International solidarity

Subcommandante Marcos on Gaza: ‘(…) Again, pardon our ignorance, maybe what we’re saying is beside the point. And instead of condemning the ongoing crime, being the indigenous and warriors that we are, we should be discussing and taking a position in the discussion about if it’s “zionism” or “antisemitism,” or if Hamas’ bombs started it. Maybe our thinking is very simple, and we’re lacking the nuances and annotations that are always so necessary in analyses, but to the Zapatistas it looks like there’s a professional army murdering a defenseless population. Who from below and to the left can remain silent?

Is it useful to say something? Do our cries stop even one bomb? Does our word save the life of even one Palestinian? We think that yes, it is useful. Maybe we don’t stop a bomb and our word won’t turn into an armored shield so that that 5.56 mm or 9 mm caliber bullet with the letters “IMI” or “Israeli Military Industry” etched into the base of the cartridge won’t hit the chest of a girl or boy, but perhaps our word can manage to join forces with others in Mexico and the world and perhaps first it’s heard as a murmur, then out loud, and then a scream that they hear in Gaza. We don’t know about you, but we Zapatistas from the EZLN, we know how important it is, in the middle of destruction and death, to hear some words of encouragement. I don’t know how to explain it, but it turns out that yes, words from afar might not stop a bomb, but it’s as if a crack were opened in the black room of death and a tiny ray of light slips in.

As for everything else, what will happen will happen. The Israeli government will declare that it dealt a severe blow to terrorism, it will hide the magnitude of the massacre from its people, the large weapons manufacturers will have obtained economic support to face the crisis, and “the global public opinion,” that malleable entity that is always in fashion, will turn away.

But that’s not all. The Palestinian people will also resist and survive and continue struggling and will continue to have sympathy from below for their cause. And perhaps a boy or girl from Gaza will survive, too. Perhaps they’ll grow, and with them, their nerve, indignation, and rage. Perhaps they’ll become soldiers or militiamen for one of the groups that struggle in Palestine. Perhaps they’ll find themselves in combat with Israel. Perhaps they’ll do it firing a gun. Perhaps sacrificing themselves with a belt of dynamite around their waists.And then, from up there above, they will write about the Palestinians’ violent nature and they’ll make declarations condemning that violence and they’ll get back to discussing if it’s zionism or anti-semitism. And no one will ask who planted that which is being harvested. For the men, women, children, and elderly of the Zapatista National Liberation Army,
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Meanwhile in Awkar near Beirut, leftist demonstrators keep besieging the US embassy (boycotted by Hizballah, by the way). At the same time, the world is beginning to take stock of the enormous damage in Gaza: 20,000 homes destroyed, at least 1200 dead – only 95 of which were Hamas fighters, 5000 wounded, half of Gaza’s children psychologically damaged, an entire new generation of jihadis created, and the list goes on. To add insult to injury, Mark Regev, the imbecile hypocrite in charge of the IDF’s communications, actually blurted out that Hamas killed Palestinian children to make the IDF look bad… You gotta give it to them, they don’t shrink from anything… As if the IDF needs anybody else to make them look bad! An army that slaughters defenceless civilians to restore its dignity and deterrence? And then keeps breaking its own voluntarily decided truce after their total failure becomes apparent even to them? My god, Israel truly needs no enemies, it is perfectly able to suicide itself on its own terms (although one wishes it would hurry up some more)…

And here is a truly horrifying eyewitness account of the carnage perpetrated on Gaza in the course of this suicide, written by the untiring and courageous activist Caoimhe Butterly: Blood is everywhere. Hospital orderlies hose down the floors of operating rooms, bloodied bandages lie discarded in corners, and the injured continue to pour in: bodies lacerated by shrapnel, burns, bullet wounds. Medical workers, exhausted and under siege, work day and night and each life saved is seen as a victory over the predominance of death.The streets of Gaza are eerily silent – the pulsing life and rhythm of markets, children, fishermen walking down to the sea at dawn brutally stilled and replaced by an atmosphere of uncertainty, isolation and fear. The ever-present sounds of surveillance drones, F16s, tanks and Apaches are listened to acutely as residents try to guess where the next deadly strike will be- which house, school, clinic, mosque, governmental building or community centre will be hit next and how to move before it does. That there are no safe places- no refuge for vulnerable human bodies- is felt acutely. It is a devastating awareness for parents- that there is no way to keep their children safe.As we continue to accompany the ambulances, joining Palestinian paramedics as they risk their lives, daily, to respond to calls from those with no other life-line, our existence becomes temporarily narrowed down and focused on the few precious minutes that make the difference between life and death. With each new call received as we ride in ambulances that careen down broken, silent roads, sirens and lights blaring, there exists a battle of life over death. We have learned the language of the war that the Israelis are waging on the collective captive population of Gaza- to distinguish between the sounds of the weaponry used, the timing between the first missile strikes and the inevitable second- targeting those that rush to tend to and evacuate the wounded, to recognize the signs of the different chemical weapons being used in this onslaught, to overcome the initial vulnerability of recognizing our own mortality.
Though many of the calls received are to pick up bodies, not the wounded, the necessity of affording the dead a dignified burial drives the paramedics to face the deliberate targeting of their colleagues and comrades- thirteen killed while evacuating the wounded, fourteen ambulances destroyed- and to continue to search for the shattered bodies of the dead to bring home to their families.’

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