palestinian lives hang in the balance, every single one of them is sacred and worth saving,” he said, adding that instead of allowing this Council to follow its mandate by finally making a clear call, after two months of massacres and atrocities,

 

“the war criminals are given more time to perpetrate their crimes.”

 

“How can this be justified? How can anyone justify the slaughter of an entire people?”, he said.

 

9 December – 2023

 

Here it was the morning of the storm

the month after 12,000 someone’s world

ended – (4,506 of them children!)

– in fire and fury;

the day after the World choked back

its heartbreak and rage…

 

it was a morning for storms

 

the crows took to the air

high over the football field,

the shipwrecked gulls tethered

their hunger nearby

and there was food here for

everyone (and water in floods)

…in Ballyogan.

 

It was the morning of the first storm.

Two months after Israel’s war on children started.

Two months of the dirty war and the savage war

(their cruel, cutting, catastrophic war)

…and now 8,000 children’s corpses later…

 

It was the morning of a storm

where the minutes turned into rockets and missiles

where the children were now all ghosts (like all our dead

dancing in the ruins of their dreams),

their grandmothers shot by snipers

sisters and brothers buried breathless in rubble and debris

and all the fathers beaten and naked and handcuffed

…in Israeli jails.

 

Oh, it was my sleepless morning of the storm

(this ferocious one in my head)!

i woke ashamed to be without wounds

in a world drowning in casualties,

bewildered by both arms and legs

beneath me

like sails now crossing a bloody sea,

an ocean of orphan’s corpses

blown here from far away.

 

It was the morning when the wind

rose higher almost than

the cries of pain.

 

It was the morning of the storm

and one lone gull took to the clouds

and even though it was a continent away

and a lifetime or two in the distance

and even if these numbers can’t fit in a box –

(“…According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, between 7 October and the afternoon of 11 December, 18,205 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, about 70 per cent of whom are reported to be women and children, and over 49,645 have reportedly been injured…”)

still they fall here

like broken bodies

from the mouths of

heartless politicians…

 

Now it will always be the morning of the storm.

Always a curse to have eyes and ears and a heart.

Always this catastrophe of lies and cruelty and killing.

 

Oh, It was the morning of the storm

the day after 18,000 someone’s world

collapsed

8,000 children blown away,

(and the women and the old men),

a single gull soared high

over the Ballyogan field

 

meanwhile these butchers

dressed as humans in

their bunkers

and bloodbaths

and bullshit

try to teach us

 

how killing is our duty

and the lies

 

are just like

good looking

whores

 

who we sleep with

silently

each birdless night

 

in the dark

of our

terrors

 

…fearful

of the morning.

 

séamas carraher

9 – 14 december, 2023

 

 

IMAGES From Nasr Hospital in Khan Yunis? (“as an Israeli offensive in the area intensified”)

RTE, 6-1 News (fair-use)

 

Other Images (Online)

Khan Younis hospital stretched by influx of patients as Israel bombs Gaza

Al Jazeera, Images from Khan Younis Hospital, December 4, 2023

 

Video

Merry Christmas (to the World)

From Ramallah Friends School to the world, we share our version  of the timeless “ Little Drummer Boy.” Our hearts come together in prayer for the safety of the children in Gaza. May our shared prayers echo for peace and justice, weaving a tapestry of hope that goes beyond borders, embracing the shared humanity we all hold dear

RFS SONG TO THE WORLD

 

NOTES (& Context)

“Mr Guterres had convened an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after two months of fighting that have left more than 17,700 people dead in Gaza, most of them women and children… The secretary-general deployed the rarely-used Article 99 of the United Nations Charter to bring to the council’s attention “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”.

 

The vote took place, with 13 members of the Security Council in favour. The US voted AGAINST,  Robert Wood using the US’s veto to prevent the urgent resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza – with the UK abstaining.

 

Owing to the US veto, the resolution was not therefore adopted.”

(RTE, 9 December, 2023)

 

Some responses

UK – Barbara Woodward, (UN) Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom

 

“Explaining the UK’s abstention from the draft resolution, Ambassador Barbara Woodward  said her country could not vote in favour of a resolution that fails to condemn the atrocities Hamas committed on innocent Israeli civilians on 7 October.

 

Calling for a ceasefire ignores the fact that Hamas has committed acts of terror and is still holding civilians hostage,” she said, noting that Israel needs to be able to address the threat posed by Hamas and it needs to do so in a manner that abides by international humanitarian law.

 

She reiterated the importance of working meaningfully towards a two-State solution “which delivers statehood for the Palestinians, security for Israel and peace for people on both sides.”

UN News, 8, December 2023

 

France – Permanent Representative Nicolas de Rivière

 

No contradiction’ in fighting terror and protecting civilians:

It is for this reason that France voted in favour of this resolution and it is for that reason that we plead for an immediate and lasting humanitarian truce”, he added.

 

Unfortunately once again, this Council has failed. With a lack of unity and by refusing to genuinely commit to negotiations in doing this, the crisis in Gaza is getting worse and it runs the risk of extending,” he said.

 

US – Deputy Permanent Representative Robert A. Wood

 

Resolution ‘divorced from reality’:  “Unfortunately, nearly all of our recommendations were ignored” leading to an “imbalanced resolution that was divorced from reality that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way. And so, we regretfully could not support it.”

 

…He said he had explained earlier in the day why an unconditional ceasefire would simply be “dangerous and leave Hamas in place, able to attack again.

 

It was “a recipe for disaster for Israel, for Palestinians and for the entire region”. …Any ceasefire leaving Hamas in control would also deny Palestinians the chance to build something better for themselves, said Deputy Permanent Representative Robert A. Wood

 

Postscript: Netanyahu thanks US for ammunition, UNSC veto

 

Israeli PM Netanyahu has thanked the US president for providing Israel with “important ammunition” for the continuation of the war in Gaza.

 

At the beginning of a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, he thanked Biden for the military aid and the US veto of the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire.

 

Israel’s military is bolstered by more than $3.8bn of military aid a year from the US, thanks to a record $38bn deal over 10 years signed under former US President Barack Obama in 2016.

 

Of the $3.8bn provided this year, $0.5bn has been for Israel’s missile defences.”

Al Jazeera, 10 December, 2023

 

SOME Figures

“Since a one-week truce collapsed on Dec. 1, casualty updates that had generally been issued daily have become irregular. The last update from Gaza’s health ministry came on Friday from spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra, raising the death toll to 17,487.”

 Reuters – December 9, 2023

 

UNRWA Situation Report #50 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

https://www.unrwa.org/resources/reports/unrwa-situation-report-50-situation-gaza-strip-and-west-bank-including-east-Jerusalem

 

According to the Gazan health authorities, about 18,000 people have now been killed in Gaza since the fighting began; about 70 per cent are said to be women and children; and more than 49,000 people are reportedly injured.

UN News, 11 December, 2023

 

“War” Updates

About 18,000 Palestinians have been killed and 49,500 wounded in Israeli attacks since October 7, including 297 in the past 24 hours.

Al Jazeera – Live Updates, 11 December 2023

 

POSTSCRIPT – 12 December

“On The 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in war-torn Gaza.

 

Tuesday’s resolution passed with 153 countries voting in favour, 23 abstaining and 10 countries voting against, including Israel and the United States. While the resolution is non-binding, it serves as an indicator of global opinion.”

 

Al Jazeera, UN General Assembly Vote, December 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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