Gaza’s Magnificence

gaza return march
Photo provided by Hassan M Shoaap , Gaza

 Three blind rats, three blind rats

See how they run, see how they run

They all run after the zionist brute

who cut off their tongues, now they’re morally mute

You never saw such freaks in your life

as three dumb rats

From Australia, Canada, New Zealand (NZ) comes a tumult of silence on the Jewish state’s massacres of non-violent peaceful protestors in Gaza in which 34 young Palestinians were slaughtered by Israeli Jewish snipers and shelling.

Gazans, men women and children unified by an indomitable claim of political rights, by the indelible fervour for their stolen homes, bearing Palestine’s flags and bravery began their Great March of Return from March 30th Land Day which continues until the Nakba on April 15, the day after the unilateral establishment of the Jewish state.

They marched unarmed to the line of 100 snipers beyond which they know that the stones, sea and sky will recognise them,  that their villages will awake from the rubble and that  distant olive, lemon, fig, almond trees will once again bless their tables.

Under orders, the Jewish snipers fired controlled, accurate, measured illegal bullets. “The use of expanding bullets is listed as a war crime in the Statute of the International Criminal Court.”  ICRC.  On the first day 15 young martyrs fell, on the second 10, and undaunted day by day Palestinian youth are sacrificing, literally life and limb,

The martyr enlightens me: beyond the expanse

I did not look

For the virgins of immortality for I love life

On earth, amid fig trees and pines,

But I cannot reach it, and then, too, I took aim at it

With my last possession: the blood in the body of azure.

– Under Siege, Mahmoud Darwish

Concurrently, there was verminous unison from Australia, Canada and New Zealand in their tumultuous condemnation of unproven chemical attacks justifying the  joint US, French and British illegal military strikes on Syria, the night before the  arrival of international chemical weapons inspectors;

Australian PM Turnbull: “The use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is illegal and utterly reprehensible. The Assad regime must not be allowed to commit such crimes with impunity.”

Canadian PM Trudeau: “The repeated and morally reprehensible use of  chemical weapons …for its repeated, gross violations of human rights and continued, deliberate targeting of civilians.”

New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern: “New Zealand therefore accepts why the US, UK and France have today responded to the grave violation of international law, and the abhorrent use of chemical weapons against civilians.”

It’s not coincidence that on arms deals with the USA in  2016-17 Australia spent $3.4 billion, Canada $5.8 billion and NZ $1.4 billion.

And condemnation of chemical warfare is a bit rich coming from Australia that permitted  British nuclear testing causing radiation illness among indigenous populations,  ditto to French nuclear testing in Algerian Sahara and French Polynesia, US contamination of Vietnam with Agent Orange for which it still avoids compensation to victims, NZ has 11 relevant chemical production sites , Israel illegally fired horrific white phosphorous weapons on Gazan civilians in 2009 and 2014.

And what about their silence that bestows impunity on Israel’s illegal, utterly reprehensible, repeated gross violations of human rights, its deliberate targeting of civilians which is a grave violation of  international law and the abhorrent use of exploding bullets that have triggered death and amputations?

Well, it partly comes down to gang mentality. The Jews of Israel are brutal colonisers aided by the mandatory collaborator, the Palestinian Authority. Hence, it is definitely not a coincidence that Australia, Canada, NZ, USA, France and the UK, supporters of zionist colonisation, were themselves brutal colonisers and their respective indigenous populations are still oppressed by racism and fascism- the modus operandi of colonial oppression.

By extolling themselves as the guardians of civilisation, this gang of unfaltering colonisers legitimise and normalise the use of preemptive military strikes,  indiscriminate bombings and executions “as the right of western powers to punish and chasten the world’s concern [about] western political and economic interests.” (Allen Jasson)

All  hubris is lethal, inevitably then western imperial hubris serves its own death warrant. Aimé Césaire says it aptly, “A civilization that uses its principles for trickery and deceit is a dying civilization.” One can sit back and watch the USA implode economically, France is  beset by civil chaos and the UK is thrashing about in the Brexit stranglehold. Faux conflicts futilely delay the looming Ozymandias’ doom.

Yousif Alkronez Gaza
Yousif Alkronez, Gaza City went to the Great Return March and returned with one leg (photo provided by Khaled Tabasha)

 Meanwhile in Gaza, the Great March of Return defies the siege, the assaults, the imprisonments, the mass impoverishment with a festival of courage and non-violence; there are reading chains, football, handball, chess matches, girls dance dabka in traditional dresses, boys show off feats of parkour, grandmothers bake taboon on campfires for the masses, women prepare sweets, mothers and sons carry tyres for burning, clowns delight kids, medics and stretchers at the ready, thousands pray ṣalāt al-maġrib at dusk, children share dreams with Martin Luther King, flags, kites and balloons adorn the sky, a donkey is draped with the Israeli flag, a child’s birthday party is celebrated, wedding guests and groom  arrive, homework is completed, the ingenuity of tear gas masks, the wounded bandaged and bold return to the front lines…

The Great March of Return is testimony that Palestinians won’t play the zionist game, they refuse to be colonised. Their spirit and dignity cannot be slaughtered or amputated.

Such magnificence can’t be seen or comprehended by blind rats.

Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters and editor of a volume of Palestinian poetry, I remember my name.  She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was convenor of  Australia East Timor Association and coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET  from 1999-2001.




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