Friday, November 10, 2006
We mustn't look the other way when blood of some becomes worth less than others
Laila M. El-Haddad
(Laila M. El-Haddad is a journalist who lived in the Gaza Strip and author of the blog Raising Yousuf)
"When such a massacre occurs, in addition to the anger and frustration, I cannot help but feel lonely and abandoned and afraid.
It is the feeling we all have as Palestinians, the feeling which boils inside of us, sometimes drowning us with its complexity and force and unrequitedness. To quote Mahmoud Darwish:
“We are alone. We are alone to the point
of drunkenness with our own aloneness,
with the occasional rainbow visiting.”
And don’t think for one moment that this somehow does not affect you, whoever you are, as you recoil in your comfort zone, choosing consciously to look the other way. It affects all of us - Israelis, Palestinians, humankind - when humans become less human, when their blood becomes worth less than ours. Niemöller’s poem rings truer than ever:
"They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak up because I was not a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."
Let us add to the famous poem:
"Then they came for the Palestinians, but I remained silent, for I was not Palestinian". "