All You Need Is Love


    and the rockets will stop,
    the bombs will reverse course,
    apartment buildings once in ruins
    will stand up straight and tall again
    with all the occupants picking up 
    where they left off.        

    The smoke will clear.
    The sky will be blue and soft spoken
    without the wrenching cry of warplanes,
    and all the dead and wounded
    will resume their lives
    as if nothing had happened.
    There will be no reason to weep,
    no stretchers to rush through emergency doors,
    no bodies to bear to hastily dug graves,
    and all will be well, yes,          

    all will be well 
    for the oppressor and the oppressed
    who will retreat once more 
    to their appointed zones
    on either side of an endless divide --
    the wall, the wire, the turrets
    with the guardians inside,
    guns at the ready,
    ready to kill any who trespass
    on God's holy land         

    where there is food and fuel,
    and flowing rivers of light,
    and healthy, young women,
    and healthy, young men
    dancing all night in the desert,
    never thinking too much 
    about the people over there,
    the ones who don't have enough to eat,
    who don't have enough to live,
    who are little more than pent-up swine.       

    Then it came to pass that armed men
    carried aloft on motorized wings
    crossed over one early morning
    with their pain, their suffering,
    their decades of betrayal,
    of seeing their fortunes, their futures
    slip away, disappear, come back
    as bitterness, as hatred, as a pin-point focus
    of vengeance no matter the cost
    to their families, the families of their families,
    the whole living world from which they arose.        

    How, we ask, could they execute
    innocent revelers, ravers, beautiful flowers
    of a desert miracle, proud magnificence
    of a chosen people whom God has granted
    the right to own everything, even the land,
    now a well of blood gurgling up and over 
    roads, fields, orchards, groves,
    flooding the consciousness of everyone --
    shepherds with their flocks,
    wise men with their scrolls and books,
    proud citizens, waving their nation's flag,
    demanding retribution for what was done.

    As it was written,
    armies will rampage without mercy,
    laying waste to entire villages,
    consecrating roads, fields, orchards, groves
    with the blood of their enemy,
    no matter how old,
    no matter how young.       

    I think if I were a desert prophet
    I would fall to my knees 
    and beat the earth with my fists,
    and weep till my tears surpassed the blood
    still falling upon this divided land.
    I would demand an explanation from God,
    and if none were forthcoming, 
    I would lament
    as I am doing now
    for all those whose pain 
    I can only name but never feel
    except as this terrible sorrow welling up in me
    for the harm we do to each other.        

    Let me tell you about tonight
    when I met with Friends
    fellow Quakers,
    and told them how I feel
    about the carnage that has come to pass
    once more in the land of miracles,
    and their only response 
    was to hold in the Light
    the bloody victims on both sides.       

    Let us hold them in the Light,
    we said, our heads bowed in silence,
    and I asked myself, what Light?
    Show me this Light.
    Will it hold the little boys and girls
    I see among the ruins in Gaza
    and Israel, bloodied, bloodied, dear God,
    and crying in the arms of mothers and fathers
    just as bloodied and crying in the flames, the sirens, the smoke, the bullets, the fragments
    of exploded shells, the thunder of artillery fire, the bombs falling and falling and falling
    turning a beggarly strip of land into an ever-burgeoning hell.       

    Has the price been paid?
    Has the vengeance been enough?
    Is it time for peace to raise its shattered head,
    wave its old tattered flag,
    and come crawling out of the trenches?         

    No, a thousand times no, shout our noble leaders.
    The President, with his deadpan sidekicks -- Harris and Blinken -- behind him, 
    tells the world the war will continue.
    Our resolve must not waiver,
    our loyalty must become manifest 
    as more bombs, more missiles, more tanks,
    maybe a second aircraft carrier,
    while a member of the Israeli parliament,
    with face unhinged and red fingernails flailing,   
    summons forth the power of nuclear weapons
    to end once and for all the trouble with Gaza
    and those cunning savages on the other side.        

    Let there be genocide, she rails,
    a holocaust by -- not of -- God's chosen people.
    And the leaders of the free world say nothing
    but pose as public servants,
    people of erudition, of statesmanship
    who have neither love nor wisdom,
    who have no pity in their hearts
    for the hundreds of children already killed
    and the hundreds more who will die
    because war must have its grim statistics,
    because death is good for business,
    because old scores must be settled
    and old wounds reopened,       

    because in the end, if the West has its way,
    Palestine will be a picked-clean carcass in the desert,
    its once living flesh gone to dust,
    its eyes, once shining with pride
    and a people's ancient beauty,        
    will be eternally shut,
    and the victors, with their accomplices,
    seeing what they've done,
    will call it good,
    ironclad proof that God's holiest army
    has won.
George Capaccio is a writer and activist living in Arlington, MA. During the years of U.S.- and UK-enforced sanctions against Iraq, he traveled there numerous times, bringing in banned items, befriending families in Baghdad, and deepening his understanding of how the sanctions were impacting civilians. His email is [email protected] He welcomes comments and invites readers to visit his website:

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