Free Palestine

TW: This blog will cover current events in Israel-Palestine, covering topics such as violence, murder and genocide. I strongly recommend that you engage with this blog with a healthy state of mind.

Israeli air defense system Iron Dome takes out rockets fired from Gaza near Sderot, Israel, Saturday, May 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Free Palestine [A Poem]:

Rockets fly like fireflies in a cemetery,
cracking the midnight sky 
as they buzz their harsh lullaby,
swamping restless streets.
Each leave a trail—
lines of cordite, white,
carrying fear over boundaries
that were ground down
by artillery bombardments and missile strikes.

Among the wreckage, fragments
of possessions, peace,
there are survivors, few, if any:
some walk in their ruins, though few talk—
simply elasticated versions of themselves,
casting long shadows 
that stretch across nation to nation.
There are no closed caskets in this country,
but open wounds
bleeding onto the next generation,
their sole possession
as everything else
has been bombed to oblivion.

 © Thomas Gallimore Barker, 2021


Before anyone reaches any wrongful conclusions, or speaks ‘for me’, I would like to clarify my stance on Israel-Palestine.

For some time, I paid little attention to events happening on that side of world. After all, I had my own personal challenges to overcome, with bigger fish to fry—so to speak. Perhaps I made myself a little comfortable in ignorance, content in not questioning the status quo. As far as I was aware, the (Israeli controlled) media wasn’t missing anything out of their stories. Whenever the IDF cleared out a town or conducted an aerial strike, it was painted simply as a matter of house-cleaning. Nothing to see.

But it has taken me only just now to comprehend why so many hate Israel. All these atrocities, all those deaths, has been happening for years. What is happening now isn’t anything new. In fact, Palestinian’s have been evicted out of their homes and killed by IDF forces for a lot longer than the process of forced re-settlement of the Black population in Apartheid South Africa.

Smoke and a ball of fire rise above buildings in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, during an Israeli air strike, on May 12, 2021  CREDIT: AFP

Does it make any of this right? No.

What started out as the chance to reap greener pastures for the survivors of the Holocaust, has soured and grown corrupt. Instead of learning from their painful memories, the Israeli Government has chosen to perpetuate the same ideology and acts that saw millions of their own people enter the gas chambers. That is not to say that all Jews or Israeli people are to blame. Many are good and decent people who still bear the scars of Dachau, Auschwitz, and Treblinka. All they want is the chance to work and live in peace. They care little for the ethnicity and beliefs of their neighbours.

No, the real perpetrators of this crime are the Government of Israel. It’s they who give the marching orders to their IDF lackeys; its they who censor the media; its they who have their hands covered in the blood of men, women, children, and babies.

I may not have the money for donations, and I may not be in the right place to fight back. But what I do have is time, words, and a voice. To some it might not be enough, but at least its something, and something is better than nothing.

To those who think I don’t have the right to talk about recent events: Fuck off—politely.

What’s going on in Palestine crosses all boundaries. The suffering that innocent people—men, women, and children— are going through in that country violates every moral code, religious principle, and human right ever conceived since ‘civilisation’ was a thing. It’s not as minor as a border dispute or a petty squabble over religious differences.

But it’s the attempts of one sadistic regime to outright kill the people, livelihoods, culture, history, and memories of an entire race. We can’t stay silent or look the other way. If we do, then we lose our connection if what to means to be human. Now more than ever, we must put aside superficial differences, working together towards ending this…

Palestinian girl Suzy Eshkuntana, 6, was pulled from rubble in Gaza City (source: Sky News)

Like so many I’ve seen the news reports. I’ve heard how children, as young as ten, become the sole survivor of an entire family, because an IDF rocket destroyed his tower block. I’ve seen a father finding out that his wife was killed in a similar manner while she visited relatives, and by some miracle their baby lived. How can anyone hear of these atrocities and not feel their heart sink with despondency? Is silence an option?

In times like these, I think of the words of Nelson Mandela:

“Alone, we are weak,” he explains, before curling everything up into a fist, “Together we are strong.”

Do you have an informed opinion about the events unfolding in Israel and Palestine? Have any of you creatives out there tackled the issue in your own writings? Let me know in the comments below!


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