Friday 14 May 2021

Remember Me - No 1

It's not due to compassion fatigue.  I must confess, as I grew into my 70s (I am now 77) I could not find the strength to carry on writing about Gaza and Palestine.

Thinking and feeling and writing for Palestine/Gaza is like breathing with "glass in your lungs".   [How one lady described the pain of Covid 19.]

Yesterday, Ros, a good friend I met on this Blog, sent me her Hari Raya greetings and her last two sentences said: 

"Hope you're both enjoying your raya fare. But it's difficult to swallow seeing what's happening in Palestine."   Ditto Ros, ditto.

 Since I started blogging in 2008 - up to 2018 - I have written about 27 postings on Palestine and especially Gaza.

For my readers who are not too familiar with the history and agony of a long-suffering people, I shall try in a couple of postings to compress and summarise the process by which Israel, with the complicity of United Kingdom, USA especially and almost all of the western countries contributed to the emasculation of an ancient, proud and brave people.  That did not take a century or so to achieve, just about 73 years since the end of the Second World War.

There were some brave voices like Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, George Galloway, Tariq Ramadan and so many others;and most recently this Irish MP Richard Boyd Barrett (see YouTube below).  

I also have the privilege of meeting Chris, the Caucasian-American husband of another good friend Siti, who I met via this Blog.  Chris spent much  of his adult years as an aid worker in the West Bank, helping, among other things,  to teach English to the childen.  Chris is now 70-ish and is almost crippled by respiratory problems from all the tear gas he and his pupils were subjected to by the IDF (Israeli Defence Force).  

Siti sent me this video at 7 am this morning.  Through Siti, I am in touch with our common concerns and interests, issues like Palestine/Gaza and Islamophobia.

A CAVEAT. It is necessary - almost compulsory - that when you embark on any attempt to speak up for the Gazans and Palestinians , you have to declare you are not anti-Semitic.  I am not anti-Semitic or anti any one because of their colour or their religion or race.  Those like me who criticise Israel - a Goliath state against a 'David' political entity like Palestine/Gaza - for their racist/apartheid policy are not anti-Jew or anti-Semitic. We take up cudgels for the underdog, any underdog, in whatever shape or size, or form or colour.

I have written 27 postings and I cannot find any more words to express my thoughts for Palestine/Gaza without repeating myself.  This - at this time of our celebration after fasting in the holy month of Ramadan - is all I can put together. In no way can this shed any hope or light for our fellow Muslims in Gaza.  Unlike Chris who puts his money and health where his mouth is, AsH is just a keyboard supporter, albeit after some years of  dashing from Leicester to London, a hundred miles away, with the spouse, attending protest marches and meetings in support of Gaza and Palestine and the anti-war movement in the capital.  Then; the spirit and the flesh were able and willing.  Today, only the fighting (but weary) spirit is left.  I have to exchange the streets of London and Leicester for just this keyboard.

All children deserve a happy and secure childhood.  I was blessed with that and so did the spouse and all of our extended family in Malaysia and Paekakariki, New Zealand.

Here are the voices of children from Palestine/Gaza.  Remember Me they ask us.


The spouse and I are life-long supporters of MAP (Medical Aid For Palestinians).  Since 1990, they have been sending us their newsletters and  Annual Reports.  This came, if my memory serves me well,  after the 2008/2009 attack by the IDF.

I wonder if these children managed to grow into adults, unmaimed and healthy.  And if they did, I hope they are still alive and keeping up the fight for their homeland.

No comments: