Last night I dreamt that I was sitting on a piece of grass, surrounded by rubble, in the middle of Palestine. It was night time and in the darkness there were flashes of red and explosions of bright orange and yellow as rockets fired and explosions went off around me. Except everything was silent, and I couldn’t touch anything or speak to anybody. I couldn’t do anything except watch. And I just sat there crying.
Yesterday I watched a video that an Israeli friend posted online. I met him travelling in Africa and I felt like we were like-minded and held similar beliefs about the world, conflict, and war. He worked with disadvantaged kids in Africa, he made music in the streets, and he connected with people whose background, religious ideas and beliefs differed to his own. Open-minded: that’s how I would have described him. The video was a justification for Israel’s actions in Gaza. It explained their superior military might, how they didn’t need international help because they spent billions of dollars a year producing state of the art military equipment so they could defend their country from the ‘atrocious acts against innocent civilians’ committed by the ‘terrorists’ next door. It was blatant, transparent propaganda and I felt a complete hopelessness that someone who I felt had a humanitarian heart believed this…and was spreading it.
I don’t support what either Israel or Hamas is doing in Gaza. I don’t support war as a solution. But mostly I don’t support innocent people paying the consequence in somebody else’s power game.
What happens once everything is blown up and destroyed? Once it is all rubble and everybody has fled or been killed. Who is going to want to move there with their families to live on that land that is so drenched in blood? How can you bring up your children, go to school, university or a 9-5 along streets that are hiding the bones and souls of so many? Other human beings that wanted peace for their people just like you. How can you ever justify that?