Below is an article I contributed with to Al-Akbar English. The original article can be found here.
Last week, while Israel forces bombarded the Gaza Strip with missiles and artillery strikes, a 24 year old blogger from Gaza City named Nader Elkhuzundar published a moving vision of life in Gaza. Entitled “To My Unborn Children,” Elkhuzundar’s addressed his future children.. “Don’t leave Palestine. It’s where you belong. It’s where everything counts and where whatever little will make a huge change,” Elkuzundar wrote, echoing Ghassan Kanafani’s famous “Letter from Gaza.” Within hours, the post became a viral sensation, generating a Twitter hashtag, #tomyunbornchild, that trended globally.
After four days of unwarranted Israeli attacks on Gaza that left 26 dead and 80 wounded — the Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Katz characterized the operation as “mowing the grass” — I asked Elkhuzundar if he would volunteer a guest contribution to my blog. What follows is Elkhuzundar’s impressions of the recent assault on Gaza and its effects on his neighbors.
Anyone Who Smiles In Gaza
By Nader Elkhuzundar
Twenty-six. Eighty. Gaza. Two numbers and a location. Random numbers and a special location. Taken alone, the numbers carry no particular meaning. But when Gaza is linked to these numbers, one of them must be the number of people killed, while the other indicates the number of injuries, respectively. The above numbers are the results of a brutal unjustified and inhumane chain of attacks on Gaza Strip. This chain of attacks didn’t stop for four days.
Amongst those killed was a 12-year-old schoolboy who was on his way home back from school. Or rather, a “militant,” as Zionists would call him, just like the other 1.8 million inhabitants in Gaza. Innocent men and women were killed too. But again, there is absolutely no indication that could possibly identify them as militants. Even empty lands and multistory buildings that belonged to civilians didn’t make it out in one piece. All this is deemed necessary in the name of ‘”Israel’s right to self-defense.”
How is it possible that a 60-year-old man or a 12-year-old schoolboy could be a militant? It seems that anyone who smiles in Gaza is a militant in the eyes of Zionists.
On March 14, I was hosted on BBC’s World Have Your Say along with my friend Yasmeen Elkhoudary and two other Israeli Zionists, one from Ashkelon and the other from Tel Aviv. This was supposed to be an on-air discussion between the four of us about what had been happening in Gaza for the past four days.
One of the Zionists in the discussion kept saying that all Palestinians in Gaza are a danger to the safety of Israel — thus justifying the inhumane chain of attacks on innocent people. He went on and on about how the homemade rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel spreads fear, ignoring the fact that Israel has been killing and arresting Palestinians for more than six decades and counting (and never mind the countless houses they’ve demolished for one reason or another).
Israelis hide in underground bunkers while Palestinians in Gaza have nowhere to go but their houses, which make an easy target for Israeli missiles. But we are told that everything Israel has been doing to the Palestinians has always been in the name of self-defense. A country whose army is amongst the strongest on Earth kills innocent people and spreads fear in the name of self-defense over a stolen land.
During the recent attacks on Gaza, the city went from life to death. Whenever the attacks are renewed, or whenever shelling takes place, or even hearing the Israeli warplanes in the skies, people would just hurry and go home to hide for safety, street would be empty by the dusk. That’s when life becomes dead, completely. Israel has always been spreading fear between people in Gaza. Planting the seeds of hatred in their souls. Again, in the name of self-defense.