FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bang! Bang! You’re Deaf!

One night last week in Israel thousands of panic-stricken citizens leapt from their beds, so alarmed by a noise which shook the skies “like heavy bombardment” that the Tel Aviv and central district police switchboards crashed, overloaded by worried callers.

The military had to apologize for disturbing the sleep of Israeli citizens. The sound had not been intended for their ears. It had somehow escaped from a series of confined sonic booms being inflicted on Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip hundreds of kilometers away. So if they thought the bang was loud in Tel Aviv, you can imagine the sound in Gaza, where shockwaves have also cracked walls and smashed thousands of windows.

In Israel they heard but one bang, muffled in comparison to the dozens of earsplitting”sound bombs” created by Israeli air force jets breaking the sound barrier at low altitude over the Gaza Strip. Only this week there have been 28 sonic booms, sometimes as little as an hour apart through the night. During five days in late September, the air force caused 29.

Palestinians describe the sound as an earthquake or huge bomb. They liken the effect to being hit by a wall of air that is painful on the ears, sometimes causing nosebleeds and “leaving you shaking inside”.

“The Israelis do it after midnight and then every one or two hours. You try to go to sleep and then there’s another one. When it happens night after night you become exhausted. You get a heightened sense of alert, waiting continuously for it to happen. People suffer hypertension, fatigue, sleeplessness.”

“For children, the loud noise means danger. Adults may know it’s only a sound but small children feel threatened. They are crying and clinging to their parents. Afterwards they are dazed and fearful, waiting for something to happen.”

The removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip has opened the way for this new terror tactic being deployed against the Palestinians.

A senior Israeli army intelligence source, who the military would not permit to be named, said the tactic is intended to break civilian support for armed Palestinian groups such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas. “We are trying to send a message in a way that doesn’t harm people. We want to encourage the Palestinian public to do something about the terror situation,” he said. “What are the alternatives? We are not like the terrorists who shoot civilians. We are cautious. We make sure nobody is really hurt.”

The Palestinian health ministry estimates the sonic booms have caused miscarriages and heart problems. A majority of child patients seen at clinics as a result of the sonic booms were suffering from symptoms such as anxiety attacks, bedwetting, muscle spasms, temporary loss of hearing and breathing difficulties.

Two medical human rights groups have asked the Tel Aviv high court to outlaw the use of sound bombs on the grounds it amounts to illegal collective punishment and is detrimental to health.

The UN’s Middle East envoy, Alvaro de Soto, agrees, and wrote this week in a letter to the Israeli high command: “Sonic booms are an indiscriminate instrument, the use of which punishes the population collectively. We ask therefore that their use be stopped without delay.”

I think he chose his words rather daintily. “An indiscriminate instrument of torture” might be more apt,”which tortures the population collectively.”

For God’s sake Cain! Abel! Don’t you think it’s time to put a stop to this endless childish quarreling? Do you worship the same God or not? And even if you don’t are you not brothers?

Instead of breaking barriers of sound, it’s a time for breaking down the barriers of hatred you’ve created. And to break down that hideous snaking grey wall you’ve divided your country with – a fence of fascism and fear forbidding obstacle to world peace and disgrace to Humanity.

MICHAEL DICKINSON is an English teacher working in Istanbul Turkey. He can be contacted atwww.stuckism.com/Dickinson/Index.html or mdickinson@kablonet.com.tr

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at michaelyabanji@gmail.com.

Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail