Gaza Resists

The Craters of Gaza. Image: JSC and AI Art Generator.

Gaza. Gaza. Gaza. I keep saying the name, in the hope that, out of the morass of unlivability (undrinkable water, scarce food, flattened homes, and the carcasses of loved ones) can emerge a living land, a land of steadfast breaths. Mohammad Khaled al-Osaibi. A 26-year old doctor. Fidel Castro said that the doctor and the revolution are a single person “assisting at the birth of a new life, who will not use forceps unless necessary, but who will use them unhesitatingly every time labor requires them. It is a labor bringing the hope of a better life to the enslaved and exploited masses.” Osaibi was a revolutionary. He tried saving a woman from the harassment of the Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa mosque. They adorned his body with 10 bullets. The mosque looks different. No, I am not talking about divine intervention. I am talking about the earth – the crushed cadence of prayers, the anguish of the air, entrance gates creaking with despair, bodies burning in a whispering, angry flare. 10 bullets – Israel wears them around its neck, and Palestine remembers them till they become rock-roses perfuming the land with the melody of home and humanity.

Palestinians arrive on their stolen land with paragliders. Specks of terror or liberators of the sky? We are used to seeing the sky as a playground for aircraft, for bombs directed at children playing football on the beach. The sky and the land – they seem locked in a permanent war. Smoke from explosions, the rubble of hospitals and schools – why does the sky meet the land only to maim it? “This is for my brother,” “This is for my son,” shout Palestinian fighters as they fire at Zionist settlers and soldiers. The destroyers of soil, the uprooters of olive, the killers of natives – they flee as the sky kisses the land with its watery lips. Clouds become flowers, flowers become clouds – everything living reaches out to each other as colonial death flees into the confines of the airport.

Supernova music festival. Young Israelis want to enjoy a night of electronic music next to an open-air concentration camp. The massacre of Israelis at the music festival pains the world. Electronic music. Sounds so peaceful. Mahmoud, Mohammed, and Yousef Al-Hazeen. Three brothers under the age of five living in Al-Nuseirat refugee camp. They went to bed early on September 1, 2020, due to the Covid lockdown. There was no electricity – Israel was in the mood of bombing Palestinians for four continuous weeks and banning fuel shipments. The reason? “Terror balloons” launched by Gazans – contraptions made from everyday materials, gas-soaked rags, home-made explosives. The three children slept in the light of the candle. I wonder what they dreamt of. Probably a world where they could play freely. Their house was burnt that night by the candle. The family was desperate to douse the flames. There was no water – water can be pumped into houses only if there is electricity.

Farah, Nadine and Sabri. They danced in front of their mother on April 1, 2012, when she played music on the tape recorder. They feared darkness. But colonial blockade thrives in darkness, in the chaos of power cuts. A candle was lighted in the children’s room, so that they could sleep without fear. Two hours later, the mother heard screams – her children had suffocated and burnt. Next time colonialists talk about the murder at the Israeli electronic music festival, tell them about the children of Gaza, who love playing and dancing, but always have to wake up from their sleep coughing and dying, for want of electricity.

Palestinians break the border fence with a bulldozer. How does Israel use bulldozers? Houses and water pipelines are wrecked by colonial bulldozers. Colonized infrastructure is a living infrastructure, filled with resistant people. Mohammed al-Naem was killed by Israeli forces near the fence. His body was dangled on the blades of a bulldozer. Israeli military said that he was planting explosives, and that he belonged to a “terrorist organization”. Rachel Corrie tried to peacefully resist the demolition of a Palestinian home in Rafah refugee camp. She was run over by an Israeli bulldozer. Al-Naem did nothing wrong. The Palestinian movement is doing nothing wrong. The border has to be destroyed, and colonialism has to be destroyed, by any means necessary.

A Palestinian boy stands defiantly on the streets, his hands cast in the sign of victory. The simplicity of his gesture, the absoluteness of his happiness – unconditional support for the Palestinian movement! Occupier versus occupied, colonizer versus colonized, liberation against genocidal machinery, Palestinians against savage misery – the Al-Aqsa flood operation is on the right side of history. Israel is on a killing spree. An old Palestinian woman waves her house’s key. Palestinians won’t die on their knees. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free, Palestine will be free.

Yanis Iqbal is studying at Aligarh Muslim University. He is also a member of the writing staff of Midwestern Marx and has an op-ed page on Eurasia Review.