January 5, 2009

Finding Ways to the Persecuted

With the persecuted in late, un-

Das Morgen-Lot, gilded,
hafts itself to your co-
swearing, co-
scratching, co-

--Paul Celan.

The demonstrations expand, city to city. Reports today suggested they were fueled by the old equation of Israel with Nazis, occupation and confinement with the Holocaust. But as people in pockets around the globe now gather, march, and waive signs, the indications are clear that the lingua franca of the world-wide outpouring is generally one of solidarity and support: a long-ignored flag becomes, before us, a more potent symbol; posters proclaim the ideal of a unified Palestine; calls for peace in a placid font and bolder insistence to stop the massacring of civilians. The language of human rights, the capacity to clearly name evil, to recognize, through the fog of foreign strategy discourse, the reality of Palestinian suffering beyond all that is acceptable, may be evolving here. Maybe, maybe not.

As the bodies pile higher in what must be the many make-shift morgues, or sink further into rubble, hospitals are bombed and aid workers killed. A conservative estimate, tonight, of 125 civilians killed. The (legal, all too legal) use of white phosphorus. The people of Gaza cannot, it is suggested by Livni, suffer a humanitarian crisis because humanity, says Netanyahu, is on the side of the righteous aggressor. His remark was typical of the bombast, hers perhaps informed by the Israeli High Court's willingness to rule that the minimum amount of fuel and food allowed to seep through the blockade constituted the avoidance of international law violation and the responsibility of a governing body. Against the backdrop of territorial dissection of a densely populated area by tank, entrenched positioning by a sophisticated army, and continued aerial bombings, nothing that does not cry with remorse is credible from those on the side of safety.

In response to the persecution, for now: mourning, solidarity noise, a flag new to many contexts. The rest may come. Maybe, maybe not.