Oct 19, 2010

#BDS: A song of sorrow from Gaza dedicated to Guns N’ Roses

A song of sorrow from Gaza dedicated to Guns N’ Roses

Amira crawled on her hands and feet in the Tal el Hawa area of Gaza City after her house and family were bombed by F-16s during the last Israeli war against Palestinian civilians in Gaza. She remained without shelter for three days under the bombs before someone was capable of pulling her out. She was just in her early teens.

Nadia sat on the sand and dust that was once her house in the Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood. She grabbed the earth between her hands as she cried for justice for the killing of her mother and sister during the Israeli destruction of an entire neighbourhood, resulting in the wiping out of almost the entire Samouni extended family.

Nadia’s cousin, Farah, was sheltering with her family under the staircase of their house when Israeli soldiers broke into their home and ordered them to leave it, and when they did, those soldiers cold-bloodedly shot at them from atop the roof, killing Farah and injuring her family.

Adham was feeding his uncle’s pigeons on the roof of his house in Beit Lehiya on the afternoon of the 4th of January when Israeli troops stationed on top of a house in the Israa’ neighbourhood shot several bullets into his chest, neck and forehead.

314 children under the age of 18 were killed and 1,600 were injured. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), 924 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, more than a quarter of that number is composed of the child casualties of the Gaza 2009 massacre. Each day an average of 13 children were shot, bombed, burnt by F-16s, F-35s, F-15s, Apache helicopters, Merkava tanks, Sniper surveillance planes, flechette shells, white phosphorous and naval gunboats to the point that they were no longer recognizable as children or human beings. Our homes were levelled, our schools and universities ruined, and our mosques and churches wilfully targeted.

There are 314 more children whose stories have been buried with what remained from their bodies. All you have heard about was a triple-digit number flashing in white
on a flat screened television. Or as you sang in Civil War, “For the Love of God and Human Rights, All these things are swept aside, By bloody hands time can’t deny… when [they are] fighting for their promised land.”

Your music has spread timelessly from one culture to the other, influencing, healing, and inspiring, and it was Nietzsche who said that life without music would be a mistake—for what could be more expressive of our humanity? When you go to Israel, and sing to the audience that will be mostly soldiers or previous soldiers that served in a terrorist army, will you tell them to

Look at the shoes [they’re] filling
Look at the blood [they’re] spilling
Look at the world [they’re] killing
The way [they]'ve always done before

We don’t need any more Israeli wars against humanity. We don’t want activists to be shot four times in the face as Israeli soldiers did to the Turkish American peace activist and student Furkan Dogan aboard the humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara last June. When Israel kills Palestinian civilians and the world does nothing, its people debase their humanity. The massacre that happened on that boat to Gaza is just a microcosm of what Palestinians face everyday in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, not to mention the third class citizenry of Israel, as it implements racist laws and carries out a continuous process of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians of 1948, in an apartheid process comparable to that which exited for decades in South Africa.

We want courageous, brave, conscientious artists, writers, intellectuals, and influential people to join us against the largest destructive nuclear power in the region, the continuation of the ideology of the racist, apartheid South African era.

We ask you to stand against the arrogance and vanity of this apartheid state, just like the audacious Elvis Costello, Gil Scot-Heron, the Klaxions and Gorillaz Sound System, the Pixies, Carlos Santana, and David Banhart did.

Do not entertain apartheid!

Besieged Gaza;
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)

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