What You Bomb


You encage two million people into 140 square miles. You are surprised when the people create tunnels to smuggle goods, to resist.

You bomb hospitals, you bomb schools, you bomb water plants, you bomb sewers – and you want us to feel sorry for you.

You have politicians who say they want to kill all Gazans, academics who call for rape as war’s weapon. And you are silent? Where are you?

Your arms have killed hundreds, injured thousands, displaced tens of thousands. You clap, you cheer. You weep when your soldiers fall.

On which side of the border should my tears fall? On the side of the bombers or the side of the bombed?

Your morality is challenged, your ethics on fire. All you can say, in bad faith, is Hamas, Hamas, Hamas.

You kill a child. Hamas. You bomb a school. Hamas. You bomb a UN building. Hamas. You bomb a disability center. Hamas. Hamas. Hamas.

For you Hamas has become a full-stop, an exclamation point, a digression, a shaggy dog, a golden ring, a do-not-go-to-jail card.

Who are you that you take shelter in five letters – Hamas – when entire families are wiped out in your name?

What you bomb is not Hamas. It is Palestine. Not a dream, but a people. Not a refugee camp, but a country alive in its peoples’ hearts.

Samah, Samah, Samah.[1]

Vijay Prashad is the author of The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (New Delhi: Leftword, 2013).


[1] Samah, the reverse of Hamas, is an Arabic word that means Forgiveness (generosity of the soul).

Vijay Prashad, director of International Studies at Trinity College, is the editor of “Letters to Palestine” (Verso). He lives in Northampton.

October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
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