Outside Gaza, We Are All Equal
Adania Shibli - 14/01/2009
We might differ in our thoughts and feelings towards what is happening there now. Some people might feel relieved and tranquil, for their life experience outside Gaza, for instance in Sderot, had led them to such feelings and thoughts.
Or some energetic young men would join together in Tel Aviv to launch a media campaign that would explain the necessity of what is being done there, and which would convince some and some would rebuke it. The intelligence services, which know what hasn’t even been said, might also claim that the people in Gaza are tired of Hamas, while others, who have been arrested by these same intelligence services, might say that this is the moment for everyone to unite.
Others may feel an overwhelming rage, and so would hold demonstrations to express such rage and opposition to what is happening in Gaza, and during that some man or a woman might step out of their car in Haifa to swear at the protesters who would swear back, or someone would throw a book at the Israeli Embassy in London, or a stone at the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut, then a hale of policemen would jump to arrest them. Or one might forget about the whole demonstration, and would go on to explain to a sleepy child why some flags have a drawing of a Christmas tree, others a star, a hammer and sickle.
Others might feel completely paralysed, impotent, and even depressed, so they would remain in their homes because they do not know what to do, or they might forget whether they had already washed when they entered the shower or not, as they were deep in their thoughts about what is going on in Gaza.
Perhaps some would be waiting for the number of dead to increase in order to come out of their silence and say ‘enough’, or go out to protest. Their waiting might be out of thirst for blood, or mere love for numbers, as if the increase in the number of the dead was to be accumulated into a personal account, according to which it is possible to measure the level of pain and so gain as much support from others who might never even care. Some might have cancelled their daily plans or their plans for shopping during this sales seasons, while others might cancel a dinner party or celebrating the New Year’s. There might also be some who would write, as I am doing now.
Perhaps others have never heard of what is going on there, absorbed in their own worries and miseries, sheltered in shanty towns in Mexico, or because they simply don’t care, or maybe because they are just dead. Everything is possible.
But no matter how different we might think, feel, and act, we are all equal in one thing: we are outside Gaza. Whatever we do, say or feel may be the result of anything, except for the knowledge of how is life and how is death, and how is life for those who did not die yet, inside Gaza. And we shall all remember that we know that we never knew that.