Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It is to you I speak, antipodal men,

I speak man to man,

with the little in me of man that remains,

with the scrap of voice left in my throat,

my blood lies upon the roads, let it not, let it

not cry out for vengeance!

The death-note is sounded, the beasts hunted down,

let me speak to you with these very words

that have been our share-

few intelligible ones remain.

A day will come, surely, of thirst appeased,

we will be beyond memory, death

will have finished the works of hate,

I will be a clump of nettles beneath your feet,

-ah, then, know that I had a face

like you. A mouth that prayed, like you.

When a bit of dust, or a dream,

entered my eye, this eye shed its drop of salt. And when

a cruel thorn raked my skin

the blood flowed red as your own!


A day will come, no doubt, when this poem

will find itself before your eyes. It asks

nothing! Forget it, forget it! It is nothing

but a scream, that cannot fit in a perfect

poem. Have I even time to finish it?

But when you trample on this bunch of nettles

that had been me, in another century,

in a history that you will have canceled,

remember only that I was innocent

and that, like all of you, mortals of this day,

I had, I too had a face marked

by rage, by pity and joy,

an ordinary human face!

(Benjamin Fondane)


BBC: evidence that Israeli forces have been deliberately "turkey-shooting" fleeing Gazan civilians

"The Israeli army was saying: 'This is the Israeli Defence Forces, we are asking all the people to leave their homes and go to the school. Ladies first, then men.'

"We decided to send the women first, two by two," he said.

First to step outside was the wife of his cousin, Rawhiya al-Najar, 48.

"The army was about 15 metres (50 feet) away from the house or less. They shot her in the head," he said.

The woman's daughter was shot in the thigh but crawled back inside the house, he said.

For several hours, the family telephoned the Red Crescent, human rights organisations and Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah in the hope of co-ordinating safe passage to evacuate people injured in the earlier shelling, Mr Najar said.

Several hours later, no help had arrived.

"We decided that's it, we're going to die, we are [going] to run and all die at once," he said.

"When we did that they started shooting with heavy ammunition from a machine gun on top of a tank," he said.

All the adults carried white flags, he said, adding that he was still grasping a piece of white cloth as he spoke over the telephone a day later.

"They told us you all have to go to the centre of the town, where the school is.

"We put the women first, and we put our children on our shoulders, with white bandanas on their heads.

"When we were walking, with the women first, they saw soldiers and they started to shout to them, to tell them 'we have children, we have children'. They started to shoot us. My aunt was killed with a bullet in her head."

... the ICRC said it found four small children who had waited with their dead mothers, apparently with no food or water, for four days last week.

Mr Shtewi said 17 children - aged between six weeks and 15 years, and six women, were in the house in the west of the neighbourhood.

"We have tried to leave the house during the three-hour humanitarian ceasefire, but we got shot at," he said.

See also B'Tselem reports


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