8000 rockets are no excuse
Suicide bombers, it’s all just a ruse
Unless you’re Israel, self-defense is right
A Jewish army response is disproportionate might
The activists sailed to deliver their aid
Jihad cash is what they were paid
Turkish delight in the media’s glare
Slashing knives don’t seems fair
And the song goes on…
This is how I sat listening to the precariously uncontrollable charming power of music: A strikingly amazing Israeli piece which made me on the verge of crying sympathizing with the poor defenseless Israelis against the terrifically heavy-armed and fanatic Palestinians.
However, while I sat all ears staring at the young lady as she gently played the piano with her slight fingers, a sudden immense repertory of images kept turning up in my mind: Images of bloody corpses lying lifelessly on the ground amidst the rubble, a huge devastated area covered with an enormous, rising, thick, black smoke: the area has just been bombarded with a 1000-pound bombshell that was dropped by a first-time flying US-made gigantic F16; images of phosphorus bomb as if it were the hair of a bogey: thousands of white braids of serpentine descending like white lines of smoke creeping towards the earth: to burn; Images of a mother tearing her hair, whining over the death of her eldest son who hasn’t been married for more than a month: the agonizing wails of the mother are drastically intensified by the dumb silence of the wife who retreated to a corner of her crammed room, covered in black, and staring at the crying women about; images of women and children endlessly queuing up in the early morning in front of a bakery waiting for their lot of bread; images of a firefighter standing before a huge burning fire which lighted the dead night holding on to the water hose while helicopters hovering above in the sky in the aftermath of shelling a mosque; images of trickling blood, trickling tears, corpses, destruction and debris; sounds of wails, cries, whines, snivels, bombs, overhead drones, and prayer calls. All these images and others far more disconcerting persisted in showing up and never stopped as long as the song went on.
The Jewish girl poured its magical voice out while this repertory kept turning up in my mind. The girl apparently took it into her head that she is oppressed, for she was singing with all her heart putting on her face all sorts of sad and melancholic expressions which as far as I believe would make sense way better on those against whom she sang. At any rate, I would have no problem to believe she is oppressed indeed, but I could never tell who is oppressing who?
I would have been the first to side with the girl had she chosen to be another one’s enemy (perhaps ‘enemy’ here is unpleasant to describe such a sensitive delicate girl, but this is the actual fact) for I know it for sure and it might be the only thing I am sure of in this arena that the Palestinians, not to say they are being daily subjected to a systematic oppression inflicted upon them by the Israelis, the Palestinians are not oppressing the Israelis! —are they?
Let’s keep ourselves away from illusive political talks and unceasing historical arguments and pose the ultimate question: who is in power? Who is murdering the other? Who is besieging the other? Who is occupying the other? Who is waiting at checkpoints for long hours in mid-day under the burning sun of September? Who has lost 1500 in less 22 days? Who is spending the nights in the dark? And an unending series of ‘who is’?
‘ Only Israel’ was the name of the song. Only Israel doesn’t have the right to self-defense. Only Israel doesn’t have the right to respond. Only Israelis are not cared for. Only Israel is discriminated against while the Palestinians, who are never mentioned in the song, are surrounded by cousins flowing with oil demanding the Israelis to give up their land! It would have made a stoic smile to have seen me listen to these words. Can’t she take herself as far back as to 1948? Who has taken the other’s land? Can’t she open up her eyes and see things better than that? how far real it would have been had Israel been replaced with Palestine; How far true it would have been! It is only Israel, young lady, who has the right to talk, attack, kill, bomb, besiege others, seize their land, expel them, build settlements, own weapons and the list continues.
It is only Israel.
The music was no longer charming, and the words were far a ruse than the ‘suicide bombers’ she spoke of, for we both have never heard of a suicide bomber in the region for long. (perhaps the disproportionate might has helped wipe them out.) The words were a ruse, for 8000 rockets are indeed a ruse in considering how many Israelis were killed or even hurt by these rockets. It might amuse the young lady to know that these 8000 rockets put up together will almost certainly weigh less than 8 bombs of several hundreds dropped on only one local area in the last war. It is a ruse.
I am not to refute the words of the song one by one, nor am I to defend myself against the song. I am only to backtrack on the one moment I felt myself going on with the rhythm abandoning my people’s misery in the blink of an eye.
I twitched. I felt the grave sin of my treachery and knew I should tell no one of how fragile my faith and I are against the extrinsic poignant influences like those of a short piece of music.
Yes, young lady, the song is all just a ruse: It is only Palestine.
Mohammed Rabah Suliman
July 9, 2010