Prisoner in Your Own Home

One night, I make all three sleep in the same bedroom with us, hoping to increase the odds they’ll survive if a shell hits one of the empty rooms in our house. But then the next night, I’ll separate them, thinking that if I divide my children they won’t all die in an attack. (Unless we’re hit by a half-ton bomb, rather than artillery shell, in which case we’ll all be killed, anyway.)

-Wejdan Abu Shammala (Article)

Imagine yourself 10 years from now, imagine your home. How cozy it’ll be, how beautiful it will be, decorated with flowers, blankets in the living room, the smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning; and it’ll taste sweeter because it’s finally your home. Imagine yourself walking into the front porch, to sit down, and take in that relaxing morning breeze, the neighboring children already playing outside. Just peace, and happiness…in your home. After a couple of hours, you realize your love ones are still asleep, and you’ve woken up a bit early, so you decide to make breakfast, so your little ones and your beloved can wake up to the wonderful smell of pancakes and over easy eggs. Life is wonderful you say to yourself, you have your home, your children, your wonderful partner, in a beautiful place. Great.

As you’re sharing a wonderful morning with your family, you hear a knock on the door. Who could it be? Maybe the neighbors again, to bring your family freshly baked bread again. You open the door, and you see someone unrecognizable. But before you can even say hello, in front of you is a gun, pointed right in between your eyes. You stay quiet, confused, without words, you raise your hands up, to show that you mean no harm to this stranger, at the door to your home.

The stranger walks in, bringing more of his kind, and tells you and your family, that this home now belongs to them, and you are all required to live in the basement, you’re not allowed to come back up, without permission, you cannot eat, or drink when you want to, it’ll be on their terms and you will have electricity for maybe 4 hours a day or less. You have become prisoners in your own home, to strangers. You ask why? Why your home? They respond, that they have rights to your home, for it belonged to their ancestors before you moved in. But that’s crazy isn’t it? You bought this home, it’s yours now, regardless of who lived here before, that’s just crazy talk. You demand that they leave your home, but you’ve gone too far now…you can’t make demands like these anymore, and don’t get violent, they have the weapons, you have your kitchen knife.

You have no choice but to listen to their requests, for the sake of keeping your children safe. From that day forward you live a life of torture and fear, you don’t know when they will decide to kill all of you, it’s been a month, and your beloved is still not back from the time they took her/him, now it’s just you and your kids…Your children ask you why this has happened, why are they tortured, don’t the strangers have children themselves? Why can they show no mercy.

You’ve grown angry, and you’ve began to teach your children how to hate, you’ve began to think of ways to defend yourself, and your home. Another month passes by, and you feel you’re ready, you’ve planned this, and you think you can defeat them, take your home back, save your beloved, protect your children….you wait for the right time.

You failed.

And one of your children has been taken, and killed, because you failed. They tell you, you cannot be violent towards them, they have taken what is rightfully theirs, and any attacks against them will be answered with a worse attack, you are an enemy to them now. You’re a thief, how dare you try to obliterate them? You’ve scared some of the other inhabitants in the house, and now they demand that you face punishment.

You cannot terrorize those living at their “own” home…. But you’re angry and desperate and at this rate you will try to do anything to protect your one and only last child, you will do anything to save your beloved. So you plan again. And you attack again. You failed once more, but this time you managed to take one of the inhabitants down to the basement. You have a knife, remember the kitchen knife? And you threaten to kill the inhabitant if they do not release your beloved.

They agree on an exchange. Your beloved is safe now, she’s/he is back in your arms, but don’t think that that little attack of yours will go unnoticed, your second and last child has been killed. They warned you on the consequences.

How could this happen, how can they kill your children? “Kill me instead!” You yell “Kill me instead!! What did they do!!”

How do you get out of this situation, how can you imagine yourself living in this situation, a life in prison, a life as a hostage, from one minute to another.

Little by little the strangers decide to take away part of the basement, for new inhabitants, so now they’re making your livable space even smaller.

“Survive, survive, survive” you say to your beloved “we need to continue to fight” but your beloved is tired, “they’re too strong” he tells you, “let’s just ask for more food, and maybe some fresh air, but we cannot anymore, we have lost too much.”

Imagine yourself in this terrifying situation, with no way out. You’re practically a living dead person, no future ahead for you, you only breath now…as a prisoner in your own home with not even access to water whenever you need it, or electricity,there isn’t much of a reason to live. But you continue to believe there is, and the reason is to take back your home, and fight against a group of people ten times stronger than you.

Who’ve might of even convinced neighbors that they are right, and you shouldn’t be helped.

 

 

You know there’s a word used to describe this type of living situation.

It’s called Gaza.

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

 

Death toll has reached 1300 civilians, mostly children. You don’t have to be an Arab, you don’t have to be a Palestinian, an American, or be a Muslim, you don’t need anything but have common sense, to realize that this has gone too far, and that Israel has the blood of thousands of Palestinian children since 1948 in its hands. If you couldn’t ever even fathom living in the conditions that I described in the short story above, which are still not as bad, compared to what Gazans live through; what makes you think that 1.8 million people can in only a 3 mile stretch.

