The racist slaughter of the people of Gaza

Written in 2009 but not published.

Some of my best friends are Jewish
but none of them are Zionists.
Israel’s attack on the people of Gaza is not a war
it is a pogrom – the killing is too disproportionate;
no sane person would glorify it by suggesting it is a just conflict.
It is a holocaust amongst the refugee camps of Gaza.
There is no Israeli honour to be won.
The Israeli military are not soldiers and airmen
they are the murderers of children and their families.
It is a collective punishment of Palestinians
after all they voted for a leadership which Israel can’t control.
Rabbis infected with religious rabies
encourage reservists to kill babies.
Massacres consume the living,
massacres just feed the grieving.
We haven’t forgotten Shetila or Shabra;
we remember Mei Lai, Hiroshima, Nagasagi;
we still speak about the sinking of the Luisitania and the Belgrano;
we can’t sleep for the crying of the children of Rwanda;
we are awakened by the cries of the starving children of the Congo;
we are sickened by the rape of the women of Darfur;
or the children blown to pieces in Lebanon by cluster bombs.
Now we have more slaughter in the back alleys of Gaza city to keep us awake.
I yearn to sleep, and wish you had the humility to weep.

Surely after sixty years of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their own land
it is time to call a halt, to reflect, to seek forgiveness.
Surely your god does not need any more settlers to dispossess
still more Palestinians from their land, their olive trees or their houses.

There is Prime Minister Olmert,
The mad yahoo, Benjamin Netanyahu
the ruthless Ehud Barak, Minister for Killing
and the sly Shimon Peres.
They are always prepared to kill
apart from their cunning it’s their only skill
nothing matters to them so long as they can hold on to power

Tzipi Livni, Foreign Minister;
Tzipi Livni, something sinister.
Some said she should be PM.
that was enough to encourage her
to brutalise and to condemn.
She has the face of a young woman
but the curse of Dorian Gray
has visited her and now holds sway.
To know what her god thinks of her soul
just look at her heavily lined scrawny neck –
the neck of an old disfigured hag.
The plastic surgeons may have saved her face
but they can’t save her soul or the rest of her.
In some ways Tzipi Livni is a metaphor for all of Israel.
Her ruthlessness may kill Hamas leaders and Palestinian women,
it can suppress and obliterate angry young men with homemade rockets,
it can delay the tide of justice, it can interfere with the United Nations,
it can pull the feathers out of the wings of peace doves, but
it can’t ensure enduring security for Israel and the rest of the Middle East.

The task of creating a peaceful Middle East requires something more than ruthlessness –
it requires courage and trust, humility and foresight, forgiveness and honesty:
it demands intellect and justice, patience and understanding and something else –
it needs love to bind the wounds.