I am a US American of mixed European and Arab descent and I am a human rights worker who is currently sitting on a terrace in the occupied city of al-Khalil (Hebron). Two days ago I was sitting on this very terrace when I heard the sound of sonic booms in the distance – a scant five minutes later I got a notification from a friend in Gaza that the city was being bombed. It was 9:12 pm.
What I had heard in the distance was the sound of Israeli Occupation force jets taking off from the nearby air force base, speeding their way to attack Gaza – a mere 37 miles from where I sit.
As the night stretched on, the bombardment grew to a fevered pitch and the notifications on my phone were non-stop:
Air strikes west Gaza City – 9:18pm
Israeli occupation airstrike reported in Rafa 9:39 pm
Israeli occupation airstrike on Ansar area, west Gaza City 9:43 pm
Israeli occupation airstrike on Abasan area, Khan Younis, Gaza Palestine. 9:55 pm
Israeli occupation bombed a maritime police station in west Gaza City 10 pm
And then came the pictures…
West Khan Younis is getting hit by Israeli occupation strikes now 10:15 pm
Israeli airstrike near the power station in Nusseriat. 10:22pm
Israeli occupation strikes at Badr area behind Fayrouz Towers I watched them coming in. 10:51 pm
Possible the biggest set of Israeli occupation air strikes I have ever witnessed. It was surreal. My ears are still ringing. 10:53 pm
Then there was silence…
It felt like the world had gone silent and still, waiting on baited breath for what would happen next.
… What happened next was the Palestinian Ministry of Health announcing the first death of the evening…
The bombardment of Gaza continued into the wee hours of the morning, but I fell asleep around 2am. When I woke in the morning, I found that three more had perished in the night:
Enas Khemash, aged 23.
Her daughter, Bayan, aged 18 months.
And Enas’ unborn child.
An hour after I woke, Israel Occupation forces began bombing Gaza again at 10 am which continued until 10:45 pm amounting to over 24 hours of bombing. During that time IOF openly admitted that it was targeting civilian areas in Gaza so, “residents feel the price of the escalation and demand explanations from Hamas.”
If you have ever wondered what the aftermath of murder-by-bombing looks like, or were curious as to why US Military drone operators call kill targes ‘bug splats‘ then I present to you the photos of Bayan’s room the morning after the bombing.
This is what 37.5 billion American taxpayer dollars are being spent upon.
Not re-building crumbling infrastructure.
Not investing in green energy.
Not helping students with crippling student debt.
Not universal health care.
Not repaying the money stolen from the Social Security Administration so that our senior citizens are well taken care of.
Not money towards research to cure diseases.
Not to the many governmental organizations that take care of our parks and wildlife.
Not helping to clothe, feed, and house the homeless population.
Not to rebuild and revitalize our abysmal inner-city school districts.
Not to help millions of Americans that are on the verge of financial collapse.
Not funding innovative companies that can provide training and new jobs to those who need it.
We are spending this money to financially back a country that is murdering men, women, and children in their sleep. All because we are greedy to control the middle east, because we are afraid of being called Anti-Semites, because we don’t give a shit about what happens to the rest of the people in the world so long as we are safe in our own beds.
The outpouring of grief from around the world for Gazans has contained three words; “thoughts and prayers.”
Well, my fellow Americans, this is what I have to say to you:
Fuck your thoughts and prayers. Fuck your shallow, superficial grief. Fuck your bullshit solidarity with Palestinians that extends no further than your fingertips striking a keyboard and then doing nothing after you’ve sent that message into the ether of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.
If you are doing nothing at all besides thinking and praying, then YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. You are complacent, complicit and guilty by association.
Fuck your thoughts an prayers… DO something!!