 

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Who started it this time? The Waging War on Palestine

“Why do these young Palestinian children hate so much?  It shouldn’t be why it should be what kind of hate do they have because it was never for a people or for a cause.  This hate keeps them alive.  This hate makes them live another day even though there’s nothing to live for.  This hate makes them want to have children just to teach them not to hate, because on the other side hate is grown through children.  Hate is grown through trees in the shape of a v and never for peace for their own protection.” Poem by Tahani Salah (X)

The media has attributed the current war between Israel and Palestine on the kidnapping of three Jewish-Israeli teenagers, who were later found buried between rocks in the West Bank. Naftali Fraenkel 16, Gilad Shaer 16, Eyal Yifrah 19, were all victims of a 67 year old conflict. Nonetheless, it seems the media did not pay much attention to what had happened before the death of these three young Israeli civilians. The death of Fraenkel, Shaer, and Yifrah could be seen as a revenge kill for the two Palestinian teenagers who were killed by IDF soldiers on May 15, 2014. Nadim Nuwara 17, and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir 16. “Nadim was walking and was unarmed when an American-made bullet pierced his body. One hour later, 16 year old Muhammad Abu al-Thahir – also walking and also unarmed – succumbed to the same fate.” The shooting of the teenagers was caught on camera, watch at your own discretion.  Many Israeli citizens and supporters claimed the video was fake, but it wasn’t until CNN “captured a team of Israeli soldiers hiding behind an installation: There isn’t any commotion and the soldiers don’t appear to be in any danger when an Israeli sniper calmly focuses his weapon on his target. He fires. Nadim’s body lunges forward. The teen collapses and dies.” Not surprisingly Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not condemn this action and the soldiers did not face any punishment. Palestinians on the other hand,did break in protest, and justice was once again not met. It is then when the three Israeli teens were kidnapped and killed a month later. This 67 year old conflict has put young, people, who hold no blame in danger. These three Israeli teenagers were victims of war and victims of racist socialization; while the two Palestinian teenagers were victims of war, and colonization. Before I begin, my actual argument, I must first state, that under no conditions do I justify the murder of these three Israeli victims, and the two Palestinian victims; it is a terrible act of hate against young people, who hold no fault on the current political situation between Israel and Palestine. Now, on to the argument, despite Israel’s continuous claims on only targeting Hamas members, it is safe to acknowledge  that they have been targeting Palestinian civilians more so than Hamas officials, when IDF soldiers went into the West Bank and the Gaza strip to raid homes, and use rubber bullets against civilians,  in search of  the three Israeli teens, about 350 Palestinians were immediately arrested, and 5 other Palestinians were killed. It’s highly unlikely that all of the targeted civilians had anything to do with the kidnapping, nonetheless, Israel would report to the media that only suspects of the kidnapping had been arrested and had  also been identified as Hamas members, not acknowledging that one th5 killed was a teenager. The search for the kidnapped teens soon once again, became an illegal war crime against the Palestinian people. Soon after the three teenagers were found dead, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “vowed that the Islamist militant group Hamas, which [he] accuses of the abductions, will pay a heavy price” and “just after midnight, witnesses in Hebron, the West Bank’s largest city, said the retaliation had begun as Israeli forces used explosives to demolish the homes of Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha, the Hamas men who have been missing since the teenagers vanished and who are Israel’s prime suspects. At the same time another teen Mohammed Abu Khudeir was abducted by Israeli settlers, and burned alive, The following days Tampa teen, and cousin of Abu Khudeir, Tariq Khudeir was beaten and arrested by IDF soldiers.  Palestinian civilians were outraged, and came into protest against Israel. The actions of the abducted teen and beaten Tariq became a hot issue in the media, which resulted pressures on Israel  to arrest 6 suspects who were accused of killing of Abu Khudeir, as “Netanyahu condemned what he called a horrific crime and pledged that anyone found guilty would “face the full weight of the law.” Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli defense minister, said in a statement that he was “ashamed and shocked by the cruel murder,” describing those behind it as “Jewish terrorists.” Yet, the IDF soldiers who had targeted and killed Nadim and Al-Thahir continue to work freely in the Israeli Forces.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 12.15.40 AM

Via Twitter, twitter.com/Omar_Gaza

“Gaza militants [retaliated and]  fired scores of rockets at Israel and Israel responded with more than a dozen air strikes.” Today we learn of 4 Palestinian boys ages 9 to 10, who were targeted on the beach. They were reportedly running away from a shelling not to far away from them, only to be targeted and shelled minutes later. Israel blamed the killing of these four children on Hamas, claiming that they were being used as human shields  Yet, it was clear that these children posed no danger and were merely running in hopes of surviving. It has been about a month and 10 days in war and the current death toll on both countries is 214+ in Palestine and only 1 death in Israel. Israel has time and time again claimed that they do not target any civilians, but the readers decide if that is true or not.  Furthermore, before the 5 hour cease on fire today, Israel had warned Gazan civilians to leave Gaza before they continued to fire, and even suggested Gazans do not return until further notice. It’s almost a mockery to ask civilians to leave their homes, when Gaza is surrounded by closed borders including that of Egypt, how in the world is one of the most populated territories of almost 1.657 million people in the world supposed to escape from the rockets of Israel? Furthermore, even if Gazans were able to escape, it would not be likely that they would be able to return, which is exactly what Israel would hope for. Just as there is a large population of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, there are also thousands maybe millions of displaced Palestinians throughout the world.

The Toll in Gaza and Israel, Day by Day

The Toll in Gaza and Israel, Day by Day, via nytimes.com

Once again, I am not in any way considering the Israeli deaths as victory deaths for Palestine. Targeted  and killed civilians due to war is probably one of the worst crimes committed. I’m only suggesting that once again those who suffer from Israel’s goal to target Hamas leaders are women, children, the elderly, father’s who’s family depended on them, people whose lives were taken unjustly. This isn’t a waging war on Israel, this is a continuous waging war on Palestine, for the sake of exterminating an indigenous people to the lands in conflict. This is colonization, this is oppression, and this is in no way a fair war, there is no neutrality, it’s simply a war between the oppressor and the oppressed; and it is illogical to be angry at Palestine for simply defending themselves against Israeli attacks.     Extras:

This chart shows every person killed in the Israel-Palestine conflict since 2000.

Salma you made no sense I have no idea what you’re talking about: That’s fine just watch this!