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Gaza Will Survive

by Subcomandante MARCOS

Two days ago, the same day we discussed  violence, the ineffable Condoleezza Rice, a US  official, declared that what was happening in  Gaza was the Palestinians’ fault, due to their violent nature.

The underground rivers that crisscross the world  can change their geography, but they sing the same song.

And the one we hear now is one of war and pain.

Not far from here, in a place called Gaza, in  Palestine, in the Middle East, right here next  to us, the Israeli government’s heavily trained  and armed military continues its march of death and destruction.

The steps it has taken are those of a classic  military war of conquest: first an intense mass  bombing in order to destroy “strategic” military  points (that’s how the military manuals put it)  and to “soften” the resistance’s reinforcements;  next a fierce control over information:  everything that is heard and seen “in the  outside world,” that is, outside the theater of  operations, must be selected with military  criteria; now intense artillery fire against the  enemy infantry to protect the advance of troop  to new positions; then there will be a siege to  weaken the enemy garrison; then the assault that  conquers the position and annihilates the enemy,  then the “cleaning out” of the probable “nests of resistance.”

The military manual of modern war, with a few  variations and additions, is being followed  step-by-step by the invading military forces.

We don’t know a lot about this, and there are  surely specialists in the so-called “conflict in  the Middle East,” but from this corner we have something to say:

According to the news photos, the “strategic”  points destroyed by the Israeli government’s air  force are houses, shacks, civilian buildings. We  haven’t seen a single bunker, nor a barracks,  nor a military airport, nor cannons, amongst the  rubble. So–and please excuse our ignorance–we  think that either the planes’ guns have bad aim,  or in Gaza such “strategic” military points don’t exist.

We have never had the honor of visiting  Palestine, but we suppose that people, men,  women, children, and the elderly–not  soldiers–lived in those houses, shacks, and buildings.

We also haven’t seen the resistance’s reinforcements, just rubble.

We have seen, however, the futile efforts of the  information siege, and the world governments  trying to decide between ignoring or applauding  the invasion, and the UN, which has been useless  for quite some time, sending out tepid press releases..

But wait. It just occurred to us that perhaps to  the Israeli government those men, women,  children, and elderly people are enemy soldiers,  and as such, the shacks, houses, and buildings  that they inhabited are barracks that need to be destroyed..

So surely the hail of bullets that fell on Gaza  this morning were in order to protect the  Israeli infantry’s advance from those men, women, children, and  elderly people.

And the enemy garrison that they want to weaken  with the siege that is spread out all over Gaza  is the Palestinian population that lives there.  And the assault will seek to annihilate that  population. And whichever man, woman, child, or  elderly person that manages to escape or hide  from the predictably bloody assault will later  be “hunted” so that the cleansing is complete  and the commanders in charge of the operation  can report to their superiors: “We’ve completed the mission.”

Again, pardon our ignorance, maybe what we’re  saying is beside the point. And instead of  condemning the ongoing crime, being the  indigenous and warriors that we are, we should  be discussing and taking a position in the  discussion about if it’s “Zionism” or  “anti-Semitism,” or if Hamas’ bombs started it.

Maybe our thinking is very simple, and we’re  lacking the nuances and annotations that are  always so necessary in analyses, but to the  Zapatistas it looks like there’s a professional  army murdering a defenseless population.

Who from below and to the left can remain silent?

Is it useful to say something? Do our cries stop  even one bomb? Does our word save the life of even one Palestinian?

We think that yes, it is useful. Maybe we don’t  stop a bomb and our word won’t turn into an  armored shield so that that 5.56 mm or 9 mm  caliber bullet with the letters “IMI” or  “Israeli Military Industry” etched into the base  of the cartridge won’t hit the chest of a girl  or boy, but perhaps our word can manage to join  forces with others in Mexico and the world and  perhaps first it’s heard as a murmur, then out  loud, and then a scream that they hear in Gaza.

We don’t know about you, but we Zapatistas from  the EZLN, we know how important it is, in the  middle of destruction and death, to hear some words of encouragement.

I don’t know how to explain it, but it turns out  that yes, words from afar might not stop a bomb,  but it’s as if a crack were opened in the black  room of death and a tiny ray of light slips in.

As for everything else, what will happen will  happen. The Israeli government will declare that  it dealt a severe blow to terrorism, it will  hide the magnitude of the massacre from its  people, the large weapons manufacturers will  have obtained economic support to face the  crisis, and “the global public opinion,” that  malleable entity that is always in fashion, will turn away.

But that’s not all. The Palestinian people will  also resist and survive and continue struggling  and will continue to have sympathy from below for their cause.

And perhaps a boy or girl from Gaza will  survive, too. Perhaps they’ll grow, and with  them, their nerve, indignation, and rage.  Perhaps they’ll become soldiers or militiamen  for one of the groups that struggle in  Palestine. Perhaps they’ll find themselves in  combat with Israel. Perhaps they’ll do it firing  a gun. Perhaps sacrificing themselves with a  belt of dynamite around their waists.

And then, from up there above, they will write  about the Palestinians’ violent nature and  they’ll make declarations condemning that  violence and they’ll get back to discussing if it’s Zionism or anti-  Semitism.

And no one will ask who planted that which is being harvested.

 

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